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I guess I'm not alone with this problem. I'm the one with all the responsibility for the well being of my parents. I too feel like an only child. I have a brother and sister-but their backs are turned and here I am. My husband has had to hear my venting - sooo I think I have found the perfect place !!! My Mom has MS and my Dad has some dementia going on. I recently was able to get them into an Assisted Living. (Had to do this alone-very hard on me). I am mad at my brother and sister for leaving this up to me. My sister lives far - but doesn't work. She came recently for a few days and left. She is like in the Bible: Has already recieved her reward. She makes sure to toot her horn always. My brother is worried about what he is going to get, rather than helping out. I don't want anything to do with them - never thought I would feel this way. I have become bitter. What hurts the most - my mom favors my sister over me.

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I'm kind of dealing with the same thing. Two brothers who are concerned about how much money my mother is going to leave them. She barely has enough for her medical expenses and funeral expenses. They all want control over the money and since my dad died 21 years ago I have had my name on her accounts and home. I have not taken one penny from her, my younger brother takes the majority of her social security every month for this drug habit. I like you want nothing more to do with either of my siblings.
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My siblings did stand up and do their unequal but nevertheless vital parts of parent care. I feel so lucky.

As an often lazy sibling myself, I want to remind people to use their words and ASK for the help they need. Some people who would never offer to help would be willing to do a specific job if asked. Of course, you know your own family, but don't expect people to read your mind.
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It could be that when people are raised in dysfunctional families that they don't have good social skills when it comes to family. We never can know what was going on in their minds. It may be that they realized that taking her out to eat would be too difficult, so they didn't ask. If I had had a bit more warning, I would have picked us up some food to share at home. (Of course, they could have done that, too, but it probably didn't occur to them.)
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Jessie - you may not blame your brother and his family, but I blame them on your behalf, as well as your mother's. Sure taking care of a crotchety elder is no fun, but an invitation every now and then on special occasions such as Mother's Day should not put them out so much. They should have invited both of you, and you could have taken your Mom in your car (which it sounds like is doable for her).

I have the same issue. Nobody invites my Mom for Christmas dinner, so the last two years I've cooked for her at her house. It's a pain, but I'd rather do it than feel guilty about my Mom spending the holiday with no company and no dinner. I agree with blue55 - as long as there is one sibling who will do it, the others feel that they can just turn a blind eye. It's very disappointing.
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It didn't surprise me, because they do prefer their own company. It doesn't really bother me. When I think about it, I do think it is odd. But then my family is odd.
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JessieBelle - that is horrible that your brother could not have asked your Mother to go. Sounds familiar. It really is something isn't it how siblings can just turn a blind eye as long as there is one sibling who is there to do it all they don't want their lives interrupted at all. Unbelieveable.
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Yes, I don't even think it occurred to him to ask her if she wanted to go. Their life is really all about them.
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JessieBelle, my aunt (who almost never accepted an invitation if she could possibly help it) still said "it's nice to be *asked*."

It would be nice if your brother could stir his imagination to think that his mother might like to feel included. Especially as it's not like it'd put him to any trouble, seeing as she'd say no anyhow. But she'd feel happier, and he'd get that nice fuzzy feeling. You'd have thought.

Or apparently not, then. Makes you spit, doesn't it.
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My brother came over with his family the day before Mother's Day. They stayed for a couple of hours, then left to go out to dinner together. My brother asked my mother if she and I were going to dinner on Sunday. She said yes, we always did. When they drove off to go have dinner, I wondered why my brother had never taken my mother to dinner. What he did was very rude, but really, my mother can't get into their vehicles, anyway. Their whole life is built around cutting her out of it as much as possible. I don't blame them. This is no fun.
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I am also working on resentment toward family for not keeping in touch with my mom. I realized that I have to let it go and not let it eat at me. I've started having my mom "call" them. I actually make the call. At least this way she gets to stay in touch and not feel so isolated. They're always happy to hear from her, and it makes me feel a little less angry.
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My sister took my Dad up north for 3 days. When she got back all she did was complain how exhausted she was having to get up in the night with him to go to the bathroom and help him with his shower etc. I actually started laughing out loud. 3 days out of 365.
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surpriseyourit - Welcome to the site. You are a good daughter taking care of both of your parents. I am basically the sole caregiver of my mom . My sister lives five minutes and barely sees my mom except to come over once a week to write her bills and leave as soon as she is done. The only other time she sees her is when I bring her to mass every sunday. God forbid she come on a saturday afternoon and take my mom out for the day. I have to constantly think of things to do that I can bring my mom to that she gets out (movies, a park if its nice out) but I need to be able to get out with my friends but nobody in my family sees to see this. As long as I am there to take care of everything they could care less. Mom's three granddaughters never call her or visit her. I feel so bad about that as my mom has been so good to her grandaughters. Nobody wants to take any time out of their "busy" days. I find myself feeling so resentful towards them and I have to find a way to deal with it. I am seeing a therapist now. I just do not understand how nobody in my family does not see how unfair this is to dump it all on me.
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New to site. Feel better knowing I am not alone. Caring for 2 parents 12 years and work full time. Sister is retired and grills me if she calls after work and I'm at store or late. She spends her time at a cabin and never offers to give me a break except to take one to the Dr. Love my sister but bitter that it is assumed I am the lifelong caregiver. Retiring to spend full time here at home.
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I am in the same boat. I have my father living with me because he was in Circles of Care for two months since he did not like any of the ALF nor Lock ups for dementia. While in the Circles of Care unit the doctor decided that my father was to wait for a bed in the State Hospital. My mother and sisters were ok with that. I freaked out. My father was not State Hospital material. I made a great letter up and took it to COC and told them I will be caring for my demented father. It's been over 6 months and I took my father off of about 6 pills that they had him on and now taking the necessary one and some natural ones like SamE, Turmeric, Gingko Biloba, vitamin folic acid, Vitamin D and my father is now going to the gym with me 5 days a week and bike ride is three wheeler daily. He went from a veggie state to being a 89 year old healthy man. Grant it he still has his anger issues when it doesn't go his way and has broken so many things in my home such as the shower door into pieces from closing it wrong and leaning on it for the past 6 months. Also my draws of the refrigerator cracked from him closing the doors without closing the draw first. Urinating on my bed the first week he was here etc. It goes on and on. But I have to look forward to how well he is doing now and not in the State Hospital that my mother and sisters were ready to put him into. Bottom line is I am now fighting for guardianship for my father since my mother is not in good health and wanted to pass the guardianship to my sister who lives in another state and only sees my father once a year. I pray all goes well for me and my father because his life was miserable for the past 5 years in lock up because of them. I really believe that ALF and Memory Care units over drug your parents to the post of their satisfaction not to have to care for them. My dad went from a wheel chair to the gym. No more Klonopin (clonazepam), BuSpar, I read every single pill my father was on and the affects and did my own research for stress or anxiety and did Kava Kava and other natural things out there. I am happy to say we are doing good and awaiting the next few months to see the outcome of this madness. Siblings love to put their two cents in but never want any part to help me with dad. Just to sen them the cash cleared checks every month to prove that I have a caregiver that is getting the Aids and Attendance money that the VA send my mother for him. It's so sad that it seems like it all about the money for them. They have no clue what is involved to caring for a demented person 24-7. So hold your head up high like I do. I know I am doing what is best for my dad and when he dies I won't regret the life I gave him to the end. Amen
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Momof2, it's been awhile since your original post. Was wondering how your parents are doing in Assisted Living?
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oyeyreally - My Mom does not really want to go stay there and my sister's home is not really good for my mom as she has a huge flight of stairs leading up to the bedrooms. In my home I only have four small steps for her to go upstairs to her bedroom. I can't blame her; she wants to stay in her own home. I just wish my sister would be willing to just stay there one weekend a month but I don't think that is ever going to happen so I have to just accept it. I will keep on going until I can't anymore I guess. I keep saying to myself if something happens to me maybe then they will realize they need to help out more. I have three nieces that could rotate with my sister and each take one weekend a month ; that way they would only have to do it every few months but nobody seems to want to give up any part of their social lives and one of my nieces is even a nurse and I thought wow this will be good having a nurse in the family. Forget it. She never comes over to visit her grandmother or even call her. I feel so bad for my mom because its like nobody wants to ever come and visit with her. Unfortunately her friends most of them have passed away already. She has a twin sister but she lives out of State and does not drive . She comes occasionally for a weekend.
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Blue55 it's very sad that your siblings aren't willing to do whatever it takes to give you that one weekend a month. If they alternated it would work out to one weekend every other month. Maybe once every 3 mos. How about Mom going to visit with them?
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Jeannegibbs - Thanks for listening and for your suggestions. I am going to speak with my mom's doctors again and stress the fact that I believe she has Lewy Body Dementia. Anytime I have suggested this is possibly what she has they seem to dismiss me and want to diagnose her with Alzheimers. I know she doesn't have Alzheimers. She is on the medication that I know they do use to treat Lewy Body dementia and she has improved dramatically from what she was a few months ago. Her anxiety is way down and she is less depressed and is interested in going out and socializing again which I am happy about. She is going to her volunteer job when the aide takes her . She is doing the PT twice a week which is good for her muscles and her legs. Her main problem now is the orthostatic hypertension which makes her pressure go so low upon standing that she gets dizzy and faints. That's the main reason right now that I do not feel she should be alone for very long and the reason why I would like some occasional help on weekends. If my siblings cannot help for whatever reason then the money will have to come out of my mom's funds. I have to sit down with my mom and explain to her that I need some time away so that I can be the best me to take care of her. I know when I have said to her that I deserve to get some time away she agrees with me but she won't ask my sister to help. I am also going to a support group now once a month which has helped me and will continue to go. It's nice to have a place to go to express your feelings even on line and get advice from others who truly know what you are going through.
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lol , jesse ,

"
pull that weed , clean those gutters , weed eat that hillside "
i thought my mom must be nuts till i realized she was nuts . fortunately , i never bought into any of that BS to begin with . now that i more understand dementia , im glad i never took her insanity personal .
eat a weed ?
right .. not then , not now , not EVER !! ..
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On an entirely different note, blue55, I urge you to find an expert on Lewy Body Dementia. Even if you and Mom have to go some distance, it will be worthwhile. It is not as if you'll be going to this doctor every month. Getting a good diagnosis (or ruling some things out) is the basis for a good treatment plan. (This is especially true with LBD, less so with some other types of dementia.)

In the early part of my husband's LBD I could do what you are doing -- I could leave him alone a few hours while I worked, if I called during that time, left notes, etc. But having him alone became more and more a risky. He was very cooperative and sweet. But he just couldn't remember he'd agreed not to climb ladders while I was gone, etc. We did reach a point where even a half-hour trip to the drugstore was too much to leave him alone for. The real problem is that LBD has severe ups and downs and can change in a flash. Even if he was having a good and lucid day when I left, that could change quickly.

If your mother has Rem sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) and some dementia-like symptoms, she has LBD. I don't even play a doctor on tv and I am not qualified to make that pronouncement, but I feel very strongly about it.

I urge you to get Mom checked out by experts. Then at least you can learn what to expect and feel more confident about making long-term plans.
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Sometimes it does come down to money, doesn't it? If your brother truly wants to help, perhaps he can contribute some money for respite. That is something your sister could do also.

But if not, then it has to come from Mother's funds. You MUST have respite. There is no "it would be nice" about it. It is essential. If you totally burn out, then Mom's money will be going to full-time care, probably in a facility.

Mother may run out of money. Many seniors who never expected to live so long or that care would be so expensive run out of money. If she spends money on her care now (ie your respite) she'll run out sooner. Then she'll apply for Medicaid. But if you don't get respite and burn out she'll need to pay for more hired care sooner. Then she'll apply for Medicaid.

If Mom has great resources to last the rest of her life, great -- she should be using them now. Saving for a rainy day doesn't make sense when it is pouring and you need an umbrella. Spend it now.

If Mom's resources are more limited, she most likely will need Medicaid at some point. If she gets better care by spending her money now and has to apply for Medicaid sooner, so what? Isn't that what her money is for -- her care?

Yes, some of the solutions to the challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia come down to money. That piece is not going to get better any more than the dementia is going to get better.

Deal with it now. With or without your siblings help.
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Jeanegibbs - Thank you for your suggestion. You are right. Only I can decide.
My Mom has an aide who stays with her for five hours while I am at work and she is alone for maybe two hours very early in the morning (since she is sleeping) and maybe an hour before I get home from work. I can leave her for short periods of time and leave a note with her medications and when to take them and I call her to remind her but she is a fall risk due to her orthostatic hypertension. I truly believe my Mom has lewy body dementia even though none of her doctors have diagnosed her with that. They told her she had early alzheimers which I do not believe. She has all the symptoms of Lewy Body dementia, hallucinations, REM Sleep disorder, tremors, orthostatic hypertension where she faints from her blood pressure dropping upon standing, anxiety and depression. She knows who everyone is and she knows everything that is going on at this time. When she has fallen she gets very disoriented for a time and very anxious but then she can perfectly fine the next day. I just wish I could get one weekend a month where I could go away for one weekend. That would give me an opportunity to refresh my batteries. But it's causing an issue because my brother obviously cannot help since he lives too far away and my sister said she is not staying over at the house to help on weekends as she has her own house to take care of. I am just asking for once a month. I don't that is being unreasonable. So that leaves having my Mom to spend even more of her money and she is so worried about her money as it is with the salary going to the aide. I cannot afford to pay for an aide to come for the weekend on my own. I feel like I am stuck without a solution.
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Oyveyreally I feel angry for you, and sad too. If I could think of anything positive or illuminating to say about why these people (I mean away-with-the-fairies siblings in general, that is) are so - excuse me - f*cking useless and pathetic I would pass it on. They don't have time? If they have time to read a newspaper, or - not even watch tv, just in the time it takes to sit through the advertising on tv - or to scratch their backsides or whatever it is they're doing instead, then they have time to call their mother. Or write a postcard. Or send an email. Or something!

I got so tired of making excuses for them; but what's the alternative? Say 'they love you dearly, but apparently not enough for you to feature among their top 50 priorities'? I'm sorry your mother is so hurt and confused by your family members, and that you have to cope with the fallout.
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I had to relocate my mom to New Orleans, far away from the rest of the family in NY. Still, I expected more contact. We have a large family of which mom was the loving matriarch. She was the one everyone went to with their problems and when they needed money. There are family members who wouldn't have houses or college degrees but for her help. I thought the phone would ring often with calls for her. I thought there would be visits. But no. My mother would have fits of dementia when she would insist that I call the police and tell them where she is so that they could tell her family where to find her. It breaks my heart that to her the only explanation for their lack of contact is that they must not know where she is. Further, she believed that I was keeping her location from them. She blamed me. When she'd have these bouts, I'd call a family member to talk to her. Word would go out and there would be a flurry of phone calls and then again nothing. I was very angry about this and am just beginning to deal with it. I was also caregiver for my father. Some of us are caregivers; others just don't get it. Or can't do it. They don't even realize how much a phone call means to someone who has nothing else. Mom doesn't have a busy life. And I hadn't realized how much time she spends thinking about why she hasn't heard from this one or that one. I've been told that it's hard talking to her; especially when she's not lucent and doesn't make sense... They don't realize that it's not about them. How much time does it take out of your busy life to call and say "I love you. I miss you." I know my family loves my mother; they just don't understand that love is an action word. If everyone called just once a month; once every other month it would make such a difference in her world. Momof2 you do what you do because you're you. You can certainly share with your siblings that you need help and specifically how they can help you. I hope you get a positive response.
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Hi Blue55, welcome to the forums! You have found a good place to vent, and I hope that helps.

First of all, Life Isn't Fair. Bet you've heard that one before, eh? If it were fair your lovely mother would not have developed the terrible disease of dementia, and she would not need a caregiver at all. So that is the first terrible injustice.

When she was hit with that unfair whammy, all three of her children had the same opportunity to decide what to do.

Brother decided to be uninvolved from a distance.
Sister decided to be minimally helpful
You decided to take on full responsibility for mother's care

All that you can do anything about is your own decision.

Taking care of a loved one with dementia is a huge, spirit-sapping, gut-wrenching job. It is OK to change your decision about doing it, now that you see fully what it entails and you are experiencing burnout. Really. It is OK to change your mind. And that has nothing to do with what anyone else decides. You get to decide for yourself.

The first thing I would urge you to change is to get some respite for yourself. Do this as soon as possible, and also set it up on a recurring basis. Arrange things so you can take one weekend a month off. (Or two. Or four.) But definitely start somewhere. If you need help figuring out how to do that. start a new post on that subject. (You'll also find LOTS of discussions on this site on exactly that topic.)

I said that your decision doesn't depend on anyone else's decisions. That includes your mother. She can complain and she can fuss, but she doesn't get to override your decision about what you will do. You control you. With dementia she is a vulnerable adult, even if she may be technically still competent. She can't be left alone for a weekend. So you may need to get a social worker involved or even APS. I'm not pretending this will be easy. But it is critically necessary that you get some time off.

I'd start there. Perhaps that will change your outlook a bit. But other decisions you can make about yourself is that you will provide caregiving services half-time. Or quarter time. Or none at all. Your sister decided how much to help and when. You can too.

The most empowering thing you can do is forget about your brother and sister. Realize that you can make choices on your own behalf. And even if you decide to keep doing what you are doing (with some regular respite), just the fact of acknowledging that choice can help you move forward without the load of resentment that is weighing you down.

By the way, who is with your mother while you work?
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It is a bit OT, but strangely enough I would be the one my mother would cut out of the will if she had a choice. Even though they pay little attention to her, my brothers are the apples of her eye. She talked a time or two about giving them her money. I told her they didn't want or need it. I believe to her that she thought a gift might pull them in more. I know them well and know they wouldn't take the money and it would push them away more. They aren't bad people. We're just not a close family.
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Jessie, I completely agree, but I don't know how to change it. My husband's siblings are completely absent from their Dad's life, except for an occasional phone call, and they both live out of state, and always have in the 31 years I've been around, and if they now decided to come around, they would never be allowed into my home, as they can't be trusted, the crooks! At 61 and 66, neither of them have ever participated in their parents lives, other than the obligatory holiday meal, which their own Mother prepared, and in the 12 years their Dad has lived with us, neither one has crossed my threshold. They both have stolen or conned so much money from my in laws over the years, its sickening! They each call about 3-4 times a year, and IMHO, it's only to try and gage how fast he is declining, and nearer to death, so that they can swoop in to collect their inheritance check. I never knew a family like this before. My own family was the polar opposite, dividing up the care of our folks, and sincere concern of one another. My BIL even told my husband that the sister is still holding onto a Will from 25+ years ago, when her Mom listed the 3 kids get equal shares left over in their estate. Well, their Mom has been gone now 12 years, and even before that, I knew of a different Will, that my in laws had drafted, axing those two down to a mere pittance for what they had put them through both emotionally and financially. Now it is my understanding that they each get 1 thousand dollars, and the rest of what is left, if any goes to my husband, who has only ever been an exemplary Son to them both, and my FIL's Will is set in stone, his life insurance and bank accounts are POD to my husband, and that's that. If it had ever been different, and I thought that they cared or ever gave their Dad any attention whatsoever, I would have suggested different, but they have both been such a disappointment to their Dad, that I don't blame the Old Man for cutting them out, heck, I would have done the same! It is however, none of my business, and I stay completely out of it, but of course my husband discusses such things with me, and they way in which they have treated their Dad is honestly disgusting, and they are vultures just waiting for crumbs. They still to this day on occasion, ask him for money, and he's 86, they themselves are in there 60's for goodness sake. So at this point, its best if they stay away, as help like that, we don't need or want! I don't even want them around our kids and Grandchildren. They are criminals in my book!
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Something I feel guilty about is I don't want to spend more time with my mother. She watches old reruns on the TV and tells the same stories -- either that or picks arguments or comes up with projects for me to do. It wears me out to spend a lot of time with her. I do wish that if the brothers weren't going to do anything else, they would at least spend some time visiting or talking on the phone. It is so pressing to be the only person in their lives. All the friends and family either die or evaporate. Then there is only them, the TV, and you. It is too much for one person to be everything to someone. I feel guilty that I don't want to be my mother's everything. (The saving grace is I don't think she wants to be around me that much, either.)
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I have the same problem. I am the sole caregiver for my mom and get no help from my sister or brother. My brother lives out of State and is not nearby to help but my sister lives five minutes. She shows up once a week for a half hour to help write bills but everything else falls on me. I am trapped in my house every single weekend so that my mother has someone there with her. The only place I go now is work and its to the point where now I dread weekends. While everyone else in my family takes vacations, goes away for weekends I am stuck in the house or I have to take my mother everywhere with me. I have such resentment towards them I am afraid I am going to explode one day and take i tout on my mother. She now expects me to do everything, all the cooking, cleaning, food shopping, laundry, dispersing her medications, driving her everywhere. She won't go into an assisted living. I feel like my life is over now.
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gosh its crazy to see this over and over again here. I just have to believe that KARMA is real and some people have a nice surprise waiting for them in their future. Being abandoned by siblings while caring for a parent is the WORST thing that can happen to a person !!!!!!!!! I know my blessing will be when I get my life back. THAT will be a blessing.
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