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Question for caregivers


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Hi everyone,

I am just wondering, as a caregiver, how do you manage working? I've been very fortunate that I really haven't had to work while Chrissy was at her worst, but it's time I start. Chrissy is staying at a dorm and that is so much better than commuting, but there are so many days when Chrissy is unable to go to class, much less able to drive herself to her Dr.'s appts.. I fear that if I get a job I'd get fired within the first few weeks from taking off so many days to take her. My background is secretarial/ad. asst. I'm thinking I could probably work for a temp. agency and just go by a day to day basis. Have any of you done that? How about those of you that work full-time? Are your bosses just very understanding? My husband can take off once in a while, but, he's not 'into' the POTS as much as I am and I'm afraid he'd miss something. I love being available to her whenever she needs me and her college is only 40 minutes from home. She loves being on her own and has definitely become more independent in so many other ways. I am so proud of how she has handled everything with her professors, etc.

I'd appreciate any suggestions/ideas.



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hi patti -

if i win the lottery anytime soon (which is highly unlikely seeing as i don't play...) i'll hire you as my own personal assistant...sound like a plan?? i'd be very flexible with your schedule :)

all joking aside though, the only way my mom has been able to manage this past year (and at other times previously) has been by using her FMLA time, which is federally mandated time off (unpaid) for a variety of situations, one of which is to care for an ill family member. unfortunately though it only applies after you have worked for an employer for a year (with a min of 1250hrs for part-timers) so it isn't any help initially. it's something to keep in mind though still b/c with temp work you wouldn't ever become qualified under its provisions.

i don't have any magic answers for you but i actually just helped my mom register on the forum so i think she's going to post later. she doesn't necessarily have any magic answers either but is coming at things from the same side of the coin as you are so definitely "gets it" in that regard.

and now i must get to work on my policy analysis of the FMLA (seriously! it's one of my final papers :)...

B) melissa

Edited by Sunfish
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I like Michigan Jan's idea of a part time job on the campus & then maybe they would be more understanding although you may not want to drive that far every day.

I was also going to mention the FMLA stuff that Sunfish already mentioned.

The only other "quick" thing that comes to mind....since I've been so ill myself and can't drive and have no family around me, I find it difficult to get rides to places (Grocery store, Dr Appts, other errands etc).

So, could you maybe contact a few churches, social agencies, social worker at a hospital etc and see if you could find someone who needs some assistance with errands, light housekeeping etc. You could determine what your hourly charge would be (which would give you more $ per hr than if you worked for an agency and also makes it more manageable for the client to pay you). You could take only clients that need you on a more limited basis (as opposed to daily). Lots of elderly people need help with someone to take them to the store or do the shopping for them.

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Hi Patti

I work full time and am a single mom. It can be done. One suggestion that I have is work some weekends/longer days since time off during the week is useful. I work 12 hours every Tues and every other Sat. I never work Wed. I try to schedule most things on Wed. Rachel doesn't really go the the Dr much. I also use my PTO for needed days off - my work has been great about it (I've been there 10years so I get about 23 days PTO a year). I would say that I call off 5 days a year at most.

It is hard for me - especially when she has a rough night and I have to get up at 6am for work. I did break into tears one day and had to leave early once when she was really bad. I have to work - I am the sole income.


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