I'm Going to Be My Mom's Caregiver

Updated on July 16, 2008
J.C. asks from Chicago, IL
6 answers

I know it's my duty as her daughter to take care of my mom no ifs or ands about it. God bless her to live another yr she turn 75 this past Saturday. As you see she's getting up in age and she is having problems with getting around, seeing and other things.But my question is are there any other mothers out there that are caregiver and being paid for it. Are there special programs that I need to go thru. Please help me to take the first steps

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M.L.

answers from Chicago on

I too am a caregiver to my 82 year old mom. Some days are difficult because she too has some health issues. I am also looking for programs that support this. I agree with you that the only place she should be is with me. Good luck and email any time.

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N.O.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J.,

I was a caretaker for a non-relative when I was a college student in the state of Oregon. I was paid thorugh the state to perform household and caregiving duties. I would contact the state and look for some direction there.

I would also like to add that I do not think it's inappropriate to ask for compensation if it is available to you and you are in need of the additional funds to help support your family.

People that don't understand your need for compensation have probably never been in the position of deciding weather to buy groceries or medicine/diapers, whatever the case may be. The cost of living is skyrocketing and I'm guessing you will have to either leave a job or cut back on hours to take care of your mother. Heating costs this winter are going to make gas prices look attractive according to the latest reports. MOST families are finding themselves stretched right now.

I count my blessings EVERY day that our family is in a good financial position because I remember how stessful it was to not be where we are. For years I had to literally not eat so I could afford my train and bus passes to go to work. Anyone judging you for your post should really think twice. Any of us could be in need of assistance in the blink of an eye.

Good luck and hold your head high.

N.

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S.H.

answers from Chicago on

Dear J.:
One thing popped out at me concerning your mom's situation. You mention that she is having trouble with her vision. I am blind myself, divorced with two adult sons, and among the things I do for work is to work as a consultant for a residence for the blind and visually impaired on the north side. This place is called Friedman Place and is located at 5527 N. Maplewood which is near Bryn Mawr and Lincoln.
friedmanplace.org
The capacity is around 90, and I don't remember how many residents they have right now. Both single rooms and apartments are available. The ages of the residents are from their 20's or 30's to late 90's. It is a beautiful new building about 6 years old. All meals are provided, and there are all kinds of activities. A nursing home it is not. Your mom could have her independence, you could have your freedom and still have the opportunity to see her, have her do things with the family, etc. It is not a Jewish facility although a considerable amount of funds came from a Jewish family. I have eaten there many times, and the food is great! I would be happy to answer any questions I can or would invite you to contact their outreach coordinator, Heddy Lichtenstein, at ###-###-####. A lot of seniors have come there for similar reasons. The people have all kinds of vision loss and other medical problems. You are not shirking your responsibility by giving this some thought. Good luck and please feel free to write to me if I may help.
[email protected]____.com
S.

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D.N.

answers from Chicago on

True, we should do so without question but when you have kids and the issue could be that you have to give up your job, you look at whatever it available to fill the gap in $$. Contact the department of aging in the city or if you are in the suburbs, they might have one also. There is a program that helps.

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S.B.

answers from Chicago on

Dear J., I would be happy to provide you with some information. I work with older adults and caregivers. Please send me a message and I will respond with some referrals from my work address. Unfortunately I will not be at work again until Monday but I will send it to you that morning. Have a great day and good luck.

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D.W.

answers from Chicago on

Depending on how mobile your mother still is, I'd also suggest thinking about learning transfer techniques from a physical therapist. My mother is now virtually immobile and needs complete help to get in/out of bed, sit down/get up, etc. It can be very difficult to maneuver the dead weight of an adult body, and can be dangerous to the caregiver's back.

I also don't think there is anything remotely wrong with being compensated for your caregiving responsibilities. There are opportunity costs involved for you that could impinge on your ability to meet your financial obligations to your *own* kids. I'm the sole breadwinner in my household and there is no way I could just quit my job to spend my time taking care of my mother, as much as I'd like to help her -- to do so would be shirking my responsibilties to my son.

Further, the caregiving responsibilities often land more heavily on one adult sibling for a variety of reasons (time flexibility, geographic proximity). When my aunt ended up as caregiver to my grandmother, my father and his other siblings who lived further away from my grandmother all chipped in to pay their sister for all the extra work she was shouldering. She really appreciated that.

Good luck to you!
D.

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