Does anyone else have family members that refuse to help?

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I have recently moved in with my elderly mother and father to help take care of them. I have a full time job and a part time job also. I feel like my life is over and I am sooo depressed. I love my parents so very much and they are really not that hard to take care of so far, but I have no time for anything. I have a daughter , son in law and a precious grandson that live about one hr away and I can't go see them. My sister refusesto help on weekends or my days off. She and my brother will stay with them until I get home on the nights I work my second job. Soemtimes I feel like Im on the verge of a breakdown. Don't know if I can keep doing this but don't really have a choice..... just had to vent and wondered if anyone else had this problem... Thanks for listening (reading) :)

Answers 1 to 9 of 9
I totally understand where you are coming from and where you are at with this. Make an appointment with your siblings and have a family meeting and express to them that you need help that you also have a life too. They can come up with any excuses and all excuses but you are NOT the only sibling. It is either that or you will have to take a stand and do what you need to do to keep from burning out. Make a schedule for them to come each week without fail and see if they want to stick to it or else you may have to consider putting them in a home. I know it feels like that is not an option as I can only express my feelings of what I have been as well as you for the past two years. You can also see if they can not help or are not willing to help to getting some outside help to come in. You have to have respite care. I am working on that myself before I end up in a hospital from stress related illnesses. Is there a terminal illness involved that you can get Hospice to come in and assess the situation so you can get some assistance. I feel for you Lesa and try to work a plan with the family members and be stern but assertive with them no matter how much they balk and make excuses. They easily can go home to their house while you are left with doing everything. I know I have the same situation here at home and my siblings never hardly come over to help out. In and out. See Daddy and go. It is a reality for alot of caretakers from what I am reading in here that are solely taking care of the parent or parents. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Take time out for you no matter how you get it just try and get it!
Top Answer
I don't know about other caregivers, but when siblings don't want to help (in a dysfunctional family, for example), I haven't found a way to force them. It is also hard to set limits with a parent who feels that you owe him or her. This, I feel, is the hardest part of my life -- because Mom insists that it's her way (as Mom) or the highway. I love and respect her, but I also love myself and my sanity! I wish I had a magic answer to give. You could try consulting an elder care manager (look online). I did that, and she was wonderful, but my siblings were not interestes, so it was largely a waste. Maybe yours would sit down with such a person and at least have a discussion. I hope that helps. I think we caregivers all need a big hug, so I'm sending one your way!
Thanks for your replies. It helps to know that Im not alone. My brother is more willing but he works midnights and has a very crazy schedule. I tried to talk to my sister but she wants no part of it. Tells me to live with it. :( Thanks again!
She tells you to live with it? What kind of sister tells you that? That is horrible. You tell her you are living with it but you need help as she is also one of the adult children. Oh these siblings drive me insane! When the time comes and you can no longer be there and mom and dad have to go in a home how will she react then? I would give her a piece of my mind for one thing. You do not deserve to be treated like this and I am sorry if I sound so stark in my replies but the excuses are lame. If that is the way it is going to be then you do what is best for you and your parents and don't involve them. Do you have POA?
Well you certainly had good intentions when you decided to move in with Mom and Dad. Gold stars for you! But it just is not realistic to think you can work a full time job, a part time job, and care for someone with dementia. Don't feel bad about this mistake in judgment -- none of us really understands what caretaking is like until we actually see it up close and personal. Your life is not over. This situation can be improved. It isn't true that you don't really have a choice, but I know that it can feel that way.

You made the choice to live with and care for your parents. Your sister and your brother made different choices. Apparently they choose to stay with your parents several hours a week, in the evenings. They decided not to devote their weekends or full days to their parents care. You made choices; they made choices. Unless you discussed your plan with them before you moved in, and decided that you would stay with them during the week and Brother would stay two weekends a month and Sister would stay two weekends, etc. then it really isn't fair to expect them to honor your choices. For sure it would be nice if they helped more, but you really shouldn't have moved in counting on that unless you had a commitment from them. (I understand why this doesn't usually happen -- we just don't know what we are getting into when we become primary caregivers.)

But don't despair. There are other sources of help, and you definitely need/deserve help.

First, now that you are not paying rent, etc. could you give up your part time job? Can your parents afford to pay you, to help make up for that income?

Then, tell us about your situation, so we can offer specific advice. Are your parents staying alone during the day while you work the daytime job? If not, where are they or who is with them? Is that working out OK?

Your profile says Mom has dementia. Is it still mild? Moderate? Severe? What are her major symptoms?

What is Dad's health like?

What specific help do your Mom and Dad need? Why can't they live alone? For example, does Mom need help bathing? Can she dress herself? Etc.

What is your parents' financial status? Do they assets like stocks and bonds or rental property, etc? Do they have pensions, SS, etc as monthly income?

There is help for you. Your life is not over. Give us more information and you'll get lots of suggestions from many who've been there, done that, and survived

Sometimes we adult children are the only ones who will tend to our parents. It seems like you had to move in because no one else was stepping up to the plate. It is not too late to call for a family intervention with everyone and see what you can come up with. If not do as Jeanne said answer those questions if you want and seek outside help so you can handle this better.
Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace. Always be thankful. Colossians 3:15
My Mom is stage 4-5 dementia with the burden of having an extremely dysfunctional family. One sib doesn't talk to me or younger sib except through txt or email and only about Mom. Younger sib is very self-centered. Both are pretty much in denial about how bad Mom is. The one sib that won't talk to anyone lives just ten minutes from our Mom and decided about two years ago she was done helping with anything that had to do with our Mom. It's come to light since she stopped, that her help with Mom wasn't all that helpful anyway. Doctors complained to me that she was rude and inpatient with my mother at appointments or never let my Mom speak. She'll have Mom for visit, but spend the whole evening on the phone with friends never sitting down and speaking with her. She has Mom one night every other week for dinner but she's double-booked on her social calendar so she's got to rush Mom back home. But ironically she still has time to spread her thoughtful caregiving to complete strangers in her neighborhood or from church or work. It certainly shows she is capable but not willing.

The other sibling lives three hours away and will visit friends or the local resorts just 25 minutes from Mom and will not stop in because he's on "vacation." He makes it over about twice a year to stay overnight. He makes $500K a year. I asked him to purchase a TV for our mother's room and we had to wait until he finished having thousands of dollars of work done on his house so he could afford a $250 TV. He calls to share how much he made in bonuses, where his work is sending him, pictures of his new cars, etc. In ten years of marriage, he's had Mom for one holiday but said he couldn't do it again because she scratches herself too much and he can't take it.

I manage my Mom's healthcare, finances, home, clothing, social calendar, home aides; feed her, bathe her, talk to her, love her, and take her everywhere with us. Because of the economy, we've come dangerously close to losing everything we've had more than once over the last five years. God brings us back from the edge each time. Although I've never shared these struggles with my sibs, I think the next time I get emailed a picture of the latest toy my sib has purchased and so proud of, I'll send pictures of the things we're proud of: showering mom, paying our mortgage on time, getting Mom to appointment without a fall.

My Mom's so sweet. I can't resist her! Is it possible we all came from the same parents?
I am sorry you are dealing with this sibling dynamic. I am POA and caregiver for my MIL and FIL and there are two siblings other than my husband that live very close by and refuse to stop by to even visit their parents. I have been called "rude and impatient" by the professionals and have told them that when I appear "rude or impatient" it is because I am having to listen to, for the 100th time, the lies my MIL tells the Dr/nurse/PT/OT. For instance she sneaks foods off of others' trays that cause terrible medical symptoms and when asked she denies it saying "the Lord wouldn't like it if she did that and she is a Lord loving woman" while she is sneering and winking at me across the room. It makes it impossible for Dr to diagnose accurately. I have dealt with her manipulation of facilities and helpful humans for many years now.
Please don't assume that the people who no longer want to help, or who are impatient or fed-up don't have a good reason to be.
We love and will continue to care for MIL/FIL as long as we are needed and the Dr says it is in their best interest to remain at home, but it is frustrating when someone has good/loving/healthy care and they manipulate it when there are so many people who need loving care and don't have it. My husband and I are looking into options for help for the future because of my health and we do need help now, but we don't judge the 2 siblings that have disappeared for not wanting to change diapers on their parents.....I'm sure they have their reasons and those reasons are their own.
The best and only thing you can do for yourself and your family is to make it clear (fridge sign works) what will and will not be accepted/tolerated by you and what your duties are. Maybe look into a visiting companion a couple days a week to free you up, maybe even a cleaning person every couple weeks.
Also, talk to your siblings about what they are thinking without judging them, after all if we want people to respect our choices we must respect theirs.....and this is a choice by caregivers and people choosing not to caregive. My SIL assumed that because we are taking care of MIL/FIL we would get all properties in the will for care payment. She was shocked to learn that we had to bail them out years ago and everything is in our name already, we pay all household bills and there is NO money left because of her parents' mis-spending, in-fighting and loans to her and her little brother, it didn't change her involvement but it invalidated her excuses.
Best of luck to you and this is a great site to visit for help, bless you for caring for your loved one.

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