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Caregiver Ronald With Stroke Disabled Wife Seeks Home Business Financing

by Ronald Sonju
(Sunnyvale, California, USA)

I was born in 1940 and my wife was born in 1946. We were both high school teachers in a suburb of Chicago where the weather was aggravating my wife's health issues.

She had pneumonia twice in one year and the doctor told us she had to move to a warm climate or she would not live to be 60 years old.

Luckily, I was able to get a technical training job in California, so we moved there in 1984.

Disability Issues

When my wife was very young, she had rheumatic fever, which caused her feet to be disfigured, instead of her hands. Her parents were too poor to fix the issue so she has had problems with walking ever since.

In 2005 I was teaching a class at KLA-Tencor when I suddenly passed out. I ended up at the local hospital for a pacemaker implant. In addition, I am a Type 2 diabetic.

In 2006, my wife had a severe stroke, which required an extensive rehabilitation period. In the fall of 2006, both of us retired because she could no longer work and I have to act as her caretaker.

Although she survived the stroke, she has disability issues that require someone to help her in almost everything she does during a normal day. She should be in a nursing home but we cannot afford it, especially in California.

Her left side was seriously affected by the stroke. She cannot use her left arm or hand and needs help to cut her food, get in or out of a chair or car or wipe herself after going to the bathroom.

She can barely walk with a stroller and has to use a wheelchair whenever we go out to go shopping or to see her doctors.

Her short-term memory is poor and I cannot be away from her for more than about two hours. We do use the Life Alert system for protection but she is very handicapped and is almost helpless without someone there to help her.

The stroke left her left leg with a "foot drop" situation requiring her to wear a large plastic boot, called a "Crow" boot. The boot allows her to walk somewhat but it is hot and uncomfortable to use.

The stroke also caused her to be very incontinent so she has to wear a diaper at night or on any long trip. She also has to have a bed pad every night and wears a personal pad every day.

A few months ago she had a mammogram and they found a small lump in her right breast. Luckily, they were able to remove the small growth. She had to take about 15 radiation treatments to kill any remaining cancer cells.

My wife is one of those unfortunate people who have had a lot of medical issues in their lives. This has taken a toll on her, both physically and psychologically.

Financial Hardship

At the time of her stroke we were living in an older mobile home built in 1972. This home proved to be inadequate for her needs due to the small rooms and narrow doors.

We had to buy a new mobile home with special modifications due to her special needs.

The back bedroom and main bathroom were made larger than normal and a special shower was installed to accommodate her disability.

Special grab bars were installed in the bathroom and special light switches and door handles were installed in the home.

This mobile home was expensive because of all the modifications we had to have installed but we had no choice.

In addition, we were buying at the peak of the housing market. I was not too worried at the time because I had saved enough money in my company's 401K.

Unfortunately, the stock market took a dive in 2008-2009 and my 401K was severely decimated. This situation left us in unexpected financial straits.

The mortgage on the new mobile home requires two payments a month of approximately $900 each, for a total of $1800.

The space rent in the mobile home park is around $1100 a month, including gas, water and garbage pickup.

Our credit card debt is around $50,000 and requires a minimum of around $1000 a month just for basic payments.

My wife needs to get her hair fixed once a week for about $120 a month since she cannot do it anymore with her bad arm.

The yearly cost of drugs is a total of $2030, medical supplies are $330, health insurance premiums are $7850 a year and dental premiums are $750 a year.

Income Efforts

Since my wife requires a full time caregiver, I am not able to get a full-time job or at least a job that would provide enough to cover a caregiver's expenses and bring in additional income.

After the stock market crash I attempted to get back on track but I have not had much luck with the market.

I also tried several times to start up an online business but I have found most of the "business opportunities" are just a lot of hype and don't work.

We just joined a debt resolution program, which will help somewhat, but the debt is still overwhelming.

I am also concerned about future increases in living expenses, which will take a bigger piece of our fixed income.

Specific Needs

We basically need some financial assistance so we can get back on track and pay off some of our debts.

I am still looking for an online business opportunity, which will bring in additional income so we can get ahead of our debts.

Whenever I find a business opportunity I check the "scam" websites to get feedback from those who have tried these opportunities. In every case, it turns out that these opportunities are just a lot of hype.

Business Idea

If I find an online business opportunity, I would like to know if there are funding opportunities so I can start a business.

I have found a couple of possible situations that look pretty good, but they require an investment of funds that I do not have.

One opportunity requires searching through local county websites to find homes that have been sold in tax sales. There are usually excess funds, or "overages," created when these homes are sold.

The counties make little or no effort to inform the previous owners about these excess funds. After about two or three years these funds then go into the "general fund," even though, ethically, they belong to the previous owners.

This sounds like a possible business opportunity I would like to get involved with, but it costs around $1500 to get the course.

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Jul 21, 2015
Home Income
by: Sheila Paris

Hi Ronald,

I admire your devotion to all your wife's physical and psychological needs. You must love her very much.

Do get into Don's Workbook when you get a chance with all the responsibilities you have with your wife.

Another source, also free, for you would be:


It's a business associate of Don's who is also involved with helping the disabled.

I was wondering, Ron, about that $1500 course. Is it possible to get around that by looking at sources online that could teach you how to do it? That way it would be free, but could take a little digging. Or perhaps someone at the county could steer you in the direction you need to go to get some income coming in?

Anyway, do keep us posted.

Many blessings!

Sheila Paris

Jul 18, 2015
The Workbook is next...
by: Don from Ability Mission

Hi Ronald,

Kudos to you for the care you are providing for your wife.

Be sure to sign up for the Workbook, which shows you how to use your story.

Don Coggan

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