ashton99 Asked December 2012

How do you deal with siblings/relatives who don't help out? Especially when the caregiver is burned out.


I am the primary caregiver for my mother, who was diagnosed with dementia last year. She has progressively gotten worse, she started having accidents so she now wears Depends and will still soil those, she is prone to outbursts, and needs assistance with everything. I am the youngest of my siblings and also the only one with no kids so it seems like everyone expects me to shoulder pretty much all of the caregiving. I am seriously tired of this and am considering placing my mother in assisted living. This has been met with heavy criticism from my mother's siblings, some of whom haven't saw my mother in years. How do I politely tell them where to get off?

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Labs4me Jan 2013
Why would you want to politely tell them where to go? Selfishness and ignorance doesn't deserve consideration. Do what you feel is best for you and ignore the useless opinionated siblings. They continue to disrespect your choice, then very unpolitely tell them they can take over the responsibility of her care. I doubt they would be willing. Useless people always talk the talk, but never walk the walk.
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ashton99 Jan 2013
SelfishSiblings, I will definitely keep you guys posted on my situation. Since the holidays are over I can focus a little more on trying to find a good fit for her. Hopefully this year will be better. 2012 sucked! Happy New Year to you as well.
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Keep us posted as to how you are doing looking for the right facility for your mother.I hope you are making progress on that issue. F the others.
It's new year; it's a new you. And it's new me!!!

Happy New year!

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wuvsicecream, that was possibly the best rant of 2012, hats off to you!
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ashton99 All of these answers are from real experiences and I have noticed that we have all grown in a sense... the people helping you here now were asking questions like this and struggling with Dementia issues themselves, and have learned and lived it. All great advice!!!
After caring for my "wandering dangerously" Mom who I started calling Houdini because she was quite the escape artist and made pills disappear in thin air, not in her mouth, I'd find them hidden later even though I watched her like a hawk. so I thought. Anyway my only break was my 45 hour a week job (that she came with me for 20 of those hours, beauty shop) when she was with the aide, but I got her dressed and showered myself daily, the aid was like her entertainer wich was great by the way, but no break for me really. My sister wanted to get paid for taking her to lunch and to spend time with her kids, her grandchildren, at the movies or a ball game and Mom was always on best behavior with my sister. Her excuse was that "You wanted this SHAKING MY HEAD...." WTF!!! sorry but REALLY!!!! Yes... sure...I woke one day and said I hope Mom gets Dementia and I get to be her caregiver. Clean her hoarded house alone, work 45 hours a week, all while getting everything I needed for medicaid application in order, get attitude from family when I need help. The entire time my Sister complained about "spending quality time, not work, WITH HER MOTHER" yet she gave me a hard time when I got Mom into a NH and on medicaid (no help from sister of course!!!) I had to move into the house, my life's on hold still, .we all co-own the house, was Grandfather's ,I live here pay all bills in the house ,that BTW was unlivable, mold, clogged pipes. loaded with what equaled to about 50 peoples stuff, and much more. all while 24/7 Mom and 45 hour job and did it all alone. During this applying for medicaid too.
I made a perfect care plan.She had the nerve to say I didn't agree to this
~with an attitude, no less~
So I said to sis...OK you have choices
#1 you take her home with you 24/7 w/ no help from me, I'll visit but no work for me. just fun time with Mom when I'm with her, just like you did to me and I'll complain about you not paying me for play time with Mom. Then you'll have to pay an aid while your at work out of your pocket. Pay for her meds take her to doctors, do her laundry, bathing, dressing,cooking, cleaning etc. Oh and I'll hang up on you when you call and need help!!! Oh and prepare to see police daily!!!
#2 Move her back into her house get a live in aid 24/7 $335.00 a day. pay for her meds, food, daily needs, still take her to dr's, fix the house so she can't get out of doors, windows, which won't work anyway she'll find away to get out. Deal with picking her up when police call you because she got out and lost or in danger. If they find her at all and well and ok.
#3 You can pay the nursing home $10,000 out of your pocket minus mom's income, in stead of medicaid, I'll move so you pay taxes and bills on the house until it sells. Then you can go to NH 5 days a week make sure she's OK Good quality of life, right meds, etc. like I do!!
# 4 OR JUST SHUT UP AND SAY "THANK YOU YOUR A GOOD SISTER, YOU DID A GOOD JOB!!!" and co-sign a check as co-P.O.A. once a month "Mom's income" no cost to you and Mom will be safe, secure, clean, well feed, entertained, under Dr's care... and you don't have to sweat or stress out or spend a dime!!! OH and you don't even have to visit!!!
OK Sis will it be #1...#2...#3...or...#4 ?????
Guess which one she chose.... You got it #4 minus the TY great sister stuff... that, WAS ASKING TOO MUCH !!!

OMG That feels so good getting that all off of my chest to people who
understand it all!!!
The short version answer "LMAO~ as the weight has been lifted" give them options of care needs to people who want her to stay home and errands and try letting them take her for a few days in a row. I bet they start agreeing with your choices.
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bookworm Dec 2012
My parents have always been difficult. My siblings and I saw it first hand with mom's dementia. No one would want to care for her 24/7. I stepped up due to religious reasons, and I'm still here 23 years later. Ashton, I would definitely look into moving mom somewhere. I was 23 when I stayed home to help father. He did his best to let me live my life so that I was able to pursue some of my dreams of traveling. When mom became bedridden, sibling/family of Next Door weren't much of a help. I had to quit traveling on weekends (my getaway time since I assumed family can help if it's weekend and no work.)

Do what you can, and like Jeanne said, plan ahead as your mom progresses in the disease. In the meantime, try to find a career/life for yourself because you will be needing it - Sanity away from home stresses.
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purplesushi Dec 2012
All 3 of my children got married this year (yeah...all three...ugh) so you can imagine the amount of strain that put on me emotionally, as well as financially. I thank God that my Aunt (my mother's sister) offered to take my Mom for a few days while we went out of town to prepare for my younger daughter's wedding (she got married 3 hours away), and then my Aunt brought my mom to the wedding. Without her, I don't know what I would've done! She doesn't offer to help very often, but I think she saw the stress I was under. My sister, on the other hand, didn't show up at the wedding, nor did she offer to watch Mom so we could go. She also has a ton of "advice" where my mother's care is concerned, but since she lives 2 hours away from me, that is a valid excuse in her mind that she "can't" help out. My mother had hip surgery back in September - did my sister show up at the hospital? Nope. Did she call my mom to ask how she was doing? Nope. Did she show up this week for Christmas? NOPE! Yet my mother always makes excuses for her while I'm here getting sh*t on!!! I am "this close" to writing my sister off completely and telling her where she can shove her advice...I just might do that the next time she offers any. It's really not fair, yet when you think about WE will be the ones who are able to sleep at night after they are gone, knowing we did what was best for them, right?
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Dadskid Dec 2012
Yeah and she used to be his favorite, you know, Daddy's little girl.
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ashton99 Dec 2012
Hi jeannegibbs! Yes there are centers nearby that have both but the cost is out of her price range so I'm also looking into other cities nearby. And thanks for wishing me good luck. I really need it!
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jeannegibbs Dec 2012
Ashton, while you are checking out care centers for your mom with dementia, consider her possible future needs as well. Perhaps now she can get by with assisted living but as the dementia progresses she may need "memory care." Are there care centers nearby that have both? Right now she may have funds to be private pay. When her money runs out, will the care center accept Medicaid? (Some will, some won't.)

With dementia care we have to take one day at a time. But when it comes to selecting a care center it pays to look ahead to the future, too.

Good luck! (And do what you have to do. Ignore the critics.)
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