Soooooo Stressed! My Sister Refuses To Help With The Care of Our Mother

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I'm a 55 yr. old male looking after my 81 yr. old mother.I have 3 sisters that never come around even though they live within a 15 minute drive.I moved in because my mother needed help and I'm single so I have been with her for 3 yr. now.I work across the country but spend the winter as a caregiver and living on my savings.This gets harder ever year and I finally had to go on medication for stress.She is hard of hearing,has arthritis and I have to do the outdoor work as well as the domestic duties.My sisters are of no help at all and I feel like I'm being pushed to my limits and beyond.Just having a place to vent is a help.


I have the same three sisters! Going on 7.5 years, mom now 89 with mid-adv Alzheimer's. 24.7. Any comfort to know you are not alone? (I didn't think so.) "You didn't have children, so it's your turn to suffer!" is their big attack statement.
Pity will not help, nor empty words. I do feel for you, as only another Caregiver could. You are not the only ones in this situation. Praying your needs are met, and your loved ones comforted. Take care.
John, Having a place to vent is wonderful, and this is a great place to do it. Believe me, we're all really good at it, and you can get such great moral support. But sometimes you need more than moral support. You shouldn't have to live on your savings and move cross country to take care of your mom. Is there any other way she can get help? Financial status always enters into the picture here, so given that: have you considered moving her to assisted living, maybe somewhere close by where you live so you don't have to travel so far? Is she eligible for medicaid? Some states have community medicaid where they can have helpers live with them if they are eligible (NY does). Some states don't.

As for the family thing, I don't know why one child ends up with parent care while the siblings "run free". But it's a fact of life, and all of those on this site are the kids doing the caregiving. So you are not alone. Hang out here with us and you will find comfort.
Dear John
I am a caregiver for my 88 year old mom. I have 2 brothers who live in the area and a sister too. I feel so alone in this as the only one that calls is my sister. My mom is healthy but she is 88 and it's hard for me to look at her - it must be my fear of losing her. I feel like I have already lost the vibrant woman that she was. I am sad that your sisters never come around. Just because you are single, as I am, is no reason not to call and visit to check on her. They may regret this. This site has been wonderful to share feelings with others who feel the same way. Best of luck and you are not alone.
The only way you can move past the obvious stress and betrayal at having no support from your sisters is to put on a metaphorical new pair of glasses and look at those three as if you have never seen them before in your life. Honestly - what would you think if there was no family history and you were a stranger surveying the situation. What would you think then? Sometimes its hard to recognize that we can pick our friends, but not our relatives. If you have tried, and there is no other way then your duty is to reduce your stress, first by taking the load of stress caused by feelings about what they should do, and dumping it. Easier to say, but all of us have or will be there on this one. Once you have thrown that out, you may be able to manage one day at a time dealing with things you can either change or do something about. The situation you are in is like being a hostage - oh sure they M A Y help someday, just not today. Sad truth is what you are going through is very common. Focus on what you are doing, and who is going to take care of you when you need it; don't let their unthinking behavior cause you more stress. One day they may very well be in a position where they get it; but till that day comes be good to yourself as you care for your mom. You sound like a very nice guy.
i am single and looking out for the folks as well i had a company with workers that was starting to really growing strong, my dad needed open heart surgery at the time he was 79 this is going back 3 years he speaks no English so i had to walk with him every step, for a year before and then a year after, no time no company, and all this alone. i also have a brother that ran to live interstate he helps nothing, had he help things would have been different but that's the pass, that can't be changed, but the future can. first i don't think about my brother were as before every time he entered my mind so did resentment which hurt me, so don't think, but my love for him is no less. we do what we do because we love, and in the long run that's a good thing. God love mate, and stay cool stress is a storm that blows in now and then, we all need a place like this to remind us that we are not alone their is an army of us care warriors fighting
Depending on the funds coming in to your mother's household, she may very well be eligible for assistance from a government agency like Medicaid. My grandmother had someone come in to help her every day except on the weekend and it helped tremendously. If her income does not quality her for assistance, is there enough to pay a caretaker to come in just once a week for a few hours? Even a small amount of help will decrease your stress. Since your sisters don't seem to care, they may not contribute financially to help your mom, but these daily home care workers can do things like laundry, grocery shopping, even help with bathing and washing her hair. It may be worth it to look into this - for your own sanity. Though you may resent your sisters' selfish behavior, in the end, it is YOU who is doing the right thing by your mom. Just don't be a martyr... there is help available to you. Good luck.
Sorry you are feeling alone in this. It is hard!

I have a question, and I hope I write it in a way that is kind and not negative! I ask it only because I have a tendency to jump into tasks like this, and start doing it all, and do not know how to ask for help, or how to delegate tasks. Have you asked your sisters for any help?

Perhaps you could ask them for some specific letting them know you need to be away from the house for a period of time, and asking them to fill in. Or, asking them to come sit with her on a recurring schedule. Perhaps they could trade off to do some of the grocery shopping, or take mom to the doctor.

They may be assuming that you are okay with the status quo, and so don't offer themselves for anything.

Is it financially possible to offload some of the mundane tasks? Having someone come in and clean the house weekly, having someone come and do yard maintenance (mowing, trimming, sweeping), having someone come in once a week to care for mom's hygiene might all be helpful to free you up a bit.

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