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I’m seriously thinking of quitting my job to care for mom. I’m an RN and I just don’t have enough caregiver hours to cover my 3 12 hour shifts ...I’m 3 hours short and Mom can’t be left alone at all. I’ve aplied for vouchers but I think I used all my time on them. I have a 401k and I’m only 55 so it will be a penalty to use it. I'm so stressed out and wonder what am I gonna do? My sister died 4 years ago and it’s been horrible since then. I am really alone. No children everyone’s friends living their own life. I’m so sick of being stressed and worried about not having anough hours. I have lots of worries.

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Yes I did, but mom has a pot of money and could afford to pay me for her care, and since I've always worked minimum wage type jobs I was happy with very little. Plus we live in Canada so nursing home costs are subsidized without having to empty mom's bank account first so there should still be a nice little inheritance to support me in my old age. In your case I doubt your mom would be able to compensate you sufficiently.
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ohmeowzer, here are some things to think about if one is trying to decide whether to quit work to care for an aging parent.... on average if a working person quits work he/she will lose "over the years" around $285,000 for women and $325,000 for men, which includes not only loss of salary over those years... it also includes the net worth loss of the health insurance coverage unless one is 65 and on Medicare....

loss of money being put into Social Security/Medicare..... loss of other benefits such as matching 401(k).... profit sharing.... workman's comp insurance.... company sponsored life insurance.... vacation pay, sick pay.... tuition assistance, etc. [source: in part Reuters 5/30/12]

And for me the sanity of being around other people.
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Your circumstances might be different. But if you're like most of us here who live with the person they care for 24/7, you will face the same issues we face. If you think you're stressed now, wait until you're burned out AND trapped.

Some caregivers who quit jobs, have no income, so when the person they care for dies, they are left homeless, no money, no job, outdated skills that make it hard to re-enter the job market.

There is thread that asks how live-in caregivers cope. And there's a thread about what people hate most about caregiving. Just to name a few. Do search for those and read through to see what your future might hold for you.

Don't say we didn't warn you. DO NOT QUIT YOUR JOB.
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I really like Countrymouse's idea of an option #3, part time employment would keep your foot in the door keeping your skills sharp and making a return to full time in the future easier as well as provide you with time away from your mom.
I was between jobs when I moved home to "temporarily" help my mom and was just considering moving on when her health took a sudden turn for the worse. At that point I was certain she would not last 6 months, I'm not sure I would have made the same choices if I had know how much worse things could get or how long she could hang on.
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I didn't have to - I injured myself on the job and haven't healed yet. The timing was....fortuitous.

In my town, there are church volunteers who will come and sit with the housebound, the sick, and the dying. You don't usually have to be a member of those churches. Also there are members of service clubs like the Rotary, the Lions, Kiwanis, Soroptimists, etc., who do the same thing.  The Rotary is a HUGE volunteer organization in my town.  There's a list of those resources (and other resources for caregivers) that goes around to all the community social workers and agencies. 

Maybe there's a chance you can get some help from those volunteers to cover the 3 hours you are still at work.  The hospital social workers will know about organizations that send their members out to volunteer in this way.  You HAVE to have an income, and this is really the kind of situation volunteers want to be able to help with.

I really urge you not to quit your job. You have to think of yourself, your future. Others have made great points about this, and it IS harder for women in our old age because our earnings tend to be so much lower. I suspect that your mother, in her good years, would not have wanted you to impoverish yourself to do this all yourself.
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Don't everyone yell at me.

Who's your employer, and how long have you been in this job, and all things being equal - just say we can solve the hours problem - would you like to stay in it?

Now I know that there are some companies/agencies/organisations, sadly, where you don't even let anyone know that you ever have any problem of any sort in case they decide you're a weak link. But assuming that if you're with one of those you'd rather work somewhere else anyway, I'm hoping that you don't work anywhere like that. In which case, have you thought about approaching your HR team and seeing - just *seeing* - if they can do anything to help?

It's three hours. Just three hours, causing a disproportionate loss of sleep. Worth asking, surely?
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Have you considered applying for Medicaid for your mother? It just seems so risky to retire at 55 and use up your savings - what are you going to live on when you 65, or 75?

FWIW, if you terminate service after your 55th birthday, you should not have a penalty on taking out your 401(k). You will have 20% withholding on any amount you do not roll over.

Still, there has to be some other solution other than placing yourself in such financial jeopardy. Or maybe you are thinking that your mother will not live long and you will be able to reenter the workforce and recoup your savings then? I hope that works for you - nurses are probably more in demand than other professions for people returning to work at older ages. Good luck!!
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PS Don't give up your job, whether it's this one or another. Trust me, you'll be sorry if you do. Or do you not use money?
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I am in my early 40's and did not want to quit, as I did not want to lose lifelong medical insurance. What I have done is taken FMLA while I arrange everything and look for a day program for my grandmother.
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Thank goodness for FMLA. But one has to be careful about using up all of the days for one's parent. Thank goodness I didn't use any days as I found myself with a serious health crises where I needed to all the FMLA days for myself. My job was still there when I got back 3 months later, as I didn't want to part from a company where I had worked for over 20 years.
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