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    Stressing over how to continue supporting myself
    jackieogardening posted:
    How does a 59yr old Private in home Caregiver continue to work with Fibro is what I'm worried about. I manage now but the pain is getting worse and I don't think I can make it to 65 like I planned.
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi Jackie,

    This is a good topic and I'm sure others will be responding with their thoughts on this. (((softhugs)))

    I'm 52 and this worries me too and I don't have a job that requires a lot of physical effort. I keep reminding myself to pace pace pace and take time to do the things I actually enjoy, that feed my spirit.
    We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell
    xperky responded:
    I wonder if you can apply your experience in the teaching field. Sorry it is getting difficult. I can't imagine doing all the physical things you must need to do! Does your doctor know this?
    With Compassion,
    booch007 responded:

    Can you chose to do pediatric cases? That children are lighter then adults...or invest in a hoyle lift to help you...?? Have the clients get one as it would be covered under lifting is out.

    There were many tricks in the hospital to turn someone alone by using the "pullsheet" under them and holding it to the side rail and then peeling it away to wash their backs. Making sure the bed is at YOUR HEIGHT.

    You might ask for the help you need. Be inventive and be honest....your families i am sure are attached to you (we were to those who helped my MIL)

    So, I am trying to think how I can share some tips to care that would help? What is the settings like where you function. Are they bedbound or are they ambulatory. Lifting to a wheel chair? THEN THE HOYLE LIFT IS A MUST. Easy to use.

    Part of the equiptment like the hospital bed.

    Tell me more and I will try and help with some of the things I know. I taught the caregivers in the hospice homes quite a few tricks. When you are private caregiver you really don't rub shoulders with teachers like I did at the hospital.

    As a nursing student I met Rosey......she taught me with one chux to wipe a bottom in a mess.......she was amazing. So, maybe I can help*

    I'll watch for you...Nancy B RN
    Dana Dailey, MS, PT responded:
    Hi Jackie,

    Working as an in home caregiver can be very challenging as the positions you work in can be awkward and I can give you some general tips.

    An exercise program you enjoy can be so helpful. Exercise can help build your endurance- letting you be less fatigued at the end of your work hours, stretching can relax your muscles and lubricate joints. Strengthening your core helps support you body. Heat or cold can also be helpful during the day.

    Furniture in homes is not always in the best place or at the best height. It is important to use the best body mechanics you can when lifting, bathing, transferring, bathing and working. As to body mechanics - think about maintaining the curves of you spine in activities. It may help to sit with some activities rather than bend over for example bathing, dressing - it can take a little more time to complete the task but decrease the physical effort and discomfort through the day.

    Lift and transfer aids can also be a solution such as a gait belt, hoyer lift when needed, slider sheets for those who are bed bound, Beasy board for transfers or pivot transfer discs can also help ease the physical challenges of home care.

    One thing I have people do to see if they are keeping their spine in good postion is put a piece of tape along your spine and go through your day and when you feel the tape pull it means you are not maintaining the curve in your back. You can look at the situation and see if you can make a change in the activity to improve your body mechanics.

    Please let me know what you think and if you have questions, please let me know.
    JudithKi responded:
    I worked as a nurse and caregiver for the disabled for 32 years and I would give you this advice....retrain for office work in the same field, I did this but unforunatly I had severe arthritis and at 49 my hip totally collapsed and I had a hip and knee replacment, my fibromyalgia flared so now I cant work at all ,I left it too late till I was compleatly unable to do carer work any more without great pain now I think if I had of made the change earlier I wouldn't be in such a mess. Good luck
    mnjeepguy responded:
    I have a similar dellema at 37. I am cutting my living expenses as much as reasonably possible, and working my way up to a more brain oriented job that is less physical. That is about all a person can do. I hope you find a way to work it out.
    jackieogardening replied to Dana Dailey, MS, PT's response:
    Dana ~
    Thank you so much for all the wonderful advice.
    I will be trying the tape to spine idea. About four months ago I started with pain and a strange pulling feeling on my spine. Up until then most of my pain was located in my neck/head, arms and lower back.
    I started seeing a wonderful massage therapist weekly for the past three months which has helped tremendously. It feels like she is breaking up some type of webbing that has attached itself to my spine. So strange.
    I do use all the proper tools at work, gait belt, slider sheets etc.
    At this time my three clients do need require any of those tools for their care. But you never know what tomorrow may bring.
    Again, thank you
    jackieogardening replied to JudithKi's response:
    Hi Judith ~
    Thank you for the advice. I did work in an office before I became In home caregiver. Sitting at the computer allllll day made me so stiff and worsened my neck/head/arm pain. I have found that working fewer days and being able to get up more often or sitting when needed helps with pain and stiffness. Of course it's always there but not quite as intense.
    Rest or into a warm shower as soon as I return home also helps.
    You are so young to have experienced all you have.
    My warmest thoughts are with you.
    BetteK replied to booch007's response:
    I think you've all been dancing around the possibility that the time may come when you won't be able to:

    1. Continue to work and earn income.
    2 Be able to make any more modifications to life at home.
    3. Be able to take care yourself or your loved one.

    These are scary thoughts of the type that bring nightmares.
    Perhaps if we face them, their horror will fade.

    1. If you are unable to work, there is disability to help out.
    It's not munificent, but it may cover the basics.
    2. So you need a single floor home with an indoor pool,
    Does a local facility have one that might work?
    3. Some of those homes for the elderly or disabled are
    really nice. Let's face it, Wouldn't it be great if
    someone else shoveled the snow and mowed the grass?

    Life with a chronic illnes is not a day in a park, but you can still enjoy one of those as long as you save up your energy for the things you really need..

    So, just maybe the worst case scenerio is not so bad after all.

    Think on it.


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