My name is Mari, and I am so glad I found this site today. I really needed it! I am a former nurse and lab tech, spent my life teaching health courses in adult schools. I've also been my family's caretaker since I was 16. However, back then I at least had other relatives and friends to help out. It was not as overwhelming as it is for me now.
I took care of my mom with Parkinsons (and other illnesses) for many years until she passed away. In the last 3 years of her life my dad suddenly developed esophageal cancer and passed away within 6 months. At the very same time my uncle developed Alzheimers and could no longer take care of himself, so I moved him in with us for about a year. Eventually had to place him in a nursing home just before my dad died.
Due to things that their medical insurance would not pay for, as well as funeral expenses, I lost alot of my money with it all, including our house, and declared a bankruptcy 10 years ago.
Now I am looking after my 80 year old aunt. She helped me take care of the family, and now she is needing care. She has diabetes, asthma, emphysema, osteoporosis, and other problems. She had always been very independent, but is now needing more help.
My last teaching job last year (an hour and a half from home) was riddled with phone calls from my aunt regarding medical issues that I would need to take care of on my lunches, or go home for. In February I developed a clot in my leg and needed to take a leave for temporary disability. One month later I was replaced. At the moment I am still on unemployment, and obviously the income is not what it had been. I have also lost my health insurance not being able to afford COBRA. And I have some health matters of my own that I now have to pay out of pocket for. As a result I have no more savings, and am actually behind in many of my bills. If it had not been for loans from some of my friends, I don't know what I would do.
My point is, for the first time, I am overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed worrying about overdue bills while trying to be a decent caretaker for my aunt.
Thanks for listening.