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 need advice on balancing my work/life vs dad's needs 
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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:53 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Costa Mesa, CA
Post need advice on balancing my work/life vs dad's needs
I'm not sure even what I'm thinking here... I am helping my Dad who is currently in an independent living community. I am there/with him pretty much daily from 1-4 hours a day. I take him to all doctors appts, to get haircuts/pedicures, to physical therapy and/or chair workouts at his building, over here for dinner once a week, etc.

BUT I am also the only (and underqualified) office manager/secretary/shipping department for our 2-man home business of importing and manufacturing a small line of products. Granted, I have become obsessed with reading about PD and LBD frequently during the day, I totally lose focus after being away at Dad's during hte day and have REAL trouble focusing when I come back to work (as in, can't pull it together). I believe I now have nearly passed the point of no return regarding getting incurably behind in my duties at work which include filing paperwork with the employment department, other significant legal paperwork for the new biz, daily financial chores, etc - and I have to change something!! I could not really do the job thoroughly before my Dad's needs arose and now am simply not maintiaining and we are already living close to our limit. Placing Dad (prematurely) in a memory care place is one option, hiring some kind of more help (??) for him now to stay where he is is another - but I just can't afford hours a day to be gone with him that I ahve been dong and I don't know what to do esp since i also recently posted about wanting to find ways to improve Dad's sedentary, isolated from other people life. I'm about to crack........ I'd have been fired by now if I wasn't working with my husband...

Jenna - daughter of Dad diagnosed in 2010 with PD and in 2011 with probable LBD. Symptoms were present for a few years prior. Dad is 74.

Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:08 pm

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:45 pm
Posts: 35
Post Re: need advice on balancing my work/life vs dad's needs
Hi Jenna,
Don't let yourself be overcome with guilt, you can only do so much. It seems to me you may have more than one choice. If you really want to spend more time with your dad, perhaps you could hire someone part-time to help with your office work (there are lots of folks out of work who might be willing to take on a few hours--even students.) Or, hire someone to be with your dad a couple times a week. Also, you may try to consolidate your father's appts. into a couple days,( if he can handle it) so you won't need to be with him everyday. I have no idea which might be more cost effective, maybe a combination of options. Just be sure to consider your own needs as well. Good luck................Kathy

Kathy, 63, wife & caregiver of Tom, 64 dx 2007 (later stage) lives in dementia care facility in Durham,NC

Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:02 pm

Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:02 pm
Posts: 386
Location: East TN
Post Re: need advice on balancing my work/life vs dad's needs

balance is for scales….not lives….hearts don't balance….

you must do what your heart tells you is right….or it will keep on telling you….it doesn't understand balance…

idea….hire someone to do what you don't absolutely have to do… work/with Dad…..

outsource in both places….use the outsourcing rules that others use…..only 'do' what only you can do….

and refuse to do 'anything' that anyone can do….

Craig - Patient - Male - 56 years old - Lewy Bodies diagnosed on March 23, 2011 - cognitive disorder NOS dx 2007 - RBD REM dx 2007 issues for 20+ years - intention tremor 1974 - other issues many years

Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:17 pm

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:23 am
Posts: 201
Post Re: need advice on balancing my work/life vs dad's needs
I think your question should have been balancing my work/life vs "MY" needs. I know its hard for caregivers, however, we have to put our needs first. If we don't, we won't make it. It takes work everyday to make sure I take care of me. Your Dad is in a safe place. Take some more time for YOU!!!

Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:35 am

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: need advice on balancing my work/life vs dad's needs
Jenna, I know all too well your dilemma. You have been very devoted and deserve a lot of credit for all you are trying to do.

I am an attorney with a solo practice and there are no other relatives within a thousand miles to help me except with occasional visits and phone calls. My mother has been in an SNF for a year and a half. I spent the first six months to a year totally knocking myself out and burning the candle at both ends, neglecting both my husband and administrative areas of my practice (I could not ethically neglect my clients, though it made for some late nights and weekends of work).

Finally, I decided that something had to give, and wearing myself out was not going to help anyone. I cut back drastically on the amount of time I spent with my mother. I told the SNF to send her to routine appointments in the handicapped van. I hired someone to take her out for a drive and visit with her for two hours per week. I now visit her once a week and talk to her in between.

To be honest, I don't think it has had much effect on her emotional state or quality of life, and at least I can continue in this mode and be there for her instead of melting down myself and being useless to her.

Sure, I feel guilty sometimes, but I have learned to live with it. I encourage you to do what you can to save yourself (and your business, not to mention your marriage) by re-evaluating how you are spending your time.


Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:28 am

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
Posts: 227
Post Re: need advice on balancing my work/life vs dad's needs
I went through exactly what you are going through. I spent all of my free time going to the assisted living, taking my Mom-in-law to the doctor or emergency room (frequent visitor), bringing her to my house for Sunday dinner, answering emergency calls from staff, etc. I finally moved her in with my family and hired a caregiver to come while I am work. Much less stressful for everyone. All of the running back and forth has been eliminated. If my hubby and I need to go out for an evening we get one of my grown sons to babysit or hire a qualified caregiver for the evening. Please take time for yourself to keep a positive mental attitude (and pray or meditate to clear your mind. :)

Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).

Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:55 pm

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:32 am
Posts: 215
Location: Kalispell, MT
Post Re: need advice on balancing my work/life vs dad's needs

An option with a double benefit--place your father in a total care facility, one which you would consider for later, for a respite visit of 2-3 weeks or more. Use most of that time to catch up with work. The visit would be a trial run as to whether that facility is a good fit for later.

I did that with my husband because I had to leave town for several weeks, and when I returned, it was obvious that he was much better off there than when I was struggling with the 24/7 thing, so he remained there. Had I not had to do that because of my necessary trip, I might still be struggling to the detriment of us both.

Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:31 pm
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