There’s No Shame in Quitting Your Job to Care for Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s

I went to the dentist for the first time in years today.

I could blame it on the pandemic or the fact that we’ve moved a lot, but that’s not really the reason—at least not all of it.

The real reason is that for years I had a dentist who—for lack of a better word—was a total fucking asshole. And he was the only one in my area covered by my husband’s insurance.

He would grill me about what I did for a living and judge me for not having a job while he had his hands shoved in my mouth and I was completely unable to defend myself.

Even if I could have said something, I wouldn’t have because I was ashamed.

Ashamed of myself for not having a real job at the age of 31 because I was caring for my mom who had Alzheimer’s.

I realize now how ridiculous it was for me to feel that way, but I learned to feel ashamed based off of other people’s reactions to what I was doing with my life.

A former co-worker who asked, “Isn’t there someone else who can do that?” when he learned that I was leaving my full-time job to help care for my mom.

Another former co-worker who saw me a few weeks after I had quit and told me I was “living the good life.”

My supposed best friend who texted me one day and said, “Doesn’t Steve resent you for not working anymore? I think I would resent my husband if he just quit his job.”

Some of these people didn’t know any better, but some of them were just like the dentist—total fucking assholes.

I felt so ashamed of myself for not working when in reality I had the hardest job in the entire world—being a caregiver to someone who had Alzheimer’s disease.

In a society that mostly supports and understands women who leave their jobs to have and raise children, we need to do a better job of supporting and understanding people who leave their jobs to care for a sick parent or other loved one.

Some of us do it because we want to, but many of us do it because no, unfortunately there isn’t someone else who can do it.

Whatever your reason for being a caregiver, I support you.

However long it’s been since you had a “real” job, I support you.

Whatever age you were when you put your life on hold to care for a loved one, I support you.

No matter how many doctors, employers, co-workers, neighbors, friends, or other total assholes have made you feel ashamed of yourself for not working or for making the choice to care for your loved one, I support you.

The shame stops here.

The stigma ends now.

No one knows how hard this job is until they have to do it themselves.

Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about yourself for what you are doing.

And if all else fails, find a new dentist.

P.S. No cavities, Mom!

* If this post resonated with you, you should check out my mentoring services for Alzheimer’s daughters.

** If you liked this post, you will love my book “When Only Love Remains: Surviving My Mom’s Battle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.” It’s available on all Amazon marketplaces.

There’s no shame in quitting your job to care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s.

3 thoughts on “There’s No Shame in Quitting Your Job to Care for Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s

  1. This post just happened to find me at the right time. I am 22, single, caring for my dad, along with my sister and mother. I’m simultaneously looking for work, but man, is it so difficult – mentally and physically – to bring myself to find another job on top of caregiving. I’m definitely bookmarking your blog – I love your honest and relatable words. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I’m so sorry you’re going through this. My mom was diagnosed when I was 25 and I started helping care for her when I was 28. I wasn’t a full-time caregiver, but I still felt the need to be available 24/7 to help out. The thought of getting a job was overwhelming to me and I knew it would take up too much of my time. I understand what you’re going through! Make sure to follow my Facebook and Instagram pages, too, where I share daily about my journey. I’ve also written two books about my experience and I offer mentoring services for younger Alzheimer’s daughters like you! If you go to the “links” page on my blog, you will find all the info there. I’m here for you! Sending lots of love and hugs!

Leave a Reply