What we have here is a failure to communicate...Why can't people just be honest?

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I am trying to help my parents from out of state. The whole family has indirectly put pressure on me, hinted around, and directly Ordered me to be my parents' caregiver. Some of them live in the same town, and another is a few hours away. I am a day's drive from them. I have told them all that I can't, it's not going to happen and NO, come up with a plan B. We have our own health issues here. Of course, not the answer they want, so they continue to manipulate.

Since it seemed to me when I have visited multiple times this year, that my parents both have some form of dementia (on top of undiagnosed anti-social behaviors) and had let the house go, were making poor decisions, and I knew I wasn't going to be around to care for them, I involved the hospital social worker. Well, it's been like I called APS on the family or something. Lots of hiding info from me, refusing to answer questions, cutting me out of a meeting with a doctor, yelling at me to get over there to take care of them, not answering My calls or messages, making negative comments about my own family when I AM there to help, etc. I was open with my siblings as I did this and communicated all the hospital info to them at the time.

I have made calls to the doctors to fill them in when Mom has argued with them about medications - to let the doctor know which ones she's taking or how often she skips them. I don't want them to give her more because they're unaware she is not taking them! I have called her daily to remind her to take meds and ended up having to have her take them while she's on the phone with me so she doesn't forget. She is confused and tired later in the day and can't remember what they are for. She has now been diagnosed with MCI and is mad at the dr who referred her to the neurologist so is quitting him. This doctor was treating her for cancer and though he told her he couldn't give her any other kind of chemo, he has been in charge of supportive care.

I have taken several steps back and a seat lately. I am not sure what I've done has helped Anything at all and what's the point when everyone else has something bad to say about the "medical establishment", offer her otc pills and magic pills that will 'cure' her cancer, refuse to take in ANY medical facts, refuse to back me up when I tell them to hire help?

They are all panicking now that she has rejected this doctor... This after spending a year shooting the guy down and antagonizing him. That kind of negativity gets into the dementia brain... what did they expect?

I have had my problems with my parents, I've been the family scapegoat. But I feel that I cannot just leave them out there on their own when the rest of the family is so fully in denial (or else pretending to be). I asked my friend here (who also has been diagnosed with dementia and is in n.h.) what do I do now? She said "You get up in the morning." So I am trying to follow that advice! I thought it was pretty good. She was having a good day.


Read this very recent post. The situation is different, but similar in that the caregiver has reached a recognition that further involvement is futile. In your case it's with your siblings rather than your parent, but withdrawal and ceding control to them is probably the best way to go.


Is there some reason they're using you for verbal target practice?
I'm with GA. If they think they know so much better, let them take over!
verbal target practice? Because they were trained up this way and I'm sure I'll be blamed for eternity... Just Because - Pick Any Reason. I assume that at some point they all decided I would be the caregiver and did no planning beyond that. I ruined it by saying No.

The only thing I'm doing now is calling about medicine again after taking care of some things here. It is one way I can help and mom knows it, even if she does argue about it sometimes. I get information about her health, even if a bit skewed by dementia, that keeps me from getting blindsided by siblings. Sigh. It's what I can live with right now. So, I haven't completely stepped off, I just no longer give my parents my opinion about treatment and never did about conflicts with nurses or siblings. If a situation looks like an emergency and then I tell her to go to the doctor.

It is painful to watch and senseless. Life could be so much easier if people in this family weren't addicted to chaos.
Branchingout, I just read a post that you wrote 3 months ago about how you were caregiving for 8 years for a dear friend of yours. And sadly she had passed away. So sorry for your loss. I also noticed you had worked in a nursing home at one time. So no wonder your family is putting pressure on you to come take care of Mom and Dad.

I was so glad to see you saying "no", as you really need to recover from the past 8 years. It takes a lot of time to get back to normal or a new normal.... to which your family is clueless about. You are emotionally drained. Yet your family believes you are the best one for the job with all of your experience. You are the best one, but not right now.

It is up to the Power of Attorney to find the best care possible, even if it means placing Mom and Dad into Assisted Living or a Nursing Home. Or hiring 3 shifts of caregivers to help out at home.

Let us know what is happening.  You can use us as a sounding board or to just vent.  Or if you need to hear us all say "NO, DON'T GO". 

Thanks all of you for responding. I really am worn out, I guess. I can't believe I wrote that other post 3 months ago! It's like I've been frozen in time.
Every time I talk to my family, it is someone saying one thing, then the opposite in the same sentence, and it is nonsense. I have more questions after that than answers. I gain no information. I get that with my parents with the cognitive decline. Sibs, not so much.
I agree, with all of you, they want to be in charge, so then they should take the reins. They don't, so then I think they just want to gripe at someone.
We did get some bits of good health news ourselves lately, so I'm grateful for that.

Honestly, the little visit I had with my AD friend over at the n.h. late last week was the happiest I've been in a while, just her and her table mates eating breakfast. 2 had pureed food and were gobbling it up! One offered me some of hers, so I told her No thanks, I had a corn muffin and bacon. and oh yeah, blackberry jam on the muffin! They were all so excited about that, just enjoying the thought of blackberry jam, lol. Just a little moment of happiness shared together.
Who has POA and MPOA. I hope not you. Your too far away. I was lucky, my brothers let me do. I kept them informed. Are you being nice when you say No. Maybe you need to be a little firmer :). Like, you need to say listen...I am not moving back to take care of Mom and Dad. I have my own health problems that make it impossible. There are enough of you there to care for them. If u find you can't...then it's time to find alternatives. Please don't ask again. When they do mention it again say you r not explaining why u can't again. Try to change the subject if you can't say goodbye. Keep in touch with Mom. They will not except reality until parents end up in the hospital.
I've been nice enough, but also very firm and direct with all family members including my parents . I am not POA as far as I know.

Branchingout, to be Power of Attorney, your parents would have needed to have appointed you, and had an Attorney fill out the paperwork.... the POA's signed by your parents, and by you saying that you would accept this responsibility... and having it notarized. If you didn't go this route, then someone else in the family is the POA.

Whew, now you can rest.
Branchingout - I'm so sorry for what you're going through! That's really difficult. You sound like a very kind and caring person. I'm sorry about the loss of your friend, as well.

I understand about being the scapegoat, and being blamed for everything. Yep, been there, done that! I think you're doing the right thing - basically, stepping back, and only being minimally involved. If the rest of the family is going to lie to you, obstruct you, and not communicate with you, then there's not much else you CAN do.

Do take care of yourself, keep saying "No" as needed, and please feel free to come here to vent anytime, or for moral support!
If they are hiding info from you there's got to be a reason and as far as I would be concerned they can clean up whatever they are hiding on their own not dump it all on you the emotional and physical aspect of caregiving alone is taxing let alone having to dig up and sort out whatever else is going on that they don't want to tell you about

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