Should I resign from my job to take care of my mother who has dementia? - AgingCare.com

Should I resign from my job to take care of my mother who has dementia?

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I recently moved out of state and took my mother with me. My mother now has dementia and I have a son with severe behavior issues. I will be laid off my job in June of 2014. However I feel I need to resign now because I take more time off because I am afraid to leave her alone during the day while Im at work and she is unable to receive assistance because she has not become a resident of the state we live in and even if she does they will use my income also I am thinking about resigning from my job and moving back home where I have more support and my mom will qualify for assistance and I can obtain employment

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Hello dear, I have left my job 4 months back because I was in a stressful environment and needed a break as have been working close to 14 years. And coincidentally my mother who is a vertigo patient had repeat bouts of her attack. I have been taking care of her since then. Guess you should consider the following before taking the step of leaving your job:
a) How long have you worked with the current organisation and are you respected and liked there. Do you feel satisfied and happy with your job
b) Are you financially equipped to handle the situation in absence of a job
c) Do you have skills that could help you take up a 'work from home' option
d) How serious is your mother's condition - can a nurse take care of her in your absence
e) Would you be able to rejoin as and when your mother's condition improves ?

Basically my experience with my mother has been both positive and negative - I have got to spend quality time with my mother and I feel I am doing my bit for my parents. My mom has done a lot for me and I feel gratified that I can be there for her when she needs me. Also would not have any regrets at a later point of time...

On the flip side, have become overtly anxious and fearful of her vertigo attacks (as my mom happens to be petrified of her vertigo attacks). I also see that I have got hooked on to the net looking for solutions for her problem - know it is not a very healthy sign but I seem to be obsessing about her problem. So you should ask yourself if would be able to take care of your mom without becoming overtly attached to her medical condition.

Take care and lots of love...God bless
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DON"T DO IT!!!!!!! I did it 5 yrs ago thinking I could move to the state where my mom lived and find a job there while helping her out. 5 yrs ltr I am now financially dependent on my mother who I care for. I have no money saved and am completely dependent on her financially (room/board, medical and dental). I do have a part time job that will not sustain me. It's really just a way to get respite for a few hrs. Unless you are fabulously wealthy or have a huge nest egg saved don't do it. You will regret it.
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You need to step back and think about the whole situation LOGICALLY, rather than making an emotional decision. My recommendation is to STAY with the current job.....as you said, layoff is only 7 months away! In the meantime, you may be able to hire a companion or nurse aide to check in on your mother during the day. During the next 7 months, you can carefully PLAN your move back to your support network and start looking for a job there online while you are planning. That way, you can go from this job to the next job. It's important to "get your ducks in a row" before you make a hasty decision. I think NOT having a job would be disastrous for you....at the very least, you need the stimulation of getting outside the house for 20 hours weekly. What about health insurance? Have you thought about it your options? COBRA is not cheap - for my husband and I it is $1200 per month! (We are on COBRA from my previous job.) When I priced a comparable plan on the new state exchanges, it was going to be the same price.
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Knee-jerk response to your lead question should you give up your job? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DON'T DO IT!!!!!

No male head of household would even consider that option (apologies gentlemen if you're among the very rare exceptions). Don't you either.

Clearly, it's much more complicated than that for you. How does this work? 1. Find a job in the state you would like to move back to, where your mother is entitled to benefits and you've got more support. Do that first. It's famously easier to get a job when you're currently in one. 2. Plan the home and family move around your change of job. 3. Your job is your income, your security and also your place of safety that takes you out of the caring bind. When you are at work, you have "left the building" in caring terms and somebody else must cover for you. Grab every type of assistance you can find. As Jeanne very wisely counselled me (and I shall act on her advice as soon as I can get a grip) you will be a BETTER carer for protecting your own health.

Do not let go of paid work. Good luck, may a really good plan come together for you xxx
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Another thought: find out how much daycare for her costs, where at a facility or with a paid caregiver at home. You may be able to keep your job if someone else stays to keep her safe.

I don't know how long the state,requires her to be in the state before being eligible for aid, but for most purposes, she IS a resident of your state because she moved to your house to be your dependent. You'd file a permanent change of address at then post office and, if she has a car, register it in your state, I became a resident of Texas by moving here, registering my cars, and registering to vote.

Oddly enough, having dementia doesn't disqualify you from voting, you're even allowed to go into the voting booth with them if they need help dealing with the voting machines. I've done back when my husband wanted to vote in the last presidential election.
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If you're going to be laid off, try hard not to quit before the layoff. A layoff comes with benefits, including a lump sum payout, COBRA health care. If you're with a good company, they might have a retraining budget you could use to learn about caregiving or a career that you can do working from home. Also you probably get to use the company's EAP employee assistance plan, which will have resources to help you cope with switching into full time caregiver mode.

You also want to make sure you don't skimp on your son, who has special needs for your time. It can be hard to balance between two competing generations who need caregiving.
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Hi there, this will depend on a number of things...do you LOVE your job?, are you really ready to be a caregiver 24/7?, how quickly is your mother's health declining? In my case, I gave up my job and it was the best thing I ever did. My father passed away last July in a hospice center. I lived about an hr. away, and it was very, very hard to continue driving back and forth. My mother was going to be moving in with me, and it was such a pain to get the house ready to sell. (Hoarded). I went back to school in the Spring of 2010, part time (pre-med). After talking with my husband, we decided that we would give a new living arrangement a try. (My youngest daughter had just graduated in 2012 and left for college). Mom moved in, in Sept. of 2012, after a shoulder surgery. After speaking with my mentor, I was able to sign up for many of my classes online, and enroll full time. (I had just finished up my first mini-practicum, and had put in 500 hours of volunteer time to include with my thesis). It seemed like the timing was right. Mom has been here for over a year now. I do use monthly respite care to give myself a break or I would probably go bonkers. I do have to schedule her doctors visits around my classes, but find that her doctor and dentist are always willing to work with us. My mother is very forgetful, but still takes herself to the bathroom (walks with a walker), I have to bathe her, but she washes her face and brushes her teeth. She feeds herself (I cook the meals, we had an issue with her putting a poptart in the microwave for 27 minutes..twice..so I keep her away from that and the stove). If you love or need your job, don't quit. You may start a living arrangement that could end quicker than anticipated. Jobs aren't always easy to find. In your being laid off, if you do quit, make sure you aren't giving up a severance package for leaving early. Also, there is your health insurance to consider if it is through your employer. I hope you are able to make a decision that works for everyone in your household. Moving is never easy...finding a new job is never easy...and care-giving is harder than most of us every thought. It is such a humbling experience.
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...whose HEALTH will most assuredly continue to go downhill...
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If I read your post correctly, NC is the state you moved you, your son and your mom "TO". What state would you be moving BACK to? Would your mom be able to go into assisted living there? And you and your son would have your own residence? If you were to move in together and you would have a job, there would still be the issue of "household income". The move to where you have family support, moving your mom into AL or skilled nursing, whichever is the best for her, AND getting a new job in the new state sounds like the best idea for you and your son. Under your circumstances, with a problematic child who needs your attention, you cannot afford emotionally or financially to become a full-time caretaker of your mom, whose house will most assuredly continue to go downhill.

Please keep posting.
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Don't leave your job unless you are so unhappy, you can't take it. I am trying to get permanent disability because I suffer from chronic migraines. Being home with an angry Alzheimer's victim has totally changed me, and not for the better. Being away from home probably is the one thing that is "yours." Was your Dad a veteran? If he served just ONE day in combat, you can get assistance from Veteran's Affairs.
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