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My mother had a stroke and needs help in the home with medications and day to day things. I moved in to care for her, and have been on FMLA, but she's not well enough to stay alone. If I don't return I'll lose my job, but feel as if I need to help mom. Is there any sort of assistance for a caregiver?

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Faith, 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, between $285,000 and $325,000 which includes not only loss of salary, it also includes the net worth loss of the health insurance; loss of money being put into social security/ Medicare; loss of other benefits such as matching 401(k); profit sharing; etc. [source: in part Reuters 5/30/12]

When I had to take time off to help my parents, I used my vacation days, my sick days, and days without pay. I didn't want to touch my FMLA and I was glad I didn't because a couple months later I was diagnosed with a serious illness and had to take over 2 months off from work to recover. Without that FMLA, my career would have been history.
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Faith, do you still have your own home? If you do decide to continue to live together, the first consideration might be selling one of the homes, eliminating the dual upkeep and expense but freeing up some cash on which the two of you can survive for a while.

The other option is return to work and hire staff through qualified agencies to help with activities during the day. It won't be cheap, but it's an option for you to keep your job and retain some sense of independence as well as contact with the business world.

FF's suggestion to see what's available in your area is wise; if you can arrange for enough alternates to your hands-on care, you can still work and provide the caregiving after work.

If you do go that route, some things I would consider implementing are (a) life alert pendant (2) lock box for EMS in case anything happens and they need to take care of your mother while you're at work (3) discussing with respected and helpful neighbors to watch for anything that might seem amiss (4) some type of pill management, whether it's putting out daily the pills she needs to take, or a meal by meal pill box or something similar.

Are there any other relatives in the area who can, and will help?
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That’s a very common question asking about being paid. Majority of grown children do not get paid for caring for their parent, unless the parent is financially able to pay from their own pocket. If a parent can afford to pay you, the parent might as well hire a certified trained caregiver allowing you to keep a full-time job.

If you live in the States, see If your parent qualifies for Medicaid, the State might allow a trained Caregiver come in to help for a couple hours. Also check to see if your State is one of those States that has a “Cash and Counseling” program to help you out, it‘s worth looking into. Note that each State has their own rules, regulations, and programs.

Also contact your county agency on aging for programs such as Case Management, Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Care, housing, care referrals, etc,... go to the website link below.... click on your State.... now click on the city/county. https://www.agingcare.com/local/Area-Agency-on-Aging

And please come back to the forums if you have any Caregiving questions, we would be more than happy to share our experiences with you, and give you ideas on what to do.
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