Burning Out

Due to the high cost of care, 1 in 10 family caregivers have to work more, take a second job, or delay their retirement, meaning that many family caregivers work while providing care. It’s a high-wire juggling act that provides the kind of drama audiences crave – and can relate to.

Story Sparks:

  • Yadira’s child’s daycare cut back their hours, and Yadira no longer has any reprieve between work and parenting; instead, she’s working while parenting to keep up. If only kids knew how to balance a multinational corporation’s budget…
  • Candace is a working Sandwich caregiver (a parent who also cares for her aging parents) who has to report for jury duty; she’s feeling like she might implode with one more demand on her time. It’s okay to nap during jury duty, right?
  • Gabe manages a disability with the support of his sibling Basil, and they both care for their aging mother Beatrix. Gabe also runs a community group to support neighbors who are food insecure. Together, they’re the kind of heartwarming cast of characters viewers want to watch week after week.


One of the most common needs reported by caregivers is “respite” – a service where paid care workers take over for short times to give family caregivers a break. Like hiring a babysitter, so a couple can have a date night (whether they can choose a restaurant is another story). On-screen representation can help people see respite care as a viable possibility and drive demand for the solutions that make it so.

A quick note: scenarios described here are generalized from information that Caring Across Generations has collected through focus groups, polling, and other research. They are generalized scenarios and are not any one individual’s story, and they are not meant to be comprehensive of all experiences having to do with care. This resource is intended to illuminate new storytelling opportunities that also contribute to a more authentic and holistic representation of care on screen.