Hey I'm not the only child. I just can't understand how siblings can just totally wash their hand of their parent.

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I just can't understand how siblings can just totally wash their hand of their parent. I have total care of my 89 year old mother with dementia. My husband and I still work full time and I'm 61. We take Mom to an adult day care while we work during the day. When we need a break we have to set up respite care somewhere. We do not get offers for help to doctors appointments or help with researching any assistance that might be out there from the family. Both my brother and sister live only about 1 hour away and are retired, but I'm told by both of them they are too busy with their families to help. Hey I have 3 sons and one grandson, but my time is precious with them because I'm care for Mom. I was told by both of them to just put Mom in a Nursing home - but you just don't put someone in Nursing home. She has no money, except what her Social Security brings in. My husband and I am exhausted, but I care about my Mom too much to just shove her off somewhere. My sister told me to drop her off at an Emergency room and say she's a danger to herself, then they would place her somewhere. I just don't get it. Any suggestions..................tired and confused.


Welcome to our world....I grapple with this dilemna every day. I have a huge extended family. My parent's generation took care of their parents in their homes. My generation (and I assume, hereafter) has no qualms about "warehousing" their parents. Several of my cousins just placed perfectly healthy parents into nursing homes. I just lost my aunt this week after only 6 months in one of these facilities. Most people complain about having to visit a NH...can you imagine living in one for the rest of your days? I agree that NHs are warranted when the parent is nearing the end of his or her life and intense medical attention is needed..but I wonder how many NH residents fit this description.
Is it possible to call a family meeting where you and your husband can speak to your sibs directly...doing it over the phone gives them too much "wiggle room." Keep emotions and accusations out of it. Share specific things with them that they can do to help out...perhaps coming over one week out of the year to give you guys a break. Or taking Mom into their home for a weekend. Get creative. Invite them to spend one day visiting a nursing home and ask if they think that is an appropriate placement for you Mom. Remind them that when they say that they are too busy with "their famiies," that Mom IS their family.
My sib, too, would do the same thing if Mom were in his care (of course, AFTER he cleaned out her bank account). So I have no support from sibs. My husband and I are the primary caregivers.
One thing that has helped a lot is hiring an in-home caregiver for a few hours a week. It does not sound like much, but it gives me a mental break for a few hours. I plan on increasing the paid caregivers as time goes on. I figure spending money on these services is a drop in the bucket compared to the $8000./mo. a nursing home would charge and it is one-on-one care in a safe environment.
Is it possible to hire help?...if your sibs don't want to pitch in, would they send you money for you to hire more help?
You will find, from reading the posts here, that usually one child steps up to care for a parent and the rest step way back. I cannot fathom how you can look away or delude yourself into thinking that elderly parents can somehow take care of themselves. It is shameful.
Good luck and I hope others chime in with good suggestions...Lilli
i also understand this situation..i struggle every day with it as well.. i have one sister (who also is a granmother) and can't understand how they just walk away....i simply don't understand it other than being selfish or in, denial...we were raised like the bible says, honor thy mother and father.....good luck and remember we are doing the best we can and will answer for our deeds only....i tell myself that everyday.. keep in touch
well I am just an only child so have to do it, but I also cannot understand folks who have brothers and sisters BIRTHED by the same parent and wash their hands of it...well if there is a hell, I hope they have a nice seat there warmed up for these scapegoats! LOL!
I feel what your saying - I don't get it.........but I think what you say is too true.......someday we have to account for our actions/decisions we make on this earth.......thanks :)
Oh man...that is exactly what I am going through.
Out of six kids, i'm it. I quit my job and moved in with my mother who has COPD very badly. I have a sister that lives 8 blocks away and doesnt visit. None of the siblings even visit much less offer to help.
This is the most frustrating part of cargiving, as the caring person with the good intensions, it is difficult to understand why others neglect to assist and make it all your problem, and while they have great ideas and complaints without any real solutions. From my own experience, and other Caregivers that I know in my life and now here at Agingcare, this is most definately a common reality. I found the struggle of seeking family to help, to be added stress and a waiste of my energy, you might as well be asking a snowman to help infact he would most likely would help more. So my suggestion is.... ask for help that may lighten your load such as phone calls, research on finacial assistance if they refuse still, tell them you need financial assisance from them to pay for an aid or daycare, send info to them as proof for costs, money seems to wake them up. If you get a negative response move on and do what you have to. If your Mom is broke you should begin researching medicaid eligibility and she needs you as Power of Attorney to handle financial assistance for applications on her behalf. If you cannot care for her it may be best to seek a NH, I thought this would be horrible but it is best thing for Mom but I stay involved and informed.

Where I come from -- the Brazilian Amazon -- supporting poor family members is considered a moral duty. That moral duty, however, has receded as society evolved, family life changed, and the government created a variety of federal and state programs to meet the needs of the poor.

If your Mother had a hefty bank account, I bet your sibling's sense of "morality" would increase to the point of fighting you as caregiver; or at least visit on a regular basis. For now, there's nothing to be gained from it. I have no doubt they care about her, but not enough to travel 1 hour once a week.

I'd try to convince myself I'm an only child like Pirate Queen, and let your siblings deal with their conscience when the time comes.

Good luck my friend.

-- ED
Thanks Ed........what you said was so true. It does seem today that everything is about the money. But I believe that "what goes around comes around"
I can relate in that I have siblings who live in other cities and states. They express guilt over not helping out more, but don't come around much. They are , however, very vocal about what my sister and I do in caring for Mom who has dementia/Alzheimer's. I was told by one of my older sisters that I "was making the end of my mother's life miserable" because I wasn't dealing as patiently with her as she thought I should. I admit that patience is something I have to work on. Mom lives with me. I work full time teaching second grade. I admit that I am angry and resentful. My mother was very critical and controlling of me as a child and said and did some truly mean things to me. I'm sure that plays a powerful role in my impatience and resistance to this role as caregiver. I'm working on it. My brother and sisters do not want Mom in a nursing home. When I think about her not being here I feel guilty for not being more patient and understanding and capable as a caregiver. I've heard many people here talk about "accepting your role as a caregiver" and embracing the healing and growth that can come from this situation. I pray that I get there.
pid-When I first came to this sight I was troubled because I thought I was the only person in the world that had neglectful and uncaring brothers.I took their lack of conscious towards my dad as a stabb in the heart,now that I've been on for a while,I am not just bothered by my own brothers lack of character-but the whole world seems to have siblings that need to get their priorities straight.My dad has passed now,but if I were to do it over again,the main thing I would do different is not waste any time or tears on my brothers.Besides not being fair that you are on overload all of the time,its hurtful to have to explain the other ones absence to a disappointed mom or dad.My one brother who my dad was very upset with-he never visited-called-saw him in the ICU-he was called on my dads final day-still didn't come-he didnot come to the funeral-but because he had armed himself with a attorney-came in after the funeral sueing for his rightful inheritence or he claimed. The law protects people like him-but a caregiver really needs to protect themselves because the system is not family caregiver friendly.I think your lucky your mom can still get around to go to a adult daycare.It seems on here the youngest of the kids make up the majority of family caregivers-with middle kids comin in second-You know you re not just your mom's caregiver now-your her hero.

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