You can't leave the house

If you were diagnosed with a condition that would result in you being predominantly house-bound, other than occasional outings with plenty of notice, and you had around a year or so to prepare for this (i.e, the condition will degenerate to that level, but then stay fairly stable for a lengthy time), what would you do to prepare?

How would you live? Say you can move around your house and function reasonably well, but can’t readily leave (e.g, you need hours of work to get yourself out of the house, or your mobility / energy levels only allow you doing so infrequently).
Food is fine - you could get your groceries delivered. You could order stuff online. You could arrange entertainment. You have a roof over your head. You could make your house more accessible for yourself. You could make it a more attractive place to be, to encourage your friend gatherings to take place at your house more often.
But how do you pay for everything? The income part has me stumped. I guess you could apply for some sort of welfare, but surely that’s a last resort? I would think there would have to be reasonably paid jobs that you could do that would only require rare face-to-face time (say, once a month or better yet, none)? I just can’t think of any, apart from maybe being a programmer. And googling only brings up all those “earn millions working from home” and “earn a CEOs income and only work 5 hours a week” ads that I don’t even have to investigate to know they’re lying.

So how would a hypothetical person swing this if they didn’t want to resort to welfare?

I was acquainted once with a respirator-dependent quadriplegic who make a good living day-trading.

I was employed at the time, as mrAru still is. With the FMLA paperwork my company created a telecommuting position for me. We started small, grab bars and a shower seat. Got a wheelchair for bad days, and I changed from axillary [armpit, traditional] crutches to canadian crutches. They are easier on the nerves in the armpit. I then got the monies from my father’s will finally being probated, and bought all the stuff I needed to modify the kitchen, new front doors and back doors, and new flooring material [bamboo instead of carpet. Rugs are annoying when you are in a chair sometimes. ] New stuff to modify the bedroom and turn one end of it into a 2 computer desk home office. I also got a newer car, an automatic instead of a manual so I can convert it to hand controls.

My main problem is that I need a job telecommuting, and those are very difficult to get ‘right out of the box’ so we are debating seeing if I can somehow get admitted to UCONN Storrs campus into perhaps the architecture program. I can do that at home, and if I specialize in handicapped accessible homes and sell online and to builders, I might be able to make a living again.

I have no idea what I would do without Rob, other than perhaps move back in with my mother and brother. I could sell the property, and invest the money in something that would give me a small income.

A year’s time you say?

I’ll be a qualified psychotherapist in a year. A lot of them work from home. So I could do that, although my flat is tiny so it wouldn’t be the best environment. If it was a case of needing to pay bills, I would just do it and make the environment as good as possible.

Or I would be a phone sex line operator, if there’s still any business for that line of work…

Let’s say it happened today:

  1. pick up the phone and call the best real state agent in the town where my mother and brothers live, explain I need a “bajo” (a house or flat at street level, no stairs at all anywhere) and will they accept my current flat in another town as a partial exchange if they can find me that bajo?

  2. if I can, move there when I’m done with my current coursework (I understand the classes are over in April, although I’ll still have to write a dissertation); if I can’t then plan B consists of:
    a) speaking with the local gestoría (a combo accountant / notary public / admin service for small businesses) about giving them power of attorney for specific kinds of paperwork
    b) speaking with the stores in town to make arrangements for bringing my shopping over - can I pay them via e-transfer?
    c) sending CVs to every translation agency I can find and explaining to my consulting agents that I can only accept remote jobs (security jobs for example are often remote)

I’m lucky to have professional skills which can be applied remotely. One of the reasons I decided to take the MSc in Translation is that I had a scare which looked like MS (apparently it’s not, no visible lesions in the scan, but the symptoms I get under negative stress match MS), which could eventually have led to being housebound.

My current flat is a 3rd floor walk-up, forget about getting in and out of there in a wheelchair. It’s the kind of situation which explains why doctors in Spain still make house calls.

Heh–I guess my first preparation would be, since we only have dial-up here and I don’t have internet at home now.

And if you’re permanently disabled, there’s SSI. It’s not “welfare”.

I have a job which I could mostly do from home, including using the internet and the phone for meetings with colleagues. If such a thing happened to me, I’m sure that I could reach an arrangement with my supervisor do do that. In addition, I’m only a short drive from where I work, so they could visit me at home from time to time. So I think I’d survive, though I’d miss a lot of things.

Lots of self-employed people, such as myself, work exclusively at home. All I need is a suitably equipped home office and the ability to have UPS/FedEx pick up and deliver packages (on the increasingly rare occasions that I am working on hard copy rather than electronically). If I wanted to, I could go for days without leaving the house. If I knew it would be a permanent situation and had a year to prepare, I’d be just fine.

I’m retired, so I don’t have to go out of my house to work, only to go shopping and run other errands. I’ve done a bunch of online shopping (in fact, I just finished most of my Christmas shopping online). Except for grocery shopping (I’m not aware of any online grocery shopping options in my area) I could survive quite nicely staying at home 24/7. In fact, a friend of mine is always on my case about the fact that I don’t get out of the house enough.

Well, the snow will stop soon and once the roads are cleared again…oh, you didn’t mean just today. :slight_smile: (We need groceries bad, and all of a sudden it’s a blizzard outside. Crap.)

I think most computer-heavy occupations could be adapted to home work. I think a lot of transcription type work also lends itself to that - email comes in with the raw data or a courier with the tapes, and you type it out and email or courier it back.

I think finding the job when you’re house-bound would be harder than keeping one you obtained while more mobile. But handicapped-assistance organizations might be a big help.

I have a neighbor who works from home and prepares documentation (workbooks & tests) to ship daily by UPS, but she got the job years ago, working at a conventional office. When she decided to move away from commuting distance, she said to her boss, “I guess I’ll have to quit,” but he liked her work so much they set up an arrangement for her to do the same thing from home. She’s been doing it for over 10 years, so I guess it is satisfactory.

I can see how a husband-wife thing might work, too, if one was house-bound. In my occupation of real estate, much of my work is at home but I need to show properties and make personal visits that cannot be avoided. If I had a spouse to handle that, it might be ideal.


Phone-sex operator
Computer-related work

There’s a lot more variety there than I as expecting! Very interesting options there! I couldn’t really think past IT roles, so thanks!

Good point Musicat, about the different between keeping one and finding one.

Hm, I had a roommate that worked as a ‘psychic’ for one of the phone in lines, I want to say Psychic Readers network, but that was back in the mid 90s and I honestly can’t remember which one. I have no idea if they are still around any more.

I know someone who reads slush for a publishing house, emailed to her. I read one of her electronic slush submissions. Holy crap it was horrible…

I know someone who is a copy editor and telecommutes. He also writes filler stuff for various magazines freelance [like the ones you get on airplanes or hotels]

Hi Essured, long time no see etc. :slight_smile:

My current job was applied for online, the interview took place via the phone and the training was completed through internet conferencing. I have never met any of my 500 coworkers (Australia-wide) nor any supervisory staff. All communications take place either via email or telephone. All my work comes to me via the telephone through a predictive dialler program. I’m (still) a telefundraiser, but don’t have to leave the house anymore, ever.

BTW, earnings for this job are up around the 35-40k range for decent fundraisers, so it’s a perfectly reasonable amount to live on.

PS…I was thinking of you just the other day when my son got his first bike, a NINJA (not green unfortunately). :smiley:

I have MS, and have been listed as “can’t drive” for a number of years; for a number of reasons. I have sudden onsets of double vision, unpredictable in occurence and duration. Optic neurapathy is a vague thing…

It has impacted my life in many ways. I’m not free to drive wherevever I want, when I want. I’m at the mercy of my friends and family to drive me to my appointments and what-not; I feel like a toddler that needs a ride. I have had to give up a career in competetive riding (horse riding) because I can’t be relied upon to appear when needed. Big Bummer for me…

I could probably turn my teaching degree into tutoring somehow, but with my chemo, a lot of days you don’t feel like lifting your head off the pillow, let alone being sociable with someone. Perhaps there is some sex line that specializes in men who like to hear women throw up??

Shoot myself.

My grandmother became handicapped and couldn’t leave the house on her own. She was at the mercy of others to take the time out of their lives to take her places if she ever wanted to get outside. And once that dwindled, she became a prisoner in her own home.

I’ve got a friend who does medical transcription work and does it at home. She picks it up at the office, brings it home, then brings it back and gets more. I think her husband has done the switch a couple times for her too.

I’d LOVE this situation! I love staying at home and don’t like going outside! I would do the OP’s situation were it practical, but for the pointed out of income, etc. My wife and kids still live at home, didn’t say if they could go out or not (although I think single living is implied) and get groceries, etc., if not yeah I love ordering things online!

Where do I sign up?

Medical transcription is interesting! Thanks for another one to add to the list, stpauler

Relying on other people / being at the mercy of help from friends - not so good. That would make you feel very vulnerable and depressed, I think.