Siblings...I need advice.

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I would really like to talk about my siblings and get some feedback. A year ago this coming Wednesday my father passed away. My parents live out of state so my two brothers and I went Florida packed up our mother and brought her home with us that is when my life changed dramatically. I had to learn about Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, HMO's, etc. My mom never drove or did the bills so I immediately took over all finances which was not so bad because my dad was excellent at paying the bills. At first my family was helpful in some ways. It's a year later if my mom is lucky she will get a phone call from someone once a week and maybe a visit once a month.

I am the youngest of 5 and my mother has 12 grandchildren ranging from 3 years old to 38. We were always a close family but you would think diffently because my mom doesn't get many phone calls, she hardly gets visitors, once in a blue moon someone will have her over and most of the time it's when I ask because my husband and I need to go somewhere. They all say how nice of a visit they have with her and then it will be months before it happens again.

I know my mom is best with me but I don't understand why they think I should be responsible for everything. They see her when it works for them. I had to change my whole life. My husband and I have only been married for 9 months we need some time together. I am trying to keep everyone happy but I can't. I want to tell my siblings if I don't get some regular help soon they will have to figure things out for my mom because I can't do it anymore. I'm feeling depressed and tired I don't think I can do this anymore without help. I don't know how to get them to understand they need to make some changes in their lives and help me. If I lose it who going to do what I do?

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Ok, hopefully this is considered on same topic, it may take me a bit to get to the siblings part. We built a house back in 1997 and made a nice mother-in-law suite next door for my husband’s mother. At the time where she was living was becoming dangerous and her best friends were footing most of the bill for her to live in their basement. She was taking care of our son, her only grandson; she had retired at 62 but was 65 when she started taking care of him.
So now mom has dementia, seems perfectly fine at moments but short term memory terrible. We took her car keys from her 2 ½ years ago after fender benders. She refuses to wear hearing aids (40-50% loss in each ear) and will not wear glasses. Has never been involved in senior activities or had friends of her own. She will not do anything, except word finds. Grandson is now 18, leaving for college and for the last few years this has become increasingly hard on us being her whole world. Sibling sister has stated that we moved her there, so it is our responsibility, or that is how we take it. For the last 3 years, sibling sister now comes to our house and stays while we go on vacation so mom is not completely alone overnight. This equals to 2-3 weeks a year (she lives 5 hours away, gets 350-400 hours of sick time a year so doesn’t have to take her vacation to do this). We have asked her for more help, basically to have mom go up to her house and stay with her and she can still work as mom can still be left alone a good bit. She states ‘I have to work’ (we do as well), or ‘she will let the cats out’, or ‘you are more financially capable then I am’. Mom only gets $850 a month from SS and that is it, period (we do have her on Medicaid now), so we foot the rest of the bill and have been for 17 years (she is now 83).
Maybe I should have posted this in the whine of the day, but is there really anything that we can do to:
1) Convince sibling sister to do more
2) Come up with activities for a parent who wants to do nothing
And I haven’t even gotten into the part where I can’t get her to change clothes or bathe more often as she states ‘I don’t go anywhere’. I am thinking now that she is on Medicaid maybe there is something that can help there.
Whining in Georgia.
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You my dear have been thrown into a black hole. I have been here for 3 years. I have 4 siblings and one sees my mom once every 2 or 3 months and thinks she's coding her part. I have asked nicely, asked for meetings, groveled, begged, cried and threatened. I no longer speak to any of my siblings. Mom moved next door to me almost 4 years ago after my father died. They all think because mom moved here it's my responsibility.I have learned to hate them and pretend to be an only child. I wish you luck, but it's next to impossible to escape a black hole!
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Almost a year later from my initial response and Mom is now 92 and I still have no use for my siblings...
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Don't we all wish there was some happy ground to this caregiving of our parents. Of course, it is too late for most of us but the key is communication and setting out guidelines from day one. A big family meeting to fill out calendars, delegate responsibilities and make a plan for the future would be anyone's goal in a perfect world.

Unfortunately, because our parents didn't plan for this phase of their life; most of us find ourselves as caregiver after the death of one parent or serious illness or health decline of one or both parents. It then becomes an emotional event without much thought for ourselves or what the future may hold.

My family is doing the best we can, we squabble (big personality differences and lots of jealousy) but we are all there for Mother. One has to recount each and every little thing she does during the days she helps out and one swears she can do it all by herself 24/7 and some of us realize we have families and a life that is valuable as well and so it goes....

I don't have an answer but we can all be prepared to save our own children from going through this same thing in a few years.

God bless each and every one of you!
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I say "good riddance" to them all..After 12 yrs. I've decided I must move on...My Mom is my responsibility and they have decided that they want nothing to do with her... I will not beg them to call or visit and I will not inform them of her passing...She is 91 yrs and there isn't much time left.....
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Again, this is not uncommon. I've got one that cared, and two that did not. I won't bore you with my story, as it really won't help you a bit.

But what I will tell you is to not dwell on it or let it eat you up, and hopefully you can learn this from me. They are who they are, not who you'd like to think they are, you will be disillusioned, and you can't fix them. And getting mad or saying stuff doesn't help. Did you have to be reminded to help? Nope, and neither do they. The sibling that helped me did so without being asked because he wanted to. The others did not. I had to go through quite a bit before I came to that realization and implementation in my life.

Also be prepared that they will probably treat you poorly for it all. You won't do things the way they think you should, will make decisions they are opposed to, won't "include" them even though they won't include themselves, and you will probably be the bad guy. After all, they will tell you... they would do it if they could blah blah blah, yadda yadda.

Do what's right for you and your husband. And realize that because of all this and if they don't step up, take responsibility, and be a part of it, you probably won't have the respect or relationship with your siblings that you hoped you could have. It's the sucky part of life. You'll have to learn to be alright with that anyway.
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Welcome to my world as well....it's just not fair, is it? My brother, who lives 2 states away from me, obviously can't visit very often, but he doesn't do a very good job of calling Mom either. Unbelievably, he still keeps in contact with her more often than my sister, who "only" lives 2 hours away from us (but to hear her tell it, it would take 3 days by horse and over snowy mountaintops to get here). I get NO help from either of them financially or for respite care. I have learned to manage Mom's care as if I am an only child - I don't ask them for any advice or even let them know what's going on with Mom unless they ask me (which isn't often). The last time she wound up in the hospital, I didn't even say anything for 2 days - they just weren't high on my list of priorities during that time. If you can get your family together and let them all know in front of each other (so no one can make b.s. excuses) that your Mom REALLY needs to hear from them more often, visits, etc. that would be great. In my experience, don't expect miracles though, but good luck!
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You are correct - some are not only NON CAREGIVERS - but are worse than that.

My hubby's siblings are not at all like that. The are 'doting and attentive' when and if they ever visit. They just don't give a care how hard it is on us! They know mom is being well cared for and don't want to do anything that would upset their routines or lives. After all, it was ok for me to retire early and care for mom but it is not ok for them to spend a week of their vacation time doing it. I used MY vacation time to care for her after her surgery. DUMB! The next surgery - I let her stay in the swing bed unit for 2 weeks and her youngest had the gall to say that was MY BREAK!! It might have been had it been spent on a beach somewhere - but instead I spent it cleaning her apartment and running back and forth to the hospital. DUMB again!

I have come to the conclusion that her other kids are the smart ones and we are the idiots. It's a very long story and it won't have a totally happy ending.

That's another thing about caregiving that the non-caregiver doesn't have to deal with - THE END - and we all know how this scenario ends. We watch them go downhill for years and years - facing our own mortality all the while - the rest can live their lives and not even 'think about all the crap that goes with old age and death' - because someone else is doing it.

So, if there is anyone out there thinking: "should I take care of mom or dad?' - think again. You will very likely be doing it alone. And not everyone has the means to hire help.

Something that I finally realized is that my MIL is not a porcelain doll - she's made of pretty tough stuff - after all - she's still kicking - just not very high - despite multiple health issues. We realized after we finally went on vacation in 2012 that 'she didn't die of neglect' while we were gone. Fortunately, she was in between crises.

She had her lifeline, she had meals, she had visits from friends and our kids (arranged by guess who?), she had phone calls. Did she like it that we left? NO - I heard how she talked about MY WANTING TO GO SOMEWHERE ALL THE TIME in her snide little voice after we came home. And yes, if I could I would run away tomorrow :0)

But, I was near the end of my rope. I knew I could not continue without doing something FOR ME and putting our needs on the list. She sure wasn't going to. We made certain that her needs were fully met and then went on vacation - and for me that was something - I had to 'allow' her to be cared for by someone else while we were gone.

Sometimes we take caregiving and ourselves way too seriously - so, in a way, I probably contributed to my own CRASH and BURN. So, she is now doing ok with the new routine - for now. So, as long as her health holds up - things are going fairly smoothly. I hope all you caregivers get a well deserved break. Sometimes, we just have to TAKE it.

I realize that some of you are caring for someone who cannot in any way care for themselves and cannot be left alone at all - anytime. For you - finding a way to get a break is much more difficult - but not impossible. Do what you must to get some relief. God bless you all!!!
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Hold on, as some of you said some of us are caregivers and some are not. I would rather my mother be in a long-term facility than with my sister any day of the week. She is abusive. I would rather my father be with me than in a home (of course ask me that in a few years when I am insane. . .) but I would never, ever, ever place my father in my sisters care. She has always been abusive, there is 10 years between us and she hates me with a mindless passion. That hate is transferred to my parents now that they cannot take care of themselves.

So better us, then those who cannot handle it because it is who we are. Just remember we have to take care of us as well as them because without us they have no one. Make sure the sibs are not hurting your parents or stealing from them. Most importantly take care of yourselves so you can take care of them. Hire a nurse so you can so and enjoy a weekend away. Start early so it is expected. Make rules, lists and try to keep organized so that your family has a life that is not overwhelmed by one person.
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AMEN - ChristinaW - same here. Basically, what are visits from the other siblings except MORE WORK - now I not only have to clean HER APT but our house as well and shop and cook! Would they ever come and take her home with them? The youngest just moved into an UPSTAIRS APT with no elevator - no worry about getting mom into that apt!! So, he comes when we aren't home. Guess what? I lock my doors and he can sleep on HER couch! I fully assume we will NEVER, EVER see them after the funeral anyway. I have absolutely no respect for her other kids. They have made promises to help and broken them so many times - would you ask again? Even though we have asked numerous times for them to call US and talk about mom - they only call HER! What does that tell you? They don't want to talk to us!!! Afraid we might ask them for something. So, basically you have the caregivers and then you have the NO caregivers. The NO caregivers just don't care. Their life comes first. Move on and do what needs to be done.
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