I am terrified of being out on the streets! It has always been hard for me to find a job! I have had to depend financially for my Mom during her time with Alzheimers while she grew increasingly dependent on me otherwise! Now she is having to go from short-term rehabilitation (for wandering across the house and them falling and breaking her wrist) to a long-term assisted living or memory-care facility. I am now in the job market after being completely out of it for four years taking care of her. I have always been overweight , but the stress from taking care of her has caused me to balloon up weight-wise and I now can fit into any of my clothes due to the stress and the bad eating (taking her out at night to alleviate her sundowning episodes at night). Now, no one seems to care! They say there are plenty of jobs, but stores are closing left and right!

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JBzook - one more IMPORTANT thing.

You were NEVER out of the work force. You WORKED as a caregiver/medical aide for 4 long years. It was the HARDEST and most DEMANDING job by far.

You gained a lot of experience about caregiving, taking care of an elderly patient (bathing, dressing, changing diapers, etc.,) about the disease, the various ailments that came with old age and the various diagnosis and treatments. Did you also help managing your mother's finances? Then you know about keeping financial records, billing, etc. Were you her advocate and her POA? You would know a thing or two about the ins and outs of AL/ Nursing home, Medicare and Medicaid. If you had to deal with her will, estate, etc., then you know how those things work.

You have a lot of good experience that you gained from your caregiving JOB.

Do not think of yourself as being unemployed and out of the work force. That is NOT true. You had a real job, a very difficult job. Your pay was room and board and perhaps spending money (?)

DO list your caregiving job in your resume and proudly so. Not too many people can do that job.

Do come back and let us know how your job search goes. Good luck and think positive.
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Absolutely stay positive! Employers like applicants that appear upbeat (not too exuberant of course, but pleasant).
I suggest looking at programs offered by your local community college that may interest you and are relevant to your prior work experience. You already have caregiving skills under your belt and 4 years of not being in the workforce is really not that long. What did you do prior to those four years? You can build on that.
I have seen more “Help Wanted” signs in the past year. Maybe try to apply to a Wawa type convenience store to begin. Use your customer service skills you’ve acquired dealing with the health care providers ll those years.
As for your weight, fortunately that is not a huge barrier as long as you dress well and present yourself well. You can set a goal for yourself to lose weight - there are many phone apps that you can utilize to help you and many internet sites that can give you guidance.
Rome wasn’t built in a day!
I also know that employers are hiring more seniors or older workers these days, finally realizing that older workers are reliable and dependable and have a lot to offer.
For your wardrobe put aside a little money each week if you have income or somehow (401k?) & purchase one or two outfits to wear on an interview. Consignment shops or shops that sell clothes “gently used” are a good option.
I don’t think weight is a huge factor in employer decisions for hiring as long as you are pleasant, well put together and have the needed skill set.
Don’t give up! You have valuable skills that employers need. As stated above stay positive, be confident and don’t be deterred if it takes more time.
Good luck to you!
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Another option is to drive for Uber or Lift if you have a car. You'll be your own boss. Some people do this as their main job, some people do it part time or weekend to supplement their income.

One more. Since you have plenty of experience in caregiving, you can find a job with a care agency.

How you speak and carry yourself makes all the difference. Your weight won't matter. Think positive. If a negative thought enters your mind, immediate tell yourself two good things about you in your head. Stay positive. People are attracted to positive people. If a door closes, that means another door is waiting to open for you. You just have to keep knocking until you find it.
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It sounds like your lack of work appropriate clothing is masking your fear of the job search process. Now that Mum is being cared for you can start slowly to re-enter the workforce.

You mention stores closing, does that mean your experience has been in retail? I have a very good friend who used to work as a retail manager and now is an accounting assistant.

Is there an employment office where you can look into training programs? My friend was able to take a 12 week program which taught her accounting software and got her the job she has today.

Networking, as much as I hate the term, the action is how you find a job. Talk to everyone you interact with about looking for work. I am the sort of person who has connected people who were looking for work, with jobs that had not been advertised.

Tell you hairdresser, gas station attendant, grocery clerk, doctors receptionist etc, you are looking for work. Everyone is a potential lead. The AL staff, equipment dealers, everyone is a potential lead to a job.

Buy or borrow, new or used, one good outfit for dropping off resumes and interviews. Do not drop off a resume if you are not wearing your ‘work’ outfit. Many places have the person that receives the resume make a note about demeanour and dress on the resume.

Smile, even if you have to fake it, if you are smiling and approachable in public it will go a long ways to building your self confidence.

Do not bring up your weight, it has nothing to do with your employability unless you want to be a lingerie model. Do not be heard putting yourself down, if you do not believe in yourself, why would someone who may have a lead to your dream job?

This all from a 50+ woman who could lose 100 pounds, but I know when I complete my degree next year I will find the job I want. Yes, I am networking now to make sure it happens.
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Report Work from home opportunities all for a small fee. 
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I'm in the same boat, I fear ending up homeless once I'm no longer caregiving for my mom. I always thought maybe working from home for a call-center might be a good stepping stone to get back in the workforce? Or as MsMadge suggested, doing caregiving. I know there are some agencies that are looking for non-medical caregivers, just to do errands and clean. I'm probably going to have to borrow from my 401k to tide me over until I find employment.
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Hi, Jbzook!

Well, first off I can tell that you have a lot going for you based on your well-written and concise question. And you sound caring, self-aware and motivated, all qualities most employers want.

One thought about the wardrobe issue -- might your city or metro area offer one of those "community closets" of professional clothes at low or no cost for job seekers? That might be one thing to check into, along with also hitting up a couple of thrift shops. Hopefully, too, once you get back to getting your sleep in at night and avoiding the nighttime eating (so tempting, I know) the extra pounds will start dropping off. 

(Incidentally, there's a circadian rhythm researcher, Dr. Satchin Panda, who recommends not eating for at least 12 or 13 hours a day, for various health reasons including weight control. When I am good about this, I find my weight naturally trends down.)

Some stores are closing, sure, but maybe you can get your foot in the door somewhere, or get some job training and advice through your county, etc.? Maybe start to do a little looking around on your county's website for any helpful programs. 

Keep us posted, Jbzook, as your situation is of more than passing interest to many of us here. We're rooting for you!
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Plenty of other folks out there who are not Twiggy either! I just tried on summer slacks & could not zipper or button them ...from last summer!! So donate it goes...Oh is what it is.
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Baby steps

Set one goal

You must take care of your health

While stores are closing there are jobs in warehouses to distribute goods

Did you enjoy any aspect of caring for mom? Could you see yourself helping other elderly people
Facilities are in constant need of caregivers if you could see yourself in this role

What did you enjoy in school? Many trades have trouble finding folks if you are handy

Do you have any means of support until you can find employment?
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