How many of you have quit your job to care for your parents and now regret that you did?

Follow
Share
This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
71

Comments

Show:
1 2 3 4 5
Continuing from the previous post (#70): My hope and plan is to try to keep my Mom in her very good Assisted Living facility for her lifetime, which I expect to be at least another 4 - 6 years, based on her family's longevity. There are a couple of benefits that could be useful to readers.
1) NJ homeowners who are over 65 and who have no more than about $79K in gross income can benefit from a Real Estate Tax Freeze (this is different from the NJ Real Estate Tax Rebate program for seniors). I didn't know about this and seems nobody in Mom's town does but I discovered it online. The tax collectors office did not know of this. If the senior meets the few criteria, the RE Taxes will be frozen at the point that you first apply as long as you continue to apply year by year. My Dad applied in 1996. Had I known, my mother's RE Taxes would have been about 60% of what she had been paying these last six years.
2) Elderly veterans who need assistance meeting their expenses (I believe that these are medical or caregiving expenses but take a look online for the particulars) can receive as much as $2000 per month from the VA. The processing time takes at least 6 months (by directive it must not take longer for the VA to acknowledge a claim). Call the number listed online for expert information regarding how to apply for your elder's particular circumstances. Be pushy about describing those circumstances, because you might have to file one application, or as many as five applications, plus two statements (notorized), plus a copy of the trust, plus a copy of the deed to the house (as I must). WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS of veterans also can qualify for similar support, but this is more limited -- around $1000 per month. I think many people are unaware of these benefits and I wonder what else is out there.
(2)
Report

I am grateful to read these comments. I will direct anybody who is clueless about the reality of what it means to be a caregiver to disabled, elderly, or sick adults to read some posts from this collection. My story has some of the flavor of each of the other posts in it, so I will skip many details and highlight the differences. I have been through six years of careing for my Mother since my Dad died and also some time being of help to my Dad when he was ailing. During the last five years, Mom required round-the-clock care, originally provided by a team of caregivers with me covering the alternate Sundays and holidays, as well as handling medical problems, housing issues, maintenance contracts, and all things financial. I have POA, Trusteeship, Executor status, Heath Directive proxy, and am lucky to have agreement from the "heirs" to do whatever is necessary for Mom, fiancially, medically, and otherwise. I have no fear there. I left my job to take up the care of Mom three years ago because I saw her condition declining rapidly even though she had good and well-paid care, and the regular attention of a team of MDs and visiting nurses. I left work to care for her because I could not continue with my extreme hours at my job (85 - 114 per week over the previous two years), and handling the routine and also the very wacky things that went on like Mom calling 911 to report that the caregivers were slapping her and men who were living in the basement where stealing her furniture and selling it (don't ask). I got to know the local police very well. There were only so many times that I could go without the meager sleep that I did get, and I became sicker and sicker myself. So, I left my job, dismissed the caregivers, observed Mom closely for a couple of days and discovered that most of her problems were of her own making and could be turned around. I did succeed in turning around her health within 12 weeks (apparently I am some kind of genius if I can see things that other people, even her doctors missed). Reason returned, weight slowly came off, depression abated, aches and pains resolved, old cronic conditions disappeared, but other issues (incontinence for instance) required constant attention beside all the food prep, managing medication and medical visits, purchasing supplies, laudering bales of bedding and clothes, "creative financing," attempts to raise her depressed spirits, etc, all while I became sicker and sicker from the greuling 20-hour days. You really need the patient's cooperation in his/her own healthy practices to be able to mange the job of caregiving. Now I understand why her caregivers quit a couple of times. The effort required on the part of the caregiver is enourmous. Add depression, lack of cooperation, constant complaint and criticism, and the time will come when you have to give up and save yourself. I provided care out of love for three years before it broke me, but gave up when Mom was so combative that she refused even to eat, and then to drink. This resulted in a trip to the hospital for IV fluids, and then to rehab, and finally to an excellent, high-service assisted living facility that she previously refused to enter. I am now scrambling to pay for her expenses and mine while I pay for required repairs on her small house prior to selling it. I had assets, I have fewer now and I must go back to work. I am 62 years old. My mother will be 90 this year. I have an engineering degree and good genes which make me appear a decade younger than my age; these should help me land a job even in this economy that will at least cover my current expenses. The debts I incurred caring for Mom will be cleared when I sell my own house. I am of two minds regarding leaving my job. I don't think I am really cut out as a natural caregiver. I approached this with love and as a mental and physical health challenge and succeeded there, but at what a struggle. Where the heck did the last six years go? My Mom's depression has been a lifelong issue and I had been called upon several times because "your Mom won't get out of bed." I did my bit each time, and got her into therapy and meds but she didn't make progress due to her attitude that the world must be the way she wants it to be. I like reality and found this gulf between our personalities the hardest to deal with. I am lost. But Mom is being taken care of by an army of well-trained caregivers and I assist them where they need it, like understanding when Mom is sabotaging her own heatlh by her insistance that reailty be the way she would like it to be. They are beginning to understand the mechanism. It took several months but we are there now. I will write another shorter post about the business end of all of this which will definitely help some people who need to find extra funds or benefits for their family members under care.
(4)
Report

In February 2012, I got laid off from my job. In March, my then 92-year-old mother fell backwards in the dining room at our home, suffering a compression fracture in her back. Much pain required heavy pain medications and constant monitoring even with a part-time caregiver. I was unable to look for another job for two and one-half months, so I took Paid Family Leave from my last job. Mom has recovered very well by now but is still slow walking and uses her walker to help get around. Some helpful medications are still used. I have no other relatives available for help, so I assist with meals and transporation for Mom. We cannot afford to further my job training for office work in accounting, so I will consider part-time work as an office clerk or a concessions cashier. Mom needs my help, and concurrently, I need some income. With only her income now, we cannot afford caregivers. I have been unemployed for about one year and only 57 years old and uninsured; too young for medicare, so I must be careful to stay well! Prayers are needed for both of us!!

PatatHome01
(2)
Report

Just wanted to say that I think it's great to have all these different opinions and experiences discussed on this subject. Wish I had this kind of information 5 years ago. This will help many people find the right answers to help them make the decision that best suits their situation!
(1)
Report

jumping into this kind of late, but here's my 2 cents: regarding jessiebelle's comment (''Few relatives realize yet that there is rarely such a thing as inheritance anymore.'') Oh, that one's true! When Mom was still in her house, a couple of relatives were always very helpful to her, did all kinds of stuff for her when asked, even painted her kitchen, living room, dining room and laid a new floor (which she did NOT ask for and didn't really want.) Anyway... one time while she was in the hospital, they went through her drawers at home and read her papers, finding out they were not named in her will. Then they stopped being helpful. Hurt feelings? Or just mad they wouldn't be getting anything? Fast forward five years -- Mom is still alive and now officially penniless. I could sure use their help now and again, but none is coming ... BTW, I would not quit my job over my mom. I feel I'm more useful making money that I can use to help her out.
(1)
Report

Seabiscuit, WOW!!! What a story! I'm sure glad you finally got POA. There may not be anything left for you, but at least you will get to avenge your Mom's mistreatment by her family. She is lucky to have you on her side. Hope all goes well for you both.
CB,There are so many of us with the same story as you. Nothing left but at least we can live with ourselves!
(0)
Report

While I do not regret that I quit work to care for my mother - who had Alzheimer's disease - it does anger me still that I had to do this. I had joined a wonderful Alzheimer's caregiver listserv support group and learned so much. However, my oldest sister had POA, thought she knew everything but knew very little, and would not listen to anything I said. I finally realized the only way I could ensure my mom had care appropriate for a person with dementia (because my sister said in no uncertain terms that she did not care if a caregiver she would hire knew anything about Alzheimer's), would be if I stopped working a moved in with my mother. I lived with my mom (in a retirement complex!) from 2002 until 2008 but kept working until January 2003 when I saw Mother really should not be alone. (My sister would never have hired a caregiver until some horrible catastrophe opened her eyes to the fact that our mother could no longer live by herself.

Didn't mean to rant. This subject always opens an old wound. But - hey - taking care of my mom WAS a good experience and I met so many wonderful people in her building, too. I could not find a job after she died in November 2008, so I went back to school! So while I am still angry at my sister for her "my way or the highway" attitude, I do not at all regret what I did.
(2)
Report

my mom wouldn't give me power of attorney right away, her addiction to a 37 year old grandson, with 3 of his own illigetimate children from 3 different girl friends who has never worked a day in his life, is illiterate and living off his grandmother's assets, free room and board, a million dollar home with a million dollar view, 5 years free rent all bills paid, 1800 dollars a month "allowance" and HE did not give his kids, 11, 6, and 2, one dollar of support in those 5 years. I had to evict him so we can get rent and pay for me now, cause I take care of her; I had to quit my job because she wouldn't make me POA and I ended up quiting, retiring early to stay in Yuma with her, and no one else has offered to help in over a year - no family member sees or contacts her but me. I quit my job. I had to. she wouldn't give me power of attorney. It was my last year, 20 years, full retirement with full benefits. Had to withdraw in cash, to pay the grandson's charges on the grandmom's cards - oh my - oh my....the entire inheritance is going to the IRS and liens from creditors now, in a blaze of financial destruction, smoke and ash; meanwhile the IRS is calling and the "kid" won't get out, much less support and care for his own. Marithe, Girbaud, Francois - designer label clothes - this kid was way too entitled to be bothered with learning to read or write. 37 and never had a job in his life, cause no one ever gave him any discipline. and now, he's a monster who calls grandmommy daily to extort her for an endless supply of money. He screams at an 88 year old woman in the twilight of her days who shouldn't have to care or worry about other people's self-made uneccesary problems. But instead she is abused and tormented by her grandson who can't fend for himself after 37 years???!!!! and both her daughters, all demanding money before her last breath; she's being blocked from coming back to her own home. She wants to go home but daughter and grandson have made it clear that grandmother has already given the house to them, and they want squatters rights. Also, if she tries to take the home back - they will call 911 and have her removed from the property until they can contest the eviction.
Family - that's your deadliest enemy - especially if you're in one that is all sociopaths save for myself. - at 60, I've lost everything, my pension, my inheritance (the house is willed to me alone in my mom's inheritance) the "kid" has bankrupted my mother (stole 100,000) so the home he is squatting in will soon be a liquidated asset on the IRS Auction block. We've lost everything to a treacherous family member who hovered around my mother's pension while the rest of us got up every day and went to work. Born in 1977, he flunked freshman year 3 times in a row, and to this day can't read or write - WTF is happening to "kids" today??!! I didn't have any, for this very reason.
WOW - 88 year old woman can't get a moment's peace at the dinner table or in bed at 2am in the morning without that brat calling her and screaming at her.
Well I have POA now. I cut him off.
I'll see him in court. He has an eviction notice, restraining order and I'm suing him for stealing from the estate.

When his step-father died, neither he nor his mother called 911. the father told my sister he was going to leave her, she was telling him she was going to take him for everything, the "boy" 24 at the time, was saying: "I wish you were dead already". The father had just had a triple bipass 3 weeks earlier and now under duress he went into stroke and a 50 year old woman with a masters in diabetic management (my mother is diabetic, and she has never taken care of her) and a 24 year old "man" stood by and didn't call 911. an hour later the fater died in the doctor's office and the next day my sister was 600,000 dollars richer. And now they want my mother's house!

she bought paid in full that house all by herself and her kids are now trying to steal it! wow!
(0)
Report

Quiting a job to care for a parent in this economy should never be considered unless financially feasible. With more people aging there must be more affordable solutions for their care. Today's adult children need to consider their own financial future or the same pattern will continue generation after generation. Society can only be sustained by financially stable people being in the workforce.
(2)
Report

marlenezava

Can you expand on the caregivers contract. I have never heard of this.
What are the terms and how do you arrange for something like this?
This sounds like it could be extremely helpful information.
Thank you
(0)
Report

1 2 3 4 5
This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Related
Questions