I'm stressed! My brother won't help care for my mom.

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About a year ago, I helped my brother and his wife get a house down the street from me so my brother could assist me with my mother who is diagnosed with alzheimers. Mom resides with me and we agreed he would be with her every other weekend so I could get a break. This has happened maybe twice and his wife has been the one to stay. He is retired. Since she went to work and they have a dog, this has not happened. If I get a weekend, I have to hire the caregiver which is expensive. The excuse is always, "I can't because I have to take care of the dog!" (and now there are 2). That's too many animals to care for with your dog's and mom. I can take my dogs with me, but he will still use that excuse because he basically can't stay sober. I love my mom with all my heart. My mom wants for nothing and I wouldn't have it any other way. I spend 16 hours 5 days a week plus weekends with her and I need a break. Way too stressed!! Thanks for letting me vent.

11 Comments

Good heavens, what type of dogs does your brother have that need 24-hour care? Are they being home schooled that he needs to be home with them? Does he need to carry the dog because it's afraid of the grass? Does he need to spoon feed the dog?

Next time your brother uses the dog excuse, tell him how sorry you feel for him as now he and his wife won't be able to dine out, or go to the movies, or a sporting event, and never be able to take a vacation because of the dogs. Wonder how he would react to that?
I'd say forget your useless brother. He doesn't want to help and he won't. If you can afford to hire the help to give you a break do it. You can't make people do things they don't want to do. I have dealt with my own brother and his kids who lived with my dad before he got dementia (and before brother died). Brother wouldn't even mow the yard or help take care of the place and his kids are just as useless now. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.
Use the search bar above and type in "siblings no help" and you'll get lots of great reading including "Top 3 Excuses From Siblings Who Don't Help With Caregiving" by expert Carol.
Lol...freqflyer, You're right. I did snap one night and ask what he did with the pets when they were at the casino all night. He said they were sleeping! I told him cats are nocturnal and that's garbage with the dog (now dogs) which they can bring here. My brother is useless and I will begin using other resources. Hope they don't need dog sitters. That's out!!
I really feel for you. I asked my boyfriends brother and wife to bring dinner over to the house for his parents once a week to give me a break...it lasted 2 weeks. The amazing thing is now that the father has passed, everything i did has been criticized. I think it is due to guilt. Dealing with ungrateful relatives can be just as exhausting as caregiving. My advice is not to expect help, it will only lead to more frustration. Does your mom have any friends that may be able to come visit her occasionally to give you a small break?
Janny57 is right. I have an alcoholic brother who was (and still is ) useless regarding mom's care. Unfortunately, the above posters are correct...don't expect your brother to help at all. You seem to be on your own and I'm sorry. Is there a glimmer of hope in asking your sister in law as opposed to your brother for help? Maybe if you 'guilt' her into it, and only if you trust her to care. PS, if you are hiring aids thru an agency, you may consider paying an aid you trust under the table to save some money. In my area, there are aids that will pick up a side job for some exrtra money periodically.
tacy022....Mom doesn't really have friends to visit. When my father was alive, they always did things together and family who live out of state. Not much with others.
Lizdevine....I may not be able to go back to work, so there won't be extra money to pay anyone extra money. My sister in law was good about staying until she went back to work after moving down the street.
Oh dear, anon52412. Pls be careful. Due to a corporate takeover, I was out of work when my mom needed 24 hr care, so I left my husband (temporarily) to stay with my mom. I have no idea how old you are, but having been out of the workforce for over a year and as I am 50 yrs old, I am having a heckuva time finding a job. I have no regrets and I am so glad I stayed with mom until her last breath, but please consider your own future, and have a plan when the inevitable happens. I cant seem to find a good job to save my life. I dont know how old you are, or what you do for work, but I am not the only one on this forum with this unemployment and ageism discrimination for positions I have applied for.
I introduced my mom to other ladies her age who became her friends. In my area, they have a senior center where they have lunch, outings, and activities M-F, and they have a van for those who cant drive. Being social and part of society is a large part of the mental health in the elderly. Is Mom religious, and can you contact the local church/synagogue/temple? Most have volunteers who will visit and spend time with homebound elderly.
I hate to bring up the ugly subject of money, but pls ensure that you have DPOA for financial affairs, to avoid any future issues too. Again, be careful about leaving work. So sorry you are in such a situation...
Lizdevine....Thank you. My mom has alzheimers and cannot be left alone. I am mom's DPOA. Part of the reason I may not be able to return to work is my own physical and emotional health. My stress level is through the roof.
Sorry to say this is a common problem, and most of the "non-help" siblings are as stubborn as mules, and will not help. Unfortunately, they do enter the picture again when it is time to collect the inheritance.

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