Finding work after 4 & 1/2 years caring for Mum

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Hello, Fellow Carers.
Thank you for being so honest in all your posts...and thank you to those responding so compassionately to those posting.
What a rare group Carers truly are.

I have put off writing this post, for many reasons.
The classic carer reason for not posting being I avoid burdening others with my own puzzle/problems, which is not very clever of me. Naturally, as we all do, I feel my problem is unique and cannot be resolved easily. So, here is why: I am american, though a resident of the UK over the course of my caring for Mum these last few years as she died.
Thus, the gist of my problems regards employment: I have the right to work on my spousal visa. I am a Master level licensed Nurse Practitioner in California. But my husband and I gave up everything in the states when we moved over here to care for Mum. To move back is way too costly now.

Sure, as a nurse with hospice, intensive care, and oncology experience sounds like, wow who wouldn't hire her? However, even to get a volunteer position, all the applications require referees from the last year or two that are not friends and preferably, a former employer. In the medical field in the states, supervisors, managers, and charge nurses come and go. I've no idea how to find them. We are old now too, my former managers. (They are probably caring for family members full-time too! ;) by now). I hope they are happily retired.

Meanwhile, I hardly met anyone one while caring for Mum. We arrived, moved in, and Mum immediately began falling apart, almost like she was just waiting on us. We never had time to pause long enough for a long perspective on what we were doing.
Mum was bedridden the last 18 months. I provided and oversaw every aspect of her care to prevent bed sores and discomforts of any kind. I was a bit hard to be around! as I can become single-minded when it comes to taking care of vulnerable people.
So, I, too, by the way, have just turned 60 years of age. I've got a lot of attitude for my age, no doubt! Yet, the bod is definitely on its way out. I need and want to stay busy, active, and utilising my brains. Giving is a thing I do....
but cannot even get to volunteer locally..much less get a job.

Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated. I figure there are slim chances any of you can help with my particular situation. But please know, your kindness is so huge, even if you can only commiserate.
I am respectfully yours in like kind. Let me know how I may be of service to you.
~janet
Roughly where do you live?
bowlingbun wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:02 pm
Roughly where do you live?
Hi and thanks for replying.
Southwest Devon. (Another not very populated region as one of the other posters described in here).
Hello
Have you considered setting up your own business? Something along the lines of companion, helper, casual Granny sitter? There must be many people who would pay for someone with your qualifications and experience to perhaps keep Granddad company three mornings a week, take Granny to the shops every Thursday, perhaps sleep over for the night the family carers want to attend a wedding miles away?
I have no idea of the rules and regulations involved here but it might be an idea. In the meantime are there any helpful courses you could attend to boost your CV?
Would Mum's GP give you any kind of a written recommendation based on observed care of your Mum? Are there any records you could access back home to attest to your character and experience?
Have you checked out the local library or Church for any groups you could volunteer with to get yourself known locally?
Just a thought, sorry if I'm not being helpful.
KR
Elaine
Elaine wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:02 pm
Hello
Have you considered setting up your own business? Something along the lines of companion, helper, casual Granny sitter? There must be many people who would pay for someone with your qualifications and experience to perhaps keep Granddad company three mornings a week, take Granny to the shops every Thursday, perhaps sleep over for the night the family carers want to attend a wedding miles away?
I have no idea of the rules and regulations involved here but it might be an idea. In the meantime are there any helpful courses you could attend to boost your CV?
Would Mum's GP give you any kind of a written recommendation based on observed care of your Mum? Are there any records you could access back home to attest to your character and experience?
Have you checked out the local library or Church for any groups you could volunteer with to get yourself known locally?
Just a thought, sorry if I'm not being helpful.
KR
Elaine
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi Elaine,
No worries if you cannot come up with a solution! xo
Your ideas are actually good ones... I have been working on all these since Mum died 8 months ago.
I suspect that my age combined with the sparse population 'out here' is the cause of my uphill race.

All the Volunteer groups here request that two Referees stipulation; and the GP (and other wonderful medical help we received along the way) are disallowed legally to provide that sort of reference. If you think of it, that would put them in 'a spot' as how could they say no to some, or yes to some, and not be called out.
As I wrote in my post, I appreciate any kindness.... One never knows, and one must pull out all the stops, leaving no stone unturned. Many blessings to you and to yours,
~j
Hello,

I think you have an outstanding skill set, your life experience should be looked upon as a strength and not something to be scoffed at, particularly in the present, where our health services (like almost everything else) are falling apart.

I stumbled across this for somebody else, don't know if its any good to you but you never know

http://www.careukhealthcare.com/return-to-practice

What sort of places did you look for volunteer positions? Assuming you gave do-it.org a punt

Theres got to be something out there, I don't personally know Devon too well sadly.

Give some thought to how "transferable" your skill set is, you can potentially do a great many things with what you have learnt.

Hope you find something

Best wishes
Hello,

I agree that setting yourself up as a private carer/companion could be a good idea. If you are on Facebook then join the local 'Devon Mums' or whatever towns are near you. Also 'Mumsnet and Netmums have threads asking about carers etc. I am on a group local to me and several people are at the 'sandwich generation' stage where they are looking for help for an elderly relative that is not quite ready to go into a care home etc. They want to find someone trustworthy and local and not necessarily have to get into using an agency.
The other idea is dog walking or pet sitting. You could approach a local established business to see if they need help. You would need to love animals of course.
Hi Cosmoblivion
I'd try writing to each of the local carer agencies explaining just as you did above. Most are so desperate for staff that I'm sure they'd bend the rules. They would still want official checks and dbs etc but im sure they'd waive the references rules.
Then once you've worked for them for a while you'd have the references to move to something better

Hope this helps
MrsA
If I were you, I'd fill out the application forms giving the name and address of your previous employment and supervisor, and explain your circumstances, briefly, in the cover letter. Application forms are designed to rule you out, not in! Let it be for them to find out that your supervisor is no longer with the company. Also, in the US, companies usually just confirm the employment timeframe, title and reason for leaving.

You need to get to the interview and not be put off by the application form. Have you tried networking with local groups. I should think people should be bending over backwards for you. Have you had any feedback from any interviews or informal meetings? Always a good idea to ask how they think you'd fit in so you can address any concerns they might have before they turn you down.

Do you think they might be intimidated by your qualifications and experience? Overqualified? Again, you need to have the chance to put their concerns to rest.
Hello, I am just joining this site for the first time but I am struggling to find lovely and qualified carers for my Mother who has Demenia and there is a nationwide shortage of qualified, professional carers for an ageing population we never frankly thought about in our generation (where in previous generations it was the norm our grand parents would live with us and we would take care of them). I think you are amazing having cared for your Mother for 5 years. There are 2 agencies I would recommend you contact (having done a lot of research) ...call Julia Arnold @ Home Help Companions and Robert Hohler at
info@companionsof london.co.uk. And do let me know how you go ... Best wishes K