Author Topic: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)  (Read 31776 times)

iluvzbeach

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #250 on: December 22, 2022, 02:21:23 PM »
Thank you. Will check it out.

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #251 on: January 03, 2023, 02:10:37 PM »
Wow.

So I took a fairly long hiatus from anything but my own journal in 2022, so I'm just catching up on this now.

It's going to take me a bit to process my thoughts on so many updates, but I'm going to say one thing, and I'm not sure it's the right thing to say, so I'm going to keep it simple.

I am part of a Christian leadership community of established ministers, all of whom have theology PhDs. I'm not a minister, or have a theology degree, but I helped put the group together and they like my essays. So I just wanted to frame that I'm quite involved in the study and interpretation of Christianity. I'm also currently studying clinical psychology, and have a background in psychology.

With that said, my small point that I want to make is that I truly understand you wanting a Christian perspective on your counselling. However, I can confidently say that many Christian counsellors would have a very different take on your situation than your particular Christian counsellor.

She is a guide, not an authority on how faith and mental health combine for you. So if you feel strengthened and empowered by her particular take on things, then run with it. But if you don't, you don't have to take her interpretation as gospel (pun intended).

Okay. I will say one more thing.

She contrasted your comfort and your duty to your mother. I want to encourage you to move away from the concept of any of this being about your comfort and instead conceptualize choices that contribute to your thriving vs your degradation.

You do require a certain degree of comfort in order to thrive. You should feel no guilt or shame, that's a basic human requirement.

There is no honour and no grace in failing to thrive when you *could* make choices to do so. I think from your latest updates that you are really starting to internalize that.

One can sacrifice and experience intense discomfort and *still* thrive, but that thriving under those conditions requires a lot of resources and supports.

If you let thriving be your guide, decisions can become a lot easier and more intuitive.

Thank you for stopping by and for sharing your initial thoughts.  Of course, if you have more insight to share I'm all ears.

I'm not exactly sure what failure to thrive actually means..I did Google it and read some initial info but it seemed to be pediatric related so I don't think I was looking at the right thing.  I know thriving in the general sense means just to prosper, so I do think I understand where you are coming from.

Right now my guide 'is' somewhat associated with thriving actually.  For instance, I think that once my mom receives disability, it is possible to care for her in a home environment (from simply a financial perspective) 'if' I had a live-in caregiver.  However, I do also believe that there's a very high risk that my own mental/emotional health and well-being in general would decline.  First, because even with caregiving support in the home, there will be many times I have to step in and support which could easily become exhausting for someone like me that is introverted, low energy, highly-sensitive and already suffers from my own depression.  Second, because of the chaotic nature of our relationship which is rooted in my mother having multiple, longstanding, untreated mental health issues.  In short, I recognize the risk of me 'going downhill' if I were to bring her home.  Not to say it's a 'given', but it's a high risk.

I'd prayed about the whole 'moving in together' thing SO much prior to the stroke (as you'll recall my mother had lost her house several years ago and I was just waiting for the 'shoe to drop' in terms of her being evicted), and the eerie thing is how the more I prayed, the more arguments we'd have when we did get together/visit each other.  It was getting to a point where I almost felt as if God was saying to me, 'hey, make whatever move you want to in the future..just know this is the current state of your mother's mental health and your relationship with her, so be warned this will be your life going forward if you cannot change to adjust to it as your parent is not going to be the one changing'.  ETA:  If I'm completely honest, I felt God was also showing me ways in which I'm not the easiest person to get along with/live with, ways in which I am unnecessarily negative and don't actually have as much patience as I see myself as having.  So there's that side of things, too (yikes).

In regards to feeling guilt, honestly I probably just need to stop comparing myself to others because I think that is ultimately what causes a lot of it.  For instance:

-I have a best friend who has moved to another state and is building a whole house from scratch (with an accessible in-law suite) to prepare to move her mother in to at some point in the next few years.  I find it admirable.  But she's married, with likely a totally different financial situation than mine, her mother doesn't have the kind of mental issues mine does, she has a close and supportive familial system, and 'most' importantly her mom is not currently severely disabled.  So, she could, albeit difficult, likely move her mom in and still thrive much easier than I could. 

-I've also been in multiple caregiving forums where someone in a non-American culture stepped in to say how hard it was for them to take in and care for a parent, but how it is culturally normal for them to do so and how American culture is so different in that Americans tend to be less self-sacrificing/see the parent as more of a burden/lack the 'it takes a village' mentality that allows the family to plan together to keep a parent at home and out of a facility/etc.  In other words, I've also been reading numerous stories from the 'non American caretaker who lead/managed the process of keeping a sick parent in the home', and felt guilty not being able to relate to their story of how they "had a hard life caring for their parent for years, but did it out of love and would never ever have had it any other way because their parent cared for/housed/clothed them as a child and it's only right that in the parent's old age the children do the same for them."  I literally have read of multiple instances where such caretakers stated 'it was their honor to sacrifice to care for their parent in their old age'.  When I compared myself to people like this I would ask myself 'what's wrong with me that I can't sacrifice for the person that did so for me?' 

I know that's a lot, I'm already an over-thinker by nature so I've had a LOT of time the past 8 months since my mom's stroke to get different perspectives from others (and obviously I continue to do so).  Ultimately I find value in all the different perspectives but do also acknowledge how I have to make decisions that are best for me considering my individual/personal circumstances, so the 'comparing' part for me is something I need to stop doing.

Yes, I remember your story well and contributed quite a bit back in the pre-eviction days.

Re: thriving. This is really a personal, intuitive thing. Basically, are you moving towards being a stronger, healthier, more self sufficient, happier, self-actualized person or are you moving more towards falling apart?

This is why I wanted to draw the comparison away from comfort vs sacrifice. When it comes to sacrifice, many of a can afford to sacrifice a hell of a lot of comfort and still thrive.

Your friend building the house has the resources and support to be able to do so. What is she sacrificing? Probably just some comfort and luxury, but it's not likely to damage her ability to thrive. If anything, the reward of being able to help will likely make her thrive more.

When thriving is on the line, this is the difference between selfishness and basic responsible self-preservation.

When sacrificing for a parent starts compromising your ability to maintain a career, pay for your own needs, maintain your own basic level of health/function, it's not selfish to pull back and maintain your own basic needs, it's necessary.

You have a responsibility to not let your own life and well-being fall apart. When you start sacrificing that basic level of self-care that's where you go into martyrdom. It's not kindness to just cannibalize function from yourself to give it to someone else. It's kindness when you do what you can to raise both parties up.

If you don't have a ton of resources yourself, this means your capacity to raise up someone else is limited.

As you may recall, I have a similar mom, and mine is starting to lose her cognitive function, so I TOTALLY get the challenge in balancing being hurt and frustrated by a stubborn, unwell, irresponsible, self-destructive parent with whom you have to find of balance of holding them accountable, but also understanding that they have limitations and just can't be held accountable much of the time.

It's complicated as fuck.

The advantage I have though is I have a veritable army of supports in my corner reminding me constantly that I need to take care of myself, that there is no honour in sacrificing my function for hers.

See I have an important factor that you don't. I'm currently in a bigger health crisis than my mom is. There are things I could sacrifice to help her more, but they would compromise my condition and my recovery, which is critical.

But truthfully, your situation isn't any different. You have experienced a major mental health injury that you need to nurture and recover from. Your life has taken massive hits that to need to nurture and recover from.

I may need a wheelchair and multiple gruesome surgeries, but in many ways I'm in better shape than you are thanks to the massive amount of support I have. I'm thriving.

So spend a bit of quality time conceptualizing what thriving means to you. A simple exercise is to project forward one year, 5 years, and 10 years. Assuming everything stays the same, what does your life look like? Feel like? How is your body doing? How is your mind holding up?

If you look forward and keeping on the exact trajectory you are on, things look bright, optimistic, and you are really looking forward to that future, congrats, you are thriving.

If you look forward and think "I don't know how long I can keep this up," or you worry about what state your body will be in, or you know your mental health will be worse, then you are operating beyond your own adaptive capacity, and you need to look carefully at your resources and how you are spending them.

I had to mull over and come back and read this (very insightful) post of yours a few times actually.

First, I want to say that I'm sorry we both share a 'challenging' mother.  Second, I want to send my wishes for a full and healthy recovery for you.  It sounds like you have a lot going on and I am indeed glad to hear of this army of support of yours that is helping you.  They sound like amazing caring people and that is so very important to have. 

I do want to give credit to my closest friends..I don't have many but there are a few who mean the world to me.  Like the one whose house I'm living in right now.  Funny how when my mom had the stroke, my friend's house had been empty for many months and it worked out for me to move right in.  And it doesn't hurt that she charges me like half what the market rate is for rent.  It's a huge blessing.  I have another friend that packed up my entire place for me in Atlanta (I may have mentioned it before); all I had to do was bring a rental van and move all my boxes up since she literally did all of the packing for me while I was here in another state tending to my mom while she was in the hospital.  I should also mention that a few people right here in this very thread have been a huge support just by offering their advice and even sending me DM's, best wishes, etc.  So many in both the online and 'in person' world have all cautioned me to 'put my mask on first' - I have heard that so much since last spring that I really do take that phrase to heart and it helps to drive my decision making.  I also have a very small set of people in another group that actually live abroad already that see things in a different light and strongly encourage me to leave/bring my mother abroad as they believe we would ultimately have a better life there.  Many different opinions although most everyone does offer the advice to prioritize myself honestly. 

As to reframing the whole situation to one that centers around thriving - what an amazing thought.  I might even mention it to my therapist.  I started seeing her again recently and she mentioned how she thinks the moving abroad suggestion was a 'great one' and how it solves many issues (particularly financially).  However, when I bring up the potential challenges, she cautions me that it might not be the best decision and that I should consider the risks of things like my own emotional health declining (my mom has recently kinda gone into what I would describe as 'emotionally abusive' territory..it's rare but when it happens it's pretty bad).  In short, she basically says she fears I may be taking on too much.  And I share the same fear.  Honestly, it's hard not knowing what the future will hold for my mom and I.  Sometimes I think I'll just focus on only getting her into a better facility, and if that happens, I may just move back to a place I want to be in and visit.  That place could even be abroad temporarily.  I just don't know.  Only time will tell. 

I do know that the more I pray about it the more that's 'revealed' to me about what every day life would look like and the challenges that would come with it.  Just bringing her home for Thanksgiving was a lot for me - she was sick again and I wanted her to have a good relaxing day so I gave her a bath.  I won't even go into detail about what I had to do just to get her lowered into a bathtub for an actual bath.  Then the dressing/grooming/hair washing/etc after..that was just one day and I was spent. I was happy it got done as she felt way better after, but man..I hadn't attempted that since.  (Side note:  I found her in the same exact clothes from Thanksgiving 4 days later in the nursing home as they hadn't bathed or changed her [!] since I did SMH.)  In short, I slowly get doses of things like this (along with the rare days we 'don't get along') that make me rethink over and over about this whole future potential decision of moving her in.

It's hard because I honestly am struggling right now 'the most' with being back in my home state.  As I mentioned before, I try to stay grateful about everything I have going in my favor at this time, as its a lot.  But being back here right now is honestly the hardest thing I'm dealing with at the moment.  Maybe I'm just now starting to grieve the sudden move from my place last spring, and the life I had set up for myself in Atlanta.  Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't doing much there lol..but sometimes it's really the little things that add up and there are a lot of 'little' things that are kicking in that I am starting to miss so much.

Overall, I know I'm where I'm supposed to be..for now at least.  In reading your questions and statements about how I see my life in the future if things stay the same, they are great questions.  And I don't know the answers right now as they are things I'd have to ponder even more.  And I do ponder a lot (in case others can't tell lol). 

Just trying to continue to take things in bite sized pieces for now..while keeping myself level headed about the realities of the current situation.  And setting boundaries where needed, which are reinforced by my recognizing my own limitations which I think is something that is new for me.  I believe I'm so used to just making up my mind about something, and once committing, being 'all in' no matter saying "I can do this" no matter how hard it is.  I'm clearly being cautioned in this situation not to just 'jump all in' and try to do what I initially think is best; there is a lot to consider and there are many risks that, like you said, could be detrimental to me thriving.  I don't have all of the answers yet as new thoughts/considerations and even ideas keep coming to me. 
« Last Edit: January 03, 2023, 02:14:01 PM by EconDiva »

Cassie

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #252 on: January 05, 2023, 11:04:56 AM »
Helping someone through an illness is totally different than caregiving. My parents didnít expect that from us and I donít expect it from my kids. My youngest son said if I ever need temporary help like my mom did he would come and do it like the 3 of us did for my parents.  I donít want my kids sacrificing their lives for mine.

Weisass

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #253 on: February 20, 2023, 05:14:45 AM »
How you doin, @EconDiva ?

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #254 on: April 06, 2023, 11:27:56 AM »
How you doin, @EconDiva ?

I apologize as I am just seeing this as I don't log into the forums that frequently anymore (I will do better this year though).

So that 'dream' I'd had of moving abroad?

Long story short, my company (massive sized multinational) surprisingly laid off half of my department the start of the year.  They only laid off US employees.  Rationale was we are 'moving our footprint to the EU'.  I have been in talks with my boss about a transfer and today she told me I officially needed to go ahead and get a plan in place with HR as leadership has given the 'green light' for me to relocate from all necessary parties.  Leadership is keeping this 'under wraps' from everyone else at this time as it is sure to be 'big news' that they allowed someone in my org to relocate.

This did not happen overnight by any means, but it certainly now feels like it.

I have priced live-in caretakers abroad and so far it looks like I'd be able to source someone through an EU agency and my mom's SSDI would pay for/cover the care.  Separate local health insurance would have to be obtained.

There is SO so much still pending with my mom that what I envision happening is that I would be doing a bit of back and forth between the EU and US for a 'little' while (they're not going to pay for back and forth flights for long whatsoever).  At least, I hope they allow for some back and forth because I really don't want to 'jump ship' to the EU overnight. 

My mom has no clue of these discussions, but as my boss said earlier today I needed to get in touch with HR to put a plan together 'now', I think I am officially at the point where I have to tell her.  My heart sinks a bit thinking about having that discussion.  I may just wait a few weeks..I'm not sure..

To say that a TON of stuff is still up in the air/uncertain would be a huge understatement.  In the meantime, my mom will stay in the nursing home for now as it would be rash to do anything else IMO until I am more certain of what's to come and how to work everything out.  (I'm hoping and praying it ends up being a situation where I can establish a place/healthcare and then bring her later.)  I lean towards (meaning not 100% but majority) thinking that with the cost of care in the US and quality of care considering my mom's lack of finances...when you add to that my family issues I still believe that relocating my mom 'might' be best..and that we could both likely use a change of environment at this point.  I don't want to give up on this dream but remain open that if it doesn't work out having her with me abroad, I'm young and agile enough to return here and 'figure it all out'. 

If it doesn't work out such that I can bring her (or I decide it's not doable/best), it will all be very interesting as I'd have to figure out how to oversee her care..from a very long distance away.

I'm a bit in shock that this has happened as in the years of researching how to find some other job abroad, I never thought I'd find myself in the position where the very company I'm with already would offer it up..nevertheless at a time I wanted (needed?) it so bad in the midst of the situation I'm currently in.  Then again, I am a Christian and I do believe that wherever this whole path is leading to, that it is for good reason.



"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."
Proverbs 3:5
« Last Edit: April 06, 2023, 12:17:35 PM by EconDiva »

six-car-habit

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #255 on: April 06, 2023, 12:05:27 PM »

   How do you get Mom into an EU country for more than a few months at a time - will your work visa allow you to bring American relatives to stay with you for 'extended' periods ?  Have they indicated which city / country they would want you to relocate to ?

  Does she already know that 1/2 the US workforce has been scrapped, and that this restructuring + potential transfer actually does dovetail with your desire to relocate to Europe...

 

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #256 on: April 06, 2023, 12:12:35 PM »

   How do you get Mom into an EU country for more than a few months at a time - will your work visa allow you to bring American relatives to stay with you for 'extended' periods ?  Have they indicated which city / country they would want you to relocate to ?

  Does she already know that 1/2 the US workforce has been scrapped, and that this restructuring + potential transfer actually does dovetail with your desire to relocate to Europe...

 

Great questions.  I don't have all of the answers.  This is all happening very fast.  I haven't even met with HR yet.  RE: visa, possibly the below as companies relocate people who have spouses, kids, dependent parents...in other words, people with families, often:
https://iasservices.org.uk/es/family/

The country is Spain.

The only thing my mom knows right now is about how half the US people in my org were cut at the beginning of the year.

six-car-habit

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #257 on: April 06, 2023, 12:52:51 PM »
   From your sitelink - "The family member you wish to join in Spain must have been legally residing in Spain continuously for a year with a resident permit. The residence permit must be valid for not less than a year and must have authorisation for renewal. They must have sufficient financial support to cover your living expenses in Spain."

 Also for the alternate visitor visa  --  "The prerequisite for accessing a Non-EU Ascendant Visa to Spain must be on the condition of dependency. The child living in Spain must have been responsible for their parentís living expenses for at least a year. When calculated per annum, the financial responsibility or funds transferred over a year must be equivalent to at least 51% of the gross domestic product per capita of the parentís country of residence. If your parents are not up to 65 years of age, you may be able to have them join you for humanitarian reasons. "

  It may be a wrench in the wheel, if a large part of Mom's support is considered as coming from the USA government, and not exclusively from Econ-Diva ?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2023, 01:09:13 PM by six-car-habit »

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #258 on: April 06, 2023, 01:10:44 PM »
   From your sitelink - "The family member you wish to join in Spain must have been legally residing in Spain continuously for a year with a resident permit. The residence permit must be valid for not less than a year and must have authorisation for renewal. They must have sufficient financial support to cover your living expenses in Spain."

 Also for the alternate "visitor visa"  --  "The prerequisite for accessing a Non-EU Ascendant Visa to Spain must be on the condition of dependency. The child living in Spain must have been responsible for their parentís living expenses for at least a year. When calculated per annum, the financial responsibility or funds transferred over a year must be equivalent to at least 51% of the gross domestic product per capita of the parentís country of residence. If your parents are not up to 65 years of age, you may be able to have them join you for humanitarian reasons. "

  It may be a wrench in the wheel if a large part of Mom's support is considered as coming from the USA government, and not Econ-Diva

I 'might' be under a "blue card", in which case 'immediate' family reunification would apply fyi:
https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/eu-blue-card/

https://iasservices.org.uk/es/family/family-reunification-visa/
^"There are some exceptions to that rule, however. For example, holders of an EU Blue Card and those who have long-term residence and work permits from another EU country donít have to wait to be approved for a second year in Spain."

iluvzbeach

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #259 on: April 06, 2023, 11:14:29 PM »
Wow @EconDiva, this is quite the interesting & exciting update!  Can't wait to hear how it all plays out.

Hope all is otherwise going well and very glad to see the update.

Dicey

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #260 on: April 06, 2023, 11:21:52 PM »
Would it be unheard of for your company to help you secure your mother's entry? Perhaps as your dependent?

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #261 on: April 07, 2023, 05:16:22 AM »
Wow @EconDiva, this is quite the interesting & exciting update!  Can't wait to hear how it all plays out.

Hope all is otherwise going well and very glad to see the update.

It is indeed interesting right?

Trying not to get too overwhelmed now as there is so so much to figure out and do.

All is otherwise going ok on my end actually; thank you.

As of April 21 we will be 1 year post my mom’s stroke. I am so fortunate that I got a good performance review at work for last year recently as it was very very challenging making it through last year, and I know my company wouldn’t have supported a move if I hadn’t ‘turned things around’ from that time period I was really struggling with these life changes.

I do at this point trust that whatever happens is supposed to happen whether it’s my mom coming or staying and I just need to continue to be patient but make the wisest decisions I can at the same time as things develop.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2023, 06:13:07 AM by EconDiva »

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #262 on: April 07, 2023, 06:11:53 AM »
Would it be unheard of for your company to help you secure your mother's entry? Perhaps as your dependent?

It wouldn't be unheard of at all; my company is a huge global firm that does assist in transfers/relocations/etc. all of the time.

My first boss at this company had eventually been relocated temporarily to Japan for about 4 years.  Our company handled the move, covered her rent in Ginza for the whole time and took care of the husband's visa paperwork in addition to (of course) hers.  She no longer works here as of about 6 months ago as after many promotions here within our company she moved to do even bigger things and continues in an executive level role but now at another firm.  I did consult with her a few months ago when the initial talks came up about me moving and she gave me a lot to consider.

You may recall that I was in Portugal when the stroke happened.  I was supposed to be staying there for just under 3 months.  I was not there for work although we have an office in Lisbon.  Rather, I just wanted to work from home there to learn more about the area, determine if I 'could' work remotely in that location, and get exposure to things like housing costs/how healthcare and long term care works there, etc.  In other words, I was seriously eyeing that country as a place to retire to at the time. 

Many months prior to Portugal, I knew I would have to put a plan together rather than just asking 'hey, can I take my laptop with me and go abroad for 3 months?'.  So I met with my boss about it, then HR, then HR referred me to Talent Deployment which is the area that really supports with relocations/transfers/etc.  Between all of these meetings, the concerns from every area became clear, many of which I knew how to address, so from there I created a plan (presentation) that walked through the rationale for my requests, the benefits of me going, the risks, the risk mitigation plans, etc. etc.  It included everything from what my work schedule would be (I'd keep my US hours) to how I'd cover my health insurance abroad (including medical evac, etc.) to legalities (I learned I couldn't go in to work in the local Lisbon office while there because that would trigger the need for a work visa in Portugal).  It was months of me consulting with local and Portuguese attorneys, immigration firms, consulates, tax professionals, etc. etc.  By the time I presented all of this, Talent Deployment was shocked I'd gone to the length I had.  (And I'm glad I did take the approach I did as HR spoke about how they fire people all of the time that just take their laptops and work abroad 'for a while' without telling anyone, invoking serious risk to the company.)  All of this was just for a 3 month visit.

I presented this to my boss, her leadership, HR and Talent Deployment and long story short finally got the approval to go there.  In summary, because of what happened last year, I now have some exposure to this area and I know some of the people involved who make decisions regarding these moves.

I will essentially start by taking the deck from that Portugal trip and using that to create a Spain relocation plan.  There might be more than one version (one for me, one for boss)..I'm not sure yet.  I've been keeping a running list of question in Excel for the past ~2 months, so now at least I know I can start shooting these questions off to the right people because I am much less versed in certain Spain laws, etc.  As our company is massive, I know that Talent Deployment, which also consults with Legal (because they consulted with them prior to giving me the green light to go abroad last year) will have all of the answers I need, including 'how' my mom could potentially be added to whatever work visa that is essentially likely to have to be obtained.  In my very very limited searches yesterday it did appear that the company 'may' have to apply for an EU blue card for me (I mentioned this above), but it is not clear; I've done little research into this honestly.  If it's an EU blue card they go obtain, it's 'possible' that my mother could go under Spain's family reunification process which works very very similar to Portugal's family reunification (which I am more well versed in because I'd been looking into that for a while fyi).

Either way, it's a bit of a relief knowing that I'm in a position where there are experts on this who already exist to take care of the visa piece because that piece for Portugal alone when I was looking into that country, really did seem overwhelming/confusing.  (I spent a good portion of last year looking into D7 and now D8 visas in Portugal honestly and got to a point where I told myself it wasn't doable because I just didn't have the expertise on how to keep my current role and obtain any kind of visa applicable to Portugal - I realized that whole process would have to involve my employer and no digital nomad visa would work for my situation or mid-term goals.)

Side note, I made it very very clear at the beginning of this year that I wanted to move to Portugal and strongly strongly preferred that be where I go when these initial talks began.  At that time, my boss had mentioned 3 countries that they were looking to hire talent in and Portugal was shockingly one of them (I couldn't believe it).  However, Spain was also one of them and although we have offices in both locations, Spain's healthcare system is top notch and we do so much work with the Spain office.  I knew there was a strong possibility she would say I could move, but Spain is where we need people right now, and that is ultimately what happened.  Currently, my boss is saying that once talent is 'built up' within our Spain hub (I'm a people manager now so I'd be responsible for onboarding/training/development of employees in Spain within a certain department that make up a large portion of our organization), that Portugal 'could' be the next country we look to to build up, meaning that she has been apologetic that Portugal didn't work out, however, she feels strongly that somehow, some way, it is possible it could still happen at some point considering our country focus at this time. 

I told my boss that if that happens, I want to be considered.  But that in the meantime, visiting Portugal from Spain is a lot easier than visiting Portugal from the US :)    And that 'if' (huge if) my mom comes with me, Spain has got one of the best healthcare systems in the 'world'.  And on top of that, the topography is much much flatter than the Lisbon area which means a notable difference in accessibility for her.  Lastly, I now have multiple 24-hour live-in caretaker quotes from agencies that place live-in caretakers in both Lisbon and Madrid.  I was shocked to find quotes from Madrid coming in lower than Lisbon.  So that's a definite 'bonus'. 

Right now, there is a lotttt up in the air.  I have so much to do that I kinda just want to go hide under a rock somewhere to be honest, however, I know that now I have to seriously get busy.  My mom's SSDI is not likely to come through this year IMO.  I need her SSDI in order for her to move because that will be what pays for her live-in caretaker.  I was initially going to pay for maybe half but I realized I would be SO much better off if I made the decision to go somewhere that she could pay for her own care 100%.  So I'm praying that that comes through next year because the truth is I don't have exact timelines for moving yet, but I already know that this will simply turn into a 'how soon can you reasonably get there' type of situation.  I did tell my boss yesterday that I understand definitive timing is not clear, but that I will be flexible in whatever needs to happen and I ask that she/the company does the same so as to not put me in a position of asking me to move overnight since I have so much to work on.  I made it clear I am serious about all of this and will now begin the work involved to initiate the move.  I reiterated to her that it would be great and maybe necessary for me to do some 'back and forth' between EU and US for a while in the beginning perhaps, allowing me to get familiar with life there and set up a place to live, moving my mom there later.  Ideally, this is how this will all happen but of course things remain to be seen.

The other piece to this is I am fully prepared that HR will reduce my salary as a result of this move.  I have been in talks for months with a friend who lives in Portugal.  His wife's company moved them there; her initial pay reduction was going to be 45% (!).  But they negotiated it down to a paycut of 5%.  I am meeting with him this morning (as he's a former HR executive) to begin negotiation tactic discussions because it is critical my pay not be reduced moderately or significantly.  Of course, a slight pay reduction makes sense because a $100k (example) salary in southeastern US is not the same as a $100k salary in Spain.

Sorry for the novel by the way!

« Last Edit: April 07, 2023, 06:25:53 AM by EconDiva »

Metalcat

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #263 on: April 07, 2023, 06:25:35 AM »
What an update!

I'm so excited for you for this huge life change!

Btw, my mom had a major stroke too recently and it made me think of you. In my mom's case, she miraculously lost almost no function despite the bleed being massive, but she's now even more unreasonable as a person. So who the hell knows how that will play out over the next few decades, because she's only 64.

At first it looked like she had enough damage that she would be more compliant, but no, she's recovered to the point that now she's as stubborn as ever, just less reasonable and more volatile. So that's...fun...

Weisass

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #264 on: April 07, 2023, 09:07:44 AM »
Wow! So the answer I suppose is that thereís been a great deal happening! Praying for answers and clarity for you!

SunnyDays

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #265 on: April 07, 2023, 10:09:53 AM »
However things work out, your mom is lucky to have a daughter like you!

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #266 on: April 11, 2023, 10:24:15 PM »
Wow.  That's a lot of life happening.  Good luck with the negotiations! 

change_seeker

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #267 on: April 12, 2023, 09:42:06 PM »
Thanks for filling us in on what is happening!  I was sent by my company with my family to India for a year and it was a fantastic (although very challenging) experience.

I'm praying for you now.

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #268 on: April 13, 2023, 09:52:07 AM »
What an update!

I'm so excited for you for this huge life change!

Btw, my mom had a major stroke too recently and it made me think of you. In my mom's case, she miraculously lost almost no function despite the bleed being massive, but she's now even more unreasonable as a person. So who the hell knows how that will play out over the next few decades, because she's only 64.

At first it looked like she had enough damage that she would be more compliant, but no, she's recovered to the point that now she's as stubborn as ever, just less reasonable and more volatile. So that's...fun...

I appreciate the kind words. 

I am very very sorry to hear about your mom's stroke.  I am very happy to hear for you however, that she lost almost no function!  That is something to be so very grateful for..I know.  My mom is 64 too.  And since the stroke (and you may recall me mentioning this) she is 'mostly' the same, however, she is wayyyy more apt to have these really mean outbursts with me.  They are new as she's never been mean in this way before.  I will say that when I took the 2-month break earlier this year, things got better so who knows if I needed to give her space, etc...who knows. 

I'm sorry you're dealing with the stubborn behaviors and such though; I can relate so much and it really is frustrating. Compliance/cooperation when you're helping someone manage their life/care is so important.

I hope you are faring ok though.

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #269 on: April 13, 2023, 09:52:33 AM »
Wow! So the answer I suppose is that thereís been a great deal happening! Praying for answers and clarity for you!

Prayers are definitely needed so I really appreciate them.

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #270 on: April 13, 2023, 09:53:00 AM »
However things work out, your mom is lucky to have a daughter like you!

That is very sweet for you to say; I appreciate that.

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #271 on: April 13, 2023, 09:53:43 AM »
Wow.  That's a lot of life happening.  Good luck with the negotiations!

It is indeed a ton going on.  I appreciate the encouragement.

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #272 on: April 13, 2023, 09:54:45 AM »
Thanks for filling us in on what is happening!  I was sent by my company with my family to India for a year and it was a fantastic (although very challenging) experience.

I'm praying for you now.

Thank you so much and of course, the prayers are very much appreciated. 

Do you ever miss India?

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #273 on: April 13, 2023, 09:59:50 AM »
Circling back just to say:

I may have given the impression I think my mom can just come, however, I should acknowledge this is all very complicated/complex.

I was supposed to have a 'introductory' meeting with HR today as I have a ton of questions for them but it's been pushed out by over two weeks.  I don't believe I'll have an answer on the feasibility of her joining me up front for quite some time honestly. 

Based on my limited research thus far, it appears there could indeed be a several-year long waiting period which another poster was recently writing about above I believe.  Family reunification typically involves children or a spouse. I am not sure, however if a several year waiting period is true, I am actually not 100% sure I will go. That is what is weighing heavily on my mind lately.  The entirety of this thread has indicated reasons why I'd be concerned leaving my mom here and me living abroad full time.

What remains to be seen, because there also appears to be some potential flexibility in cases where the parent is a dependent and needs care, is if my situations falls under a 'humanitarian' reason or not. The bureaucracy in Spain is very high, so even if I do fall into this category it 'may' be extremely difficult to prove.  I have to do more research with immigration/legal professionals outside of work to vet whatever my company ends up telling me which I will also have to rely on heavily for direction/guidance/feasibility of this whole plan.

In short, I want to acknowledge that I'm in a tough place now because as previously stated, I lean towards taking my mom with me. Managing her care from abroad IMO just might be too challenging for the both of us. At the same time, this opportunity 'fell in my lap' in such a (weird yet timely?) way that I'd hate to be one of those older folk reminiscing on 'what if', saying "I wish I could have...", being that friend that's always talking about that 'dream they used to have' or in general, just being regretful of a major choice to 'not' pursue this thing I've been wanting to do for so long.

In short, a lot remains to be seen.

Metalcat

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #274 on: April 13, 2023, 12:12:04 PM »
What an update!

I'm so excited for you for this huge life change!

Btw, my mom had a major stroke too recently and it made me think of you. In my mom's case, she miraculously lost almost no function despite the bleed being massive, but she's now even more unreasonable as a person. So who the hell knows how that will play out over the next few decades, because she's only 64.

At first it looked like she had enough damage that she would be more compliant, but no, she's recovered to the point that now she's as stubborn as ever, just less reasonable and more volatile. So that's...fun...

I appreciate the kind words. 

I am very very sorry to hear about your mom's stroke.  I am very happy to hear for you however, that she lost almost no function!  That is something to be so very grateful for..I know.  My mom is 64 too.  And since the stroke (and you may recall me mentioning this) she is 'mostly' the same, however, she is wayyyy more apt to have these really mean outbursts with me.  They are new as she's never been mean in this way before.  I will say that when I took the 2-month break earlier this year, things got better so who knows if I needed to give her space, etc...who knows. 

I'm sorry you're dealing with the stubborn behaviors and such though; I can relate so much and it really is frustrating. Compliance/cooperation when you're helping someone manage their life/care is so important.

I hope you are faring ok though.

*I* am faring fine because I am not involved in my mom's care whatsoever. I have a broken femur and have my own care to worry about. Her husband and my brother have really taken over, which has been great for me.

I hear you on the mean outbursts, my step dad is really struggling with those, and she was known for being capable of being quite mean even before the stroke.

Her compliance has always been bad, being a rebel is the definitive characteristic of her personality, so that's an additional challenge. They absolutely loved her at the hospital because she's spectacularly charming, but they told her pretty much every day that she was the worst patient they had ever had. lol.

I've really enjoyed that my leg has forced me to have even stricter boundaries. I really just couldn't help at all, I could barely even visit. My family had to learn to do things without me being the one who always steps in a helps.

My therapist is thrilled with me, lol.

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #275 on: April 13, 2023, 03:57:35 PM »
The other piece to this is I am fully prepared that HR will reduce my salary as a result of this move.  I have been in talks for months with a friend who lives in Portugal.  His wife's company moved them there; her initial pay reduction was going to be 45% (!).  But they negotiated it down to a paycut of 5%.  I am meeting with him this morning (as he's a former HR executive) to begin negotiation tactic discussions because it is critical my pay not be reduced moderately or significantly.  Of course, a slight pay reduction makes sense because a $100k (example) salary in southeastern US is not the same as a $100k salary in Spain.

Sorry for the novel by the way!

Negotiate aggressively, and you might just be surprised at the outcome with respect to your salary.  I am glad you are getting some coaching on this.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #276 on: April 13, 2023, 07:58:59 PM »
Good luck figuring it all out - it sounds like a mess.  I hope it all works out well for you.

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #277 on: April 14, 2023, 05:58:25 AM »
The other piece to this is I am fully prepared that HR will reduce my salary as a result of this move.  I have been in talks for months with a friend who lives in Portugal.  His wife's company moved them there; her initial pay reduction was going to be 45% (!).  But they negotiated it down to a paycut of 5%.  I am meeting with him this morning (as he's a former HR executive) to begin negotiation tactic discussions because it is critical my pay not be reduced moderately or significantly.  Of course, a slight pay reduction makes sense because a $100k (example) salary in southeastern US is not the same as a $100k salary in Spain.

Sorry for the novel by the way!

Negotiate aggressively, and you might just be surprised at the outcome with respect to your salary.  I am glad you are getting some coaching on this.

That is the plan indeed.

In the course of providing updates here, we have now lost two employees who have left and taken other roles (the first Ďvoluntary movesí out of our department).

Not too surprising considering the current environment. I had a work trip/conference (first one since pre Covid) a few months ago and I could tell in conversing with colleagues after hours the heightened concern in my area that this sudden layoff of us US folk would not be the last. With the obvious priority now being placed on reducing US headcount (which has been communicated in various town halls and emails now) and increasing EU headcount, this move might just need to happen for me as I canít say I donít share the same concerns.

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #278 on: April 14, 2023, 06:09:52 AM »
Good luck figuring it all out - it sounds like a mess.  I hope it all works out well for you.

Thank you

reeshau

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #279 on: April 14, 2023, 07:32:55 AM »
Is this position a permanent move, or an ex-pat assignment with an expectation to return?  That will have implications for pay and benefits, too.

When my MegaCo moved to Ireland, we were moved on "one way tickets."  (Of course, execs were ex-pat)  Ironically, just before Covid hit we had a mass layoff, which hit almost everyone who moved over.  The company had the shame to pay for our trip back, as it was just under 2 years after.

One nice thing, though, is that we got a European severance, rather than a puny US one.  (Although, a German severance is a degree above that)

An international reassignment is legitimately overwhelming.  I don't know much about employment regs in Spain, but I will certainly chime in if there is something more broadly EU / time zone / ex-pat related.  But despite the extra cognitive workload, I also encourage you to spend some time thinking about how and when you want to return, as that will greatly impact some of your bigger decisions: rent vs. buy housing, vehicle, storing/selling/bringing belongings, etc.


EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #280 on: April 14, 2023, 07:49:52 AM »
Is this position a permanent move, or an ex-pat assignment with an expectation to return?  That will have implications for pay and benefits, too.

When my MegaCo moved to Ireland, we were moved on "one way tickets."  (Of course, execs were ex-pat)  Ironically, just before Covid hit we had a mass layoff, which hit almost everyone who moved over.  The company had the shame to pay for our trip back, as it was just under 2 years after.

One nice thing, though, is that we got a European severance, rather than a puny US one.  (Although, a German severance is a degree above that)

An international reassignment is legitimately overwhelming.  I don't know much about employment regs in Spain, but I will certainly chime in if there is something more broadly EU / time zone / ex-pat related.  But despite the extra cognitive workload, I also encourage you to spend some time thinking about how and when you want to return, as that will greatly impact some of your bigger decisions: rent vs. buy housing, vehicle, storing/selling/bringing belongings, etc.

Thanks so much for chiming in.

It would be a permanent move.

What you just stated is a low key fear of mine - moving and then layoffs and me having to move back. But TBH Iím also fearful if I stay, as mentioned, that my position is much more vulnerable. The few people we have lost voluntarily have gone back into project management and manÖI pray to not have to return to that as I left it to come to this department after burnout in PM.  I truly donít know that I could ever go back to that. Itís good that you got the EU severance though.

So Iím not sure how much of my story you know, but Iíve been wanting to move to Portugal for a few years now. My management seems to think it could still happen later after the Spain hub is built up. To answer your question, I canít say I want to stay in the EU forever having never actually lived there permanently, but I would prefer to live there long term meaning I have no timeframe to return at all. Even if I canít stay in Spain or eventually move to Portugal Iíd love to live maybe in the UK so if something happened with my Spain position Iíd either be looking for another Spain position or something in Portugal or the UK if feasible. In short, I struggle for reasons to come back any time in the near or distant future. Yet I acknowledge itís possible and my momís health is the other scenario (besides work) that could put me in such a position.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2023, 07:53:47 AM by EconDiva »

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #281 on: April 14, 2023, 05:28:50 PM »
What you just stated is a low key fear of mine - moving and then layoffs and me having to move back. But TBH Iím also fearful if I stay, as mentioned, that my position is much more vulnerable. The few people we have lost voluntarily have gone back into project management and manÖI pray to not have to return to that as I left it to come to this department after burnout in PM.  I truly donít know that I could ever go back to that. Itís good that you got the EU severance though.

My sister recently got laid off from her expat role in Europe in February. EU severance is amazing because she wanted to stay in Europe and the money gave her time to search for her next role. She already is in final interviews for a new role at a different American company (it helped that she has been maintaining her network in both the US and EU) that is happy to keep her in Europe. So a layoff in an expat role doesn't mean you'll have to go back to the US, especially considering the severance available. Plus, your company thinks you're awesome enough to spend the money to have you be an expat and other companies consider that in your favor as a candidate.

reeshau

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #282 on: April 14, 2023, 09:11:47 PM »
Even if I canít stay in Spain or eventually move to Portugal Iíd love to live maybe in the UK so if something happened with my Spain position Iíd either be looking for another Spain position or something in Portugal or the UK if feasible. In short, I struggle for reasons to come back any time in the near or distant future. Yet I acknowledge itís possible and my momís health is the other scenario (besides work) that could put me in such a position.

Some more detail: with 26 years' seniority, I got 2 years' pay as severance.  Of course, large lump sums get taxed like regular income, so a big chunk went to Ireland.  But it still made up for ending the party early, and I got on with FIRE.  I probably would have stayed, too, but this was Feb 2020, so all leads dried up with initial Covid lock downs.  In Germany, "garden leave" essentially pays you until full retirement age, with no requirement to look for work.  Like, years and years in some cases.  I would not be surprised if there is some qualification or limitation to this for workers on visas rather than citizens, though.

Again, I don't know Spain specifically, but if you can get a long-term visa (not renewed annually) you have quite a bit of flexibility to find work.  I had six months from my layoff to find a new sponsor, which was complicated because my visa was expiring slightly earlier than that.  (I assume this is similar pressure to H1-B workers in the US who are laid off)  You certainly can mitigate this issue by building a local network once you land, with this specific goal in mind.  Job mobility isn't as high in the EU, but if you are establishing a new office, you will work with local recruiters--just the people you might need, from the other perspective!  You can ask them "hypothetical" questions you might have about this, foe the sake of educating yourself.  Also, with a new company you will likely have some turnover in your hires; as long as you weren't the reason they left, they can be good leads, too.  Keep in touch with them, not just LinkedIn, but grab a coffee occasionally with a few that have landed at employers you think would be good backup plans.

Also, the UK will be a complicated choice: there is no leverage for EU visas you might have.  They are on the outside now.  (A lot of UK retirees in Spain were scrambling post Brexit)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2023, 09:13:22 PM by reeshau »

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #283 on: February 13, 2024, 01:46:27 PM »
Update Feb 13, 2024:

I can't believe I haven't posted in this thread in so long.  I really haven't been on the forums in forever.  This will be long, but I will try to summarize things as best I can.

Last I posted here, I had gotten an offer to move to Spain.  It was rescinded (primarily d/t HR's unwillingness to pay for certain costs).  Funny enough, it is back on the plate now.  However, so much has happened that it's highly unlikely I will even engage in any conversations about moving there now. 

Medicaid has been obtained as of Sep 2023. Medicare has been obtained as of Nov 2023.  Mom is now enrolled in Parts A and B plus D and also G. She is going to be getting support for the premium payments.

Social Security retirement benefits have been obtained. I applied for mom's early retirement due to multiple disability denials.

RE disability, due to continued denials, I'm opting for an attorney to work all of this out at this point. At first I was on the fence about continuing to pursue because the higher monthly disability payment did not seem to make it worth continuing to pursue. But at the end of the day, every bit counts. And ultimately, the 'back pay' or 'lump sum' payment is really what makes it worth continuing to pursue. I just won't be the one having to push for all of this anymore.

PACE:
The biggest update is my mom came home to live with me in September 2023. I tried to plan it so that it would be close to the timing of her Medicaid approval which of course I had no idea the exact date it would happen. She basically got approved the day before I brought her home.

I had been talking to the local PACE program about my plans so they knew the week she would be coming to live with me. The day she moved in I called them to update them and they sent a nurse out the same day to start the assessment process. Over the next week she went in for additional assessments and we had multiple additional in-home assessments/visits as well. She could not start the program in Sep or Oct because we had plans to be out of town for an extended period.

Long story short, she is enrolled now in PACE. She currently goes in M/W/F. PACE sends transportation on those days along with a CNA that gets her up/showered/fed/ready and stays until the PACE shuttle picks her up.

Day to Day life:

This is something what our life looks like right now:

7:30ish - Either I or CNA gets mom up/bathed (if a shower day) and dressed, fed. Mom takes meds at 'her' kitchen table that I laid out for her when I woke up. If a M/W/F, PACE shuttle picks her up.

8:30ish - We're both usually having breakfast and I start work shortly thereafter (I work from home).

If not a PACE day, mom watches TV, Tik Tok/Youtube on her phone, reads, calls friends/family, does crossword puzzles, lays out clothes for the next day, might vacuum or 'organize'/clean her room a bit.

4:30ish - Mom returns home if a PACE day.

5:00ish - Mom eats dinner. In the kitchen there is a dorm sized fridge next to 'her' (low) kitchen table I have set up for her. I stock it weekly with meals and snacks and there is a microwave on top. A toaster on the table with a fruit bowl with fruit and snacks. So she can have a bit of independence by going in and getting her meals when she's ready. I have the night medication on the table by 5 but she waits to take that until closer to actual bed time.

9:00ish - Restroom break and off to bed. I take mom and then I'm in bed around 10ish.

The "Good" vs. the "Not so Good":

I had so much time to think about what life would look like while my mom was in her nursing home the past year and a half plus. And life today looks pretty much like what I thought it would I guess. I think I almost had a panic attack the day/days leading up to bringing her home lol

I spent months working out a 'home care plan' - a document she and I agreed to. But I also have my own 'personal plan'. It speaks to the 'why' behind this decision to bring her home, the boundaries I need to consider/establish/maintain, how I plan to implement self-care, what resources I would need to have in place to do this and under what circumstances home care would need to be discontinued. (I often have to go back to my 'why' on the hard days lol.)

Besides the 'standard caregiving' stuff (I think at this point my primary caregiving responsibilities are focused on the dressing, pill taking, restroom breaks/pull-up changing if needed combined with occasional exercises either in the home or at the park [doing less of that now as it gets colder]).

The PACE program
has already literally been a God send. It is so important for her to get out of the house. And the fact they have a whole care team responsible for things has been very helpful. Lastly, this has been the most responsive agency I've worked with since her stroke.  She's had a few friends come by to visit on occasion which has been good. I hope they continue to do so. Every now and then now I'll drop her off at the store a half a mile from our home that has wide aisles and is usually empty - she will window shop there while I'm at the gym across the street or just as her own 'outing'.

I have Blink cameras now in the house and an Amazon Echo Show in her room that I can also use to video call her from that acts a second TV/streaming device for her.  The PACE program gave her a med alert system that works in and out of the house.  The Show is important because she can verbally tell it to call me or an emergency contact if she say fell and I'm gone or outside or I'm also hurt, etc. 

We have occasional 'care team meetings' where we discuss how things are going. Overall, although due to her condition she still has down days, she seems much happier to be here.

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #284 on: February 13, 2024, 01:55:33 PM »
Feb 2024 updates continued:

2023 Trip:

We traveled over the holidays - Atlanta, Miami (a week each - she turned 65 while in MIA) and then spent a month in Portugal. 
I worked with a company to help coordinate care abroad.  Long story short, we had a caregiver in Portugal that was amazing, the company we used had transportation waiting on us at the airport and equipment ready at the hotel when we arrived, and the caregiver was nothing short of amazing. 

We used Uber Assist or Bolt Assist to get around. The Assist option means the driver supports with the person in the wheelchair. Was very happy with this option and sad to return to the US and not have it where I live.  The company I used helped me arrange PT for my mom. So she had PT every week while gone. Sad to leave the PT staff as well. My mom stated she preferred the exercises that were given to her in Portugal over here.  We also had a few private language lessons in our hotel. 

We met up with people from Facebook expat groups and ended up having Christmas at someone's home and did Secret Santa; we spent more time being invited out by the expat group than seeing/hearing from family since my mom's stroke.  We didn't run out of things to do - from multiple Christmas markets to shopping to Belem Tower, Tuk tuk tours, Praca do Comercio, the movies, Oceanarium, the zoo, cable car (yes; it's accessible)...It was my fifth visit to Lisbon and her first and I think it was overall a great first visit. I had saved all of my vacation for that trip (taking only 1 vacation day in 2023) as I wanted her to see how things were in another country and also because I don't know if/when we'd ever be able to do such a thing again. I learned so much from this trip and am just starting to wrap my head around some of those thoughts. I'm thankful as my driver and I were loading the van to go to the airport that he allowed me a minute to step aside and shed a few tears rather than pushing me to 'get into the vehicle and go'. Then again, I think I usually do cry leaving Lisbon...or if I see an older person alone somewhere..or a hurt animal...I'm just a crybaby in general lol.

2024 plans:

Lots to focus on for this year. Some of the things I know I want to prioritize include prioritizing my own self care, incorporating socialization into both of our lives more, finding additional caregiving support if available and family therapy for the 2 of us (caregiving and living together is challenging and most days are good but some days are HARDDD lol).  In addition, we plan to 'scout' other facilities meaning - check out other places 'in case' needs change and she has to be placed.  I have been very transparent that this is an unfortunate possibility although I pray it doesn't have to happen. 

Lastly, I should mentioned that I keep trying to decide where I want to be in the future. I'm still uncertain and have come to the conclusion that for now, I only know that I prefer not to remain where I am permanently in South Carolina. But ultimately I have no plans to move immediately, and I literally just moved my mom in with me. So although I'm used to being able to 'plan out the next step', and as much as I'd like to know where is next for me ('us' now), I really don't. I'll continue to give it thought but realize that as for me, I'm likely where I 'need' to be...at least for now. I am very grateful to have my friend's house to live in. So very grateful.  i have posted these updates because I would like insight regarding thoughts on moving.  At this point, I think it is safe to say that a separate thread focusing on that would be best (which I will post now).

Ok. As usual, I have typed too much. As for me, on some days I wonder what I was thinking lol. On most days however, I am confident in my decision. I am prepared mentally that things will not look the way they do today forever; there will be changes. And I can't predict exactly what they will be. I am learning however to try to plan for the worst while being grateful for what is going well now and also taking it one day at a time while being wise enough to know how differently things might look at any point in the future.

I think those are most of my updates for now.  I hope that anyone that reads this finds yourself doing well. 

SpinWave0704

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #285 on: February 13, 2024, 04:18:54 PM »
@EconDiva, I've followed your journal for a while, and I've admired how you've done to care for your mom in a difficult situation, while also maintaining a semblance of your normal life, with grace and patience. Glad to see you're doing well.

cannotWAIT

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #286 on: February 13, 2024, 06:01:16 PM »
I have heard only the most wonderful things about PACE. My mom has it in her state and that's one of the main reasons I think she should stay there. I would move there before asking her to move to my underfunded sink-or-swim red state.

iluvzbeach

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #287 on: February 13, 2024, 10:18:35 PM »
@EconDiva, I am so happy to see your update. It is crazy but I was just thinking about you last week and almost reached out to see how youíre doing.

What an amazing update youíve shared. Itís truly impressive how much progress youíve made. Really, really impressive! Clearly itís been a lot of hard work but it sounds like things are in a much better position. I commend you for working through the chaos and successfully getting to this point.

You are a rock star daughter!

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #288 on: February 27, 2024, 03:54:41 PM »
@EconDiva, I've followed your journal for a while, and I've admired how you've done to care for your mom in a difficult situation, while also maintaining a semblance of your normal life, with grace and patience. Glad to see you're doing well.

Thank you :)

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #289 on: February 27, 2024, 03:55:27 PM »
I have heard only the most wonderful things about PACE. My mom has it in her state and that's one of the main reasons I think she should stay there. I would move there before asking her to move to my underfunded sink-or-swim red state.

They've been amazing so far.  Really and truly my sole support system.

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #290 on: February 27, 2024, 03:59:37 PM »
@EconDiva, I am so happy to see your update. It is crazy but I was just thinking about you last week and almost reached out to see how youíre doing.

What an amazing update youíve shared. Itís truly impressive how much progress youíve made. Really, really impressive! Clearly itís been a lot of hard work but it sounds like things are in a much better position. I commend you for working through the chaos and successfully getting to this point.

You are a rock star daughter!

Honestly you were on my mind as well both before and as I was writing these updates.  We must have been in synch with each other, ha :)

Thank you so much.  Things are not perfect and there are up and down days.  I also acknowledge that things may not stay the way they are forever of course as certain things could impact our arrangement.  I just feel better knowing for instance that PACE, as a Medicaid service, supports in providing placement and that is a huge deal.

I had to travel to the opposite coast recently for work and was stressed as I actually didn't want to bring my mom with me for that particular trip.  A respite voucher I had applied for through the state was something PACE reminded to follow up on.  At first the state said I didn't qualify, then the week before the trip they realized they had extra funds and could indeed help me out.  So my mom went into a facility while I went to work for the week.  $2400 saved.  I am so glad we got the Medicaid.

iluvzbeach

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #291 on: February 29, 2024, 05:37:48 PM »
What awesome news about the respite voucher! I am truly so impressed with all youíve accomplished. I know itís still hard and not everyday is great, but what a huge improvement over a few years ago. Iím really very happy for you & what youíve accomplished.

elaine amj

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #292 on: March 19, 2024, 10:11:59 PM »
Glad to hear things are working out well for you and you have some support systems with the PACE program.

When I was caregiving for my husband, I had a few supports that were particularly helpful.

I hired someone on an occasional basis to be my ďpersonal assistantĒ. I paid my DDís friend a little over minimum wage and she came to help me organize, clean, rearrange, or just be an extra set of hands to fetch and carry. This turned out to be of more value to me than any housekeeper as she could do anything and everything. (I chose not to ask her to do personal care).

Hometeam Helps is run by a lady (out New York, I think) who acts like a virtual assistant for caregivers. She was a caregiver herself and offers her services for free for 14 days (and maybe longer). Super sweet and hyper efficient. I used her  help mostly to research medical products to buy. I didnít think I would trust her recommendations but turns out she is a meticulous researcher who is frugal enough to hunt for the cheapest and best value options while highlighting all the pros and cons gleaned from reading all the reviews.


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Dicey

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #293 on: March 19, 2024, 10:28:58 PM »
Wow, what an update! I know that roller coaster very well. One thing I'd recommend is a housecleaner to take that burden off your hands. It's amazing to have everything be clean at the same time. Is PACE a Medicaid thing? MIL didn't qualify for Medicaid, but sounds like it's an amazing program. Jedi hugs to you!

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #294 on: March 22, 2024, 01:04:10 PM »
What awesome news about the respite voucher! I am truly so impressed with all youíve accomplished. I know itís still hard and not everyday is great, but what a huge improvement over a few years ago. Iím really very happy for you & what youíve accomplished.

Thank you :)

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #295 on: March 22, 2024, 01:07:04 PM »
Glad to hear things are working out well for you and you have some support systems with the PACE program.

When I was caregiving for my husband, I had a few supports that were particularly helpful.

I hired someone on an occasional basis to be my ďpersonal assistantĒ. I paid my DDís friend a little over minimum wage and she came to help me organize, clean, rearrange, or just be an extra set of hands to fetch and carry. This turned out to be of more value to me than any housekeeper as she could do anything and everything. (I chose not to ask her to do personal care).

Hometeam Helps is run by a lady (out New York, I think) who acts like a virtual assistant for caregivers. She was a caregiver herself and offers her services for free for 14 days (and maybe longer). Super sweet and hyper efficient. I used her  help mostly to research medical products to buy. I didnít think I would trust her recommendations but turns out she is a meticulous researcher who is frugal enough to hunt for the cheapest and best value options while highlighting all the pros and cons gleaned from reading all the reviews.


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How timely for me to come across this post of yours.

I was JUST trying to find a personal assistant last week.  I just need some relief from many of the tasks on my "To Do List".

I didn't have time recently to really delve into researching how to find someone reliable, and I must admit that in my small 'city' I am having some doubts about being able to source someone.  But I am going to try my hardest.  I wish we had TaskRabbit here as I recently used them to have someone source and ship me something who was located in another (much much larger) city. 

I truly like the idea of someone that could do a little bit of 'everything' because that's what I need in order to free up valuable time.  I really appreciate your post!

EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #296 on: March 22, 2024, 01:23:49 PM »
Wow, what an update! I know that roller coaster very well. One thing I'd recommend is a housecleaner to take that burden off your hands. It's amazing to have everything be clean at the same time. Is PACE a Medicaid thing? MIL didn't qualify for Medicaid, but sounds like it's an amazing program. Jedi hugs to you!

I'm literally in the process of this right now.  I had everything decluttered/organized (myself) and the entire house deep cleaned (hired help) within the days prior to my mom moving in and now I need help with ongoing cleaning/maintenance of the home so I am looking into that. It's this type of support that would be truly be invaluable as it would free up time for me to focus even more on my work and caregiving.

It's time for me to start planning some 'scheduled getaway time' that occurs on a recurring basis.  I haven't paid a caregiver agency in over 6 months but now that my mom's retirement funds have started coming in, I think a portion needs to go to that.  We accomplished a huge task of picking a burial plot and are on a payment plan for that now (or shall I say she is on a payment plan for it).  I want to try to start freeing up 1-2 Saturday's a month going forward.  I just haven't been able to figure out how yet as I'd like to have someone available for a 12 hour shift where they come in around say 11ish, help get mom ready (if not already ready(, take her out everywhere she wants to go (park? lunch? visit a friend for brunch? those 4-hour long Goodwill trips she likes to do? wherever really...), and stays with her after bringing her back home until I return. That way I could just lounge around and either not do anything at all, go my separate way and have my own day out, and preferably, perhaps drive up to the closest city to us where there is much more to do (an hour and 15 minute drive).  We usually go to this city together but I sure would like a bit more of normalcy built back into life as possible so I'd be beyond grateful to be able to have 1-2 Saturday's back a month.

Finding a reliable person I can trust to drive my mom around and to also wait for us in the home might prove difficult.  Having used an agency to have caregivers to take her on outings from the nursing home, I am quite leery of the number of 'changing faces' that could be coming in and out of our place if using an agency.  And they're not cheap.  I might try on Care.com again but didn't have much luck with them over the past year and a half either honestly. 

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #297 on: March 22, 2024, 01:30:29 PM »
Caregiving agencies add layers of cost that we mustachians don't like. We had good luck with word of mouth. So many people have been through this and are happy to share their hard-earned knowledge.

ETA: I really dislike having people "up in my business". I found the questions asked by a lot of "agencies" were none of their damn business.  I think a lot of it has to be a fear of becoming a target of an opportunist. There are plenty of those to be found among the elderly.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2024, 01:34:04 PM by Dicey »

elaine amj

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #298 on: March 23, 2024, 12:28:55 AM »

I'm literally in the process of this right now.  I had everything decluttered/organized (myself) and the entire house deep cleaned (hired help) within the days prior to my mom moving in and now I need help with ongoing cleaning/maintenance of the home so I am looking into that. It's this type of support that would be truly be invaluable as it would free up time for me to focus even more on my work and caregiving.

It's time for me to start planning some 'scheduled getaway time' that occurs on a recurring basis.  I haven't paid a caregiver agency in over 6 months but now that my mom's retirement funds have started coming in, I think a portion needs to go to that.  We accomplished a huge task of picking a burial plot and are on a payment plan for that now (or shall I say she is on a payment plan for it).  I want to try to start freeing up 1-2 Saturday's a month going forward.  I just haven't been able to figure out how yet as I'd like to have someone available for a 12 hour shift where they come in around say 11ish, help get mom ready (if not already ready(, take her out everywhere she wants to go (park? lunch? visit a friend for brunch? those 4-hour long Goodwill trips she likes to do? wherever really...), and stays with her after bringing her back home until I return. That way I could just lounge around and either not do anything at all, go my separate way and have my own day out, and preferably, perhaps drive up to the closest city to us where there is much more to do (an hour and 15 minute drive).  We usually go to this city together but I sure would like a bit more of normalcy built back into life as possible so I'd be beyond grateful to be able to have 1-2 Saturday's back a month.

Finding a reliable person I can trust to drive my mom around and to also wait for us in the home might prove difficult.  Having used an agency to have caregivers to take her on outings from the nursing home, I am quite leery of the number of 'changing faces' that could be coming in and out of our place if using an agency.  And they're not cheap.  I might try on Care.com again but didn't have much luck with them over the past year and a half either honestly.

I live in a small city and through the years have been fortunate enough to find reasonably good people to do all kinds of things. It helps in by and large, we havenít needed to find people with specific training so didnít have to pay quite as much so could afford more hours. This often meant we often didnít have the most stellar employees, but we generally had good, caring people.

In your situation, Iíd suggest hiring independently rather than through an agency. If you can find someone reasonably reliable, it can be worth it as the most frustrating thing about senior caregiving is going through everything with a new person. It was tiresome enough with caregivers for my husband who was cheerful and cooperative, but can be difficult for someone who has a hard time with change and gets upset with new people (my MIL )

Iíd advertise for a seniorís companion. Itís the kind of job that would appeal to someone looking for a side gig.

Even better if you find one person who is capable of doing everything you want. Cleaning lady, seniorís companion, and your personal assistant.

MIL lived with me for 10 years and was edgy being alone all day while the rest of us were at school/work. So I hired a cleaning lady to come for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week to clean and cook lunch for her. We paid a bit over minimum wage to make so many hours affordable so never had a sparkling house and sometimes our lady would cancel last minute due to various personal drama. But we achieved our goals of providing companionship for MIL (who would have gone bananas paying someone to sit around the house lol).

I liked to do paid trials so perhaps  each candidate could spend a bit of time taking your mom on short errands and doing some stuff with her in the house while you are available at home doing your own thing.

Good luck with finding the right people to help with the right balance. A companion or someone to provide respite care for you would be wonderful for your mother. A personal assistant could help you juggle all these spinning plates. That made a big difference in my ability to cope when I was in the throes of caregiving.


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EconDiva

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Re: Econdiva 2022 update (to "Buying a Parent a Home" thread)
« Reply #299 on: March 23, 2024, 09:28:09 AM »
@Dicey and @elaine amj

Thanks!

I am going to spend some time figuring out where to advertise.  If you have any tips on legal things to consider, feel free to share (whenever I've posted in other forums about doing this people say to go through an agency so that the taxes and insurance side of things are covered which I admit I've never had employees before so am naive as to how to hire someone for these things properly).