Caring for a terminally ill sibling.

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I can tell now that I'm burned out taking care of my brother who has many health issues and is on disability. However he has no where else to go other than to be with me. I'm the last member of the immediate family. My father passed away in 1997 and after that I had to take care of my mother who went through a serious depression and multiple health related issues. She was verbally abusive to me as well and was constantly telling me how I owed it to her to support her because she had to be my mother when I was growing up. Needless to say it was almost a relief when she passed away in 2012. I was extremely burned out from the stress of caring for her and now I'm back in it again with my brother. Unfortunately, if I were to turn him out he would end up on the streets and my conscience won't allow me to do that. However, I find that I'm angry and I resent having to take care of him. To make matters worse my extended family thinks that I should be completely supporting them financially as well. In fact several members of the family have said that when my brother dies they are going to move in so that I can "Take Care" of them.
I've told them that isn't going to happen and they all tell me how selfish I am. I have given up the last 15 years of my life taking care of my brother and my mother. I don't regret doing it, but I want to move on with MY life. I wish there was a way out and sometimes I dream about disappearing never to be seen by family members again.


If you could provide more details on your brother's mental and physical issues, it would help others offer more helpful suggestions.

How old is he? Does he or can he work? Has he been diagnosed with a mental illness? Is he an addict or alcoholic who can't or won't work? Why would he end up on the street? Is he getting any medical help at all now?

Of course you're angry and legitimately so. From your comments on your family, and putting it bluntly, they seem to consider you the dumping ground for needy family.

I find it unrealistic that several members of the family actually believe they are going to barge their way into your home so you can care for them. It seems there's a lot of dysfunction and unrealistic, unprobable behavior on their part.

Perhaps it's time to let these family members go their own way and consider them no longer justified to be in your life.

It occurs to me that you've been the point person for caring for your family, repeatedly. Do you have any idea why this is? That's possibly the key for turning the situation around.

You dream about disappearing; maybe you should. Again, provide more information on your brother so suggestions can be made how to find a placement for him so you can disappear and live your own life. If you feel like that, find a way to do it.
More information about the care your brother needs, please.
Your title says Terminally Ill. Does this mean he's dying? How long does he have if so. Maybe Hospice could help you?

I agree with the other posters...we need much more info about your brother. As for the extended family saying your selfish for not taking them in...ignore them. You know better. Once you're done with brother...then do what you said...disappear...for awhile anyway, and when you reappear, let everyone know you've your own life to live and there no room in it for anyone who wants to use you in any way.
You are not selfish, and you are not unusual for getting burned out. It sounds like quite a family! God bless you, and stay strong to protect YOURSELF.

If your brother is hospitalized again, you can inform the hospital that you can no longer care for him when he will be released. Depending on his condition, he might be placed in a NH where you can visit him and improve the quality of his life, not break your back doing the physical care.
I agree, look into hospice. Medicare will pay for it. There are hospice facilities. You r not obligated in any way to take care of anyone. Tell the extended family your caregiving ends with your brother. If it means disappearing...oh well. Hopice will give u an aide and a nurse will check in every so many days. All supplies will be paid for by Medicare. Hugs and good luck.
Do not give these people any money. It won't stop. Don't need to give excuses just say NO!
He won't end up in the street. His lazy axe relatives will take care of him. They have baited you with FOG- Fear, Obligation, Guilt. Walk away from the whole lot of them and change your door locks.
This is her brother. From what I gather this extended family will not take care of him. They are leaches and I don't see why they feel OP is responsible for them.
It sounds like you are committed to your family, but remember your obligation ends with your brother. You took on the care out of love and obligation there is nothing wrong with wanting to be your own person after he is gone. Look into hospice it cost you nothing, but will let you know your options. If he doesn't qualify then you lost nothing. If he does qualify then they are there to help you and him. They will pay for and deliver supplies. They also have volunteers that will watch your brother so you can have some time to yourself. They have a lot of resources for you. Take advantage of that resource. As for wanting to disappear remember you are not alone. When things get hard talk to us. We are a family that want to help you. It is hard being a caregiver and we understand that because most of us have also gone through similar things. When your brother passes you will go through different problems. Please still come to us. It is also hard to suddenly stop being a caregiver. Give yourself time and don't commit to anyone else until you take care of you. You have fulfilled your family commitment. If other people in your extended family need help then they need to rely on other members not you. Don't feel guilty you are important too. We are here to listen if you need to talk or vent.

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