Dysfunctional family and caring for Mom.
My family is very dysfunctional and in this crisis with Mom, it is rearing its ugly head. My brother is 51. I am 67. He works and lives 3/4 hour away; I live 1/2 mile away. I do not work, but am chronically ill. He does not believe it because you cannot see my illness.
Over the past seven years, he was the one who took her to doctors. Until 2 years ago, I was with her for two operations, and went to rehab nursing home several times per week for 7 weeks, and so forth. In other words, I was far more active than in the last two years. Since getting ill in last two years, I try to do all I can for her .. get food to her (which is a problem as she does not care for my cooking, nor meals on wheels and wants delivery of restaurant-cooked meals to her home.
My husband shops for all food needs and brings to her weekly. I shop online for other needs like depends, clothing, and whatever she asks for. My husband and I also provide a major source of financial support which this younger brother does not know about. We have been doing this at least 20+ years, as she is on a very limited social security check and has no other source of income. What we have done, we have done quietly without talking about it. I was the one who encouraged my husband to help my Mom out, as she helped us during many years when our children were growing up. So, it is only fair ... and, in any case, I would anyway. I was behind getting her on all the government programs she is now on ... another thing my brother does not know.He accuses me of fabricating my illness and of trying to stop my husband from helping my Mom ... this is the opposite of what has happened.
What happened was he became the one who took her to the doctors. He has only shared with me minimally concerning my mother's health. He would not even provide me with a list of the medications she is on so that ,in one emergency, when I took her to the ER for a heart attack, I had no list. At that point, I called him on the phone and really let him have it. He has hated me ever since. Actually, his dislike for me goes back to when we were kids.
My mother qualifies for government to step in and help her with aides, but when we did that a few years ago after a fall she had, she complained. We then hired a woman to come in once a week to do the cleaning only. The fact is that dementia or not (even before the diagnosis), my Mom seems to want things a certain way ... her way. And, now, she does not seem to understand that money is limited.
I cannot get along with this brother though I have begged him. He is authoritarian and will call me and tell me to "get over to her house and clean up the mess" ... this was an accident she had. He calls my husband all the time to do things which my husband usually does do. Then my husband takes it out on me. I hate all of it. I hate the guilt they are putting on me. I have another brother, age 60, who lives one hour away and who is in total denial (basically a good, but troubled man). I cannot get him to even understand the seriousness of this issue, so no help there. The brother who takes her to doctors does not respond to emails I send asking about a recent doctor visit (all doctor visits). He shares only minimally with my husband.
She has advanced heart disease/congestive heart failure and early dementia. They are all in denial and I fear for her in her home. They are not taking it seriously. She tells me things but does not tell them. So, they don't know how bad the circumstances are over at her house.
The public nursing homes are deplorable here, at least where we live, and we cannot afford the private ones. In any case, we cannot even get her to accept having someone come into the home through the government, and a nursing home is a last resort. She was there twice after falls and hated it.
So guilt for not doing more and stress from watching the Mom I love decline and suffer,and worry because I am not being taken seriously. And, then of course, there is the rest of life.