Has anyone successfully recreated their life after caregiving? Returned to the work force? Stories and ideas would be welcome.

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ive read that it can take 2 or 3 years just to get your brain unscrambled. i could believe that judging from the duress thats evident in many of these posts. i wish everyone the best. now im going to go try to convince mom that there arent 3 trucks in the driveway. beam me up snotty..
xxxxxxx - that is so funny because I also had trucks in my driveway this morning.
I retired from my job and focused the last 2.5 yrs to be there for my Mom. At the age of almost 93, sadly she passed away on October 31. It has been a jumble for me ever since. I really appreciate this question and am hopeful to learn from others how to move forward. My progress is slow, confusing and a huge jumble of tasks, emotions, lack of focus and direction and a feeling that I'm not contributing much to anything. Where Mom was my TOP priority, today I have few meaningful priorities and am not so desperately needed as my Mom needed me.

I joined a bereavement group at the local Catholic church. They welcomed me even though I'm not Catholic. I didn't think I needed it, but my friend encouraged me and each week I go thinking this will be my last time sitting around talking about this bereavement process, because it doesn't help, but each week... it does help. Members have completely different stories and I learn something from others in the group. This past week, I felt the elderly woman who leads the group needed a hug and I had a chance to give her a hug. Something I have not been able to give to my Mom since her passing.

It's funny how things come to us in the most unexpected ways.

I attended a Goal Setting meeting at the local Library. It was thought provoking, but my goals are all over the place and still... a jumble.

Last night I did not sleep at all. I don't know what's wrong. I'm not sad, because I am thankful that I had so much time with my Mom and it was difficult towards the end.

Now I am dealing with her estate and there are a million little things to do. I feel like I'm walking in sludge... slow moving, small progress each day, millions of little things to do... it seems like it will never end. I know it will and I am afraid that there will be a BIG empty space when the estate work is completed.

Thanks again for asking this question. I am also looking forward to what others can share.
I'm trying to get my life back in order after caregiving my Mom for three years, one, going back and forth from my home to hers, and the next two full time at her home, with a break from companions and homemakers for five hours each week day. The companions and homemakers is a wonderful company for those that need assistance.
That was the hardest two years of work I ever put in! This past May she had a hip replacement and her mind went even more from dimentia and aphasia. We were told she needed 24 hour care upon release from rehab. She is now in a health and rehab facility (long term care). I am happy with the facility, they treat her well.
I, on the other hand developed some major health issues beside batteling breast cancer, I now have autoimmune disorders which are affecting my internal organs (heart and liver), and am in and out of the hospital. It's funny how things work out--I held on long enough to let my mom live at home for as long as she could, ignoring my own health problems to do so. I now don't have a good prognosis.
I don't mean to be so long winded but I want to impress upon caregivers is PLEASE take care of yourself, I see so many posts with people just like me stretching themself to the limits. My mom's health is fine, she is 86 years old and I think she may outlive me!
Great question. I've given thought to life after caregiving, but, I know it is unlikely that I will be the same person I was 3-4 years ago. A very hard subject to get your mind around.
bzmom5393, the person I am taking care of thinks his has bugs in the house and bugs in him. he call the extension service to see if they could see about getting rid of bugs. The extension person called back(bug specialist) and I explained the situation and he was not surprised!!! he said he gets on average 2 calls a month from people who are convinced they have bugs, especially in their body and they being samples of pieces of rug and food and want the lab to test for bugs. I did not fell so bad after that.
I have been basically working part-time and suffering the consequences (one part-time income) for the last ten years, being a caregiver to my mom til she passed and now my dad. He is in his own home but needs something from me every day, sometimes twice a day - dr's appointments, shopping, things around the house. My sibling is a respected professional in another state and not engaged. How can I get back that life that I lost? I take him to church on saturday and on Sunday try to work (I am a self-employed consultant) to make up for all the time I missed during the week, plus I sit at my desk every night to make up for time missed during the day. I could never date, no time, I have lost all my friends, no time. How can I make up for this time? My dad is 96 and although he is doing OK and I love him dearly statistically his time has to be limited. How can I reenter the real world? There is no payback for this time spent, except for the knowledge that it was the right thing to do, no estate. I live in a small town with limited services.
I'm really having a hard time moving forward. My mom died 2 yrs. ago come March 30 of this year. My brothers and I took care of her in her home for about 2 1/2 years then following a fall, she spent her last year in a nursing facility. Even though she was there we all had the compelling need to be there every day. I lost my job of 20 years and for the past two summers have worked for a greenhouse, planted flowers and worked making bouquets for the last two seasons. The season is over again and I'm trying desperately to move forward. Now I feel broken. I've thought about volunteering somewhere, went for several interviews but no job in sight. It's so hard to move forward without looking back.
My suggestion is to look into volunteering with local hospitals, schools or other organizations. You will be fulfilled and meet new friends.
Ladyonhill I too lost my job of 23 years when caring for my mom for those three years. I find volunteering in the nursing home very fulfilling. Some of those residents get no visitors at. My mom is lucky to have me there every other day, and it feels good to help the ones who don't. Of course that doesn't help with the "money situation:, but I work from home to take care of that.

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