Asking siblings to help financially when they won't help emotionally or physically.

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We took over my mom in laws bills and found she had bad checks out every where, had not paid for medicines, so tyhey were cutting her off, she had just moved to as AL center that was $3,000 a month...we were in a big mess (She has parkinson, diabetes, and now dementia)..we asked (begged for help)...I am proud to say all the grandkids helped with what they could afford. Her daughter and son in law, did not give anything and wanted to make sure they got what they wanted out of her small 1 bed room apt. It is sad when your own children do not care. My husband and I are her caregivers, take her shopping, out to eat, every dr appt, eye appt, hospital stay etc. We lost our home trying to help her out and I am disabled with many medical bills myself. I don't know what the answer is, when you get no help at all. We did get the financial taken care of, but as far as any help with her care, needs, etc...nobody wants to be around her ..she is quite mean and demanding. It is left to us, so with boundries, we are handling things ok. She calls all the time, but I do not have to answer the phone, the machine takes it and if there is an emergency, I willbe notified by the staff. I did ask for some financial help woith her AL, and thankfully got help through the Sunday Fund. WEe have to watch her money close and make sure she does not get hold of magazines that you can call and get things...she ordered $200 in clothes, and when they came in, she thought someone sent her a gift...until we got the bill. Being a caregiver is hard enough, so if you can get help of any kind, feel blessed. Praying for you all who are taking care of loved ones..
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I suggest a meeting, somewhat formal, with siblings asking if they can and/or will help. There are many ways to help, but sometimes those of us who tend toward caregiving see issues before others. Some never see it, so they have to be told, maybe even shown proof. Even then some might not help, but at least they are informed and know the choice they are making. Involve your siblings even if they don't volunteer. You never know when they will change their perspective.
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Noleslover, try to get what information you can about your friend's situation for everyone situation is different. That way you will know more deeply about the situation n you will be able to ask more specific questions as much as possible. Then you may be able to help your friend with some helpful information. Dementia is not clear cut and neither is the background history of family situations. You are a great friend for taking your time to come on this website to find what information you can for your friend but we need more information to help a little better before as you said, "Before this spins out of control." Good luck and for being a loyal friend.
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Before this spins out of control, I will see my friend on Friday and ask all the pertinent questions.
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Jeanne Gibbs hit it on the head again. All good questions Jeanne, and not enough info. I am surprised that you say the brother will definitely help financially since he is not helping in any other way. Not usually the scenario. If I were your friend, I would tell Mom that she needs to start calling the other brother, because "I don't have the time today.Sorry, Mom, luv u, but I can't help you right now" It's very hard to do, I know. I've been there. But your friend is enabling Mom by continuing to help her with no support. Mom won't die and Mom might start to understand that she needs more help than she has.

The person that said have an attorney send the brother a letter is not knowledgeable in this area: i.e. sibling issues. Hiring an attorney in this situation is only wasting your friend's money, which he doesn't have. There's no legal issue here and if the brother and wife are attorney's themselves, they'll only laugh at that measure.
-SS
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Accuse me of being over emotional, but when you're parent is down, isn't right that you assist in helping them up? Did they not give up a few things to teach you how to move forward in life? Shouldn't we assist them, as a thank you, in their last days? I know my mother did in fact give of a great deal for my sister and I. So, while I agree with there being a budget statement presented, the kids just should pitch in without question. But it would take an ideal world for that to be the case I suppose.
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be as specific as possible in your requests. Perhaps present a budget that includes the parents pension amount and other details. My brothers have no idea how big my mothers pension check is. They have no idea what it will take to keep this house up or to hire someone to be in the home while I live the essential parts of my life out side of the home. To that end I prepare a budget and a budget statement about every 4 months just to let them know how we are doing. My brother has a role in her estate so he has some say and I do not want him to be caught off guard when I need extra money for help or a new washer.
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Noleslover, nothing about dementia is ever cut and dried. I don't think that's what jeannegibbs meant. I've also seen other posts by her and I can honestly say she does in fact have a heart. Trust me, I know what it is to go in with my eyes closed and not have a clue, because I knew next to nothing about dementia when I started on my path as caregiver to my mother almost 10 years ago. I've given up a lot, but ironically (if you aren't counting pennies) I've gained a lot also. I think what jeannegibbs is asking is if the brother is willing to help and his wife and him have the income to do it with, why isn't your friend taking the steps necessary to make it happen? Ask and you shall receive pretty much. A lot of times, assuming pockets are deep enough, money is easier to provide than time and attention. Their father had something to do with both of them being brought into this world, both should be helping their father through the minefield of this awful disease. Your friend has no reason not to ask his brother for help and has every reason to ask. When one has the pockets, financial help is the easiest to provide. It means that they can contribute to the care without having to deal with the more difficult emotional baggage that comes along with caregiving. I only wish my sis could contribute SOMETHING. She doesn't even send gifts to our mother anymore. Sends a stupid e-card on holidays only. How lame is that?
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Noleslover, huh? Have a heart? I think I do. But I don't understand why the transportation issue isn't cut-and-dried. Mom needs help getting Dad to appointments. I get that. Boy, do I get that! Friend wants to help. But Friend isn't retired or independtently wealthy. He can't take off work for every appointment and errand. And, working full time while caring for my husband with dementia, I sure get that, too. It would cause way more problems than it would solve for Friend to lose his job.

Soooo ... the solution is to arrange some other way for Mom to get Dad to appointments and to get errands done. Money isn't the answer to every problem, but in this case money can make a huge difference. Brother has money. The most sensible thing in the world (without knowing all the family dynamics) is to ask Brother to contribute some money. Maybe Brother won't. Then there are other avenues that need to be explored. But the first obvious step is to give Brother an opportunity to help in this way if he wants to.

Why is pointing that out heartless?

I think that Friend is very lucky to have you in his corner. When we find ourselves thrust into a caregiving role we aren't issued how-to manuals. It is scary and lonely and stressful. What is issued instead of the operator's manual we need is guilt. Sigh. If you can keep Friend from doing something disasterous like putting his job in jeopardy because of irrational guilt feelings you'll be doing an awesome service!

And of course his emotional ties and guilt feelings and fears can prevent him from seeking out the mundane objective solutions. Maybe you can help with some of that, being less hindered by the emotions.

Mom desperately needs support and reasurance and caring. She also needs help with transporation. Those are two very different requirements. Your friend can certainly provide emotional support even if he cannot personally do all the driving. That is the message you need to convince him of!
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Noleslover,
it does not make any different in what you do, if the family will not help, they will not help. I been taking care of my mother for 3 yrs-I have a brother but he does not contribute nothing-I have been telling him for the pass six months what's is happening and it is just like I said nothing-he is going on with this life. Now a push has come to a shove, I have no other resource but to put my mother in a nursing home. Of course, my brother does not like that but what the hell-I am POA. He did not want to help now he does not need to help. Keep asking family members for help is full of _____. All you keep doing is bumping your head against the walls.I am not saying all family is the same, you might find 10% that will help out. If I sound bitter it is I am.When all of this started everyone in the world said that they will help but when time came they were not there. Even friends I thought were friends has turned their backs.My mother had a sister that was very sick and her daughter was losing so much time that they were thinking about letting her go but my mother went over there and stay for a month to help and now when I call my cousin for help, guess what? and she is retired so she does not have a good enough excuse . My aunt passed on.Yes, do what you have to do and let no one make you feel that you are not doing your best because I know that you are.
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