Ever noticed how many Filipino nurses there are?

Or that many caregivers are Filipinos?

Caring for a sickly or elderly family member is a big part of Filipino culture. If you’re young and healthy, you’re expected to care for the elderly and the sick, whether they’re your immediate or extended family.

In most cases, this responsibility falls on the ones who are unemployed. If everybody’s employed and the family can’t afford to pay for a caregiver, someone would be asked to make a sacrifice.

That person would have to quit their jobs to become full-time caregivers.

That explains why some OFS quit.

Their family expects them to be the primary caregiver because they work from home. If they can’t work at the same time, they quit.

In one of my previous newsletters, I shared that one OFS, Jam, cared for his mom while working. His mom is exhibiting symptoms common to the elderly, needing round-the-clock care. So I asked him to share what his typical day is like.

“When I wake up, I make breakfast for my parents. I make sure they eat and take their medication. After that, my parents would watch TV or do stuff around the house. That’s when I’ll start doing the chores around the house (cleaning, washing dishes, etc) or running errands. When I was done with chores, I’d work until it was time to make their lunch and dinner.

If we have a doctor’s appointment that day, I will prepare whatever we need to bring, like their paperwork. I’d drive them to their appointment. Once we get to the doctor’s office, there’s usually an hour-long wait (sometimes longer). While waiting, I’d either be working or running additional errands.

This is me and my mom. I took her out for snacks after her doctor’s appointment.

I’m lucky that my parents are still healthy and mobile. I also share this responsibility with my sister, so I don’t have to do this all year round.

I’m also lucky that I can afford to take this time with my parents. It’s not much, but knowing that I can do this and not worry about my job is a huge burden off my shoulders.

I know this because I know what it’s like not to have that option. When I worked in a call center years ago, my maternal grandfather died. I had to help with the funeral arrangements while working. I was fairly new, so I couldn’t take days off. I couldn’t take my work home. I was so overwhelmed by everything I was eventually hospitalized for stress. “

You don’t need to lose a good OFS because of this obligation.

Ask them if they want to keep working.

Ask them if they can stay if you reduce their workload.

Ask if they just need some time off.

Giving a good OFS a few concessions to make them stay is easier than hiring a new one.

John