Given the growth of care needs, the emphasis on informal care and the increasing labour force participation of women and senior workers, balancing employment and elderly care responsibilities is a crucial challenge. This qualitative study explores how and with what implications Italian senior workers combine work with care for older people. The results indicate that the impact of care responsibilities on work is limited and that employment has a buffer effect on overwhelming care responsibilities. By contrast the implications for private and family life are considerable. The conditions and mechanisms that support these results are discussed.