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How is it working for you? I find there are days I just can't focus!!

We have "day" help coming in to care for Mom so I can work. My sister comes a couple of nights every week.

I'm finding it tougher and tougher to concentrate and focus. I still feel like I should be doing everything.

I know! that's stupid.

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I liked ssll66's reference to "how long to cook a frog.". So true!! Burnout and health issues build up so slowly, you don't realize you're "cooked" until it is too late. On top of that, every time I think I'm doing better, something else happens. I guess that is part of the "cooking." You get a little reprieve so you don't notice you're still cooking.

igloo562 has some good advice about talking to your employer up front. I was a human resources manager, it can't tell you how many employees we fired, who always had excuses after the fact, but if they had come to us up front, we might have been able to work something out. If not, at least they would have left on good terms and been eligible for rehire.
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JessieBelle - lmao went in to see my mom over Easter and deal with her house issues - yes! fuse box too, 1920's still vintage no real renovation only 2 owners ever home. You just don't run over to the little neighborhood hardware store for fuses anymore as it's not there anymore.

BIDGET - can you possibly have a real heart to heart with your employer about your situation? I own a business and everybody works contract labor for me and it's either so busy that you need to clone yourself for days in a row or I have lots of time to garden or scouts or interact with this site in addition to wife/mother stuff or going in on the odd to see my mom in a NH or deal with mom's house & affairs. But as a business owner, I need to be assured that you will be there for work when need be. Realistic communication is the key. If you know that you just cannot make a 6 AM call time, or work a full day or a full week, then let me know and ahead of time. Often the employer can adapt or change things to make it work out for all. I don't want to have to train or gear up to show someone new the system.
It's like my dad always said - the devil that you know is better than the devil you don't know. I want to keep you. But If you are the type who always has a story/excuse, then over time you will be viewed as dispensable. It's a tough work market. Be realistic with your employer. Good luck.
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Be sure to look after your self as well. My husband had a massive heart attack, we were self employed, before long I was doing everything (check out how to cook a frog). My nervous system broke down; it took years to put myself back together. Be careful, 24/7 can do you in.
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I work as the secretary for a church. When my MIL moved in with us and needed me at home I was able to stop going to the office. I am able to do all the necessary work but I realize that I am not doing all the "extras" I use to do. Right now someone needs to be with her all the time or she gets up to look for me. I am able to work in the mornings before she wakes up and in the afternoons while she watches tv.
I know not everyone has this convenience and I thank God that it was available for me.
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I moved 2000 miles to be within driving distance from my dad (part time caregiver) in 2011 and took a job that enabled me to work from home with a few in person days required per month. It was perfect! I was free to travel, visit my dad, etc. Then after 6 mths I was laid off.

My income has been cut substantially and what gets me is that I left a really great job (not remote) and friends in my old state to do all this...and then it fell apart. Meanwhile Dad's gotten sicker, if I return to previous state it looks like I'm being selfish maybe and I don't know how to fix my problems at the current place.

I've had a part-time business too and can relate to the challenges of motivation and focus. It's hard to be a business person when you are constantly upset because of caretaking. My opinion is that work is work, money is money - find something that works for you whether it is remote or not. I think a decent pay and respectful environment are the most important factors.

Good luck and blessings!
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tooyoung, your story tugged at my heart because I know how you feel. I was once successful enough, but now I don't even make enough to pay my bills. I am thinking about going into my retirement savings. My mother doesn't help financially. In fact, she thinks I am a free-loader because I stay in two rooms of her house. That is another discouraging issue, though.

Every day here it is something. She has to go to the doctor. Something in the old house needs repair. Today I was working and the main light went out. I replaced the bulb and the fuse blew -- yes, she still has a fuse box. So I am waiting for the electrician, who is going to try to come this afternoon. It may be the circuit, so I'm sitting her typing, wondering if the fuse will blow again.

If you decide to go into online sales, tooyoung, choose your product well and check the competition. Online sales takes a lot of work promoting. There are a million other people perhaps selling the same thing. You have to look for a niche you love that doesn't have too much competition. I am in online sales. It is a feast or famine existence. People decided not to shop last Christmas, so many of us are scrambling. The good thing is that we can be our own boss. The bad thing is that we don't get that sure paycheck.
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I'd love to find a job that would let me work from home, but I am sure it isn't the total answer for people who have to work to support themselves and their families and still care for a loved one.
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When my husband was unable to keep a job due to undiagnosed early onset dementia, we bought a small delivery business, which was in his line of work. I figured I could help him be functional, but it ended up with me doing most of the work and fixing the messes he made. It ruined my health.

Since my husband was save to leave home alone, at that time, I went back to work in my line of work as a consultant, but consultants also have to "sell" their consulting, and I'm not a sales person. So after two years of trying to do that, I was able to find a part-time job in my profession that allowed me to pick my days and hours. I did that for three years as I tried everything I could think of to get my husband a diagnosis.

Once we got the diagnosis, it had progressed to the point that he was eligible for social security disability. Luckily he hadworked multiple jobs for many years, when he was healthy, and had paid in a lot, and since we live frugally, we are able to survive on his disability check and small pension.

Needing to stay home now, the last thing I tried was teaching for an online college, and that worked for a couple years, until the stress of caregiving left little patience for dealing with students and my health started slipping again.

Since I am only 60 and he is 61, I worry that his illness will leave me with nothing, and unless I keep current in my profession, I'll be old, unemployable and screwed. So, I'm trying to start a ebay business, but as others here have said, motivation and focus are my biggest challenges.

I'm trying to survive by thinking out of the box and trying different things. If at first you don't succeed... Go with the flow.. ETC...
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I, too, have a very gracious employer who allows me to work from home, and also, I often worry about being able to serve them as well as I would wish. I worry about it more than my workplace does.

What I do is to respond as quickly and thoroughly as possible to workplace questions and issues, from home. The key thing is to be as responsive from home as you would be in the office, and I know that's not a possibility for everyone.

I currently work three weekdays from home and travel to the office by commuter rail the other two days. That's a three hour round trip and makes for a twelve hour workday, for which I have to pay a home health aide because my husband can't be left alone because he needs assistance getting up and sitting down. Doing the math, it doesn't pay me to go into work, but the value of showing up is very important to me. Long-term will have to figure this out.

The 'pull' between work and personal life is critical. Right now, we are winding up tax season and I have a lot of errands, etc., which must get done by a deadline but which I won't need to do once tax season ends. It's been exhausting, and I've been sick with a low-grade illness (luckily, easily fixable) on top of it which saps my energy.

The key facts: if there's a health problem with you or your loved one, identify it quickly and act on it. Easier said than done but we are slogging through.
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I think the level of success juggling working from home and caregiving depends on many things, the type of work, the level of care required, and the personality of the caregiver, some are able to compartmentalize and focus better than others.

I work from home (self employed). My mom is still able to take care of her physical needs, but emotionally and mentally there are issues, some life long, some dementia related. My income has dropped by 75% since she came to live here. Her anxiety, compulsions and rituals create constant distractions that keep me from updating my online business. A lot like caring for a two year old in constant mischief except I can't put her in time out for misbehaving.

In fairness to my mother part of the problem is my inability to focus with all of the chaos around me. In the quiet times I just want to relax and rejuvenate rather than work.

Sometimes I think I might get more done if I worked for someone else and had no choice but get x amount of work completed. Other times I don't know how any caregiver can deal with the pressure of employer work demands. The loss of income has created pressure as well.

Hope this insight is helpful. Prayers and thoughts going out for you.
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I worked from home for several years while caring for my husband with dementia. I kept very careful track of my work hours. Most weeks I was able to work 40 hours. There were lots of interruptions, though. Visits to doctors were frequent. I tried to make time for fun outings for him. We played a few board games. For about 3 years he went to an adult day health program two or three times a week. A neighbor picked him up for bowling once a week. One summer I took my laptop to the golf course and worked from the club house while he participated on a league for people with handicaps. In his last year we had a PCA 4 days a week. That made it easiest for me to work.

I am extremely grateful for the job that allowed me to work remotely. I honestly don't know how I would have supported us otherwise. But as it was, I almost never had a day off. I worked 7 days a week, and often late into the night (after my husband was sleeping) in order to achieve full time hours and produce the results my employer expected. Basically all I did for 9+ years was work and take care of my husband. I'd do it again, but I'd probably arrange for more help earlier.

Now my mother (92, dementia, mobility issues) is living with my sister and our plan is for Mom to be here for a 3 day weekend each month. I am again working at home. I haven't figured out yet how I am going to handle the one work day she will be here. She was here today and yesterday so my sis could attend a funeral. I've gotten a total of 7 work hours in those 2 days. She is very confused here and somewhat anxious, though that is getting better. The interruptions are more frequent than they were with my husband (though I won't have any appointments).

At 68, I wish I could just retire. With the expense of my husband's long illness that isn't possible, at least not if I want to keep the house.

So ... yes, working from home was possible and effective, for me and for my employer. But it certainly was not without its cost to my energy level and to some extent my health.

Bidgit, I loved it when I had day help. It was wonderful to have her get Hubby up, somedays give him a bath, help him dress, and make his breakfast, while I ate a simple breakfast in front of the computer and got some work done. It was great that she did exercises with him and kept him company. When I walked through the house to get more tea, I could say something encouraging to Hubby, maybe pat him on the back and comment on how nicely the puzzle was coming along, etc.

Though very challenging, working had a benefit in addition to the needed money. It was great to have a daily activity I was actually good at, where I knew what I was doing, where I had concrete results to show for it, and could feel confident. It was very good to have intelligent goal-focused conversations on the phone with competent adults who respected me and whom I respected.

If this is what you have to do, bidgit, I hope it works as well for you as it did for me.
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I do medical transcription from home. Mom lives a mile away and has a daytime
caregiver. Right now, though, she is in rehab. I am lucky my job is flexible but I get calls daily. There is always something that needs taken care of. It is much better now that is in rehab and I am looking at placing her in AL.
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I find it very hard to work. I work from home and there are so many things that need to be done that I feel pulled. And the emotions play havoc on my energy level. Sometimes I sit down to work, then end up here. Often it seems like I am looking for the answer that never seems to come. We are all out here just floating on our little leaky boats.
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