Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Problem Solving

I think you could say I’ve always been a bit of an entrepreneur. My parents taught me early on to work hard for the things I wanted in life. Even at 7 years old, I was putting my creativity and resourcefulness to good use and always had some kind of little “business venture” in the works. One summer, my cousin came and stayed at our house for a good amount of time and together we sewed hair scrunchies and sold them door-to-door in the neighborhood. My brother, sister and I would often knock on neighbor’s doors and offer them a car wash for a small fee. My friends and I used to make necklaces out of paper mache and Potpourri from flowers in our gardens which we sold. You could often find us out on the lawn, used toys and crafts scattered on top of blankets priced with tags to sell to the other neighborhood kids. I remember one time, the ice cream man stopped by one of our yard sales and I traded some of my cereal box prizes with him for ice cream.

This pattern has followed me throughout my life: as a teenager trying to earn money for my high school choir tours and driving; as a starving college student working to earn a couple extra bucks; even as a stay-at-mom working for some extra Christmas cash. My parents taught us to never look for hand-outs; HARD WORK is how you get by and help yourself and those around you.

Lately, the money issue has been keeping me up at night; not money for myself or for my immediate family. I’ve been really worried about how we will afford the professional care that mom needs. I know the time is coming that mom is going to need constant supervision. Truthfully, that time is already here. We are doing our best to have mom supervised while dad is at work. We work together as best we can, as a family, to ensure mom is safe. Right now, mom’s care is all on a volunteer basis and it only covers half of the day. We are never really sure how long our dear volunteers will be able to handle mom. The time has come that we are exploring all of our options to get mom professional care throughout the entire day while my dad is at work.

The problem? Cost. Maybe it’s not my problem to worry about. But how can I help it? My dad has always been there to help us, how can I not now worry about him? I worry about how my dad is going to be able to afford a full-time caregiver. Like I said, my dad values hard work and is NOT afraid to work. He is one of the hardest workers I know. But the fact of the matter is that professional care costs more than the average middle-class family can afford. Yet dad makes “too much” money to qualify for any assistance. He is too young to retire to take care of mom full-time. Most professional companies charge around $20 an hour for in-home care. Multiply that by 40 hours a week and that equates to $3,200 a month for professional help. To complicate it even more, dad is self-employed which means his income fluctuates month to month. Finding a solution is trickier than it seems.

There are options. We can exhaust our volunteer resources. We could hire someone privately for less. We could look into a live-in caregiver and exchange living costs for care. All of these options have pros and cons to them. One attorney told my dad that our cheapest option is to put her into a home. It could eventually get to that point, but as of right now that is not something we are ready to do. Ideally, I know my dad would like to keep mom at home as long as possible (even to the end)…that will only be possible with a lot of in-home care. And consequently, a lot of money.

I worry about the financial devastation this will bring to my dad. The emotional devastation is hard enough to deal with. My dad has always been one of the most hard-working men I’ve ever known. He has always been there to help others in need and is a very generous person. I know he would never let his children go without. And so I feel that we cannot let dad go without.

Like I said, I am a worrier. Luckily, I am also a problem solver.

It’s impossible for myself, or my two other siblings, to come up with this amount of money from our household budget. We each have our own families to take care of and support. We do not want hand-outs. I, like my dad, value working for the things we have in life. Even care for my mom.

I am putting my entrepreneur skills to good use. I’ve put my head together with my siblings and we have come up with a plan of attack. We are not going to let dementia defeat us!!!

Every month, we will be doing some sort of a fundraiser. First and foremost, I want you all to know that the purpose in this is not to be an annoying salesperson!!! If you like what you see, great! If not, scroll down and no hard feelings ;) I am not going to pester anyone to buy anything. What I will do, is post (on my blog as well as my facebook page) every month what we are offering for the month. I have created a tab at the top of my page specifically for fundraising. You can click on that tab each month to see what we are offering. We have some great ideas lined up.

Most of the money earned will go directly to my mom’s care fund (which I have already set up). I say most because I want to think outside of our family a little bit and benefit others as well. For that purpose, we will donate 10% of every penny raised to the AFTD (Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration). Like the Alzheimer’s Association, the AFTD helps provide resources and research for dementia; unlike the Alzheimer’s Association, this organization specifically helps those afflicted with FTD (which is the category mom’s dementia falls under).

Also, I like to have a little fun. :) So, for every item you purchase, your name will go in a drawing for a chance to win that particular fundraising item at the end of the month. If you share my post on your facebook page, you will also have your name written on a ticket for the drawing…even if you don’t purchase anything! Sound like fun? :)

Our first fundraiser should be up and running by the end of this week and will go through the whole month of October. You can click on this link to get you there, or you can click on the tab at the top of my page, entitled “fundraising”.

Thank you all for your love, encouragement and support!!

No comments:

Post a Comment