My mom came to live with us 8 years ago and is a very spry 94-years-old. My brother lives only 5 miles from us, but refuses to take her for the summer. How can we get him on board?

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Judy - I'm sorry to hear of your situation and will add that you're in very good company. The majority of complaints I read on this site seem to be about family who just don't seem to give a damn. I have two brothers myself who want everyone to believe they are such good son's - yet they won't visit my mom, age 90 and in a nursing home. She's nearly bedridden due to arthritis but her mind is good. I live 7 hours away and see Mom more than both of them combined. Obviously I can't speak about your brothers reasons but as for mine it's a combination of hurt, denial, selfishness and laziness. It's hard to see a parent age and it's hurtful to realize they are so limited. They are selfish not to realize that she NEEDS their company and wants to have family close by - strangers at the dinner table offer little comfort.

A friend of mine felt compelled to move her mother in with her family in Oregon because her brother and his family would not agree to visit his mother a few times week or take her to the grocery. He's a MINISTER!!!! A "man of God" (right... can you sense my sarcasm) - who'll spend much of his time visiting shut ins from his church but won't see his own mom or attempt to get his kids to drop by. Sometimes there's just no good reason at all.

You'll make yourself nuts trying to understand why - all you can do is try to have a good relationship with your mom and your spouse and kids. If you need support or want a break, see if mom will agree to a few months in assisted living. My mom spent the winter in assisted living for two years and it was good for her; instead of being stuck alone in her house for days and days, she had company and was able to get out and walk around the facility.

Best of luck to you!
We have an RV and want to travel during the summer to see our grands. I'm thinking we will have to put her into respite care for the summer, which I know she is NOT going to like. She's been looking in the paper for an apartment. She doesn't think she's 94! She is very strong willed.
Without more information you aren't likely to get a meaningful response.

It's not like dropping off an indoor cactus. "The summer" is a long time. Do you mean every summer?

Your brother's situation might make it very difficult for him to do as you wish. If you look at caregiving realistically, many of the caregivers are women who are married and don't work. The caregiving is, in effect, subsidized by their working husbands. The net impact on their lives might be something like, "Caregiving has REALLY interfered with my craftwork."

OTOH, there are many single caregivers - female and male - who have had their entire lives taken over and have no partner or other family members to help. If they quit their jobs or cut back on their hours, they lose income, contacts and credentials.

Given that our government is rapidly turning into "One nation, for the corporations, by the corporations", maybe 15 or 20 years down the road, if Social Security is destroyed, pensions are nullified, inflation has destroyed their minimal savings, and public assistance is minimal, the solo caregivers might find out that a failure to look after their own future turned out to be fatal.

Then again, maybe your brother is just selfish and lazy.


Has he told you why he doesn't want to take on a responsibility which should be shared by all siblings? All this ping-pong playing can make anyone feel like an orphan, so until your brother has a change of heart sit your mother down and explain the options. You might be surprised. She'll probably say she can fend for herself. After all, if decisions that have a fundamental impact on our lives are going to be made it's only fair we should be in on it.

-- ED
Well, Judy, at least you got an answer from your brother. I asked my sister where it is carved in stone that I am the sole caregiver for our Mother, and she ignores me. Those who have heart and soul are the ones who end up being the caregivers. Someone said those words on this site.
Maybe you could ask him to contribute financially instead, so you could add a caregiver to relieve you, and let him know it is so you can take a vacation, get away for a break--like he does. "They"-- the self-centered, uncooperative siblings are sometimes a bigger drain of energy and patience than doing the 24/7/365 "job". I can depend on my Mother's daytime caregivers to be there for me after a difficult night with her so I can do my day job, but I cannot depend on my siblings for any kind of help. All the Best to you and your Mom:) christina
My brother works 5 minutes from his house. He took Mom last year but I had to find someone who would stay with her while he was at work. He said she slopped coffee on the floor, so he doesn't want her there this year. He is the youngest, I am the oldest. It's a very long story. He has not stopped by to visit her in 3 weeks and will not answer his phone when she calls. He's a very self-centered person. We would be gone for 3 months. He moved down here to "help with Mom and take some of the burden off of us" .... now he claims he did not say that.
Dont waste your time,it wont happen. There are agengies that will give you some assistance in caregiving,providing that she has an illness that requires respite to come in and care for her but only for a week possiably two. As for your sibling,dont frustrate yourself,life is too short. I have 6 sisters who wont help,so as far as I'm concerned I am an only child,I went through the whole we'll help and we'll be there for mom and after 1 yr of assistance they made all sorts of excuses-Mom has been with us now for 7 yrs-I do go out to get away thanks to the assistance of my husband and children, But as far as a REAL vacation without the worry of Who Will Watch My Mom, Nope that truly hasn't happen. I know that there is a God and Although I dont wish my siblings wrong,I know that they will pay penance for every thing they Haven't done with our Mom. So in my opinion, dont waste your time with your brother, Take time for your self and your Mom,figure out if they are agencies in your area to assist you in your need to get away! Take care.
Family relationships can be difficult. My experience is that it is important to ask for help to address your needs not demand it.because it is someone else's duty.

hi Judy... perhaps your brother knows he is incapable of filling your shoes. He may not be as caring, afraid he may lose his temper. I don't think he is being self centered just afraid he won't meet her needs. It is a huge responsibility even if she is spry
That's a good answer, Puzzlesncards. It is a huge responsibility, and usually goes to the most capable and busy people. My sister travels all the time, has never had a job, while I do two jobs and take the night shift for our 93 year old Mother. Know what? I do it because it's the right thing to do, and got tired of seeing her over-medicated, falling, ignored and yelled at in a residential care home. Like so many people, we sacrifice a big part of our life to do the care giving. It would be wrong if I, knowing what I do, put her back into a care home. This was expensive and one of the best recommended by a free online placement service. My sister thinks this would be OK. But, she never helped look for a place, doesn't manage the money, didn't modify her home to accommodate our Mother, give up personal freedom, privacy in her home, etc. She could, she just is selfish and weak. Doesn't answer me when I ask her if she would come here for a couple of days WITH the caregiver so my husband could take a break. No, she could never fill my shoes.

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