My siblings quit contacting our father after our mother's death. No one has called him in 4 months. He cries nearly every day and wishes he could die. How can I help him?

Asked by
Answers 1 to 10 of 19
There is a missing piece here......Why have they not called? Was the relationship good with your Dad and sibs? If they are being cruel that is sad but if they have been neglected by Dad (emotionally etc.)in the past there may not be a relationship at all .

I have chosen not to connect with either of my dysfunctional parents and I know they both cry for me but if I opened up to them they would emotionally kill me with their hatred of each other and their controlling guilt driven ways. It took me 45 years to separate from them and try to regain my mental independence thus freeing me to embrace life with my husband and children in a more relaxed and healthy way.
i aslo have to deal with the missing siblings. And no my mother was not abusive or controlling. Just the opposite was always there for us. Since Mom has moved in with me my siblings have hardly seen or spoken to her. Guess they fiqure I have it all handled. My Mom also was very sad after my dad passed married 54 years, and I couldn't get her to do anything. It took me almost a year but I now have her going to a Senior center 5 days a week, and she loves it. She has mid stage dementia so everyday i have to remind her where she is going, but it has helped alot. Just being around people her own age and socializing is a big help. As for your siblings good luck I have tried everything but they just don't care.
oqt asked the question that I was going to ask you, Carol. Is your father "reaping what he sowed"? If so, HE is the one that should be calling your siblings to see what he can do to make repairs. I know that if my husband's mother had died before my husband's father died, the offspring might not have cared much about how lonely their father was. He wasn't good to his wife or his kids and he caused them much misery during his lifetime. However, if your siblings are just "too busy" or "don't think of calling" etc. you could phone them and tell them how much they are hurting Dad. If you know this won't work and that you would just end up being yelled at, then, perhaps, when you have time to sit with your dad, help him decide which of your siblings he wants to talk to first and encourage HIM to do the phoning. Keep him at it. Maybe your siblings don't know what to say now that your mother is gone so they feel awkward about speaking with your dad. But if he phones them and asks how THEY are doing, and what's happening with their kids? their pets? their work? their hobbies? etc. at least he will have talked with them. I think the "talking together" is more important than who it was that made the call. Also, I would guess that part of the crying on the part of your father is that he is still missing his wife and the life they had together, especially if it was a good life for him.
That was such a great answer if he makes the move to call even if you have to suggest thay make make the difference-they can decide how much to share and if it does not work out at least you did the right thing-I am sure it hurts to have him so upset not hearing from them they peobably have their reasons but somday it will be too late so do have him call each one that is all you can do,
The worst shape and the needier my father became the less the brothers came around and called.When he was up and around and could cook and clean for them-different story.He cried about their lack of concern often as did I.All of the tears in the world will not change a selfish,self-centered -dump it all in your lap sibling.Some compassionate people often will realize that it is a family and that family are suppose to stick together and some are like my brother who never called,came around-showed any concern,didn't come to the funeral and then got a lawyer to sue.[Parents often leave the kids zero that don't give a flip about them]Good character is good character.love is love and actions speak a whole lot louder than words.Instead of dwelling on the deadbeats,try to make him laugh about things that you two know about-I for one am not going to help make excusses for someone who will make plenty on their own. I hope your dad can get passed the inconsideration and giggle with you a bit.
You stick with him! Be there for him. Take him where he can mingle with other adults his own age....activities, music, and travel will help, I'm sure. Lastly, try and contact your siblings and ask them nicely if they would just give a call or a visit to your father about once every two weeks. That's not too much to ask. This is a typical case where a senior lets his family become the focal point of his social life instead of integrating himself with others his own age. They say that interacting with others is good for mental health and can increase life expectantcy.
My father had a very bad stroke. The next week my mother died from a heart attack. My dad was unable to comprehend about my mother for months. He asked my nephew for a gun. My father had never been alone and it has been really hard on him. What I've done is to keep reminding my father of what he means to me. I got him a puppy. I've enrolled him in a senior's social activity (they pick him up and drop him off). I've got my uncle taking him to the gym to keep him active. Its taken us 1 year after his hospitalization to get him to this point. its not easy, but keep reminding him of what he still has to offer this world. I'll keep you in my prayers.
It's amazing how often the topic comes up about some of the adult children calling/visiting/caregiving and some not. I think it's useful to remember that everyone would prefer to have good relationships over bad relationships. It doesn't normally "just happen" that adult children "abandon" their parents out of selfishness. Something happened in that relationship and whatever it was, was probably not one-sided. Different sibs have different experiences of their parents in addition to different issues of their own. For the sibling who's still connected to assume that the others are just shitheads is not likely to help the situation. That's poor relationship management on the sibling's part, and doesn't exactly model good relationship management for the parent. So... siblings, work on improving your relationship among yourselves. That can possibly have a ripple effect on the quality of other relationships. But the only relationships you can affect directly are your own.
always learning
You are correct, I tried everything to keep my nine brothers and sisters involved with my Mom's life and care. I tried having her call them, I emailed , I wrote letters, I hosted Holiday dinners just to get them to see her. Well now I am tired of doing all the work for them, as I said before Mom was there for everyone of them when she was needed, and now they are to busy, selfish or just don't care. So no sometimes it is not our fault that we don't try hard enough, sometimes our siblings are just Sh-TS!
I agree with alwayslearning and would only add to it that sometimes "the chosen one" cannot see the dysfunctional realities seen by their siblings.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support