Im glad to see Im not the only one..but I really would like to know how many other Caregivers Work from Home and do you have help while you try to get work done. I work very specific hours so I have to have someone assisting with my Dad during my work hours. He is not in bad shape, he mainly needs companionship and meals prepared.
Do I hate her?, absolutely! Do I want anything to do with her? No! As POA I will continue to ensure her bills are paid and she has all she needs but stay low/no contact. If I allow it she'll put me in an early grave.
Regarding the comment about it being impossible to do when it becomes 24/7/365, Mom and I have discussed that. She's very open (at this point) to discussing the future and what needs to be done at that point. She is morbidly obese, and I will not be able to care for her when she gets to the point where she is no longer mobile. She knows at that point, she will need to go to an assisted living facility or nursing home. She jokingly tells me she's just never going to get to that point, that she's never going to get old and die (she's almost 74), and we have a chuckle over it, but the reality of the situation is like the elephant in the room - we both know it's there, and at some point, it will have to be addressed.
Some days, I just want to lock myself in my room and hide. I have a laptop, so I could do that, but then Mom gets lonely out here and starts getting depressed, so I can't do that. Occasionally, I will take my laptop and work from a coffee shop, giving myself a much-needed day away from the house, but that's not a good option either, because then Mom is completely alone at the house.
So...for now, I just do what I have to do. I sit at my desk in the living room, tv blaring in the background, Mom sitting 10 feet away, passing gas loudly and sucking air through her teeth, and when she gets up to use the bathroom and leaves a trail of urine because she's soaked through her incontinence pad, I get up and clean it up and remind her to change it, change the pad on her chair, wash my hands...then try to go back to work. Some days...I'm not sure how I do it. I just keep reminding myself that it could be much worse - she is still relatively mobile, is not completely incontinent and doesn't have Alzheimers. I try to keep reminding myself of that and try to be thankful for the blessings we have. It's not always easy, though.
Thankfully she's now in a NH, I've changed my phone number after I had a blackout due to stress, she doesn't have my address (called the cops on me forever ago when I didn't answer the phone and she wasn't looney tunes then) and do low contact. I've literally gone into hiding. I'm recovering but it will be a long road. One step at a time.
I take freelance jobs whenever I can get them, but the loss of steady income has been devastating. And I miss working. I was at the top of my game in a field that I loved, but now I wonder if I'll ever get that groove back at all. Not sure what I'm going to do when my caregiving days come to an end.
Susan, I know how you feel about wanting your own workspace. I set up an office in a spare bedroom. My mom spends her days in the recliner in the den, just a few feet away, but I feel guilty if I stay in here too long. Plus, when I get engrossed in a project, I can go for hours when I'm in the flow. So I'm constantly checking the clock to make sure I don't miss any medication times. But then that breaks my concentration.
It's a challenge, to be sure.
The people I was working for no longer needed an off-site person and they were too far away for me to drive there to work. Getting job away from the house was wonderful!
It's defnintely not easy working from home and taking care of Mom, plus doing the household bills and chores. Some days I balance it better than others. My relationship with my parents has always been kind of complicated.
Today was definitely one of those days! I'm glad to see it coming to an end and will be very happy to sign off for the night and retreat to my room for a little alone time, even if it's only to sit in bed and watch Mad Men. LOL
Our situations are very similar. I used to work a 9-5 job, but discovered that I could be a Virtual Assistant on the side and make some money by doing small research projects and such in my off hours and on the weekends. When my employer instituted layoffs and I was hit by them, I took my layoff period and built up my VA client list to a full-time level and never went back to my regular job. I felt absolutely pushed by some unknown force to do it, and trust me, I was so terrified of the change that I resisted like a dog being dragged to the bath, kicking and screaming all the way. Finally, I decided to take the leap, because that little nagging voice telling me to do it just wouldn't go away. 2 years after I started my VA practice from home, my father became ill and passed away within 6 months of his first illness - and someone had to move in with Mom to provide companionship, ensure she keeps up her hygiene and takes her meds, as well as to transport her back and forth to appointments and handle the household expenses and such. Since I was the only one that didn't own a home (I rented) and had a job that would allow me to move anywhere that I had an internet connection, I volunteered.
I've had to put up a NO SOLICITING - NO EXCUSES sign on the doors to the house, to keep the religious folks, the house remodeling folks and the survey folks away from the door, but other than that, it's worked out ok. I do get irritated on my busiest days, because the dishes and housework don't get done, and the laundry piles up - but for the most part, I've been able to balance it pretty well. Some weeks are worse than others, because my business sometimes entails 60+ hours a week - and sometimes more.
When things get really bad - like JessieBelle was saying - I block everything out for a while. I don't have help from my siblings or respite care (I couldn't leave anyway, still have to work!), so when Mom's demands get the best of me, I put on my headphones and turn on my music to block everything out. She's in the same room with me at all times, so it's not like I won't see if she needs something...it's just a little mini vacation for me, and allows me to calm down and focus without any distractions. I really wish I had a separate office, but she's put the kibosh on that every time I've mentioned it - saying she really likes me to be out here in the living room with her. (sigh)
As for now, I guess I better get back to work. :)