Should I accept promotion to full time job while caregiving?

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I'm really upset about this situation - possibly because I'm going through menopause and can't think clearly. I'm hoping others will weigh in on whether I'm making a good choice. I live with and care for my Dad who is about to turn 87, He can dress and clothe himself and is pretty sharp but I handle all of his medications, take him to the doctor, handle cooking, cleaning, laundry and so on. I have two part time jobs, I work two days a week in a storage office and the rest of the week I work from home as a contract writer for the local paper. Basically I take on the overflow stories the regular reporters can't or won't handle. Neither job pays well but it's nice to mostly work from home so I can handle the other responsibilities. I sometimes have money worries. Recently, the storage office offered me a promotion to full time at a higher wage. Dad is pushing for me to take it. But I just don't see how I'm going to be able to do everything I'm doing now while I'm stuck in an office five days a week. Just scheduling all of his doctor's visits would be a nightmare. I'm also worried about leaving him alone that much. He doesn't do as well when alone. He often takes the car (still drives fairly safely) and goes out to the store on his own. He eats junk food and sometimes seems introverted when I'm not there with him regularly. It seems to me that I should be trying to stay home more with him as he ages and not less. I have no family members to help. I was an only child and I'm no longer married. My knee jerk reaction is to turn down the promotion. I could use the money but feel I would burn out from the stress of trying to cope. I also think how many caregivers would love to be able to work from home as I have done no matter how badly paid. Am I making a wrong.decision? It's not like I want the job badly. It's an okay job. It's just the money. There is no chance of me putting Dad in assisted living by the way. I enjoy caring for him and we like each other's company. There is no resentment there.

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Mhari, does your father have some kind of income? Even if it's just social security. Do you have neighbors that you're close to - who can keep an eye on him? I think since your dad is still capable, then you should take the job.

My thinking is this:

1. Your Extra Income - throw it into your emergency fund or retirement fund. I throw mine into an emergency fund. If you get tax refunds, throw it all into your emergency fund. (I do that every year.) I've put my emergency funds on a busy bank that has long lines. I refuse to get an ATM card under that account. And the parking lot for all it's branches are terrible. I purposely made it difficult for me to Withdraw the money.

2. Are you able to make meals ahead of time for your dad, put it separate freezer bags? Or during your lunch hour, can you go home and eat with him? This way, you're keeping track of how he is doing. And you're ensuring that he eats properly. If you cannot come home for lunch, can you freeze his pre-cooked food like leftovers, etc...(put in frozen plastic bags with dates - example, Beef Stew, Monday lunch, 01Dec.... On Monday morning, you can put that freezer bag prominently in view when he opens the freezer. Maybe a note on how long to microwave it).
FYI, when my dad was full time caregiver for bedridden mom, he was really glad that I came home for lunch. He was worried that he would collapse and no one would find him until I came home at 630pm. I asked my boss if I can have a longer lunch because of my parents. He approved - as long as I make it up by staying longer after work.

3. My dad wanted me to call him several times, throughout the day, just to make sure he's doing fine. Maybe there's a service there that is similar to 'Life Alert" that you see in the TV commercial? There's a monthly cost but.... it can bring peace of mind for you.

In order to concentrate on that full time job, you're going to have to find solutions to what's worrying you right now. Otherwise, you won't be able to concentrate on the job. Employers want your full attention. When dad got his stroke 2 years ago, I ended up being their sole caregiver for both bedridden parents. Mom was completely vegetative state. Dad wanted to be number one. None of my 7 siblings stepped up to help me. I was working fulltime and refused to quit my job to care for them - without some kind of income. So, in desperation, I offered to pay oldest sis (jobless for years) to come Monday-Friday to babysit parents. That was my solution.
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MhariDee, I would take that promotion and use the money to have someone come into your home to help care for your Dad.... he's only going to get older and not be able to do everything he does now. Another reason to keep your job is because some day it will be your "sanity" and your "vacation" away from the house. Right now everything is going smoothly but next year all that could change.

Let him keep driving as long as you know he is safe behind the wheel. Once the car is taken away, oh my gosh, you now become his wheels, and you'd be surprised how many places he will want to do [I had been dealing with that with my own parents when Dad stopped driving].

As for the junk food, let him enjoy the stuff... he's 87, he doesn't need any fancy diets at his age unless he needs to watch his sugar intake or something like that.
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Just to clarify - this promotion does not come with retirement benefits. It would net me maybe 200-300 more a month than I'm earning now. I do put away a small amount towards retirement each month but doubt I'll have much to live on then. I do have the equity in the house and a small amount that Dad might leave that can be invested. As for the car, I feel like he "doddles" along but he has never had an accident and, as far as I know, has not gotten a ticket. He prefers I drive but doesn't hesitate to take himself out in the car when I'm not home. I just wish I could find full time work from home. I don't feel comfortable leaving him alone so much.
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If you don't take the full time job how will you provide for yourself and your own retirement? Have you looked into in home services that that might be available to your Dad in your area? This would provide company and hopefully someone to relief some of the caregiving load from you.

"Still drives fairly safely" to me means he needs the car taken away. That is a load of responsibility on both your shoulders.

Wishing you all the best.
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What does your retirement fund look like?

That's the real question, to me. Are you going to be able to fund your own care in 25 years?
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