I dress very casually (casual pants, t-shirt, no make-up) while caring for my folks, and have not had the desire to get dressed up, meet men and try to get in a romantic relationship, since my last romantic relationship ended several years ago. Would like to hear opinions from other divorced/single caregivers on dating while caregiving. Is it possible to do both?

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Ahhh, the Golden Girls. Each night after I get my mom to bed, it becomes me time. I retreat to my room and watch Golden Girls reruns each night. A man? Not a chance, who needs one? They just need to be taken care of too. I will have legal right to have my mother's nice home deeded to me in five months and avoid Medicaid penalties. My retirement income will not be much and I envision a Golden Girls situation. Love that!!

My ex and I divorced 3 years ago. My mother encourages me to find another husband, but I think about the facts. Here I am nearly 61 years old and living at home with my mother. My mother looks like a total wreck and the house is cluttered. Most days I feel half crazy. If I ever became interested in finding a companion, I don't think anyone in his right mind would be interested in finding me at the moment. Talk about baggage!

What I actually have in mind to make life more affordable in the future is to find a roommate or two and live like the Golden Girls. That seems like it would be fun.

Thanks for the issue! I'm single, and I offered to "help" my mother, by taking my youngest brother from home, when he was 24 and she was 64, and I was 31 - his disabilities (epilepsy, brain injury, developmental cognitive and memory issues and manual coordination issues and balance.... ) had not been clearly diagnosed for he looked neat and clean, as mother dressed him well, and he liked school, so his reading and writing scores were higher than physical ones, but in those days, they had very little focus on this stuff, so his issues were left undefined, and outside of professional services.

Sorry, for long intro. Guess I'm trying to say that my identity feels different from what many in society do, for I had been lost and misunderstood myself, and received help in adult life, so I offered to help him, and that offer turned into over 35 years! I am a teacher in spirit, if not in profession - and I found myself dedicated when I saw how my brother did finally listen to me, his seizures and outbursts dropped - so I hung in there, and helped him progress safely.

I keep myself well dressed, neat, stylish, as I come from Montreal, and grew up enjoying style. But not particularly sexy, and most casual relationships are only temporarily interesting to me - I feel like a visitor in that world. For I worked hard, loved teaching and learning, and find it not satisfying to go out with men who had no idea of the strategic help I developed and gave. The few times I HAVE met a fun teacher-focused man, who was kind and understood me - I fell head over heels, and missed the cues that he had a girlfriend and was being kind, and likely enjoying flirting. I'd like to do more activities that I enjoy, and feel I might find some companionship there, but I am struggling to arrange my financial life to give me time to do much. Becoming a "jack of all trades" and "master of none" - caught somewhere between cultural shifts across generations, and not being religious - all has left my work skills confusing, as I take a much more long-term, slow, methodical and detailed approach to care than many professionals who study humans in fragments. Now I think I'd like to take Occupationa Therapy or Social Work or Family Therapy, so I can learn and practice to teach what I learned. And write a book! The grad school I completed partially, was in Cross Cultural Studies.

In the process, I set myself up financially, but barely - house rich and cash poor. I have loved working with elders for my paid job, yet often left my own participation in travel or fun, off to the side. Yes, I have felt too TIRED to go out. Now I realize I left out important fun activities, and try to set up a schedule to include and value some of those, even once every two weeks, so am working on making more decisions that care for me too, at this stage, and hope to put together my own blend, now that my brother is in a Nursing Home and also a Brain Injury day program.


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