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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.

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Susan, you are very inspiring. I could not be able to deal with that and perform my job well. You have given me food for thought.
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Oh Ashlynne in so many ways I can relate. When my father came out of the hospital, he wanted me to move in. Should have been the first red flag. My father doesnt want much to do with me unless its related to me paying his bills online. At first I told my siblings no. But as it turned out the building we were living in had its electricity turned off because the landlord didnt pay the rent. So my siblings quickly swept us up and moved us in with my father. So then his attitude was that me and my children were dumped on him.. For seven months I was treated like a slave, maid employee. One day I got fed up. After a nearly 2 hour screaming match over the fact that he barged into the basement while I was working and on the phone with my boss.. I packed up our things and left for 2 days. During that time my siblings told him he either shapes up or will go to a Nursing Home if I decided not to live with him anymore. I agreed to come back but Im only staying until the end of the school year.
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Susan you're lucky. When you have to deal with a narcissist who also has dementia you're screwed. Manipulated into selling my home and quitting my career to live in her freezing, gloomy basement, taking daily abuse and waiting on her hand and foot, I'd sit ion the basement night after night, cry and plot how to run far away. Having given up my whole life all I had left was my precious dog, Cody, a rescue chocolate lab x German shepherd. When he died her reaction was "Oh well". He was all I had left. At one point I seriously considered suicide as my only way to get away from her.

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.
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Interesting to hear the various situations for all of us.

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.
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Im so sorry to hear that Ashlynne.....what a horrible situation
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My mother was a total narcissist, "it's about time you did this or that, I need, I want ... me, me, me, me", b***hing and berating every waking moment, constantly falling, rushes to the ER, hours spent in hospital waiting rooms and doctor's offices, hours cooking only to have the nose turned up. I've had an online business since 2000 but I put it on the back burner. You can't cope with demands and stress 24/7/365 and run a business, or at least I couldn't.

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.
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I seem to have it easier than most of you. How I wish my father would simply stay in his room. When he does, its very quiet. Otherwise he is talking very loudly to his HHa, blasting the TV or asking why I havent come upstairs ...
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Once the person you're caring for needs 24/7/365 along with all the cleaning, cooking and other stuff it's impossible, Been there, done that.
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I work from home. When I have work, that is. When I first became my Mom's full-time caregiver, I gave up my part-time job and kept my full-time job (both telecommute gigs). Because I had to move to my Mom's, I was going to be out of the service area for the part-time job. After a year of caregiving, I had to let go of the full time job as well. The demands of caregiving were edging out the demands of the job, and my boss wasn't very understanding, so I resigned in order to devote all my time to caregiving. Between doctor's appointments, medication management, errands, cooking, cleaning, laundry, keeping track of my Mom's several complicated diagnoses, and trying to roll with the punches of dementia, Parkinson's, CHF, depression and all the rest, not to mention the toileting assistance several times during the night... well, there's not much room left in the brain to focus on work.

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.
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I do. I am a medical transcriptionist and am able to work a flexible schedule. However, my mom has just gone into hospice.
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Susan, I don't know how you get any work done with your Mom in the same room! I had that same situation for about 3 months at the very beginning. I had to angle myself so I couldn't see her because I was so aware of her being so nearby. I did a lot of laundry since the machines were just around the corner from us and the white noise made a type of mental barrier for me. I eventually set up in my room to get more space.
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I worked from home for about a year when Mom lived with us. We both stayed in our rooms so it wasn't too bad. At first. But looking back now that she has moved to AL, I realize it was the start of being too much. Too much together time.

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!
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@toomuch4me -

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
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Susan, you sound like you have an amazing position. I know when I wasnt living with my elderly father, I used to have an outgoing message on voice mail warning everyone not to call between 9 and 6. Its been extremely difficult living with Dad and working from home.
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@toomuch4me -

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)
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I know what you mean Jessie Belle. Its the little things that disrupt the work day such as Dad knocking on the door to show me his "important" mail while Im on a conference call with my boss.
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I work from home. It is not easy. There are days that I'm not able to get much done. There are usually no big things that disrupt my days. It's the little things that break the flow. There is one thing that is self-imposed. Sometimes I am emotionally wrecked with anger or angst, so can't concentrate on my work. These days I find myself reading here on AC to see if someone writes something that makes things better.

As for now, I guess I better get back to work. :)
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