CrossRoads: Balancing Elder Care, Work and Family

By Janel Forde, Macharva Lucas, Myra Strober
2008 | Case No. OB68
This case examines the choices facing a dual career household at a major decision point in their careers. Protagonist Lisa Johnson, a young married career woman, is carefully considering the advantages and disadvantages of uprooting her family, which includes her two young children as well as her husband’s ailing father, to move from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL. As African-Americans, Johnson and her family are well-connected to the east coast and to the support network she and her husband have built there individually and together. They consider the increased cost of elder and child care in Chicago as well as the lack of familial and community support they will face as they move to a new city. The financial impact of their decision is not limited to costs but also to their earning potential in the Midwest. The case includes projections for both Lisa Johnson’s and her husband’s earning potential based on location and level in the industry. Information on childcare and elder care in Chicago and on cost of living differences between Chicago and Washington D.C. are also provided.
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