The future and how it frightens me.

Started by

How do I reconcile the fact that I am 57 years old and must begin a brand new life as if I was a 20 something straight out of university? When all of my friends and acquatances are retiring to a comfortable life, I must start out brand new with an old body and old brain. In this economy I would be competing with 20 somethings with MA's and Phd's with fresh, bright, quick to learn new brains, while I only have a BA and a middle aged brain which has been burdened so long as a caregiver? If I were an employer I wouldn't hire me either and so I don't blame them. I cannot realistically compete with the young people. I cannot fantasize that I would get a good paying job, but only one that hopefully can only pay the rent, food, toilet paper, the necessities of life, never mind any type of small luxury--like expensive ice cream like Breyers would be a luxury.

33 Comments

At 60 years old, you could not pay me enough to EVER go back to school and try to remember what I'd need to remember with this old brain. So I feel for ya for sure. My husband lost his job suddenly last month after being with the same company for 20 years. What we have found out is that even at 61years old, when you're a truck driver it DOESN'T MATTER. How surprising and refreshing to find apparently, the one type of job that couldn't care less about your chronological age, only your DMV record. He had employers clamoring for him a month later after seeing his driving record was without incident. So, there are jobs out there I guess that actually would rather have experience and stability, over no gray hair. Go figure.
Don't discount yourself that fast. You might want to check to see if your state has a displaced homemaker program to help you get started again. I remember these programs from many years ago when my mother became a widow. I just did a query and am surprised to see they still exist. Don't know how helpful they are but you might want to look into it. Also, you never know, you might come up with a new career based on the caregiving work you have been doing. Like maybe invent a product or service needed for an aging generation. I think caregivers need govt. funded programs to help them get back on their feet. So I hope you do find one to help you.
My prayers are there for you, because I am going through the same thing. I have taken care of my Mom for the past 10 years since my Dad passed away. Then for the past 2 years she has lived with me and my husband due to a fall which left her with brain surgeries and dementia. My husband's job is in the coal industry and right now that is not a good thing. I have always wanted to go back to work since our daughter finished school and now there is NO way because I am a "confined at home" caregiver. I, too, am scared for the future and the future of my health and mental well being. I am also 57 and with the economy the was it is, I don't see that anyone would hire me because of my age and the economic times. Stress is not good for us, as we well know, and the added stress of being a caregiver, thinking about the future and wondering how will I ever get a job at 57 is really scary! I pray things work out for you. Please keep us posted and let us know how things work out for you. Best of Luck!
The most needed jobs available are for caregivers! And you Qualify! I know you just finished caring for your parent but it will give you the income you need.
You would lend insight and knowledge to a field. Please give it some thought.
Nursing homes are a good place to start..... pick one near your home and save on gas! All the Best to You.
Don't give up on yourself. Are there any jobs you can do from home?
What is your degree in? I know it is tiring and we age alot being caregivers.
Do something you want to do. Go to a department store and get a facial or makeup put on for fun. Try a new hair style. I feel better when I get dressed and look my best. It doesn't change the situation with my motherinlaw but I don't have to be depressed because of her or it. Thrift stores are great places to buy clothes
get a new blouse or scarf something that you like.
You are valuable at any age. Your life is not over.
I am praying for the right man to be President and turn this country around and make it better for all of us financially, with jobs, housing, health and hunger issues.
Please take care of yourself.
Not sure where you live, but schools hire people our age to work in their kitchens. You get off during the Summer and receive unemployment. There are lunch aide positions Immanuel schools too.
* In most schools too.
Play up your strengths. You have experience in budgeting, nutrition, social services, problem solving.... lots of things that can translate into a job.
After a long absence from the workforce I found a job in the convenience store industry. We are constantly looking for cashiers...and promote the good ones to manager rather quickly. When I interviewed for my job I had no experience in convenience stores-- my background has always been in working with developmentally disabled folks. At my interview I was asked me if I was proficient in Excel. Knowing it was a deal breaker if I wasn't ... I replied, "I know everything the Professor had to teach me"... I got hired and I promply went home and spent the next 8 hours going through "The Professor Teaches Excel" on my computer. I highly recommend the Professor series (excel, word, outlook) as career preparation. The series is cheap.... or, if you want, you can also find tutorials online.
Also, in hiring for the convenience stores at least, it is difficult to find people who are drug free, arrive on time, and interact pleasantly with the public. Amazingly difficult. When you apply for a job, be sure to point out that you are punctual and haven't taken a sick day in years...
Best of luck to you!
You will be able to find a job in the future. Unemployment for people with college degrees is less than the unemployment level generally. You are certainly fit to be a companion or home health aide. However, I would look into getting certified as an LPN, RN or Lab tech. Get your transcript evaluated to see what can be accepted from what you completed earlier in your life. In most states you could be placed on a substitute teacher list if you have 2 yrs of college credit--you have your degree.

This is not to say starting over will be easy but having a degree will surely help. Imagine the number of people your age starting over without a degree under their belt--much more difficult.

Good Luck. I would go to the county workforce development office and see what is available for people re-entering the workforce.

Elizabeth
i am in the same position and i was freaking out so bad i got a therapist. she got me working in the here and now. worry is about the past and the future. i got into meditating at the local buddhist center. that is all about being in the here and now. it has got me enjoying being poor and i am selling off my stuff on ebay. i am walking my brain damaged husband daily in the park and am preparing myself and my special needs adopted daughter for homeless living if and when the day comes. i have no control over the fact that people don't want to help us. people never like me anyhow. that was why i took up computer programming in the first place. [it wasn't until i got my master's degree in graphic design/ visual communication, that i realized the depths of how much people hate me.] but i do have control over how i live every day. i am going to hold compassion in my heart and be fully human and continue on my life.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support