I am my own caregiver I'm a youthful independent 70 year old veteran journalist. Is indpt living my only choice? I own my large home. Help!


I am a trouble maker! I'm a veteran journalist currently writing two books. I own my own home fairly large home, and two years ago I created a beautiful B&B in the two rooms and bath, listed it with Airbnb and achieved Superhost level in four months. It is so lovely and livable with the room next to the luxurious bedroom being converted into a living room /breakfast & dining room /TV & music room /reading room. I could live there and be very content. I'm so proud of that accomplishment. It's been quite awhile since I experienced that feeling that I enjoyed when I climbed the leader to success in four diverse careers. I tell you all this to express my capabilities, while at the same time admitting I'm no longer able to do the heavy lifting, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, stripping /remaking guest bed on days that are "flips", it., one guest out by noon, able guest checking in at 3 pm. I had a young woman do all this for the cleaning fee incorporated into guest charges, BUT she also had been cleaning my home for me prior to opening the B&B, an expense that was stressing me out because money is so tight. So in order to cover all of those expenses I not only have her the cleaning fee but 25% of the payout, and she agreed this would extend to covering cleaning all through the year, even when business dropped off during blistering Arizona summers. BUT, she became unreliable during season, showing up 90 minutes before check in, doing a half hind end job and taking home $155, $90, $229, depending on the length of the guest stay. More often than not it was over $150 for a hasty 90 minutes. That should have more than coveted cleaning the rest of my home a couple times a month. But then she said she didn't remember agreeing to that. Worse yet we are friends and I feel very close to her, really I love her like a daughter and during the time I'm about to describe, she was there for me. I have become severely at risk because of falls in the past two years. This situation developed after for very strategic and successful surgeries which enables me to walk unassisted for the first time since I became disabled in 2000. My cute red expensive electric scooter and electric wheelchair are parked in a corner of my garage, covered and forgotten. Now I don't wake up every day in such pain I imagine how I might take my own life just for some relief. I started physical therapy to learn to develop core strengths and I bought a beautiful beach green adult tricycle with a basket in the back wall where my precious Yorkie rides. I became active and confident enough to not only open my little B& B, but became a neighborhood organizer and talked neighbors into having block parties to build a sense of community and gain awareness of safety. As a result I was elected Neighborhood Watch Captain. Then the dizziness, lightheadedness and sense of instability started and in the past 20 months I have broken my clavicle in a bathroom fall ; left foot broke when working in yard and foot rolled in gravel and down I went; head injury from bathroom fall leaving me with concussion and purple face caused by hematoma leaking blood (very embarrassing) another bathroom fall *see detailed explanation below ; broken big toe and metatarsal when my little dog darted between my legs (first time in 12 years) and reconstructive surgery ; 12 days after that surgery I tripped over surgical boot (was still on left leg) and broke ribs 4 & 5, left side. Undiagnosed dizziness and lightheadedness are major causes. When I'm walking forward I often cannot stop the forward momentum and will fall on the person or object I am approaching. If I look up to adjust curtains I'll fall backwards, look down I'll fall forward or "stoop" to put dog's food down I'll fall forward. In addition to the injury related falls is estimate there were at least 15 more. One of the most recent noon -injury falls occurred when I was with my cleaning friend, ostensibly helping her set up a both at the convention center. On the way as she was driving there I experienced another phenomenon that has occurred often enough to concern me; a wave of dizziness accompanied by a sense that I'm struggling or have to struggle to stay conscious. After that passes (and sometimes it doesn't pass and I quickly have to find somewhere I can stop fighting it off and it overcomes me. I'll wake up 30 minutes or 3 hours later. Sometimes (it happened 3 times) while I'm driving it starts, I begin to fight it off, start looking for an exit of the highway, and I'll experience what I can only calls "snaps" of loss of consciousness. I'll pull off, try to get to a safe place to park and zap, I'm out. As I write this I realize this phenomenon as I describe it has only happened when in a moving vehicle , driving or riding. After my last fall I completely lost confidence in my ability to continue living as I have. I don't have family, yes I've told Dr's about these events, I'm at a loss and I'm lost! Please help!

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Oh my gosh! I'm experiencing the same thing, too. But I just thought it was vertigo. The dizziness, lightheadedness, falling.... The car description fits me to a tee - except mine only happens when I'm sitting in my parked car and if someone happens to pull out or pull into the parking space beside me. It triggers that severe vertigo and I literally grab my head to try to stop the spinning...At the same time, I'm slamming my foot against the brake thinking it's MY car that's moving (even though it's on Park)... My mom was diagnosed with dementia in her early 50's. I'm in my early 50's. I think I better make an appointment with my GP, give him my family history, my vertigos and request for a referral for a neurologist... I'm so glad I was curious enough to read your post, Writwmn. Now I have a direction to follow instead of general complaint of dizziness, loss of balance.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to bookluvr

Well, I see your situation like this: a determined, goal oriented individual with a high list of accomplishments, now having unexplained movement issues, but still capable of being a very high functioning individual, yet stymied if not unsettled by this more or less sudden onset movement issue.

I would think the first order of business is to review what the doctors have said (results aren't mentioned in your post), find causes and solutions. These dizzy spells are happening for a reason, and if your current medical team isn't able to identify the causes, keep searching with other medical practitioners until you do learn them. Then address them, and re-evaluate.

I sense that you're still able to function at a high level once these dizzy and fall issues are addressed, and you can still create and meet new goals.

Don't give up yet; my personal and nonmedical opinion is that you still have a lot to give and a lot of life to live (no pun intended).
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to GardenArtist

Both your "sleep attacks" and the sudden, unintended speeding up of your steps are symptoms of Parkinson's.

Please find a neurologist who knows something about Parkinson's and get yourself under her/his care.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

The way I see things and you probably wont agree, stop driving! You could kill your self or someone else. There may not be an available place to pull over.
At least until you have solved your 'black out' problems.

Get your BP and ears checked too. Inner ear problems can cause imbalance.
BP going too low can cause the black outs.

BUT go and get checked out.
Sell your house and move into a community living, where they have handy men and someone available to help with a fall or if you need assistance.

I wish you luck. Take care.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to BuzzyBee

Have you been evaluated by a neurologist for Parkinson's?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Writwmn, you could be dehydrated. Try increasing your water intact and see if that helps. This hot crazy weather is making a lot of people feel off balance.

You may want to check out the 55+ communities, especially those that offer levels of care for later on. Otherwise, Independent Living complexes are very nice. The monthly rents depend on where you live. The places here are around $5k per month. Nice perks come with the rent, like weekly housekeeping and linen service, meals in the restaurant style dining room via menu service.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to freqflyer