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Our brothers will not help out. We are trying to renovate our family home
so that mother can return home from the Nursing home. But they will not help
us. What can we do to get them to help out? The sisters are doing everything
and the brothers are just sitting around calling each other on the phone
complaining about what we are doing to finish the renovation process. They will not lift a finger. Please help

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I have a sister & a brother. We had both of my parents at home with two Nurses. Nursing Assistants that came to our home also. My brother did more than his share to help but my sister over did her share. I did what I could as I am Disabled. Both of my parents had to eventually go to a Nursing Home because they both kept falling.This was against all of our wishes as we wanted to keep them both at home. My Dad passed recently, but we all know that we all did what we could, our par,t to try to keep them at home.
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"So if there are only males in the family what happens to the parents?"--knownunknowns

While I'm not a proponent of living wills or a medical directive in general, this would be a response I would consider...IF the males have shown demeanor that many here have witnessed and explained...a lack of caring or participating or thinking it's not their job. Bottom line, (and what I was getting at previously) if you don't think you can trust a spouse, sibling, child, family member to make decisions for your care or you are not confident they would carry-out your wishes, or can/want to participate, then you shouldn't rely on them to do so. Based on indicators you can pick-up from people now, you can probably get a clue how they will act in the future. IMO this should be kept in mind when making decisions for your own future care and/or the care of other family members such as a spouse or parent.

Please don't misunderstand what I wrote before. I don't think all males have issues with caring for others. My previous comments were based on what lillyvalley123, the author of the original question and inquiry which started this topic, and others have pointed out about personal experiences with men who have a perception that caring for loved ones is not their thing or responsibility or is "women's work". They choose to not participate, for one reason or another. That scenario is what I was responding to.
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Even though my siblings were born in the 50's and one in 61 we all worked and did chores and learned to sew on buttons, ironing, household chores, mowing and taking the trash out gender was not a factor and believe me my brother's wife is one lucky woman. He is capable of taking care of himself and his wife when she is sick. Mother's are guilty of crippling their male children by putting allowing them to feel superior to the female children. My dad was always ahead of his time and made sure we were able to do everything it took to survive and live a full life.............
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Did Mom coddle the boys as they were being raised? Were they expected to do chores no matter what they were or did they only do "boy" chores. Sometimes these things come back to haunt us later in life. Thank goodness the newer generations have stopped labeling things and "boy" things and "girl" things. The only thing you can do is to sit down with your brothers and sisters with an organized plan of what you are expecting everyone to do to help. If they balk with everyone sitting at the same table maybe the rest of you can shame them into doing what is right to help your Mom.
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3 kids -it is great that you three are doing the best you but there are many out there who do not-my brother who hardly ever goes to see Mom said to me she probably needs AL-I informed him she did look into it they wanted $60,000 up front and $3,000 a month-I am sure he had no idea -he just thought why is my sister doing all she does for Mom and putting up with her anger and bad behaivior.
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Obviously not all males or other siblings are like the one's described in our comments. These are stories from real people's lives. While it is easy to say there comes a time to put your parent in a home, it is not easy to do when one's parent is so strong willed. Not to get into the expense of it. So don't judge us, and how we now "parent" our parent. We are trying to do the best we can, and let our parents live at home as long as they can. Some days are worse than others. But don't think any of them are easy. The hard ones make me resent my brother for sure. He is the one that would have put his mother in a home 6 years ago. We are all doing the best we can, God bless us all and give us strength.
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I think I would let those bro's know where to cram that stupid idea n that would be where the sun don't shine! That is such horse hockey! I don't know if their is anything u can do to get them to help but I sure would let them know how a pieace of my mind and that this is the 21st century and they need to wake up. At least you have your sisters helping sorry the bro's r not helping.
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What is the old saying, one mother can take care of ten children but one child cannot not take care of one mother....this is the truth the old sayings do not lie.....I'm the youngest of 3 older brothers and I have finally come to the realization that they DO NOT CARE.....I will not allow myself ANYMORE to feel all the terrible feelings that I had towards them, i.e. anger, frustration, pain, resentment etc.....After 4 years of dealing with this illness the amount of money I spend and have spend I'm afraid now to calculate....and two of my older brothers live not to far from us...she never gets a call let alone a visit. And this was a women, that the sun rose and set on her sons....not me....I've been with my mom and taking care of her all my life...
My brothers feel that she should be put away, and by me holding onto her and trying to take care of her and sacraficing my life for her is my fault and my problem....Therefore, I will do what I will do for as long and I can do it....and understand that my bros want no part and take no role.....really because they dont care....so let go of the feelings and make the best of what you can for your parent, because if it were not for them we would not be here.....just focus on your mom/dad....forget the others, or else it will eat you up inside....I KNOW!
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If there's only males in the family, it would either go this way:
1. All will chip in and spend for their paid-caregiver or NH, etc...
2. The one who lives closest to parents will become responsible.
3. Most likely the one who is Single or with a job that is Not Important (like a construction worker, or salesperson...not with a Responsible Position.)

Ssansgal - having a sister instead of a brother will not and my not change your situation. I have 3 brothers and 4 sisters. Only just recently, my oldest sis is now helping me with our 2 bedridden parents. Even with that, she does not change pampers, clean trache, do much housework or cook dinner before she goes back home. I have just recently paid her $420.00 for July. Due to my increasing frustration with her, I'm re-thinking about how much to pay her (originally agreed to pay her only $80.00/month). Because I appreciated her babysitting parents while I work full-time, I give her what extra cash I have. Sigh..I will be redoing my budget for August...and will slowly cut back her "allowance" due to lousy performance. I will Not Criticize her in any way. She does NOT have to be here to help with parents. I will just explain that due to increase costs of parent's pampers, supplies, I can't pay her as much as before....
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You have a wise friend, Snickers. You sure can't control your brother's behavior and choices. So make the most of the control you have over you!
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My brother is the only male of six kids. He never has a job to contribute any money for ANYTHING! He is rarely available to help with maintenance either. Growing up, we all had responsibility while he was allowed to come and go as he pleased. I do and spend a lot to help my mother out while, if he feels any guilt at all about not contributing, it doesn't show. A friend recently told me, "just do what you can when you can, and let the rest go." So now, to keep my sanity, I do.
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So if there are only males in the family what happens to the parents? There are many factors that determine who is most able to care for aging parents. But pointing to the care giver that is volunteering time to take care of the parent and questioning there care when there is nothing to question should be avoided.............
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I think a lot of the expectations that taking care of someone is the woman's role comes from how men were raised and for especially older men, the era they come from. While my father (86) is not real vocal about it, you know by his actions, expectations and things he's said over the years, he thinks there are things like cleaning, cooking and nurturing that are women's duties. It is part of his character to think men don't do those things and shouldn't be expected to. My father, like his dad, have the mindset that men are king. Women have their place, in an inferior role.

I can relate and have experienced many of the same things people describe here, so I won't repeat. But, I did have an epiphany while observing my father and his comments and actions during the decline of my mother's health, and subsequent death. If you have a man in your family with this chauvinistic and self-centered mindset, keep this in mind...these men will be in the position to make life & death decisions concerning perhaps children, their spouse, their parents. If they are ignorant, reluctant or opposed to doing what they deem as women's duties now or for many years, it more than likely won't change when faced with having to care for and/or making serious decisions for the medical care of a loved one. Being compassionate and showing it is foreign to them. They can't change suddenly...they can't find this missing emotion when something unexpected happens to their mother, father or their wife.

My parents were married for over 60 years. Their relationship was one we would all dream about. However, when my mother's health started to decline it was met with anger, resentment and stubborness in not only caring for her but also taking on some chores that she had always done but was not capable of any longer. I believe it continued to build to where then when the important life & death decisions had to be made (no living will) he made decisions that were the easiest and best for him, not the best, or a chance, for her. Yes, I believe he was tired from the ordeal, but that's when the automatic pilot kicks in. His judgement was selfish and self-centered. I have no doubt that if the roles had been reversed, my mother was caring for him, her decisions would have been different, even opposite, than the ones he made for her. I shouldn't have been surprised, as his reaction and actions were consistent with what I had witnessed for decades concerning shunning what he believed were women's duties.

So, lillyvalley123 and others with similar circumstances, let the recent and past actions (or lack of action) of family members be a warning..what you see now is probably what you'll get later. Since they don't feel compelled to be helpful with your mother now...they more than likely won't be helpful in the future when things can get even harder. They have shown you their true colors. You and your sisters only, for your mother's sake, should make decisions for your mother.

I wish you and your family peace.
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Each of us has a choice. We can choose to go with the stereotypes, we can honor expectations, we can decide how we are going to relate to our parents as adults. Really. This seems self-evident to me, but I read post after post about how someone "has" to do something in a certain way for a parent. Nonsense. We choose how to behave, or we refuse to choose (which is a choice in itself) and fall into situations by default.

But we only get to choose our own behavior. We do not get to make choices for our siblings and expect them to live up to them. They get to make their own choices. Maybe the choices they make are selfish or juvenile or just plain crazy. We can be mad at them or sad or worried. But we can't make their choices for them.

Llillyvalley123, you are trying to renovate the house for your mother. That was your decision. Apparently your sisters agree with that decision. Good. You can work together on implementing it. Your brothers appear to not agree with your decision. Expecting them to contribute to implementing a decision they don't agree with is not likely to be very successful.

Reasonable people with great intentions can disagree about what is best for an aging parent. Throw in some petty jealousies and lingering sibling rivalry and maybe not the best intentions all around and you are even more likely to have disagreements. Llillyvalley123 there is disagreement within your family about what would be best for Mother. Why do you assume that the sisters get to decide what is best and that then the brothers have to pitch in and make it happen? You are the ones who think Mother should live in a renovated house. If you can't convince your brothers (or other relatives or the neighbors or her church circle) that that is the best solution and that they should help you, then you can either change your mind or implement your decision on your own. But it is YOUR DECISION. It is not some cultural mandate imposed on you because you were born female.
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Me, too.
The only advantage I have is that boys were expected to get a good job, so I can say that Mom needed money and it came in the mail. If repairs around the house needed to be done, they split the bill.
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HOWEVER, it had to be one of the brothers who handled the bidding, acceptance of the price and arrangements to get the repairs done. My word meant nothing.
.
. Back home, I started my own business, was the bookkeeper for millions of dollars a year, handled dozens of contractors, the state, insurances and taxes, but I was "just a girl" . Mom was this way, too-maybe the worst of all. I could say the sky was blue, but until a man said it, she would not believe it. Honest!
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I don't understand why your brothers won't help/supervise the renovations. Maybe they have no money to spare, maybe they resent spending their money on someone else, maybe they were raised that men moved out, got married and took care of their own family only. Maybe they have wives who are resentful. Maybe they are just plain selfish and lazy.
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How to fix this, I am not sure. Appeal to them as big, strong, smart men? Say you think the contractor is taking advantage of your parents? Flat out say, " I am doing the work, you put up the money"? Call them up crying???????? I know that this all sounds hateful and manipulative, but you are being used and abused by your siblings (maybe your parents, too if they are in on this), so, if you have to be a bit manipulative too, then do so. Of course you want to be honest and honorable, but sometimes in life we have to be sneaky to get what we want. Not cheating, not stealing, but implying, leaving out details, leading someone on, allowing a misundertanding to continue if it gets the action you need...............after, when they whine about it, just stand strong and say "you wouldn't help any other way, and Mom and Dad needed help" or, "It is a shame that this was the only way to get you to help".
maybe this is helpful, maybe not. Good luck.
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I have 3 sisters and one brother who all live within a 45 minute drive. My mother moved next to me in Oct, one year after my father died. Mom is 74 and on oxygen 24/7. She never drove or made friends. She has severe emphysema. One sister shows up about once a month to "help". She takes mom to lunch or dinner. I take mom food shopping, doctors, bank, therapy and whatever else she has to do. I also make her dinner every night and sit with her for about an hour. I've heard every excuse in the book. I now just pretend I'm an only child.
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If by any chance the other sister can get her hands on you Mom's money and she has to be placed-right now there is a 5 yrs. look back period-it use to be 3 yrs and will probably become 7 yrs. before long-so any money she receives she will have to give back to medicaide and the N.H. know how to get information quickly when I started the medicaide process I was in tears and a social worker got done in 15 min what it would have takened me days to do -she was able to get through to the right person right away-I would have been playing phone tag for a week or more get the info thar she got in that short am't of time. Since you have durable and medicial POA there should be no problem-the other sister can only make noise but will not get anywhere.
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After eleven years of watching over my mother because my father passed away in 2001 her bout with Alzheimer's has gotten to the point she needs 24/7 care. She has always been a person that no one can please and doesn't appreciate anything you do for her. She was declared incompetent the beginning of July this year.

I have placed her in a resort like assisted living which she hates because she doesn't like leaving her home. This was a well thought out solution regarding her medical and financial situation. She has four children, three of us agree on the care plan that we decided upon. The desenting sister lives locally and has gone up to 7 months at a time without physically visiting her mother. I have the durable power of attorney, living will and medical power of attorney. The desenting sister is interfering with her transition to assisted living telling her she will take her back to her house and live with her and take care of her in the future. Where has she been the last 11 years? She has issues and cannot be trusted to take care of herself. She is motivated because she is 57 years old and basically bankrupt. She needs a nice place to live and a new car. All she cares about is financial security and once mother's cash is run through mother will be on medicaid and in a nursing home.....Our solution will give our mother a better quality of life. It is sad that the actual care giver for older parents are always chastized for making the hard decisions. If mother has any estate left it will be divided 4 ways. I want that money to give her the best quality of life she can have before the end.

We had different plans but mother didn't see it the same way after her Alzheimer's got worse. All the planning in the world is contingent on the parents ability to participate in the decisions, when they become mentally incompetent to make decisions is when the road gets rough and one person that has been designated has to try to please the whole family and that is usually not possible. The bottom line is making sure your parents best interest is served and screw the dissenter...........
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There are four siblings in our family. My oldest sister is out there so no way my mom would live with her; my brother is married but not to a woman who would ever think of taking care of my mom; then there is my younger sister and I. My younger sister has taken care of my mom for about three years off and on until she took care of my mom for a full straight year after her stroke. We just didn't understand what she was going through because we were not living it day in day out. My mom has been living with me now for almost three months. It is so hard. I can't believe my sister did it for a whole year. I get so depressed hearing her say she wants to die. She sleeps all day and is pretty much just existing. There are good days and bad. I love my mother with all my heart. It kills me to see her in this stage with all her medical issues. I know God has a plan and I try not to question it. I just feel so bad because there are tons of people going thru this.
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Unfortunatly after being on AC for four years most of the time it is the way you all have described -you can only ask and they usually say no outright or have a million excuses. What I would sugest call social services and tell them you are caring for your elder all alone and what do they suggest-it will probably be AL or placement in a nursing home and then all her money will go to the nursing home-and the caregiver usually is not the person standing outside wanting the money-maybe the sibs will change their mind when they realize there will be no money comming their way-and in this day and age an elders money should be used for their care. Lily since your brothers do not want to fix up the house -let her stay in the nursing home and get medicaide -the house will be sold and she will get the care she needs-idealy it would be good for her to come home to a nice home with hired care but it does not look like that is going to hapen-and you should not be expected to take on the role of complete caregiver whils the brother sits on his duff and spews how he feels it should be.
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Wow! I did a lot and my father was also nasty so when he asked to move in, I said it wouldn't be possible. I knew if I did, he wouldn't be satisfied and I would end up getting divorced. We all make choices, and it's too bad you had to go through this, but people are evil and take advantage of those who are helpful.
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I have one brother, two years older. When my mother passed away he retired and moved to Cape Cod, his favorite place, with his second wife. A couple of months after my mother passed my father had to have a triple bypass. With the loss of my mother and his operation he was weak and in didn't want to be alone. I felt sorry for him, sold my home and moved in with him. For me personally it was a big mistake. He recovered well and his old habits of being controlling and nasty started. I do all the regular things such as cooking, shopping, trips to the doctors, laundry, cleaning etc. My brother who lives abaout 2 1/2 hr away visits twice a year. Maybe one more visit depending on if there's a wedding, funeral etc. He calls my father once a week and if he doesn't get him he'll wait for the next week. His calls to me have become less and less. I truly believe he doesn't want to hear what's going on here. He offers no advise or assistance in any way. I tell him how I've fixed the toilet, put a new door knob in and other things of that nature. When he comes here it's like he's a guest. At Christmas he and his wife come here first, bring the usual fruit basket every year. They sit talking, looking at their watches telling us where they're going for dinner. Never, never inviting me and my father to join them. Last Christmas I mentioned it to him that it would be nice if we joined them. He hesitated and said it would be a problem. He and his second wife have an adult son who is married. They try to contact him to join them. Last year they couldn't reach him, so he then tried calling here after they left. I told my father if we aren't invited to go to dinner with them I won't be sitting here when they come. I suggested to my father that we could go some where for dinner. He said it wouldn't be right since they came ALL THE WAY here. I kept to my word and went shopping. When I got back they were gone and never asked my father to go. I could go on and on about different situations similar to that. Bottom line is there are no excuses for healthy siblings like my brother but pure SELFISHNESS! I will continue to care for my father who is 97 and failing. Someone has to do it. I only wish I didn't resent it at times like I do. I often think maybe if he were a female, a sister it would be different???
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If a person is beyond care in the home, sometimes a home is better. We as children come to a point where we aren't qualified to take care of someone with dementia. You can help and give support but shouldn't do everything.
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My mother has 5 kids including me in it and I'm the only one doing it all they are ALL WORTHLESS. They don't care. But they say they do. They told me they have to work they have there lives she should be put in a home because it's just way to much to deal with she has dementia. They said It's my fault that I choose to live in that misery. I have no one to turn to but myself I have been taking care of my mom now for 7 years and now 1 year in her worse case of it.
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Growing up I fully expected care of my parents would probably fall on me the only girl. My dad died 7 years ago and I think it was a wake up call for my oldest brother who lives in the same city. He was always to busy to stop in and see my folks, but after dad's death he realized that mom's time left was slowly ticking away. Mom recently had to move from my home to an assisted living Alzheimers facility and oldest brother was right there helping and coping with me. Our middle brother who lives on the other side of the state.....well he calls occassionally when he feels like it. Through out all of these though my oldest brother and I have become very close, making decisions and dealing with everything that comes with caring for an aging parent. For that I am very grateful.
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I guess my MIL is lucky, because in our situation it is my husband that takes care of his Mom & his sister can't be bothered. Well actually it is me that is with her all day while he is at work, but he does all he can when he's not at work. His mother was always a very moody & highly critical person before her dementia & his sister uses that as an excuse saying thats why she moved out of state years ago to be away from her. Even if your brothers don't want to take care of her because they think it's a females role, then THEY ABSOLUTELY should be doing EVERYTHING they possibly should be doing as far as the renovations. To me that is a male role.They should be there doing that any free time from work that they have. I would bring that to their attention. Just tell them that. If the females will be taking care of her that is only fair that they do this physical work getting the place ready. As far as I'm concerned they are getting off VERY EASY. At least once they are done,then thats it. Once they are done you females will still be taking care of her until she's no longer living. Good luck to you. My sister in law contributes NOTHING to my MIL. Meanwhile she's the very wealthy,early retired(60yrs.old) ,no kids one living the high life with a giagantic home with the shore of Myrtle Beach as her backyard.I'm having a total knee replacement on Friday & my husband ask her if she would at least have my MIL there for the first 2 weeks after my surgery and the answer was a quick "NO" saying "mom wouldn't be happy here". An gave her long list of reasons why. NONE of which were anywhere near the truth. Go figure!!! Again good luck. I sure hope you have more luck than us!!!!!
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To musiclover1: I agree with your comment. I did everything for my parents my whole life while my brother got away with lying on the couch and being served. I suggest that kids talk to their parents and tell them they will find supports for them but that the kids can't stop their lives to care for them. I almost lost my husband and my career to feeling guilty over my father's demands. If you can't help and aren't in the will, who cares? And if there's money left for a will, why aren't the parents using that money for proper care? This is what retirement funds and selling their home is for. Sometimes kids are willing to sacrifice their lives to get an inheritance. If it's too stressful, it's not worth it. Also, women are expected to do too much and every family should make plans while their parents are coherent to discuss living arrangements and kids' responsibilities.
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There is no way to make it equal. No one is obligated to take care of their parents, b ut it's nice if they can find them the right supports and be around for visits. It's ultimately up to the parents if your brothers are expected or not expected to help out. If they are expected to help but don't, I'm sure your parents will see that. If your parents don't expect them to help or any of the kids to help, then you have to back off. You can then make it equal by hiring someone and telling the guys that the costs will be divided or your parents can move into a home. You are putting yourself in this situation. Who is putting these demands on you? Tell the family that it's too much for you and if it's not equal, then you can only visit and not help in any other way. Ask your parents what they expect from their children. Their opinions matter. You didn't say how your parents feel about this or what their expectations are. If they want everything equal, have a family meeting to discuss the will and let your parents have voice their wants and concerns.
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Your situation is more common than perhaps you realize. I am sick and tired of our "sexist" society wherein daughters are expected to take on the care of elderly parents while sons get to have their lives! I am told that is in part due to how men and women differ in terms of how they are "wired." This is a bunch of crap. In my situation, my mother was always there for her son and me her daughter. In fact, as I look back, her son was always coddled and cared for. I was the strong one. I work full-time, recently fell and hurt my back on my mother's steps, and now have my mother living with me. I detest my so called "family." My way of dealing with this is to accept it and keep as much distance as I can.
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I grew up with this on my mirror: " A son is a son until he takes a wife, a daughter is a daughter for all of her life"... pretty much the story of my life. My brother only lives about 31/2 hours away, he goes to his 2nd home 17 plus hours away at least once a month. He hasn't managed to see our mother in almost 2 years now. He calls her once a week and thinks she sounds good, because she is such a great fooler on the phone, and that is his idea of being a good son. Meanwhile I am my soon to be 85 year old mothers independence. He has chosen to not speak to me any longer but talks to other family members that all he used to do is critize and make fun of. But he will be right here quickly when it is time for the will. I think I'm a little bitter.
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