A couple of questions if you don't have time to read the long version:

1) Does anyone know of a vacuum / mopping device that can be either operated on its own, or is possible for someone with *very* limited walking, full time use of a walker, and use of only one hand? I'd prefer it to be under $100. The whole house is tile floor and we have a dog.

2) Any ideas where to get pre-done, healthy meals? My ability to cook healthy meals right now is zilch, but I have no leads on how to hire a cook (state says that we are not eligible for help). I'm considering trying something like NutriSystem, where the meals are all pre-planned and you just buy the box... I have very limited (and virtually no ability right now, as of the writing of this post) - to cook / prepare food.

3) How to convince aging parents that the current arrangement of relying 100% on one daughter (other family members not able to help beyond what they are already doing in other roles) - all day long, at beck and call, is leading to burnout and huge struggles for me?

4) Anyone know of a program that may help either me / my parents in order for me to work outside the home? I have a couple job leads, but if I cannot get the house set up ahead of time for my parents to be better self-sufficient, working outside of the home at another job will be difficult to impossible.

* * * Long version below * * *


I am the caregiver for my aging / disabled parents, in addition to having my own disability. It has become apparent that I need some guidance in this topic.

My mom is of relatively wise mind but pretty much fully physically disabled / dependent on us for many things due to advanced MS. She has a walker, and toddles around the house with it, but daily activities are watching TV and, with encouragement, a few daily tasks like paying the bills, etc.

Approx 18 months ago my father, who was my mother's primary caregiver (and fully able, except for his aging body) - took a fall and is now a TBI survivor. Three months after his fall, I ended up quitting my job in order to care for both of them full-time. He now has the ability to drive on short trips but long trips or trips when he's tired, I handle. Mom no longer drives.

I have disabilities myself, including Cerebral Palsy (part time use of a wheelchair, forearm crutches, and/or service dog trained in mobility + medical alert), various Autism diagnoses, and a few psych dx's under the Autism umbrella.

I have been at their beck and call for roughly 12/15/18 months. I feel burnt out. Housekeeping often suffers because I don't have energy to do it for 2-3 weeks. Recently I got myself too tired, overdid it with my own disability, and my body revolted and put me in bed / the couch for a good week. I am now finally getting enough energy back to do a very short to-do list of daily tasks (like 1-2 things that MUST be done) - but other things still take too much energy.

My family is opposed to bringing any outside help in, even though I have had tough conversations with them that tell them that I am getting burnt out, that I need one-time help, etc. I recently called around for housekeeping quotes; I need about 300-400 sq ft of tile floor vacuumed and mopped. Quotes were $140 to $180 just for them to come in my door, even though I mentioned the small square footage that was actual.

I have about $25, maybe $30, of income that I can devote to housekeeping right now. Everything else is out of the budget at the moment.

My disability makes it very difficult for me to have the energy to cook / eat. I either have the energy to cook but not eat, or eat but not cook...I have a very poor diet as a result, and Mom & Dad believe in fast food as a staple (now it does not fit in their budget, and I've put my foot down).

I have checked with social workers and the state I live in. I have no ability to get paid for helping my parents because they are above the asset limit. Because I live with my parents due to my own disability, I cannot get help for myself, i.e. housekeeping, cooking.

I am due to consider starting a new job / follow a job lead but I cannot do that if I am unable to care for myself. I have no friends in the area because they have either all moved away, died, or exchanged harsh words with me when I graciously went to help them (and then I decided I did not need to continue a friendship with folks who could not appreciate me).

My parents are having money issues at this time and are not able to afford to hire additional help (we already have some paid help for my Dad to continue his hobbies). He is still "financially able" according to records but there's been a lot of Us: "you spent money?" Him: "Yes, I have a lot of money." Us: "No you don't, you're on fixed income now." Him: "Huh?" It seems the TBI has impacted his ability to properly budget now that he has been moved to SSDI / retirement status.

I have very limited income and energy. I don't know where to turn beyond where I have turned already, and this is *very* hard for me to put online, but I feel like I have to tell this to someone, and y'all seem like a treasure trove of resources and "we've been there, or we're here, and this is what is working for us."

Thanks for listening to my drabble and disaster.
Mystery