Being a caregiver of my elder mother (who's had several strokes) without a mate, supportive siblings, friends or hardly any extra money after paying bills--and working full time--makes for a profoundly lonely life. All of my interest in my own life --making art, travel, exercise, healthy eating, interaction with others in a social context without having to tote my mother along because I have no money for personal respite relief...they've all been, one by one, allowed to drift out of my life because I have no extra energy or time or life has gone all---- beige.

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In our small town we have a thing called "mothers home" somthing similar in name. It's not a nursing home, but a real home set up for those that need constant care, but don't want the nursing home setting and costs.

606Athena, I assume that your mother has no extra money, either. If that is true, you should apply for Medicaid for her. We think of Medicaid for nursing home care, but there is also a program (called Elderly Waiver in this state) whose purpose is to help people stay in their own homes. That is certainly much more cost-effective than paying for their nursing home. Depending on need, this program can help pay for an adult day health program, incontinence supplies, a homemaker (to clean, do laundry, etc.), meals on wheels, a personal care assistant, someone to help with bathing. It also helps pay for modifications to help make the home safe.

It sounds like your Mom has the beginnings of dementia, and if that is the case, things are only going to get harder. You sound like a wonderfully resourceful and creative problem-solver, but at some point you are going to need help. Start the process of finding it (and figuring how to pay for it) now.

What worked as a great starting point for me was to call Social Services in my county and ask for a needs evaluation. Even if the needs are deemed to be slight now, it will be awesome to have things all set up and a case worker assigned if/when the needs are greater.

This could go on for another 5 or 10 or even 15 years. You surely can't wait that long to reclaim at least parts of your life. If financial aid is what you need most right now, apply for it!

I agree not having enough money is the bane of my existence, so I totally get it. What about instead of money, a barter system with your acquaintances? You know, maybe one of your friends needs someone to babysit an actual BABY for a change, and wouldn't mind babysitting an adult instead? Maybe you have something someone else needs in exchange for time away from your mother. Gotta be creative when you don't have the 'green stuff'. After all, that's how people got what they needed for hundreds of years was bartering. hmmm

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