Very sick of my sibling not helping.

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I am new to the site. I was looking on the internet for a local caregiver group and I ran across this one. I have read so many stories similar to mine. My story is that I am the eighth of 8 children. Unfortunately, one sibling passed on last year suddenly who was a paranoid schizophrenia which was the oldest of us. My mother had 3 strokes last year. I was there to stop the first two from taking a toll on her, but the last one I did not even know she had one. Thanks God it didn't paralyze her or impair her speech, but affected some of her cognitive abilities. Well, my 16 year old daughter and I moved in with mother because she was weak and had continence issues for awhile. No one else wanted to step up to the plate so I said I would for awhile. Well, it has been very trying for me and has definitely put a strain on my relationships with my other siblings. They don't understand I still have to work, take care of my daughter, myself and our mom. My sisters feel that they can come over anytime they feel like because it's mama's house. I have asked them nicely to stop that because I work they do not!!! and I need my rest and so does everyone else in the house. Those request are ignored continually. They are always saying call me if you need me and when I do they always sick themselves of say I call you back and never do. I cook, clean, wash clothes, mow the lawn, grocery shop, take mom to therapy and doctor appointments, make sure has meds replaced, wash and comb her hair, take and pick up my daughter from school, take her to get her nails done, take her out of town with me, and other errand that I may have. the list is insurmountable. Since my mom has recuperated well the state will only give 2 hours a week for caregiving and that's when I am work not when I am off. I wanted to move my mother in another home due to her small house restrictions in the shower and just the lack of space to move around in. I was gun ho about the idea this summer, but I am thinking that they will not work. I have no help from any sibling for anything instead they have enough nerve to ask her for money at times and want to come over and eat every Sunday without bringing . anything. I realize this was my decision but it has burned me out already. Thanks God my mother can do her daily hygiene, walk without assistance, and even cook for herself from time to time. I am in the middle of trying to make decision should I move with her or move by myself ? I am asking god to guide me because he knows my heart and the guilt that I feel. But I need a break and I am just so exhausted!!! There is no sense in talking to my siblings or anyone else in the family because they just don't understand the daily grind of caregiving for her. I am restless, tired, feeling sickly daily and my mind is constantly raging of trying to make the best decisions for everyone involved. My siblings children are fully grown and married. I want to spend adequate time with my child and I cannot do that all the time as I wish. Her father co-parents very well with me and I can' thank him enough. I'm just sick and tired of every dam thing. no one cares of about how I feel. They say I have an attitude.

30 Comments

I really understand what u r going thro'. Don't feel guilty as your mother is independent. Just move out and still u can take care of her. In my case I opted to take care of her as my siblings didn't want to shoulder any responsibility and wanted to dump her in her house to fend for hersel although she has alzheimers and arthritis.I am not in talking terms with anyone of them (6!), but don't restrict them to come home to see my mother which is very rare with my mothers persistent calls, they turn up. But I just quit when they enter. No hospitality from my end. So be guilt free and move out, good for both of u.
Right Caregiver first off welcome to the world that no-one but us understands..... not you and me - all of us on here.

Feel free to vent al you want because we all do! If not already there you are bordering on depression. The anger and angst you feel are very typical of the period of adjustment that occurs during transition so you are truly not alone sweetheart and my heart goes out to you xxx.

Now on to the serious stuff. You need something to help you immediately probably some form of calming medication that will allow you to step back and take control of YOUR life. If am way off beam here then ignore that and go on to the next step.

Reading between the lines here - it wasn't ENTIRELY your decision to go and live with Mum, you said you did it because none else would. All volunteers step forward and they all took a step back sort of thing - leaving it down to you. So let's not pile the guilt on for the that - you did what you did because your Mum needed you and that is commendable not something to feel guilt about later. You'll see why in a minute.

I can imagine the scene in your siblings respective household when you moved in with mum. Phew we don't have to bother with that problem, where shall we go tonight? That's about how much attention they will have given to the life you were about to embark upon. And they envisaged you would do it all!

Now bear in mind that if you change nothing about your life nothing in your life will change. So time to grow a steel backbone and call a family meeting - I would suggest however much a pain in the arse it is you invite them all for Sunday lunch.

Sunday lunch will not be a full on cooked meal it will be a cold buffet because you don't have time to do it all or it will be a bought in takeaway pizza - It just will not be you turning cartwheels to try and please everyone.

I think your ex sounds amazing so keeping him on side is invaluable and it would be best on that day if he could remove her from the situation...I don't think your children necessarily need to know how bad you feel.

Then when they arrive sit them down together and tell them you need to let them know something important. Not that you want a discussion - you don't - they will try to browbeat you. This is NOT a discussion. Tell them you can no longer continue to care for your Mum full time and that you have decided to move out. That will throw them into turmoil!

Not a what shall we do shall we move to a different place or shall I do this. You make the decision and you stick by it gal. There is absolutely no God given rule that says YOU have to do ALL the care or that you SHOULD do it. It may be heartwarming for some, I know some find it rewarding - I personally don't but that's for a different reason.

There are 7 of you for goodness sake thats one day each a week. So you have drawn up a rota for 6 days a week that gives one of you a full week off in every 6 and they must understand that gets paid back and they do 2 days a week when one of you goes on holiday.

Its a take it or place Mum in ALF situation so let them stew on that. Tell them you want a decision in 30 days and then go. keep social services in the loop

It's mom's home. If mom doesn't put rules, then your siblings will treat it as a home for everyone who visits. I'd lock your bedroom door to keep the privacy. As for Sunday meals, can you just cook enough for you, mom and daughter. If they drop by, ask where's their contribution to the dinner/lunch table. By asking this, you're letting them know that to visit from now on - to bring something. If this doesn't work, then make it a point to cook food that your sibs don't care for. Make it subtle - and not obvious!

As a person gets old, they don't want to move. They're familiar with their own home - so trying to get your mom to move out might be difficult. Realistically, mom might be better at a retirement home or AL. You and daughter find a smaller place that you can afford. Whatever you do, don't include your mom - unless you want all the strings attached to that. You don't want to put her name in anything as shared property or loan, etc... It would be best if she has her own place. Moving her with you on a smaller dwelling is Not solving the problem that you're currently having. It's just transferring from one pot to another.
You have a tight yo feel as you do. It is exhausting. It wasn't until my sisters each came to visit that they realized what I do. That did open their eyes. When I took a two week vacation, my closest sitter had to come up and step in because dad got pneumonia. She moved in with him for a week and got an eye opener. So until we stop making it look easy they will never "get it"! I agree with the posts above. You stepped in when necessary and now it's time to step back and out and reclaim your life. However that is done...do it! You can not continue like this as you will snap and or get ill. Your first responsibility is to your family. Look up the word guilt... You have to have done something wrong first to feel guilt. So your guilt is misplaced as you e done nothing wrong. Get a plan in place and if need be, get someone who can help you make that plan. May be time for a professional to do that with you. If she can't remain independent, then she needs to move. Yes, we all love so long that aging in place is not always an option. We need to get over that. Please take care and know that we truly understand and are here for you..your siblings need a wake up call!!
Sorry for the typos...my iPad and I don't get along early in the morning. I meant "we all live so long". And "my sister...not sitter". Another cuppa might be in order!!
Do not ignore your own health and sanity. This will do terrible things to you. I only now realize that I have had caretaker burnout, having suicidal thought and causing extreme withdrawal. I have taken care of my terminally ill mother and father for the past 10 years.
I feel for you, Caregiver25 - it sounds like you're on the edge, and need a big hug and some serious reassurance. Please know that you're not the only one going through this! I struggled with a LOT of resentment when I began caregiving for my parents, both of whom have Alzheimer's. I took early retirement and am there every day for them, but I chose to live nearby in an apartment instead of in their basement. I don't know how long this arrangement will work; it's one day at a time. My siblings are supportive; they were thrilled that I stepped up to the plate. I have one suggestion, which may or may not work, as every family dynamic is different. I began a series of weekly emails to keep them all in the loop about what was going on, and in doing this, I communicate fully what is being done on their behalf. My siblings quickly got a sense of the time and effort involved. I've also called them in tears when I'm frustrated and in despair, so that they can see the emotional toll it takes. Being honest and open goes a long way in my family, as we all grew up keeping things on the inside, something that happens a lot in big families. Finally, it seems to me that your Mom is probably OK to be on her own most of the time - can you move to a place nearby? Does she have the funds to support a part-time caregiver who could take over from time to time? There are always solutions, but being in a place of high anxiety makes it hard to take that important first step. Courage, fellow caregiver, courage... and remember that putting yourself first is the brave thing to do, right now.
Holy Poop! I feel for you.
You have to put your foot down.
But I am wondering. Have your parents made a will. Who is the POA?

I am asking this because I what my husband and I went through.
His mother has dementia. His LAME-Brother didn't help out at all.
My MotherInLaw called one day screaming to move in with hubby.
So hubby flew down and brought her to his home.
Brother would call and say "I think this or that'' but did absoloootely NOTHING.

His brother would call last-minute (he lives 4 hours away) and state he was in-town and would like mom for a few days. He NEVER gave notice and when he would take her, he never brought her back on time (3 hours late) and also when he went to pick her up (4 hours late).
Hubby's brother is self-centered. cares only about himself.

So my hubby got a lawyer and is now the prime caregiver and POA

Have you ever thought of leaving your job and being the sole-caregiver?
Do you parents have enough money to have someone come in? or even a few people?

We tried the PSW thing. 3 of them started okay and then they would complain or ask for more money. Hubby even helped out one with an advance for HER rent. Then she went all PSYCHO. and one of the agencies we used only cared about money.
So we found a place for MOM :) ... and it's hard.

Hubby works from home and on the road. Couldn't get work done cause of her episodes (dementia related). He hates that she is in a place, but at least THIS place she is well taken care of.

PS... Hubby and I are married. He lives in the USA. I live in Canada. I take care of my dad here. We travel back n forth every 2 weeks to see one another.

So my question:
1/ Can you talk with your mom and state that rules must be in place?
re: visiting
2/ If your sisters come over on SUNDAY, have them bring a POTLUCK type thing. Also state the hours they can visit and leave ie: 4-6pm (that way YOU can have an evening in calm)
3/ Discuss a POA with your parents. this gives you full ruling on anything. It's better to get it NOW before your parents can't speak for themselves.
4/ Did you know (and this is what we found for MOM) that most facilities have a few beds that are geared-to-income? And I mean the NICER facilities. That's what we got MOM. So instead of MOM paying over $5,000 she only pays less than $1,000) .. at first it was complicated. but a friend of a friend told us what to look for and apply. We were very lucky and got a care facility to take her within 3 days. :)

THE other thing? How is your daughter taking all this?
Hubby has a son who is 12 years old. He is mature for his age, but having MOM at home made son upset. She would yell, scream at times. Poor son had to deal with that and school. NOT good for a child at all.
Time to ask mom what she wants, Can she even answer you. If she can take care of herself hygiene wise then she is not helpless. By asking her for her feelings can give you an idea how to help her. .Ask her which sibling she would like to stay with for awhile. . That way you'll be able to rest and revive. Then go to the next sibling. If she stays a mo. with each hey that's almost a year,. BUT ask mom and see.What can you lose.??

Hope mom can choose re: joysissy comment ... it's hard when you put a parent in that situation. but like joysissy said ... if she can speak for herself, has her own mind, then maybe?

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