Paula from Florida

Over eight years ago, I took in my 82 year old Mom/best friend who was rapidly plunged into her Dementia after an operation. I was 53 and newly married to a wonderful guy 10 years older than me. My career in Print Media/Graphic design was so all consuming that I never had kids and married at 51!

After two years working full time while caring for Mom, it came time quit my job in order to care for her 24/7. That was the hardest thing I ever had to do, and I went through a year of depression and resentment for the loss of my career, all while telling myself how lucky I was to have a husband to support me in this. Yes, he's jealous of the time/attention I give her. Yes, I feel bad that I'm not free to do the things we planned to do when we married. Yes, I miss our maternal family 1,000 miles away and I'm often overwhelmed by the isolation of caring for her alone. However, I found a positive way to deal...

I was able to turn my retired husband's wood turning hobby into a business; setting up a "shop" on Etsy; selling Handcrafted Wood Yarn Bowls for Knitting/Crochet enthusiasts. Within the first 9 months, I had sold over 100 of his yarn bowls! Now I'm successfully marketing the biz on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Enjoying this success and polishing my social media marketing is a comfort as I dream of being able to "go to work" again some day. Until then, through love, determination and focus on that personal goal while caring for Mom, we have found our way.

As I look back on my sadness and resentment back then, quitting my career to care for Mom was the catalyst for starting the home business I never wanted! I had always loved the camaraderie and creativity of my work outside the home, however, I was unable to work on the same level by freelancing at home.

We're so grateful that I am able to market and sell my husband's beautiful works. I'm so happy to be able to work on my photography, graphic design and marketing skills all while earning some savings for the future. Several times a week we say, all this wouldn't have been possible if I wasn't caring for Mom. And, being home to focus on her 100% allowed me to give her the best possible care resulting in a very healthy and happy patient. Today my biggest challenge is getting a good primary care physician offering home health care visits. Home health care is the wave of the future, however, finding good care at home is my biggest challenge. With three “TIA’s” in the past eight months, our local hospital made it very clear that they “couldn’t do anything for her…” What’s ahead is very scary as I prepare to handle more and more serious issues at home. Some scary things have happened with Mom and I don’t have the temperament to deal with her health emergencies calmly. I think the worry about things that may or may not happen is the worst part. For now I just pray and think about how lucky to have her with us here at home.

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