Work vs. Caregiving - The Ongoing Saga

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I'm a mess right now. My hands are shaking, and I can't focus, and once again my job performance is suffering. I thought this would be a good week. I had planned to take Dad for a trial day at an Adult Day Center near my job to see if he can visit about once a week to get out of the ALF. He REALLY hates it there, and I'm not the happiest with it. I haven't had the energy to start thinking about moving him again or making the countless phone calls or taking more time off work to visit new facilities, and I know I need to do it, but I can't seem to get started. When I picked Dad up this morning, he said his arm "felt funny". I noticed that he's favoring the arm and not using it. His left hand is in an odd kind of limp position, and sadly, I didn't have time to tend to it. I had to go to work. I was just out last week taking him to a doctor's appointment. He seemed OK otherwise, but I had already made it to the trial visit before I noticed that something really was going on with his arm. The ALF called Dad's hospice nurse, but she can't visit him if he's not there. I've flaked on the ADC visit twice due to extenuating circumstances, and this was my last shot. Now I'm worried. What if he had a stroke or something? I just left him with strangers for 1/2 a day because I had to come to work. I'm supposed to be getting ready to teach a class tomorrow. I need to be going over my presentation and making sure all of my ducks are in a row, but instead I'm crying my eyes out as I type this. This isn't meant for people like me. I wasn't cut out to handle both. I feel so awful for leaving him, but I HAVE TO BE AT WORK!!! Corporate America doesn't understand this burden. I'm physically in the building, but I am NOT here. I don't know what to do.

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Just remember Tiny working from home with needy dad is not same as working from home by yourself. If you are the only one asking for benefit? But I agree with comment on another of your threads. You have not been happy with any place dad has been or care he got. You have only trusted your own or personally supervised care. So I hope your new situation with him living with you serves it’s purpose and you get some peace.
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Be polite in your discussions with your supervisor. Remember it is unadvisable to ask your employer to make amends for you if those changes/requests aren’t offered to the rest of the employees.
The pendulum is swinging from allowing telework and working from home. Years ago it was the thing to do as employers recognized time spent on the road was counterproductive especially with some employees living far from the office.
Telework has swung the other way now as more employers rethink that policy change.
I work from home 50% of my time. It takes discipline to do that. In the beginning I struggled with it but then I had to adjust & do the work.
I would still meet with your supervisors just to keep them in the loop about what’s going on.
If your company’s policies are available on line on their website, take a moment to look up the policy and also the policy about working from home so you will have a background when you speak with your boss.
Good luck!
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Here's the thing... I could very easily telecommute with my job. In fact, I get SO much more work done when I have worked from home because one of my coworkers with a lot less to do ... NEVER... SHUTS...UP!!!!!

I've been trying to work up the nerve to ask my boss about this option, but I'm afraid that will look like asking for special treatment, and I would feel badly that MotorMouth and the other person in my department didn't get the same option.

Yikes... there goes that codependent monster worrying about everyone else's feelings again.

My job has AMAZING benefits, and since becoming a caregiver, I make sure that I max out the 401k matching. I don't want to end up too poor to be sick, and I don't have any children to burden (that was a mean comment).

There's so many moving pieces to this...
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Dusti22... I'm 40... I've still got a LOT of working years left in me. With everything going on, I haven't had the chance to go to HR about the FMLA, but it's definitely on my radar!!
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For Tiny unfortunately because it’s not her illness, she wouldn’t be entitled to short term disability, & after her PTO etc is used up most likely some of the leave would be unpaid.

Look at all your options carefully, Miss Tinyblu.
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Tinyblu, I had a chance to use my FMLA [Family Medical Leave Act] to help my parents back when I was working full time, but changed my mind.

Glad I didn't use FMLA for my parents because during the first year of helping out my parents I was diagnosed with a serious illness and I had to use FMLA for myself. Thankfully at the end of the 3 months, when I was able to return to work, my job was still there, in the same branch office, same desk, etc.

I was paid during my time using FMLA but it wasn't full salary. The company I worked for had something similar to AFLAC [commercial with the white duck], where the insurance company would pay about half of my salary while on FMLA.

After awhile when I was still taking time off to run my parents around to appointments, and other things that could only be done during working hours and using my vacation days, sick days, and eventually days without pay.... headquarters decided to eliminate my job. I was heartbroken as I had lost so many benefits when that happened, like matching 401(k) and profit sharing. And here I was with the company for over 20 years.
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Hi Tiny....It is a rough position that you are in. I can empathize as it is rough for anyone in this position no matter your age. I have been a caregiver to my honey since I was 52. I had to start doing temp work in my field as no company would work with me or hire me as I was a caregiver. Temp work paid well but had no benefits, no insurance, no paid time off. But it was necessary due to my honey's condition. I did his rehab and 24/7 caregiving and for the first 6 months was not able to work at all other than caring for my honey. He gradually improved and I was able to work at the temp positions which might be for 1 day or one year. Sometimes I was off for 3 months in between positions and one time I was out of work for 2 years. (I almost lost my home several times due the work droughts and my health suffered due to the stress). Everyone was right...corporate does not understand about caregivers or families with major health issues going on. I have been out of work this time for just shy a year. Luckily I have Medicare and Social Security. (I don't recommend anyone taking early Social Security but that is another story) as I am now almost 67. I cannot go back to work period in a corporate situation/outside the home I am a full time 24/7 caregiver so I have started my own business.

Sorry, you didn't say how old your are but I just wanted you to see what it is like if you lose your job and your insurance. FMLA is a good thing if you are able to get it though it is unpaid leave of absence. It is a good thing that your Dad is in an ALF where he can get the care that he needs. Sorry to hear that there have been problems. If he complained to the nurses there he should have been checked immediately whether they thought he needed it or not. Think I would have been tap dancing on someone's desk (like the director of the facility) not to get the nurses in trouble but to make sure that something like this did not happen again.

Everyone has given really good advice and hope my "two cents" helped as well. Please keep us posted and let us know how you and your Dad are doing.
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You should be eligible for FMLA if you’ve worked there for one year, if the business has enough employees (50 I think, but not sure about this)  & can get a doctor’s note that you are taking the time to take care of a sick family member.
It’s not a paid leave; you have to use up your PTO taking the leave thus it may not be fully paid.
FMLA is 12 weeks total. If it’s more than 12 weeks your employer may or may not keep your position open for you. Usually you have to still pay for your own insurance premiums but the employer still pays their portion.
You can use FMLA part time too, I think. Check your HR employee policy manual.
Glad I mentioned it! I thought you had used it all up.
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Tiny, I agree that you should contact the ombudsmen about the prevarication by the AL employee. And the O2 issue.

Re dad going to someone at the AL to ask about how his arm felt? We had this problem with mom at AL. The only thing that solved it was mom having her DOCTOR's cell phone number. She'd  call him and HE would call the facility.

It's a thought.
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I am glad that you are going to look into FMLA. I have used it in the past and it helped relieve some of the stress because I could concentrate more on health-related issues.

Sorry to hear that you had to take your Dad to the ER Monday evening and that the doctors determined that he had a stroke sometime Monday evening. Sometimes it is hard to determine what symptoms or complaints needs follow-up and what can be watched to see if they go away. Also sorry to hear that there might be more problems with the AL, so FMLA might be the thing to do for right now. We will be looking for your other post about the new developments.

Just to clarify what no job or especially no income can mean to you in regards to health insurance:
While it is true that if you lose you job you will most likely have to purchase Cobra insurance; if you do not have ANY INCOME what so ever, most likely YOU WILL NOT QUALIFY for ACA health insurance on your state’s insurance exchange. The exchange needs you to earn at least $12,000/year to qualify. If you earn $0.00 or receive NO income from rental property or whatever, you can not purchase health insurance on the exchange. I had to purchase my own independent health insurance which increased $400 from 2017 and I am now paying over $1,000/month for health insurance (using my savings and retirement funds). Just a FYI. If you want to check it out, go to the Marketplace and put in $00.00 for income and see what happens. :(
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