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Thread: Caregivers going back to work

  1. #1

    Caregivers going back to work

    I would love to hear from parent caregivers that have gone back to work or need to go back to work. My son is almost 10 months out from his
    C 6/7 injury and is doing very well but I am a single mom who needs to work. It seems every mom I run across has not returned to work...even 4 years out. I know I need to hire a PCA for 3 hours each morning to get him up and ready and someone to transport him until he gets his own vehicle but just wondering how it has gone for those of you who have made the transition. It will probably be the best thing for his independence and my sanity but I can't stand the thought of "leaving" him.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Baltimore, MI
    Posts
    4
    Hi Mary9

    I have a son who has a C5/C6 injury. I was off work for 7 months following his accident. I to had to return to work. It was difficult in the beginning but 3 years later things have changed so much. We hired an aid through a home care agency. We started her 2 weeks before I returned to work. This gave us each some comfort level. My son required much more assistance in the beginning than he does now. My son continues to hire his aids through an agency for the dependablity. He is not able to get out of bed or dress on his own. The agency always has someone available to come if his normal aid cannot. My son has always been very good at directing his care. This was driven into him during his stay at rehab.

    It will be hard to leave him to the care of a stranger in the beginning but over time things will get better. Believe me, I know it is hard to imagine, but you will find some normalcy again in life in time.

  3. #3
    FYI Medicade or Medicare (I get them 2 confused) Should Pay for Homecare Aids.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Chalfont, PA, USA
    Posts
    44
    Hi Mary9 - My son was also 19 when he was injured 5 years ago and I am a single mom too. My son is a T1, so probably has more arm/hand function than your son.

    I never really stopped working after my son was injured except for the two weeks he was in ICU and Step Down ICU. Once he started inpatient rehab and the visiting hours didn't start until 4:00, I was back at work. Of course, we were very lucky that the rehab facility was only 45 minutes from our home and my job.

    He came home from rehab on a Friday and I was back at work, more or less, full time the following Monday. I work only 15 minutes from home, so I knew I could be there quickly if he needed me and made sure he had his cell phone always nearby. I do occasionally have to run home for a bowel emergency or something like that. I do have a very understanding boss!

    He did 5 day a week outpatient for a couple of months with transportation provided by the facility. The he started 3 one-hour sessions a week at another hospital for about 6 months. I would drop him off in the morning and go to work and his dad picked him up and brought him home.

    About five months after he came home, we started to have an aid provided by a state program. We're in Pennsylvania. She would come in shortly after I left for work and get him up for the day. It was a bit scary leaving him in bed, but he can transfer independently. I've always helped with bowel program and stuff in the evening.

    He's on his own all day now. We no longer have an outside aid. I am able to be paid by the state as his aid, so now I go into work an hour later so I can help him get up and then do all the other stuff in the evening. We decided this would be best because the aids we had were not 100% reliable and I often had to fill in for them anyway. The extra money is going into a house fund because we have been living in an apartment.

    Is there anything your son can't do for himself once he's up for the day? I know we both had a hard time adjusting to an outside aid at first because we're private people and it was hard for me to leave him in someone else's hands. They were good, nice people but I don't think the pay was enough to provide undying loyalty.

    Getting your own life back somewhat is a good thing. My son has attended some college courses, but is not employed and is still trying to figure out what he wants to do. And of course, we often deal with wheelchair or van breakdowns and weather related problems here in PA.

    I'd be happy to correspond with you via e-mail. You can contact me by e-mail by going to my profile. I know when this first happened to us, I wanted desperately to talk to another single mom because we don't quite have the same support that a married mom has. I'd be happy to talk any time.

    It definitely gets easier but there are a lot of bumps in the road.
    Take care,
    Deb

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