Author Topic: Choices, career and family commitments - dementia  (Read 1523 times)


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Choices, career and family commitments - dementia
« on: September 03, 2017, 06:12:45 PM »
Mustachians, I have the first-iest of first world problems but I need some outside perspectives.

My job: currently getting paid $90K (Australian) / year, professional in government. I am currently being bounced from one department to another every six months due to internal fuckery at my home department. Still getting paid, but my resume is starting to look like a patchwork quilt. I used to believe in the mission; don't anymore. Chances are that my boss, instigator of the fuckery, will attempt to fire me, but that process is likely to take at least six months.

My family: maternal grandfather is in his late eighties, lost his wife nine months ago, and is slowly succumbing to dementia. At this point he is starting to forget to eat. Mum lives next door, checks in on him in the afternoons, but can't devote more time due to the family business. I visit grandad about once a week on Sundays; we talk about Grandma and the farm and I play music, which he enjoys a lot. He's one of my favourite still-living relatives. It's important to everyone including me that he lives at home as long as possible. Money is not a limiting factor.

My finances: we have a paid-off house, investment property that pays for itself, and about $50K in savings plus $100K in superannuation. Husband's job will pay the bills at our current lifestyle, but limited options for saving at that income level.

I would like to spend more time with my grandfather while he still remembers who the hell I am. I would also like to help relieve my parents of part of the emotional burden of his care. I would like to do this without completely fucking up my professional career, damaging my marriage or coming to resent Grandad due to caregiver's fatigue.

Options are: (1) quit job (2) apply for approximately 15 days' of available compassionate leave, use it at the rate of 1 day/week over the next few months (3) apply for six months or a year of unpaid leave - in govt., it is sometimes possible to 'reserve' the job and come back to it in a year's time. Options 2 and 3 require the approval of the boss who started the internal fuckery. This boss does not seem to care much what I do as long as I'm not in his department anymore, and has previously approved leave for me without prompting.

I am a few weeks away from my next change of work. How do I best achieve my goals?


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Re: Choices, career and family commitments - dementia
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 06:31:23 PM »
I'd go with (2) and see what happens.


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Re: Choices, career and family commitments - dementia
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2017, 06:56:59 PM »
How long ago was he diagnosed?  Has any medical professional offered an estimate of his life expectancy?

If you're looking at years of him living at home and needing hands-on family support, I'd go for option 2 (this is a marathon, not a sprint).  If he's getting close to needing to be institutionalized take option 3 to make the next six months of his life lovely (before he ends up in a nursing home or passes away).


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Re: Choices, career and family commitments - dementia
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2017, 07:28:12 PM »
I'd go with (2) and see what happens.

I agree with JoJo.

The second options sounds like the best balance.

Also just wanted to say I'm sorry you're going through this.

I'm fortunate to still have both my grandfathers, and this scenario would be devastating.