Hi everyone, I understand this is my decision but I love and admire everyone here that is in the same boat as I am. I work 7-2 during the school year and now have at-home care as Mom cannot make it to the daycare in her condition any longer. I pay out almost about $550 a week for her care from moms low income. This leave no money for diapers, pills, the occasional bills such as denture repair, sneakers, bedpads, food, etc not to mind the heat that we have to keep on 70 for her in winters. This is all okay, not my complaint, its been working but now I am home for the summer. My caretaker is here part time so I dont lose her over the summer, and she does just 3 hours 3x a week for me, its wonderful! I lost my other 2 day a week caretaker and am having a horrible time finding a new one. I am having people apply that only want the job as they have no job and its all they can get. Thats not what I want, I want someone who enjoys seniors and their heart is in it. After 20 applicants, I am suffering in finding the right person and am second thinking going back to work now. I thought being home would be harder but with the 3 mornings of help and no rushing out for 7 hours a day, I enjoy it so much more. I just became vested and can leave my job with health insurance now and the money is okay but its not much compared to what the caregivers here make. Will I regret leaving my job? I am at retirement age . Thinking outloud here... I work 7 hours at my job and then race home and do 7 hours with Mom. There is no money left for diaper, etc and no weekend help. I have no time for my husband, adult children and grandchildren. I have done this for over 3 years now. If I were to stay home that extra non-caregiver money could go to weekend help so that I could have a life with my family with help. My family is great and they come over most weekends. I love it but as you can all relate, my mind and eyes are always on my Mom. I am feeding her, helping her to drink, changing her diapers or clothes and there is no time to run outside or in the other rooms to enjoy the rest of the family without saying" Oh can you watch her?" They all try and help of course but with kids, grandkids, cooking and cleaning, dogs, etc, as you all know the blunt of it is with ourselves. We can make it moneywise if I were to leave my job, its something I cannot decide on but am leaning towards it as I cannot find another special person 2 days a week and I would love a caregiver her for weekend time. (even thou its awkward to have someone here in the house) We have a small camp on a lake we cannot even go to, no dinners out, no movies, no babysitting the grandkids, etc. Has anyone out there left their job and are happier for it? When Mom moved in I felt as though my life was on temporary hold and now I am realizing this is a long haul here, not what I ever expected in her condition when she moved in. My Mom is a peach, and other than the dementia, she has had heart issues but is happy and pretty healthy here and who knows, she could love 5-10 more years, we never know. Then again, after reading the caregivers stress article on our own health, she could outlive my husband or I and that kind of scares me too as I wonder if there is life after caretaking. I want my Mom and my life and dont want to lose either, I am not a career person, I've worked for 18 years because i have had to for health insurance ,and I would love to be home with Mom , and be a housekeeper again, which has gone to the dogs due to my working so much. I have started to organize my home and enjoy Mom more without all the stress of work and the help of 3 mornings someone bathes her for me. I would absolutely Love your thoughts out there caregivers. What have you all done and do you regret it, or do you love it? IF I do leave my job I will never return to work. I cant stand the bs that goes on at work but there is an element of socilizing which is minor but yet still there. I also think, if I retire, is this the end of my life, weird feeling to describe. Thanks for your thoughts, I need encouragment right now from your experiences.
Have you thought of other alternatives? You say that your family is supportive...can another sib step up to the plate and take Mom in for a year or so, just until you get a chance to settle into retirement and have some time to yourself. I know from your past posts that you are fully committed to in-home caregiving, but have you looked into facilities in your area? I like that they now have a "tiered" approach so that your Mom can get only the care she needs without having to pay for extras that she doesn't. Was either of your parents a veteran? If so, apply for the "Aide and Attendance" benefit.
Even professional caregivers do not live with their charges 24/7 or they would burn out too. Do what is best for you, your Mom, and your family. Avoid guilt....it is a killer.