Is it the time for me to resign from my work

I'm 37, single, no kids. I have finished my Master's degree few years ago and now work in a field that I love and for a great agency. My dear mom, who I live with, was diagnosed with dementia about 1.5 years ago. She is declining quickly. I have siblings, but of course since I'm the "youngest" and the one "not married and living at home with mom" I took most of the caregiver job. I have one sister that helps me so much above and beyond her capability, but again, she lives 1 hour away from us and still she commutes daily to take care of mom while I work. I don't want to put mom in a nursing home.

My job is pretty demanding, they are flexible with me, but demanding and requires 300% of my attention when i'm on the clock. Ever since my mom was diagnosed, my attention and performance went down---I reached a point where I gained a whopping 30 pounds, I started to freeze everytime I want to apply to another job within a different team that is a bit less demanding and miss deadlines of the application, I don't know why I've become like that...it's like I'm afraid of getting a new job or too exhausted to apply. My colleagues are growing and moving to other better opportunities and here i'm stuck, exhausted, I feel like i'm an empty battery with no power and still pushing myself to work. Seeing my mom decline, the pressure of my job, being a caregiver, fighting with my other siblings to be involved, doctor's appointments, just made me unable to think clearly and miss on work/professional growth opportunities---i literally freeze every time I see a job application. Is it time for me to resign? resigning means losing an income, but I feel I will walk out of my work with dignity rather than being that one under-performing worker.

The work environment is one that is so demanding and they favor people with no families. My supervisor knows I have a sick mother at home and they are flexible with me, but im' also exhausted and I feel like i'm lying to myself for keeping like this and I feel it's time for me to call it quit.

Alzheimer's & Dementia


May 27, 2021

It is time to quit...but not your job. Place your mother in a living situation where she will get the type of care that will allow you to live your best life, and she will be cared for appropriately. You are already staggering under this weight. Act now before you collapse.

May 27, 2021

Please don't become me -- you're far too young.

I've put my life on hold to care for my parents for the past seven years, but that's mostly OK since I wasn't working anyway and still had a couple of kids at home early on. (I'm 60 now.) However, I have no friends where I live, don't let myself get involved in anything where I would need to be there every week reliably, and I rarely agree to go on a vacation. My husband retired a year ago, and thanks to Covid, we haven't really done anything anyway, but now that things are opening up, we'd like to travel and move to another state, but I just can't do it, because literally every time we go so somewhere, a crisis befalls Mom and/or Dad. My husband has been a saint about it.

You'd think from the description above that I'm caring for my mom (Dad's gone now) full-time, but no, she's in a memory care. I cared for both my parents in their house for the two months my dad was sick, and I knew immediately that the situation would never improve and would only get worse. Both my husband and brother suggested we move into my parents' house so I could care for Mom full-time, but I nixed that idea immediately. The memory care place has done an infinitely better job of caring for her than I ever could. I still worry about her a lot and have kept my life on hold, but at least we were able to leave town on short notice last week to deal with a crisis with one of our kids.

Your mom's situation is not going to improve, and it doesn't matter that you don't want to put her in a nursing home. You will simply be unable to care for her soon because dementia doesn't kill people and she could go on a long, long time. (My mother is in Year 7 of dementia PLUS congestive heart failure.) Ultimately, you will likely have to put her in a nursing home, and then your career will be in tatters when you try to return to it. That's not a good plan for your future when Mom's no longer around.

Your marital status nor your place in the birth order do not require you to sacrifice your life. You have exactly the same responsibility to your mother as every one of your siblings has, and that's to ensure she's safe, fed, and cared for as best as possible. That doesn't always mean staying at home. The staff of a nursing home, especially a memory care, can do so much more than you could ever do alone, and that will add to your mom's quality of life -- and yours as well.

Tell your siblings that the current situation is untenable, and changes need to be made. Stand up for yourself, and don't let yourself feel guilty for deserving to have a life of your own, a job you like, and the satisfaction that comes with those things.

May 27, 2021

You are too young not to work; you cannot get paid for caring for your Mom. You are living with her. When we see this happen on forum often the caregiver ends up homeless, jobless, desperate and without a job history. You need to have your own life, your mother having already had hers.

I think that it is time for you, once you know your Mom needs someone 24/7, to consider her placement in LTC so you can continue to work, have a life and a home, and a family of your own.

I suggest you see a Licensed Social Worker trained in counseling (often they are highly trained on life transitions counseling.)

This is a decision that is full of grief for all involved, but there is no fix it here. There is no way you can both sacrifice your own life to your Mother and still HAVE a life of your own, and we all deserve to have a life this our one and only go around in life. You are only 33. The time will come when your OWN children will face this same dilemma; would you want them to sacrifice their lives to you? I am 79. It would deeply hurt me to think that could happen to my children, and I have worked hard and saved big to prevent my children taking this responsibility on.

May 27, 2021

Your 37 years old, has your current job been so lucrative that you can afford to retire? Read your second paragraph again. Are you considering resigning to look for another job or to become a full time caregiver? The best time to look for another job is when you're currently employed. So do that if you want. You say you love the company you're with, but the demands are stressful, so look for an intra-company position that's not so taxing.

Unless you're anticipating caring for your mom until the very end, which may be an overreach of your caregiving limits, and much longer than you expected, she may need care facility placement at some time. Sometimes a LO will adapt to placement in a care facility more easily early in their disease. Think about it. And what income would you have during your caregiving years?

Having been a caregiver for several, and possibly many, years is not one of the qualities or the experiences a prospective employee is looking for in a resume'. Your master's degree means nothing as a caregiver, but does have credence to an employer...stay employed.

May 29, 2021

I took care of my mom for 15 years, and the last 5 of those years demanded 24/7 care. Luckily I have a very understanding employer and let me work 4 hours a week and my best friend watched her while I was gone.

If you think you feel you are "losing it" now, being a full-time caregiver is ten times the stress. When my mom died, I had no sense of identity because every moment I had to care for mom so do that for YEARS and YEARS it depersonalizes and you no longer are your own, but a caregiver. Mom was 100% dependent on me including her insulin, changing diapers (about 7 times a day), and every Tues, Thursday and Sunday were bowel movement days. I had to induce bowel movements or she would get impacted -- what that means the stool is so hard and round it is like a baseball stuck in there and nothing can come out so it is an emergency room visit to disimpact her. That is why I kept a strict bowel schedule. Feeding tube in the end. She lasted 90 years, 3 months. Alzheimer's did not kill her--but the complications of diabetes and kidney and liver diseases. Mom died comfortably, without discomfort in her own home...at a sacrifice to myself. At 60 years old I am forced to "start over".

You need to find out what kind of dementia she has. Lewy body is much more aggressive. You should plan on nursing home placement and get her Medicaid ready which means a visit to an eldercare attorney. With Lewy body, she won't last long. And get prepaid funeral arrangements. Estate planning.

JOBS ARE HARD TO GET. Don't blow it. Keep your job, but you may want to take a leave of absence under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to get things sorted out and organize estate planning, prepaid funeral/cremation, or if you cannot afford a funeral/cremation have her body donated to science which is 100% free including cremation, transportation, and death certificate.

There are many services that do that, such as https://www.sciencecare.com

I hope your family helps you with these arrangements instead of leaving it all up to you.

When she dies, the money will cut off. Instantly. But the bills never stop. If you quit you will greatly regret it later.

I hope this helps

May 29, 2021

Agreed. Take FMLA to sort it out and experience being a full-time caregiver. Might help you make the necessary decisions.

May 29, 2021

No, no, no, and no. Ageism is rampant in the workplace. I was a corporate lawyer so I saw it for decades. Once you are over 40, it is very very hard to get a job. These are your prime earning years. Does your mother have a fortune she will leave you so that you won't have to worry about working or money? If so, ok. If not, you need to earn as much as possible before you are tossed out in favor of cheaper younger labor - and it will happen. Do not give up your security and your ability to live in a safe home and buy food and pay for medical care. Keep working and saving as long as possible if you are not in line for an inheritance that will allow you to never worry about money again. Think of you first - you know that airplane advice: put on your own oxygen mask first.

May 29, 2021

Many thanks. Such an inspirational and factual response.

And, coming from / being a corporate lawyer, you know what you're talking about. I hope the writer listens/heeds your wisdom.

I esp like the analogy about the airplane: Put your own oxygen on first.

In life . . . and so many on this site do not do that and wonder why they are frazzled, burnt-out, anxiety ridden, falling apart. One MUST take care of themself FIRST before being available to another. And, my analogy not as nice as yours "don't go down with a sinking ship."

May 27, 2021

I think that you need to get a handle on what mom's needs are. Does she need a nursing home for a serious and chronic health condition? She won't be eligible for NH setting based solely on dementia.

Have you considered a Memory Care facility?

Do you have a sense from mom's neurologist what her prognosis is?

How many years can you afford to be out of the workforce before it makes it impossible for you EVER to retire? Would your mom want that for you?

When my mom developed dementia after a stroke, had CHF, and broke her hip, it became clear that she needed fulltime care.

My brothers and I all had mortgages to pay and no ability to stop working for more than a day or two when there was an emergency. Mom did very well in her Nursing Home...for 4 1/2 years.

May 29, 2021

It’s time for professional help. Get some counseling, take advantage of your EAP at work, and look to place your mom in a facility. I had to go on antidepressants for a period of time until I got back to my baseline functioning. No shame in that. I was experiencing high levels of depression and anxiety due to my role as a caregiver.

I recently moved my mother from AL to a nursing home and it was the best decision I made. The nursing home has really managed her care better than any other option I tried.

If you resign from your job, you will have a gap in employment and income. You need to insure that you are saving for your own retirement and future. You need to be able to enjoy your life. You say you love your field and work for a great agency. Don’t use this situation as an excuse to fail. Resigning from your job won’t help your mood long term or make your mother’s care easier. You need to plan for a life beyond your role as a caregiver. Resigning won’t make it easier to re-enter your career in the future. Your mother will only continue to decline. Set strong boundaries. Therapy can help you do that.

May 29, 2021

It’s time to place your mother. It’s the only logical option for someone your age and in your situation. You will regret quitting later.

May 30, 2021

Don’t you DARE resign from your job!!!!! But DO resign from caregiving!!!

There is help and good news! You’re not alone as most of us here in position of years of caregiving…and resentment. You have the power to change your life for the better…instead of continuing to go down the dementia foxhole..with your mother. If you continue the “self destructive “ path, you will be fired from your current job, put on more pounds, never have a social life..& you will be abused by your mother. Dementia gets worse. My mother is 94 & I’m 62. I wish I was 37. I would do things so differently. I’m leaning towards placing my mother very soon as her agitation increases & now she don’t recognize me at all. You must NOT ruin your life anymore. Things are opening up & so is life. I just gave similar advice to another woman close in age to you. I told her not to make the same mistake I did. She wanted to not take a job opportunity in return for being a caregiver for her mother…

About me: Here I am 62 and still with my mother..94 with dementia..& getting worse every day. Career on hold ..never married & no children. I often wonder…how did I screw up so bad? Or sacrifice MY LIFE?!? I made my mother my life …my bad decision.

Take some time off with family leave to tour facilities.

If you want her to stay home, hire full time 24/7 live in caregivers. Get your own apartment.

If you stay home with her, she won’t let other caregivers touch her & will only want you to change her diaper.

May 31, 2021

Wonderful reply

Bruce Webb is a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and has an extensive network of senior-related referrals.

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