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

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Well are there any ladies in the Southeast Michigan area that are on these boards? Just curious. We may be able to meet and talk and come up with a plan of action for this exact dilemma. :)
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(((((((cat))))) wonderful post
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I have read this thread completely to date. I appreciate all that each poster has contributed. It's late here and I am ready to go to bed, but I will come back and post. I may need to revisit some of the posts made here, as they touched my heart and I want to respond. Sending ALL of you love and God's blessings. It's a hard road taking care of parents or a spouse. No one who doesn't do it understands what the day to day stress is to the caregiver. Both of my parents are gone now, but I had them in my care over the past 8 years or so. I'm trying to find my path now. I will eventually, but I understand it is a process. I am so blessed that my husband has a retirement. On the other hand, I can tell you that we have been through a lot financially with the care of my parents and having built a home for them on our property.

While all of our situations are different, we are all suffering in the wake of care taking. We judge ourselves so harshly and we can't understand why it isn't over. What are we waiting for? Why can't we just get over it and move on?

I guess it takes time. I am the oldest of 4 children. My youngest brother was a help to me, financially, with my parents. Bless his soul he always helped in spite of the economy and the pressure he was under. Our mom passed on her birthday, Dec. 18th, 2008. She was 81 years old that day. My dad passed this past Sept 24th at age 90.

I've been in a funk for the past few months. I miss my dad and I keep asking myself if I did enough for him. I talked to my youngest brother yesterday and explained how down I felt. He was so kind to remind me that he could have never done what I did. He went on to tell me how my parents lives would have been so different if my husband and I had not taken them on. He makes me feel loved in a way that my parents didn't always give me. I thank God for his love and friendship. He has been there for me and for our parents. I wish all of you could have that one special sibling in your life who hears your heart and feels your pain.

Sending love and white light to each of you special people. Cattails
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All those expenses you mention would be covered by hospice. You need a generous doctor to make a determination that anyone of your Mom's problems could end her life sooner rather than later. Then the supplies are covered as well as providing some emotional and respite support for you, just not the living expenses. Food and shelter must come from the family's wallet. Best to you. I wish you will investigate this. All the crap I went through and had I known that hospice was right for us, heavens, we'd be much less miserable right now, as well as my Mom would have had more peaceful times at the end of her life.
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One thing I find difficult, is how alone I feel. I'm trying not to be frightened by that, and I'm gradually getting there, doing each task needed to aim to support self - it feels extra hard, because s when I have been caregiver, for my brother and also for my elders - I felt as I was part of their lives, as my focus was on each of THEIR next steps. Suddenly when I'm scared, no one is watching my next step - other folks are helpful, but they usually offer one time ideas, when I want and have to, find a work and/or study plan - one thing that is helping is Al Anon, which I've attended for years, and their focus that supports us in taking time to value ourselves, and even in reviewing our own lives, has been helpful to me remembering that I brought talents and insights and I learned skills, so if I know what they are, I can choose to explore new ways to use them. I'd like to manage and teach now, wish me luck - hard to follow through with search.
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In my opinion, this entire discussion needs to be bronzed. The material is so rich and diverse, yet unitified in the impact of caregiving. Somebody wrote "the pain of caregiving." I think we have the title of a much-needed book: "The Pain and Personal Costs of Caregiving." Now, who is going to write it?
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Sooozi.... A year and a half ago I finally had enough with some of my own clutter going on and I had enough. My mother used to call our house a shit-hole and it wasn't, but the basement became a disaster of borderline hoarding courtesy my husband. My husband was also raised by a mother who went junking all the time and she made her house look great, but my husband brought that into ours and it wasn't me and it wasn't "us". Our house for 20 years was neat garbage with a basement piled high.

On the year I started that journey, I could no longer go down the basement to even do laundry. My husband had to do it. I hated that more than you can possibly imagine. So I did a Google search for organizers in my area. The woman I really liked was also a Christian and we hit if off, but I soon discovered she was too far and so she recommended someone in the area of me. And Karen (my organizer) became a key part in my emotional healing. She was/is an angel sent by God to me. I believe that to this day.

She is between $40-$50 per hour, but they can run more or less depending. I've seen some go as high as $75 per hour. She would not deal with hoarders. There is a whole other psychology behind that. I was ready to get rid of things and clean out, but I just needed the help. I was too overwhelmed and just paralyzed. She even does simple jobs like just organizing an office or develop a organizational system if need be.

When she came out, we went through the basement, talked for a while, but there were some other factors that were also being worked in the plan. I have my parents house and I was also planning on using that for my now non-profit and so I said that when my parents were gone, we'd deal with that next. Little did I know.

My particular organizer touched everything. There were times it got worse before it got better and she would constantly ask me how I was doing. There were definite times I did not like and was overwhelmed and she knew it. We talked through the whole thing, laughed and at times I couldn't let go or I didn't want her to get rid of it and she would put it aside to deal with later. I mean every scrap piece of paper and dustball she asked me about. She was my treasure. We revisited things ore than twice I can tell you that.

They are not cheap, but I have to tell you..... they are priceless in the end. For me, Karen had something I did not. She was a missing piece to my emotional state and she handled it perfectly. I cannot tell how much I spent because we incorporated so many other things in between just my basement.

But I will say because of her, she helped me through a lot of emotions even though she's not a counselor. Her peaceful spirit was perfect. If you can do it I highly recommend the assistance. It was a real emotional healing for me I could have never done on my own.

Because of her, we uncovered an issue that we had for 20 years with water, but we were able to see the problem more clearly because we cleared it out. From there I took the clean out even further and we ended up converting our basement to an incredible media room that we could now house all our media and make it a total second story of our house so to speak.

What I loved that was even more emotional for me but funny as hell was the fact that my mother who once called our house a shit-hole and now deceased, was probably turning in her grave because now our basement was featured as a front page homestyle section story. It was priceless revenge from a spiteful narcissistic mother who made my life miserable. Now it isn't and I'm LOVING IT!

It took me 20 years of living in bondage (emotional) and 18 months of cleanup to come out the other side feeling freedom. It can be done.
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Well I'm sorry praying that you are in that position. It was a different story for me. A lot of times you can sell a house as is. We had that with a house in Florida. There were things to bring it up to code, but we could sell it at as is in order to get out from under it and miraculously we came out about even or just above on it.

I lost my job a week before my mother died. I had a lot on my plate financially, estate, my own house, unemployment and so forth. I've dealt with a lot of emotions in a very short time frame and I'm not ashamed to say its okay to take care of you. I can't help everyone like I'd love to because I realize the pain of caregiving. I've seen the cost, I get it, but unfortunately I cannot do what my heart desires.

All I can encourage you is to do the best you can, but even through all these financial things, do not feel guilty for taking care of your loved one. That's the angle I'm coming from. My prayers and heart goes with you.
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Praying15, no, I don't think my suggestions are the least bit ridiculous, and I'm not married nor will I have anyone to support me but myself. If you have no money, God knows you probably qualify for some kind of financial aid for schooling - I sure don't and probably never will! I've been working since I was a teenager. I would not plan to sit around and wait to be taken to the poorhouse or get out there and see what's there for you after you get through your grief.
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Mitzipinki could you say more about your professional organizer? How did you find such a person? What does that type of person typically cost? What is the scope of their role.

In re-reading your post, it struck me that it might pay huge dividends getting someone like that to help organize all the documents, paperwork, estate contents, etc, etc. I feel like I've completed 2/3 of it, only to find a seemingly bottomless pit!

Any suggestions you can provide regarding such a resource would be much appreciated! Thanks again...
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