How do you handle quitting your job at age 59 to care for a parent? - AgingCare.com

How do you handle quitting your job at age 59 to care for a parent?

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I had been looking for work and my brother was paying for home care, As we all know, the expense of that is great. I volunteered to stay with her to help with the finances and now I find myself not being able to find a job, holding on to my home and having to pay bills from my savings. The financial situation is becoming dire. As a family, we do not want to put my parent in a nursing home but I need money coming in. I have spoken with my brother about paying me which would be MUCH less than sitters but he would have to pay me a salary to include taxes which would add up to about 50,000 per year in order to cover my expenses. I could sell my house or sell mother's house and bring her to live with me. However, my house has stairs and is not really conducive to the elderly. I am just going crazy trying to figure out what is best for mother and myself since I am nowhere near retirement. I would be so grateful if someone who is in the same or similar position could advise me how to sort this out. Common sense tells me one thing but my heart tells me another.

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My heart aches for you. You said it so well - common sense tells us one thing and our hearts another. I stayed out of the workforce for several years as I cared for multiple elders, so I know some of what you are talking about first hand. I've also researched and written about it.
It's not just the salary that you are missing when you give up a job - it's the Social Security and 401K or other retirement benefits that you'll notice when it comes time for you to "retire" after years of elder care.
If there is money to pay you, that's a big help - more than many people have. However, you have to look at the long term. Selling one of the houses would help. An elder law attorney may be able to help. You need someone who knows all about Medicaid laws, in case your mother lives for many years and needs paid care after you've spent years caring for her.
I'd love to say do one thing or another. I can't, of course. You are in a situation that many of us understand. There's no right or wrong answer, just difficult questions. You and your brother need to communicate with each other and play out all of the scenarios. Also, likely you should talk with some professionals before you decide which direction to go.
Take care,
Carol
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I so very much sympathize with you. In fact, I took an early retirement 2 1/2 years ago at the age of 58 to care for my dad. I left a job that I absolutely love. Left peers, friends and the area I was raised. I have taken money out of my deferred to help with finances. Money that was to be for travel etc when I retired. Leaving early, I accepted a lower pension check for life. It's hard when I am the only child and he has dementia and is oblivious to anything that I have sacrificed. I've yet to put him in a home although everyone(including his doctor and only living brother) have told me that I should. I can't bring myself to do it. I've become a person I don't even know. I will tell you this much. As time goes on, it will take a toll on you. And because of that it will also affect the care you give your mom. If you are at all able to do it, keep working and place her. In the end you will help her by being a healthier and happier "you". You can still visit her a lot, take her places etc. You will enjoy her more and that will in turn help her. Good luck.
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