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I'm the only son out of 5 siblings who is caring for mother. How can I get help?

Asked by  |  Feb 24, 2011

Care of 88-year-old mother by one son...there are 4 other siblings but it is a difficult situation getting them to help. I am burned out...help

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lach61

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Feb 24, 2011

Hi Ronnie,

Do you have help from your local elderly aging agency? (for example, in Cincinnati, OH it is called Council on Aging)
They are a wealth of information. They got me set up with a private nursing agency and a local elderly day care center.
When my MIL, who has Alzheimer's Disease (AD), first came to live with us--my DPOA SIL got us set up with COA and they came out and did an assessment of her health. At first, she was at home with the home health aides (HHA's) from the Private Nursing Agency. When she went into the hospital 3 months later, (we thought she was going to die) and had rehab at a nursing home--she was ready to come back home. She came home and she was able to attend elderly day care center
2-3x/wk. and it put less of a strain on me (because she was gone longer). I had the youngest give her a shower on Fridays. I had the oldest take her either on a Saturday or Sunday (for most of the afternoon until bedtime, eventually, she was able to put her to bed. The 2nd oldest is the DPOA SIL and she took her o/n on Mondays every other week and kept her all day Tuesdays until bedtime and she put her to bed most of the time. The 3rd oldest hardly came around to visit with her mom, but since she was an RN and had a flex schedule, she sometimes came over to take blood from her and then take it to the hospital. My husband helped out when he wasn't working.
I already told you about the youngest. It worked out. ...but, eventually, she had to go into the nursing home. Try some of the things that I mentioned. Oh, I almost forgot, do you have the 36 hour day book? That is a really useful book and I would go to this site as well, 1) research and really know what I could expect and 2) to vent, if I was having a bad day and I had to take care of her too. 3) I, eventually, was able to answer some people's questions by my own experience. (((((HUGS))))) and Good Luck!

 
 

cmagnum

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Feb 24, 2011

Tell your siblings that you will either have to put mom in a nursing home or they can take care of her because you are burned out and refuse to be a martyr. Otherwise, someone is going to have to take care of both of you.

 
 

anonymous14017

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Feb 24, 2011

Hey Ronnie, sounds like you and I have a lot in common, The suggestion about the Area Agency on Aging is a great one, They have supplied me with Respite vouchers which allow me to afford putting my mom in a wonderful care facility from time to time so that I can get a weeks break here and there. They also help with day to day respite care which allows for shorter nreaks on a regular basis You can probably find them through your local Social Services office.
As far as the siblings go, after years of trouble with them, which continues still, I have finally just had to do all I could to get them out of the picture and out of my mind.
Good luck with it all, and try to find local support groups in your town, they can be a big help at times.

 
 

michelesanchez

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Feb 25, 2011

I hear you Ted. I have 4 sibs and not one of them help out. I am hanging on by my finger nails too. It isnt easy, thats for sure. Seeing the other suggestions on here I am going to check it out in my area. Hopefully you have enough energy to do the same. It might just be the ticket. Take care and know you are not alone!

 
 

joembanzalone

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Feb 27, 2011

Hi Ronnie,
Been there too! My situation came down to this, I told my sibs; You have 3 options
1 Help out: where we make a schedule, dr. appts, errands, free time etc... You know many hands make light work deal.
2 Put out: If your life is so busy and you can't find the time to help take care of the person that took care of you. Then pay up ($) so I can hire someone to help out & take a break every now and then.
3 Get out: Self explanatory
Outcome-- 3 help, 1 pays (Justified lives 1500 miles away), 1 I haven't spoke to in a long while (this is the 1 that'll be doing all the crying in the future, I'm sure).
Hope this helps, keep your head up!

 
 

anonymous13319

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Feb 27, 2011

Ultimatums would not work in my family. My sib would just shrug his shoulders and tell me to put Mom in a facility. I only have one sib, so I am outta' luck. My Mom was the youngest of 10 children, so all the sibs she helped, as they aged, have either passed or look the other way.
I am really not asking for money or great amounts of time...just a little respite and the feeling that someone has my back. I am so thankful for my hub who does the things for Mom that her son should be doing.
I am trying to keep my Mom in a home environment for as long as it is safe. My biggest hurdle now is trying to find medical staff who will come to her home. I even wrote to my state legislators, etc. There are all these "programs," that Mom somehow cannot qualify for.
I, too, am stressed to the brink and I can tell that it is taking a toll on my health. In addition, Mom wants to go "back home" where there is absolutley no one who will care for her.
I am such a can do person, but this situation is just too big for one person to handle.
Ronnie, let us know if the above suggestions worked for you....I hope you have a good outcome..
good luck,
Lilli

 
 

lach61

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Feb 27, 2011

Hi Ronnie,

I was not the one that told you that ultimatums work or may work. I have enough in my family (brother & sisters) that I know ultimatums don't work. My husband's side of the family (4 sisters)--3 help out, 1 hardly comes over to visit--the one that didn't come over to visit my MIL--my MIL thought she was dead, b/c she hardly made an appearance and when she did--it was to take a rare in-home visit to draw blood, so my MIL thought
she was just a nurse, not her daughter who happens to be a nurse. So sad. ...and we finally got the ok from my DPOA SIL to take her to the drs. office--when we did, she ordered a DIRECT
ADMIT to the hospital. So we took her over there. Being what I thought was considerate, I had my husband call all of his sisters to let them know. When it came to sister #3 (who rarely made an appearance), she yelled into the phone (at my husband) YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS, DON'T YOU???
MOM'S GOING TO THE NURSING HOME AFTER THE HOSPITAL TO LIVE OUT THE REST OF THE DAYS OF HER LIFE!!! So inconsiderate!!! ...and then I find out that she goes up to the NH much more often. I guess, in a way it's good, but we could've spent less to keep her here at the house. ...and I found out that my DPOA SIL thought she made a mistake by placing her in the NH. ...but since the 4 sisters did not consult their brother, then I said, "No way is she (MIL) coming back here!" I'm not proud to do that, but I wasn't going to go back to the same scenerio (where I had to pull teeth to get them to come sit with her or take her out for a bit). ...and my DPOA SIL wouldn't let me get the Home Health Aides (HHAs) in here when I felt I needed them. I feel sorry for the whole family when she does pass away. Right now, since she's been in the NH, we don't do family things that we used to do. We used to go out and celebrate b-days--not anymore. We used to call one another (to see how everyone was doing)--not anymore.
It's just not the same when both parents pass away or go into the NH. We used to look forward to getting time to spend with the family--not anymore. I hope you don't have to go thru that--it s7cks BIGTIME. I've already gone thru it with my side of the family. First, my older and younger sister weren't speaking to each other. Now, my older sister won't talk to my younger sister or my brother during the year, but she's all warm & fuzzy during Thanksgiving, Christmas and maybe Easter. Then my younger sister & BIL weren't talking to my brother. My younger sister and brother have talked some in the last year or so. My BIL is almost there. My MIL has a DNR-Do Not Resuscitate (sp?) with Comfort Care. Have you found a Local Area Aging Agency yet? If not, you can always call hospitals to talk to a Social Worker (SW) there to find out how you can get in touch with them. They were a TREMENDOUS help to me!!! ((((HUGS)))) & Good Luck!

 
 

montauck

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Jan 7, 2013

Also no help from sibs. One comes with husband for their vacation which involves me of course being a host. I have finally put an end to that. It is a constant struggle as I live out on the end of Long Island which is quite desolate and ruined my career.. SO.....I do have 24 hour help....numerous movie dvds, music and short stories for her,and I am now comfortable taking trips, developing hobbies that get me out of the house and putting in superhuman effort to spend time with friends. An occasional klonopin when she becomes enormously repetitive doesnt hurt either.

 
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