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It seems that other sibilings in the family feel that their lives are too busy or they have exceptional circumstances to be involved with any part of mums care, even though she has just moved in to a nursing home, so the load is now lighter. Some have the attitude of someone else can do it. My husband is worried that his sister will burn out without some support, as we have done - there is 7 in the family. We are very willing to take some of the load but cannot take it on again fulltime as it seems we are expected to do. We feel that it would be nice if others in the family would be willing also to make it easier for everyone & give their mum quality of life. Is this a common problem? Does it always fall to only one?

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Another thought.
To often we think the problem is with taking care of mom or dad. The problem could be with families period. Were mom and dad the only ones that really helped the children and grand children as adults? It seems children at any age believe that parents are their to help for life and it is an expectation. Yet the same family group is resistant to help each other. No one complains and has the attitude that they don't have to help each other for years. The parents mature and need help and the children are use to taking and not giving. One or two of the children step in and the pattern of leaving them with the burden is set.
To break the cycle perhaps as parents we need to teach our children to help each other. To verbally and physically insist that they help each other as children, as young adults and onward.
That doesn't mean we don't have life of our own. It is a balance.
My great grandfather had all the children over for Sunday lunch forever. Those that couldn't be there physically called in and talked to everyone. When someone had a ligit problem Grandfather would advise each of them to give so much to resolve the problem..that might be money, time or talent. As a result the entire family did well and when they got old the family took care of them.
This may not work as it did 2 generations ago but the family unit as it is seems to breed family members who don't feel enough compasion and required service to their families and communities to do the right thing. That may be because they didn't see it, experience it, and practice it thoughout their life.
I know this doesn't help you...but maybe all of us need to review our family units and see what we can do to stop the cycle. ????
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I'm with vickie02 on being careful what you ask your siblings to do to help. I had read all the advice about being specific in my requests and getting all siblings on the same page and tried to use that guidance these past 6 months. It backfired in a big way so now no one in the family is speaking to me, they've damaged my relationship with my mother and I am more isolated and stressed than ever. They refuse to meet with a family mediator to talk so basically I've lost my entire extended family out of this - no good deed goes unpunished. I don't know why some people step up and others don't. Many times it is proximity which is my situation. The others are out of state so even though there are things they could do to help, it is fairly easy for them to live in denial. And my experience is that the senior person helps to feed that denial because she wants everyone to believe she is just doing great - which is pretty easy to fake in 10 minute phone calls - and she wants to lash out at the one person that is here with her because I'm just a huge reminder that she really has lost independence. All you can do is sit down with his sister and outline the care she is comfortable providing and encourage her to do no more than what she is comfortable doing. It is not her job to compensate for what her siblings will not do. If this means his mom gets 5 visits a week instead of 15, so be it. The hard part is that, as situations present, you keep getting sucked into doing more. You really have to be mindful about what you're getting pulled into, you have to be firm, you have to be confident that what you've chosen to do won't leave you with regret but still isn't more than you can take on without burning yourself out. It is great that your husband supports his sister. Emotional support goes a long way.
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When you get time - please! We know what time limitations are All about!
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NANCY, DT:

It's a privilege having you guys in this forum. ... Wish I had more time to chat, but it's 4:10 am here in NYC. Gotta go to work.
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Yes, that is the way it goes. I have two siblings who are able to help, but choose not to. They both live about an hour away and complain that it is so far for them to drive. They prefer that I bring Mom to them for visits--of course, that means no break for me at all. I guess it is probably guilt that makes them uncomfortable when coming to visit Mom, but I had nearly come to the conclusion that they must be incapable of feeling--guilt or most anything else! I have been the primary caregiver for over 20 years, since Mom's stroke, and her only caregiver for the past 12+ years, and it is such a shame. Mom would like it so much if my siblings would have even one day a month--or every 3 months--that they were scheduled to come visit, take her to lunch, yard sales or wherever; but they won't even give her that much of a commitment, and it makes me cry that they can be so selfish and uncaring about their own mother. I have given up my job of 20 years, my retirement, my home and will be left with nothing when Mom passes, but if my brother finds out Mom paid for my car registration or gave me money, he pitches a fit. Amazing how guilt affects a person's rationale and judgment, eh?
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I am grateful for your responses. It helps me.

I don't get it though? Why did we not turn our backs? What is the difference between us and our siblings? I don't understand. I'm just a normal -- (of course on those bad days that is even up for debate) every day person. Some of you said...you can't make them help...I agree. I've asked...a few different ways...and I'm done. It is too hard on me being angry with them. It sometimes still creeps up but I quickly put it in it's place. They have come through a couple times during an emergency. I'm grateful for that.

God definitely knew the folks that would be best for the job...if you wonder who. Go look in the mirror. God Bless all of you.
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When I first moved back to my home town, I asked my brother and sister-in-law for help without success so stopped asking them. I thought maybe they were burnt out from taking care of my folks before I started to. When it became overwhelming for me, I actually would make excuses for them in my counseling sessions. My counselor gave me affirmation for my anger and need to ask for help. Part of what was killing me was not asking and not making my brother aware of how my parents were. I now call on a regular basis to ask for help and occasionally they actually come through for me. At least now I feel better because I'm not stifling myself.
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I'm not sure, but my older brother, who still lives with my parents, is denying the fact that my parents are getting too old to take care of themselves. He gets pretty angry about it. He is the executor of my father's. I simply want to discuss options with him and he won't give me the time of day about it. Anyone else dealing with this?
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Sorry to tell you, but you will never get the others to help unless they want to. You need to focus solely on yourself and your own family and decide how much you can do. Then you have to gt over the guilt of not doing more. Period. I have two siblings who not only do not participate in caring for Mom and Dad, but outwardly said, "If I don't have access to their money, I can be of no use to you," The other said, "Not going to happen." So it has taken almost a year for me to realize that I can only manage my own emotions and relationship with my parents. And I can only do so much. So if my parents are lonely because no one visits them or forms are not filled out on time, I can't beat myself up. I can only do what I can do. And you should think about that too.
Best of luck. We all know it's hard. It just is.
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you cant make them help. I went through that with my 97 year old mom when My sister and I cared for her when the other 9 went about with their Busy lives. now I am going through it with my husband ...his two sons are to Busy to help. Dont lose your mind over it if someone dont want to help you cant make them!!
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Please be very careful with family involvement as many underlying issues could surface as my siblings did. My brother has accused me of stealing money from mom's account and that I need to account for every penny. His anger was so severe that I completely broke down. I have had mom with my husband and I for 4 months now 24/7, but my brother and sister won't take here for a weekend because they are too busy but not too busy to criticize me and the handling of her health and care. Sometimes I wish I was an only child, it would be easier. He is not welcome in my home anymore and if he wishes to see mom, he will have to call and make an appointment. So please be careful with how you handle your siblings. Love Vickie
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I thought I'd add a positive experience here. I am one of 13 kids. 6 live away and 7 live here. Since our mom began deteriorating rapidly from RA we have all pulled equal weight. My dad, age 84, had been doing the main care giving and we'd just take turns going there in the morning to clean and comb mom's hair. As she has gone downhill, Dad let us know he needed more help and now someone goes there every morning from 9 to 6, and someone else comes from 6 to 9 in the morning. Mom needs total care with everything now, plus a spastic bladder; it's not fun being on night duty getting up 8-10 times a night to help her on the commode but we all are sharing in it. I'm in charge of all dr. appts, meds and all things medical, one sister in charge of scheduling, another does most of the yard work, one brother is the mediator when there is a problem, the ones from out of town come when they can, my sister who lives in norway is coming for the second time this year, this time she bringing her 6 kids with her too. All the in-laws feel close to mom too so they are equal as the daughters in doing stuff. Sometimes there are mix ups in the schedule and major irritation at one sibling or another but we never let it effect the care mom gets. It's not as Pollyanna as it sounds cause we're just reg. people with reg jobs, lives and stresses but the great love for our mother has brought us together in a way that's been almost miraculous. I credit God for giving patience when dealing with siblings that are opinionated about this and that but being able to carry a forgiving heart is most important of all. I wanted to let you all know that it can be done, though it sounds rare from reading the others experiences. I can't imagine what you all must go through doing the care giving alone and I hope for better days ahead and more help and support from all your siblings
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If someone finds the miracle answer let me know? I do know that pleading, crying, and fighting gets no where but just pushes them away further. Its tough being the one caregiver to a parent. But I feel that maybe for me its better, cause I don't have to worry about if she is being fed, bathed, changed etc... Cause I do it all!! I know that mom is being well taken care of the best I can do.
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yes very often it happens. i am one of 5 girls. I took most of the caregiving of my mom for several years. had help from the rest only once in a while. I was a nut case by the time we put her in a home not far from my home at 92 years old. (I still went to spend time with her more than the others) but.......now that she has gone to her eternal Home, at 97 years old, I don't regret it, as I have a lot of respect for myself. yes it was hard but "I" am being helped with my life by my 2 kids because they saw me going out of my way and sometimes my everyday life to help my mom and they show me so much love. and....I know God knows what I went through and I feel I have a star in my crown for loving my mom through it all. keep looking to God, He will see you through it. There were times I could not have kept going without Him.
God bless you
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That's such a good way of puttin it! Is a mother can take care of multiple kids, then why can't multiple kids take care of one mother!
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In my experience, there are only two, myself and my sister. I am 61, working, and live on the east coast. She is 71, an RN (still working) who lives in the western US. My mother has lived with me for 20 years since our dad died (1989). It was expected that I would do the caring, since Mom lived with me. After her stroke in 2004, I gave up my job and cared for her at home for almost six years. Without additional help, I broke down (physically) and finally had to place my mother in a nursing home where she has been the last two years. I visit every day (sometimes twice a day) to check on her and make sure she is AOK. My sibling has not been to see my mother since 2004 and I doubt if she will come any time soon. I am extremely disappointed in the response of my entire family--sister and her kids-- because their grandmother has done so much for them in the past-- it seems like they could do better by her in my estimation. I am sorry if I'm not offering you any solutions-- but yes, from my experience, this is a common problem. A mother can care for 5 children. 5 Children can't seem to care for one mother!
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You can bet that it is common. I once was hired into a job (wholesale showroom) that had 3 people operating it, when I hired on it was down to two, about a year after I was hired the manager and the boss had a falling out and he left (boss was a prick...). Boss asked me how long I could manage it myself, as it was the slow season I said until about January. Long and short of it was that 7 years later I was still working alone, never able to take vacations or even be ill one day once in a while (born a sucker, I guess...), and selling just as much as when there were two of us. Moral - as long as you can do the job, there are those who will let you. I have no siblings, just 3 nieces and a sister-in-law who care more about their hair and makeup than they do about even visiting grandma, yet the few times we see or hear from them they always end the conversation with "I love you grandma!" Yea, right. When mom does finally go, they will all get big, fat fleas in their ears.
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Yes, this has been my experience too. I cared for my mom in my home for almost 2 years, also juggling 2 teenage boys, husband and a full-time job...I work from home office. I was able to get some help from visiting caretakers during the day and a local senior day care. Very little help came from my 5 siblings. Granted, 3 of them live too far away to be of much help. The other 2 sisters are about 1 hour away. I did get some help about every 6 weeks when my sister would have mom for the weekend. Now my load is much lighter as mom needed nursing home care. I still go see her most days as she is local and still take her to all of her medical appointments. Plus, I do all the worrying and advocating. I realize that siblings often cannot help a lot...too far away or very busy lives....but really, phone calls to their mom and to me would help or occasional visits (more than they currently do) ld help so much. I guess it is true that they think I have it covered! And I agree about the guilt...seems like visiting mom just makes them feel guilty for not doing more...I just wish they were more involved in her care...I feel like I'm her only child at times!
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Apparently it does always fall to one. My mom lives with me and I have a full time job, a child and and husband and I drive an hour to work and from work everyday. Come home, cook for mom, bath her, give her meds, talk to her, etc. I'm 42 years old and feel like I don't have a life and I resent my siblings for not helping out. I have 6 siblings! One of my sisters stays with my mom during the day while I work but she is always late so I'm always late to work. I mean like an hour at least late. I have told them I need help but they are all too busy, or that's what they say. I've heard that this is common but it shouldn't be. I'm so stressed and beginning to worry about my own health.
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From what I've read on this website, it's usually just one person that steps up and ends up doing the lions share of the work. My questions would be, why does your husband's sister think she HAS to do so much now that her mom is in a nursing home? Like you said, the load is easier now with her being there, so why kill herself off doing what she did before the mom went there? That doesn't mean the mom is supposed to be forgotten, but let's face it, there shouldn't be as much of a need as there used to be. Maybe the sister is bringing this on herself without realizing it? That doesn't excuse the other siblings for being neglectful, I'm just saying.....
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Short answer - YES, very, very common. The ones doing less feel guilty and even the occasional visit reminds them of it. It is emotionally hard to care for someone who is going downhill and emotionally easy to tell yourself that the other sibling is taking care of everything and you are not needed. But yes, this happens all the time and is a very common source of frustration around here.

Occasionally if there is enough goodwill to go around, a schedule of visits or tasks may be set up by a family that can talk things out and agree on it. Sometimes those who live far away can be persuaded to help financially at least. Don't try to do what you know you cannot do, but if you do whatever you realistically can to help, it wil be a blessing to at least you, mom, and sister regardless of what the others choose to do.
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