I am in freefall following my mother's stroke. FMLA is helpful, but not paid. She will be in rehab a while, but during this time, there is paperwork, and Medicare to try to get help. How do you all do it?

I have considered going back to school so I can be home to care for her while trying to help myself, but it just seems like more debt...

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I just want to remind you that your mom has had a lifetime to prepare for her old age. You are not responsible to support her financially, or for her happiness.

While she is in rehab, work with discharge to figure out where she can safely live after her stroke.

Look, EVERYONE wants to age in place. There are times when that simply isn't possible. If your mom needs more care at home tham she can affors to pay for, you shouldn't be expected to have your life hijacked to maintain a charade of independence.

Put on your own oxygen mask first.

Is there a reason you can't go to your job while she is in rehab?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

I don’t think that you will be satisfied if you give up everything to help your mom.

I realize that you care about your mom. It can seem confusing at first.

I did give up my job to care for mom. I became very depressed afterwards. I lost my sense of self.

You have your own future to think of. I don’t know your mom’s financial situation but there are options to consider.

Please contact your mom’s social worker to discuss what care options would be suitable for your mom.

Do what is best for you and your mom. Keep your independence and allow your mom to be independent as well.

It changes mother/daughter dynamics when the daughter is the primary caregiver. You can look after her by being her advocate.

Best wishes to you and your family.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Beatty Apr 5, 2021
You have walked through the fire to know this. Many many hugs.
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You are in what I think is called in psychology *cognitive dissonance*. Mental stress by holding two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time.

Those being;
I must look after my Mother +
I can't look after my Mother.

The 1st being what you feel you should do, your values. The 2nd being real world practicalities.

It took me quite a while to move from that space.. you will have to move at your own pace. Find realistic plans.

I live in an individualism society. Price of living is high. I need to earn to pay my own bills (no-one else will). But we also have good social welfare support - my relative has other options besides me that can provide the physical care she needs.

Other cultures can work differently I know. Multi-gen families that consider the money/property belongs to the whole group.

In my case, without a big team of siblings etc all pitching in + shared finances - the practical realities are that I work & they source Govt assisted resources.
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Reply to Beatty
PeaceNQuiet Apr 5, 2021
Thank you, that is IT.
I think I realized today that my keeping my full time job will allow both of us to have a better quality of life, so whatever that means for us, it will have to mean, so I need to set it up that way. Such a hill to climb though.. X(
If you need to work and want to, that has to come first - you are rightfully looking after yourself and your own needs. If you can't get a caretaker for her so you are free to work, then you must consider placing her. There is financial help available -you just have to search it out - but if having her around is impacting you terribly and is harming you, you cannot take this job on and expect to have a normal life. It can't be done. Do not feel guilty. She has lived her life and you are living yours now - you come first.
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Reply to Riley2166

As much as we caregivers/responsible persons may be justifiably angry that our care receivers made no provisions for financing their old age (and I was one of those responsible persons) , just consider the era in which they came of age and raised their families. Overwhelmingly, these care receivers are aged women. Either they did not have access to good jobs with good wages or benefits in their young years, or they depended on their husbands to provide for them while they raised families at home. A most critical thing, I think, is that they'd never expected to live as long as they do now. They saw their parents die in their 60s or earlier, often mercifully suddenly. They never expected to reach age 90 and have to call on their kids, now aged 60s and 70s, to help. This is a massive dislocation in our society, the unanticipated consequences of a longer but not better life.
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Reply to con3ill

Home care only pays minimum wage. That is probably not helpful to your situation. Your mother's progress in rehab will help you decide on next steps in her care. Talk to social services at rehab about your mom and your need to continue working (secure your own retirement, please). Social services can assist you in locating resources for whatever level of care your mom needs. Most insurance companies will pay for a certain amount of home health care for a limited time. Long term care insurance will pay for home health care or private pay residential facility, but it is expensive. Social services will know all the resources that your mom qualifies for - use their expertise.
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Reply to Taarna

Thank you for the reminder about the oxygen mask. Hard to remember that.

I can go to my job while she is in rehab, but it is what she will need when she comes home that has me worried. Not sure I can do the getting ready for bed, bathing, and 2 - 3 meals, not to mention help with trips to potty if she should need that as well as all cooking and cleaning. I will have to see how she much she gets back from therapy, I suppose.

Truth be told I think most of us are pretty helpless to prepare for the costs of stroke and debilitation. She has already lived 10 years post retirement on fixed income. There is only so much of that you can put away... Housing bust took the rest.
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Reply to PeaceNQuiet

(((Hugs))) back, and thank y'all! Appreciate a kind ear :)
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Reply to PeaceNQuiet

I know it is so hard when a loved one is in a re-hab facility. You are so worried about if they are getting good care or not. It is so important to get that paperwork done because then the federal program will help you with the costs. It is not easy to continue working when you are taking care of a loved one. I had to literally quit working at 62 to take care of my husband who is 13 years older than me because he needs 24/7 care now. I would contact your county and see what they could do to help you out. I wish you good luck and I hope you get the help you need for your mother.
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Reply to lewstillcoping

Imho, a few of us may be elders ourselves, caring for elders. I was and my full time career was behind me.
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Reply to Llamalover47

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