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?


This seems to be the scenario for 99.9% of all caregivers. She is with you - THEY are off the hook. Don't expect anything to change. Look into assisted living and get an unlisted phone number. I am not trying to be funny here.

I am YOU after TEN YEARS of full time caregiving with NO HELP AT ALL FROM HER OTHER CHILDREN. It is NEVER convenient. EVER. You can beg - I have - it does not help. Yet, after all is said and done - THEY are the sweethearts and we are mud.

Don't allow it to continue - no matter how much you love your mom. As time goes on and her health fails - it will be an overwhelming job with little if any respite. YOU NEED HELP and YOU NEED BREAKS and you WILL NOT GET THEM from the family. Believe me.

Sorry to be so negative. It just ends up being a negative scenario for most people - no matter how hard you try and how much you do.
Wow! The truth hurts but I think you're right. I did get my mom to go to the senior center twice a week and she does enjoy it but she is not capable of living on her own. I really don't know what to do. I'm worried about my husband and my kids and making sure everyone is happy. I can deal with a lot because she is my mom but it's harder on them. I have to figure out something to get help from my siblings.
This is the life. My sister came and got my mother two years ago thinking that I was the bad sister because my dad was hiding the fact she was sliding so fast into dementia. He did not want to burden me. Within a month she was in a locked facility because my sister could not handle it. I live in Florida and she in Mass, the only good thing is that they have MaHealth and can have long term housing on her SSN. I now take care of my dad who has COPD.

I did things differently, he lives with us. I will not get any help from my sister. I will bring in visiting nurses when we go away and cannot take him with us. If she wants to be independent then assistant living may be for her. If she or you are uncomfortable with that then use the visiting nurses or similar organizations to give you relief. Schedule weekends away, even if it is a mile down the road to the holiday inn to relax at the pool. A long weekend will go a long way in recharging the batteries. A trip to Disney, for a week have a nurse say with her 24 hrs a day if you need or bring her along. Live your life, you are still a family and do not get to bogged down in the details. The rest is day by day.
I agree with oldcodger and katzen. You must forget about siblings in that regard, as helpers. It's difficult for some to accept family in any way after they have been screwed over one too many times. The doormat gets warn out. Too many tread marks, if you know what I mean.
People are either givers or takers. Rarely is a careGiver a selfish person. Sometimes we do whine, however. Lol Just kidding:) Hey, we deserve to!
So, I would not invite any relatives with blinders to your home. If and when anyone calls to ask if they can come over to visit ( cough) say, " Oh, you want me to be hostess? I was thinking I do enough already and was hoping for an invitation from you. How about dinner one Sunday? You can come pick up Mom early, and I'll come over after I relax. Maybe l'll get a pedicure or a massage first.
I don' t get time for those things anymore."
You can't see their faces, but they have an incredulous look-- mouth gaping, eyes wide, not blinking. They are thinking: "what a nervy b---h." Yep.
My Mother is barely hanging on but I've been done with my siblings and all of their offspring for awhile. They ruined everything, the scenario of enjoying my elder years with a sister and brother. They can kiss my grass. Good luck, dear:) xo
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.
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.
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!!!
Welcome to my world as'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!
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.
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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