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My brother is about a year older than me. Two years ago when my mom lost her home, they both came to live with me (supposedly temporary). Then mom was diagnosed with early onset Alz. She rapidly progressed and now is in early Stage 6.

Mom is on the waiting list at a really good memory care facility. But once she is there, my brother will still need somewhere to live.

He hasn't worked in about 10 years and mom was supporting him. He does have some health problems related to morbid obesity, but Dr. will not declare him disabled. So all he has is $200/mo in food stamps and money he's getting paid for part-time caregiving of mom. Once mom goes to facility, ALL her money (plus some of mine) will need to go to her bills.

I want my home (and my life) back. There are things that I want to do with my life that I cannot do if I have to support my brother - like have a family of my own. I keep thinking - why do I have to support him just because mom was?

Right now it isn't an issue - if he wasn't there it would be even harder to work and I would never get to go out occasionally with friends. But this is only for a few more months (I hope) until there's an opening for mom. I don't see him doing anything about looking for work, trying to lose weight to help his health, etc.

I am MORE stressed by him than by taking care of mom. Any time I bring this up, all I get is a flip response. Like once I told him that he can't live in my basement for the rest of his life - his response was that he isn't going to live very long anyway.

I can't imagine putting him out on the street. But I also can't imagine him living with me forever. The very thought makes me frantic.

What would you do? I can't get a job for him or even make him do it. (Even if someone would hire him, which I doubt.)

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Your mother enabled your brother into his lifestyle and now you are doing the same. He has manipulated you and your mother with his unhealthy lifestyle. He is selfish, spoiled and lazy and will use you to continue his disgusting sedimentary and over eating lifestyle if you let him. It is about time he take care of himself. Only you can take back your life, but you have to be willing to take the tough way out or your guilt will cause you to take care of brother dearest for the rest of his life.
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Thanks Dayle - I'm currently taking care of my mom at home. She has medicaid and we have a caregiver come in while I'm at work until noon or 2 pm. Then my brother takes over. She also comes 3 Sat a month from 8-2 so I can sleep in or get up and go run errands, etc.

I have made the decision that my brother and I cannot give mom the care she needs long term. She is already in Stage 6 and it is getting harder. She is young (64) and very mobile. Among other things, this makes it harder to keep track of her.

The memory care facility that I chose is great. I'm very comfortable with my decision. My concern is with after she is in her new home. She was supporting my brother for many years and I don't want to be stuck with doing that just because she did. Although he has some medical problems, he is young and intelligent and needs to determine how to support himself.
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Hi I'm Dayle from R.I. and the only thing I can think of is see if you can get him a ward of the state where you live and maybe they can find a group home setting where he would have 24 hour superavision. I used to work with the handycapped here in R.I. just retiring in 2008. My mom began showing signs of the alzhimers and dementure but instead of putting her in a facility I've been taking care of her at home. What I've enrolled in is shared living with my mom and there is a program called care for home and you sign up see if your mom is elegable for medicaid and medicare then you find someone like a friend or a relative who would want to be a seconday caregiver to give you time to go out shopping with friends or go on a date. On Wensday afternoons when I get out of my 3 hour a day job at the high school I pick mom up at the adult day care and I leave her at my neices home, she is my secondary person so that I can go to my Diabetic class and I know that she is being taken care of, the after class I go back and pick her up and bring her home. She's happy that she spent a couple of hours with her granddaughter and her two great grand children. Check with the elderly affairs in your state and see if they have such a program where you live. It wouldn't hurt to try and it will releave any stress that you might be under ..Good Luck and I'll be praying forou that someting works out for you.
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I agree, you love him and want to help but you can't just abandon him. If he was dangerous or did things that damaged your home or self that would be different. He may just be one of those people who need to be looked after by others. but with good care and helpful cognitive therapy he can help himself to make a life for himself. but it will not be easy. I speak from personal experience here.... I wish you the best and hope you both find your way....
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Thanks to everyone for taking the time to answer my question and provide your opinions. The answers have given me some ideas and opened my eyes in some interesting ways. Although I agree he needs to get his own life outside of my home, he is not an awful person. Although the situation is frustrating and stressful, I don't believe he is as calculating as it sounds.

In some ways I think he's as stressed and more scared than I am. This gives me some perspective, thank you.
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Julie, I feel for you, lets be realistic, who can throw someone out? Really now, how can you? I think you are going to have to find him a job yourself and create a life for him as he doesnt know how to, or want to. You dont want him becoming suicidal either, you need to treat him with kid gloves as he is your brother and althou he is a burden, I am sure you love him. I think him as a caregiver is a great idea! How about him working as a cook or in a nursing home or even delivering newspapers every morning, something... tough situation, real tough one. My husband had sleep apnea and he wore something at home at night to show IF he needed a sleep study or not. Well he did, had one and tried the cpaps for years without success, He just had the apnea surgery 2 months ago and he snores no more, a complete turnaround. Maybe he can get the at home machine first to try it. Good luck helping your brother get his life together, its going to be hard but worth it if you can do it.
I think there is no other alternative, easy to say "get out" but not realistic when he is your brother , homeless and jobless. Hang in the girl!!!
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This is a hard position to be in, he is probably attached to your mother and scared to make major life changes. He is not totally disabled just a bit un abled. Encourage him to get support to get his own life, what ever he chooses that to be, some have mentioned looking into being a live in care giver for others. this may be an option AS LONG AS HE IS HEALTHY ENOUGH. tell HIM THINGS ARE CHANGING AND HE NEEDS TO CHANGE TO AND MAKE AN EFFORT TO HAVE THE LIFE HE WANTS JUST AS YOU ARE CHOOSING TO DO. sorry CAPS LOCK.

You deserve your own life, and even though you care for him, he is not your responsibility. Change is frightening but it can be done and you will both be a lot better off after wards, it just wont feel like it to begin with...Very best wishes to you both.
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I too have to worry about my brother who has autism. I am bringing my mom back home because she is being asked to move due to aggression. I think your brother is severely depressed and needs help in that direction. It is apparent that his doctor isn't doing his job by checking this depression. I know that if you are extremely overweight, you can apply for Social Security Disability. Perhaps a different doctor is the solution for you and your brother. Good luck.
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One thing you really need to check on is his legal status in your home. In some states he would be considered a tenant and you would have to actually evict him even if he pays 0 in rent. Now, he may not know this, but cover all your bases or your stress levels will zoom. I've been through this, and what I do is make a list of all possible senarios (good and bad) and try to get a workable solution to each. Also, have a third person with you when you tell your brother your final decision. Don't "take the bait" and argue beforehand. You have the power, not him. Sometimes, a minister or "sane" relative can be there for the final formal talk. Put it in writing. Check the landlord/tenant statutes in your state. It might even be worth it to consult a lawyer. Your state and local agencies may have options to help him to be declared disabled and or find some vocational rehab for him. He can consult a disability lawyer and they don't bill unless you have a case. But, check out your rights, make a plan and schedule reasonable deadlines, present it to him and tell him you won't fight about it but you will help him work the plan. If he starts to fight, walk away. He might get even more upset, but it sounds like he's not stupid, let him have alittle time to "save face" and come back to you. And this whole time, you stay calm, nice, and stick to the plan schedule (in the plan you should list what repercussions will happen if deadlines are not met). I know this is easier said that done, that's why it will help you to get knowledge, don't take his word for stuff-double check things on your own, and continue to love your brother. I know for me a long habitual routine is one of the toughest things to change. Knowledge helps alot. Best wishes to all of you. Karen
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Brace yourself for a possible health 'crisis' from your brother if he thinks you are actually going to put him out. (He may genuinely become frantic about suddenl;y having to support himself.). You might try contacting a mental health office in your city or county for advice/services, too. Lilliput's suggestion that he look for a job as an assistant for an elderly or disabled person sounds good except that you say he often crashes for a day after an insomnia binge. Obesity & sleep apnea are putting his heart at risk.
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People with a lot more problems than morbid obesity manage to find gainful employent. From your description he sounds like a freeloader and a mooch. If he got up off his fat behind and moved around a bit, looking for gainful employment, he might actually lose a little weight and improve his health. I knew a man who was morbidly obese but he made a good (actually VERY good) living buying and selling rare coins, which was his passion. Your brother could sit on a stool all day at a newsstand and sell papers, for cryin' out loud! Look at
Chef Paul Prudhomme for example. He was so fat he needed a scooter to get around his kitchen, yet he built one of America's biggest gourmet food and restaurant empires! Your brother is taking advantage of your good nature. Get a spine and throw him out!
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Julie, I agree that your brother could get a job as a live-in care-giver to someone. With our aging population, there are plenty of elderly that need someone just to keep them company. He just needs to find the perfect situation. Perhaps there is an elderly man that doesn't need a lot of personal care but would like to have someone living in his home in exchange for room and board and it could grow into a little more as time goes on. Even if you are the one that has to get the word around town that your brother is available, it would be worth it if you come up with someone. Good luck to you!
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Well, I agree with you but hardball doesn't always "work" in the sense that sometimes addicts really do go down the tubes when they're on their own (whether the addiction is alcohol, drugs, food, or other ultimately suicidal behaviors). And people who have a hard time playing "hardball" don't know how to do it well, and are likely to suffer a lot of guilt if the outcome is bad, even if they "shouldn't." We're looking for a way to stomach the hard decisions that have to be made. Playing "softball" doesn't really necessarily work either, though. So I offer a solution to the hardball-softball problem that comes from something called Principle-Based Negotiation: BE SOFT ON THE PEOPLE AND HARD ON THE PROBLEM. Realize that refusing to give over your life and thus refusing to enable the other person's destructive patterns is actually the most loving thing to do. And furthermore it models self-care and love of life on our own part -- just the things that the addict needs to see. "I love you but this isn't working" and "I love you but I won't let you drag down my life, so I am going to do such-and-such" (and that such-and-such can also include serving him with notice that he has to leave) is a construct that you may be better able to pull off than one that feels like you're just telling him to grow up and buzz off.
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He is a grown man. Tell him to apply for public housing, although i do not believe it is the taxpayers' job to take care of him, either. If you are serious about this, then see what the laws are in your area for removing someone from the home. If it gets to the point where he is there without your consent, and you have proof (video if necessary and legal documents) to show that you served him with papers to get out, even though he is not an official renter, you may need to jump thru hoops just to have your own house back. If you are not prepared to play hardball, then nothing will change. Obviously your brother does whatever he wants wheneve he wants because he hasn't had to pay any real consequences for his behavior. I thought that the gov't was on a big diet kick now. He shouldn't be getting gov't support if he is completely unwilling to make an effort to be healthy. Believe me, when you force him out, he will suddenly find a way to work and sleep properly.
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I like naheaton's answer. In addition, I want to point out that basically a lot of people are telling you how to help your brother. And it's true that if your brother took more responsibility for your own life it would be better for you. But you can't wait for whatever he does to improve your life. This is the stuff people work on in Al-Anon meetings and you might get some real help by checking that out. Your brother isn't an alcoholic but the paradigm is the same.
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Julie, I don't know how obese your brother is, but that fact that he can still drive and take your mom to her doctor appts. does tell me a little. There are people that are unable to get out of bed at all because of their weight. He no doubt has sleep apnea by now, so constantly waking himself up to breathe is why he can't sleep probably. I know I always slept better in the early morning hours when my apnea lessened a little. Probably cause it wasn't as deep of a sleep by then. Sounds like your brother has given up hope of ever losing weight and being 'normal' again. There are places that will take grossly overweight people to live in their facility as long as the person follows their program. I would start by questioning his doctor, or looking up for yourself where those places are. Your mother has no doubt enabled your brother so that he wasn't expected to lose weight and become independent again, and now he's basically helpless. I've seen enough of those programs on TV about the morbidly obese trying to re-gain their independence to see how hard it is for them to get off the crutch of food. I have a little personal experience with that, so I can empathize,up to a certain point, then it gets frustrating.
But if your brother has no intention (even with help) of doing anything about his weight, then he's basically committing suicide which is why he tells you that he won't be around long.
In that case I would tell him that you don't want to sit idly by and watch him die, so he'll have to find somewhere else to live.
If he reaches out to you for help with the weight, reach back and help him. It will be worth it in the end for both of you.
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DogGrrrl - that's a good idea, but it's my house. I only bought it 3 years ago and plan to live there a very long time. But if I was renting, that would work! :-)
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Julie,

Maybe you should consider moving (after your mother's in the facility). I don't know whether you rent or own - it would be a lot easier to move if you rent. I know it's an extreme thing to do, especially if you really love your home, but it would force your brother to get out on his own. Something needs to be done about him, and it shouldn't have to be up to you. It's NOT fair to you to be put in this position. I hope everything works out.
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Julie: I hope things work out for you. Your bro has found a very "cushy" situation and he is going to stay put until you literally force him to make the big decisions.
Folks, like us, who are caregivers, tend to let a lot of bad behaviors go when we deal with family. We feel sorry for them. However, think about what your brother would do if you did not exist. He would survive and perhaps thrive because he would have to fend for himself. I hope you find a good, humane solution for him AND for yourself.....Lilli
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JulieWI, I'm not a therapist but your brother going for several nights without hardly sleeping and then crashing sounds manic to me. Does he have mood swings? Not much of an excuse about sleeping for a sleep test when he does not sleep that much anyhow. Sounds like he's afraid of the diagnosis, having to use a machine and then take responsibility for dealing with the weight issue which sleep apnea helps create and is worsened by. I hope than he will change his mind and get that sleep test. When he does sleep, does he snore? Sometimes, but not always some people who claim they can't sleep at night, but then sleep during the daytime actually do that so they are in charge and avoid the expectations of others. I saw that with out youngest boy.
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It's funny that you mention sleep apnea. His sleep habits are awful - have been for YEARS. He says he can't sleep at night, so he stays up all night and sleeps during the day. Freuquently he goes for days on only 1-2 hrs sleep and then crashes and I don't see him for a whole day. His Dr wants him to do a 3 night sleep study. I wish he would (if his state insurance will pay for it). But he says he can't sleep at night or anywhere that isn't his own bed, so why go when he can't sleep?

Liliput - my brother does an OK job with my mom, but I don't think anyone would pay him. We have another caregiver from 8-12 MWF and 8-2 on Tu, Th. She does meals and showers and meds. My brother could never do showers. I'm just thankful that mom is still (mostly) continent. He's already said that he can't deal with that, so it will be my job when that time comes. No way could he do a good enough job to get paid at it.
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Sounds to me that along with meds, his depression needs some 'talk therapy' as well. I have bipolar II which is the depressive kind and I'm helped by both meds and 'talk therapy.' Has his obesity led to a diagnosis of sleep apnea? If so and he uses a CPAP, he just might not be getting enough sleep to help him wake up with some energy and like myself might need something like nuvigil to help make him more fully awake.
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I am going through something similar in my family. Everyone tells me to make a deadline and stick to it. But what do you do when someone says to you that they just won't go?
As the others have said, don't argue, set "benchmarks" for the eventual goal of leaving, and don't budge. If he was a decent caregiver, perhaps he can find a paid, live-in caregiving situation. Many seniors are looking for an honest person who can help them with everyday care and doctors appts., etc. This would also raise his self-esteem.
Do not become his emotional parent. You need your own life and have to return to some sense of normalcy. And you are right, you do deserve to have your own family. Your brother can always visit.
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He's on medicine to treat depression, but that's it. We actually get along OK and he doesa decent amount around the house (not as much as I'd like), takes mom to dr appts, etc. It's the long term I'm stressed about. A deadline is great, but what if he doesn't find a job? I know it's my choice, but I don't see putting him out on the streets.
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I think I would find another doctor who would declare your brother disabled. Your brother is expecting to become dependent on you like he did on ya'lls mom, but don't let him. Is he depressed, suicidal or using drugs?
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He needs a deadline. "Three months after mom goes to new home you will need to move out. I cannot support you like she was. I would suggest you start looking for a job now and saving every penny." Even if you have to take on more of your mom's care while he job hunts this could be good. He will get out and walk around and exercise. Don't argue with him. Just state the facts.
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