Siblings say the strangest things to caregivers about caregiving!

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Sure they don't know what they say, or the impact their words, attitudes and actions can have. Siblings statements can really unbalance a caregiver, cause self-doubts, minimize the role of caregiver as insignificant, and many times just cause emotional turmoil or pain. Be sure to post here if that is happening to you, or has happened to you and maybe you got over it or made some changes in how you relate. May I suggest, if you do have a complaint, follow it with someting you love about that person, keeping the discussion positive........some of you may have to lie about the's okay...go ahead, be creative!


So I started this thread for my caregiver friends, who have real issues with siblings. Today my sister and I were discussing .....well, I decided not to say, but maybe later, after you. It was minor, but I am having trouble after my jaw dropped so low, cannot close my mouth yet because of TMJ disorder.!!! Lol.
She said, "When you are married, the spouse is not a caregiver, it is just marriage".
My aunt is 80 and in the hospital after caregiving my uncle-no one knows how hard it has been on her, or how long it has been this hard, because she didn't tell us, and would not accept help, but we are finding out it was very hard.

My sister was being supportive. But still in denial about uncle's needs.

That is very similar to the argument about fathers taking care of their children. Is it "babysitting"? Or is it being a parent?

I see your sister's point because of the wedding vows where you say in sickness and health and better or worse. So it *is* just marriage in a way, but for a long-term illness, not just a cold or something, I definitely consider it caregiving.
Even supportive sibs just don't get the mental strain that comes with caregiving. I seldom vent to sis anymore because I will get the"maybe mom should be in a a nursing home" speech or "I couldn't do what you do" and a quick segue into a different topic. Sometimes we just need somebody to HEAR. Thank god for AgingCare.
Now my 5 siblings and I have been through a lot together, caring for our parents through 2 very difficult illnesses and until their passing in quick succession, and we all worked really hard and in tandem with one another, so no problems there.

My issue is, that its been 13/14 years now, and in some ways, they seem to have forgotten some of the more difficult bits, as there were 6 of us sharing in the care. Now that my husband and I alone, and without the help of his own 2 siblings, have had his Dad living with us for 13 years, the've forgotten that we can't just up and leave at any given moment, or for things like weekends away, or even a short notice dinner out or and evening out at a party or something. I continue to hear, "well you just leave him home, or he'll be fine, but he isn't "fine", he is a huge fall risk, and has become paranoid and nervous if we leave him for more than an hour or so. They also seem to think that we can just hire in a caregiver, and while that would be great, it isn't something that hubby's Dad is comfortable with (yet), and we would hate to have him feel uncomfortable or somehow degraded, having a stranger come in to care for him, at any given time like a child, if a service like that even exists.

We know that the time is coming, that we will need more help in the home for him, but we have yet to set that up, procrastination, yes, but also we aren't really at that stage quite yet, but we know its coming. These sorts of things probably will be easier to manage, once we have some alternate caregiving set up, but for now, I wish they would be more understanding when we have to decline a nice offer to go out, or away on bargain vacation weekends which we would love to do. Our time is coming though! I just don't want to hear "You Cant or Won't, when they ask us to do these things, because if they remembered correctly, we all looked out for one another, back when we were doing it as a family. And these sorts of situations never came up, as there was always one of us to help out!

On another note, my eldest Niece's husband is dying of cancer, and on home Hospice. And while my sister has no problems asking for help with cooking, cleaning, and help with their (Niece's) kids, and I have no problems helping, its Me, who is still uncomfortable asking for help in regards to my 86 (almost 87) year old FIL. I don't like to ask my kids, as they are all so busy working, and have families of their own, and I wouldn't of my siblings, as the've all been through the Caregiving route, with our folks, and with their own inlaws. Maybe its just me, but it just feels weird asking for help! Its a really sad thing about my Niece's husband though, he's in his 40's, has advanced Prostate Cancer, with bone, brain, and lung metastasis. Also, a second diagnosis of breast cancer, and has failed all treatment. The Dr's think he will be gone by Christmas, and they have 3 daughters, 21, 13 &12. I've made cookies for them today, as when you've got Hospice coming into your home, it often becomes Grand Central Station. Reminder to self, many people have it far worse than us!
Givingitmyall, Yes, I see your point. Even parents are called upon to be real caregivers for their lifetime in the case of long-term disability or illness. The child becomes an adult and does not leave home, often so disabled caregiving is a requirement 24/7. So they are both, their roles is as a parent and a caregiver.
Yes, Cwillie, we do need to be heard. Some are fixer persons and won't feel better themselves unless giving advice. But I also love the generous listeners who are caregivers and if they give their time and their ear, you have felt a burden lifted.
It takes all types of people to make a loving community.
Stacey, always wise, and that is how I also feel, others have it far worse than me.
Not a judgment of their situation, but they handle much more without becoming over-burdened. Then I go home and think, if they can, I can also.

Often, after some conversations, maybe it would have been better not to share, just keep it inside.
Good topic Send! I am not a caregiver anymore but when I was......the ignorant comments were endless. Where do I start? For instance, my Mom had fallen in the nursing home. She had bad bruises all over the front of her calves. The way she described how she fell and where the bruises were just didn't jive. So at Christmas, we were discussing this. My sister pipes up "What does it matter how it happened?" I looked at her with an incredulous look on my face and said "Well, if we find out how it happened, maybe we
can prevent it from happening again" Duh, isn't that a given.

Now for the positive stuff. This sister was the only one who spoke up after Mom passed and told me "You were Mom's rock for the last two years of her life. I don't know what she would of done without you" Plus she is taking me out for a belated Birthday Lunch on Wednesday.

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