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I am 51 years old, and recently had to leave my job to care for my mother who suffered a stroke and needs 24/7 care. I couldn't even consider placing her in a nursing home, since my husband and I have had his mom living with us for nearly five years. My mother-in-law is 88 and has CHF, a pacemaker, moderate to severe dementia. My mom has tremendous incontinence, is a major fall risk, has aphasia from the stroke, and moderate dementia. I love teaching and miss it very much. I am worried about how future employers will view my leave of absence. Thankfully I send both ladies to a medical adult daycare which is wonderful. I am also looking into getting the home care company back in when I hopefully return to work. I have had clinical depression for over 17 years and take medication, along with seeing a therapist. I battle feeling sad often. I really would love to get involved in an active, supportive, inspirational, and helpful caregiver's support group. I attended one offered at the medical adult daycare but it just didn't suit my needs. Most caregivers there were caring for their spouses, not their parents. Is there anyone out there with a similar situation that can refer me to a really good support group.

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Doris, I just thought I'd check for you... My mother was in Sunrise and there is one near you. I don't know if that one is as nice as my mom's, but check it out. You may even be able to get your parents a two bedroom apartment. I would have loved to put both my husband's mother and mine into the same place, but my mother-in-law wanted to be near her daughter and I wanted my mom near my huge family. Good luck to you, you need to put yourself first, especially if your sad!
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Doris, you need to get back to the job you love. Assisted living for my mom and mother-in-law changed my life 100% for the better. They will be your support group! I had terrible images in my head about these places, boy was I wrong! The care is superior to what I could offer. Both our mother's have their own beautiful apartments, furnished with their own things. They have wonderful entertainment, eat in fancy dining rooms, have daily housekeeping, laundry services, nurses in the building, field trips, and living with peers their own age. I checked out several places, and we found the perfect fit for both of them. My mom went from laying on the sofa in a robe for five years straight, to sitting up and caring about the way she looked again. Did they want to go? No, no, no. Was it the best thing I ever did? Yes, yes yes!!!
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Doris, there are many listed on the internet. The Reformed church has an ALZ group and so does Chilton Hospital. United way usually has groups. Do a search on Caregivers groups and your city.
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Doris, did you try the website link I provided to find your local council of aging? Chances are they would have information on support groups.
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I know that my mom and my mother-in-law could live a lot longer. My husband and I have agreed to care for them for a maximum of no more than 5 years. I intend to go back to work in September (since I am a certified teacher). Currently I am being paid, on the books, for caregiving by both my mother and mother-in-law. I am not a martyr, and they are paying the required employer federal taxes, etc.
Support groups are necessary. Unfortunately your answer doesn't help me.
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Try calling your local council on aging.... use the website link below... find your State... now find your city/county.

https://www.agingcare.com/local/Area-Agency-on-Aging

Sometimes it is hard to find a Caregiver support group because caregivers just don't have free time to attend :(

I noticed you said you wouldn't put your mother and/or your mother-in-law into a nursing home. You might change you mind after reading this as your Mom and our mother-in-law could live another 5-10 years..... 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 loss of salary, plus 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: Reuters 5/30/12]

You can still be a Caregiver for a love one even if they are not under the same roof as you, and still be able to work to add to your own retirement fund.
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