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I was a caregiver to my Dad, his companion and my mother. I was in my dream career when I progressively got sick with Mercury Posioning from a root canal and was let go from my position 8/09. I researched treatment for myself and resolved my illness in 11/09, but the next month my Dad 77, his companion 86 and my mother 77 all went into the hospital at the same time, I carried each to appts, completed POA, Wills, Medical Directive and Dr appts each week along with on going hospital stays and rehab. November 2011 the companion passed away, my dad passed away December 2012 and my mother happy to say is still living but has excessive anxiety that she is treated for. She has a hard time letting me go and has come acustom to me be being the daily action maker. She had a followup appt with her primary Dr who says she is his A+ patient with no major illness and she says she misses seeing him on a frequent basis. (All 3 had the same Dr) I encourge her get active with something and she has few friends. Now that all the financial business is taken care of and Mom is probably better shape than I am. I am ready to move on with my life. I feel I am struggling to rejoin the workforce all though I have been told I am very marketable . As much as I feel I was God appointed for the caregiving job I feel it has been a setback for my career and now where do I belong? FYI...I am in christian counseling, gone through greiving classes and Praying through the process........slow process.....Thought I would pick up where I left off....NOT. Your thoughts, experiences are appreciated.

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Hello I understand what you all have been through. I am in situation Will i have been a live in caregiver to a lady with dementia At time I took the job I need a place to live They needed someone to take care of there mother Never thought i would feel like this And i would like to get back in the work world i feel like and i have struggle trying to find job But all i can find is caregiving . I have a lot work experience And skills That i feel are not been used And my social skills i feel so stuck in this situation. And i have no out let And preety much a 24 7 job no outlet And i really didn't think i would still be doing this And i would love to get out of it And move out of state to start over Thank you
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So many of us here are in the same boat. If you have caregiver experience ( and we do!) or past teaching skills.. perhap daycare is an option? You get a liscence and cleared by the health department, lots of perks also . You do not have to take babies if you don't want to, you can decide who you can handle. It;s daytime work, and in our area you can easily get $200 a week.per child. I did this when my daughter was a baby.. I know it is more caregiving, but so many of us seem drawn to this work, and we are used to it and it's good income. You do have to pay your own taxes and figure out your insurance.. but just an idea. And alot of parent love "grandma" type caregivers!
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I had to 'retire' early to care for my mother. The reduced Social Security payment has left me struggling. After being out of the employment field for so long, it is very hard to re-invent myself, but I'm trying.

I've decided if I can make a couple hundred here, a couple hundred there... I may be able to squeeze by until I can figure something else out.
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Hi awright... I feel your confusion. I am at a loss and am having to reinvent myself. I am 60 and I'm not sure going back to school was the right thing for me to do. I am having an ongoing fight with myself about going back to work. Crazy since I've reached the bottom of any financial reserves that I might have had.

I left my position after 11 years to care for my father. I don't regret leaving my position and the time I had with my father. I thought I was further along in the grieving process than I am and I think everything is tied in together. I needed the two years it took me to get my degree to get my head in a better place. Now, I'm just not sure about anything and, I can't even get temporary work! I'm trying to stay positive but sometimes it isn't easy.
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Yes. Thinking about going back to school myself before my youngest starts in 4 years. This is my "window of opportunity," I feel. But, What do I want to be when I'm all grown up? I just do not know. Just don't know.... blou
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In the same boat 'alright'. I get the overqualified shtick; the 'just go back to school' comments, etc. I've been doing some commercial commissions from home, not really enough to pay the bills. I paid my house off (2nd one) so I'm in a better position than most, but there's nothing in this backwater worth staying here for. Mom is 92, and in past three weeks has slowed to a crawl. More intensive lifestyle than past five years in now upon me, so it's not the time to shop for conventional employment. I looked into diagnostic ultrasound (the back to school option). Since I have several degrees, it's a $65K student loan and a two year wait list to begin. (I'm 58!) Looking into (of all things) Voice Over work. Can intern from home for a few local radio stations (freebies, yes) and that will give me a smattering of credibility and work samples. I really don't want to do any more of what I've been doing the past 20 years: four family members, on call 24-7 years and years. I'd like to have a snippet of a life while I'm still vertical. May not be a proper paycheck, but it could be something. I feel like a racehorse parked in a one-car garage. Get the paperback: "Do What You Are". AND MOST IMPORTANT: do not just look for a 'job'. You appear a sharp, caring, competent individual. Don't sell yourself short. Do something you LIKE TO DO. Go hang out at your local Chamber of Commerce mixers...get a 20 hour gig, try something new, trade shows, piece work, road rep, wine tasting promoter, grocery store sample maker...you'll meet lots of folks...something we don't get to do if we're in the 'people box' (house). Hey Oldpaint: hook up with a forward-thinking charter school or middle school, or homeschool agency. You'd be great.
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I used all my sick time being there for my dads oncology appointments. I was happy he lived much longer than expected, 3 1/2 years. Mom went into decline the last six months of his life with dementia. I was able to keep working for awhile longer until I realized I couldn't keep up with work and her and take care of myself. Add to that a psychotic boss. I retired mid year from teaching knowing all the family leave time I'd need to take wouldn't be manageable. Id already done that with my dad and was exhausted with leading the two lives. Im the only child there for her despite having a brother in town. I took an early retirement thinking I would take some time to get her situated and go back to work. I have taken a couple university classes but between those and her I have no time for myself. I taught for 10 years and have volunteer management experience, however I'm at a loss for getting back to work. I haven't been interviewed even. Im 55. I'm trying not to get discouraged. I'm also going nuts not being around other people.
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Age discrimination in current hiring practices is rampant, but near impossible to prove. Highlight all the training you have completed during your caregiving sabbatical. I agree you should not address the employment gap in your resume, but rather as a brief explanation in your cover letter that leads back to all the training and coursework you completed while unemployed. Current technology skills are key, many public libraries and community colleges offer very affordable computer courses. Additionally you can look to your state department of aging to see what resources are available. There are employers who partner with the NYS dept of aging to hire workers aged 55+, of course you need the requisite skills but at least the employers are age friendly. Nonprofits tend to be age friendly and offer excellent benefits although pay rates can be low. Keep positive and best of luck.
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Yes I understand what you are saying completely. I have found myself depressed because I had never had a problem in the past getting a job. Needless to say I'm still looking. I've gone on interviews but not selected. It's a double edge sword, I am grateful to have had special moments/memories with my dad, but find myself angry at lost opportunities and financial gain when I hear my sister talk about her next promotion and her 10 years of service with her employer. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
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Hi awright, I am now starting the process of finding a position after caring for my loved ones (who have since passed) and then returning to school for two years. I will soon be 60 and worried that my previous experience won't mean a hill of beans. Besides that, I know technology moves very quickly. I have started online courses to get back in the technology world but I'm finding that the age factor may be my biggest roadblock.

Because I have been off work for so long my finances are in shambles and need to work desperately - I just don't want to have to take the first job I can find to bring in a paycheck.

I always have the option of eventually working for myself but by the time I get that set up it may be time to retire!

I am going to check to see if there is a "Mature Services" or similar agency here in my area. I hadn't thought about doing that and hopefully that can provide guidance.
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In the area I live, there is an agency called Mature Services that provides assistance with 'mature' people trying to obtain gainful employment. They have job seeking skills assistance, resume development, mock interviewing and 'internships' where you can gain real world experience. I work in vocational rehabilitation, so I understand the challenges, but we al have life skills to offer, so never sell yourself short.
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Good luck, steviegirl, and don't give up. Hey, there's a lot of good things about dogwalking - they're great company, don't usually sass-back and won't tell you you're not doing it right -- over and over!
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I'm scared just thinking about it. Right now I do dog walking on a very part time basis. Before the care giving, I was a tenured teacher making @ 55K. That was 7 yrs ago. Now all they want are "New" teachers. New is the code word for young. Once the care giving is over and I'm thrust into the real world, God only knows.
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Best summed-up: Too old to get the "good jobs" I used to have; not old enough yet to be the Wal*Mart greeter. "I don't want to work at the Golden Arches - I want more!"
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I've been trying to transition back to work for over a year, but until now, was still dealing with getting mom the care she really needs. I retired early to spend more time with mom, who has dementia, and eventually sold my home and moved in with her. My sister was supposed to be taking care of mom, but failed to live up to those responsibilities, so I was stuck doing all the work. Before retirement, i had high level management positions in health care and law for many years, so I was used to a very demanding, face paced work world and long hours. Adjusting to that being "gone" took a very long time. Fast forward 8 years: I'm exhausted, broke, still not getting any help, but need an income, so I take on part time work wherever I can find it. It's not easy at all to find work in your late 50's. It would be unrealistic to think I could pick up where I left off; a lot has changed, and there are younger, more energetic people perceived to be willing to work for less than someone with my experience "would expect". Technology has changed, and even trying to keep up to date, you just don't have the "hands-on" you really need to do that. Back to school? Perhaps, but that seems scary! And I do need to have an income. So yes, it's quite a dilemma and not at all easy, particularly in this weird in-between age-bracket. But it is time to accomplish more than I've been able to so far, and I just may finally be in the position to have the time to do that.
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