How do I get my brothers to help care for our mom, especially in the bathroom?

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She needs help in the bathroom, but brothers aren't willing to do this which limits how much time they can spend with her. They say they're uncomfortable, modest, etc. etc.

Answers 1 to 6 of 6
Let's face it, MOST men aren't as good wiping someone's rear end as us women are after doing it with kids. My husband wouldn't want to help his mother in the bathroom, for the same reason as he doesn't want to hear her talk about any of her bodily functions.
If that's the only reason your brothers aren't spending time with their mother, then why not let them be there when there isn't a bathroom crisis? I mean she can't be spending all her time in the bathroom can she? My mother-in-law is like clock work. One half an hour after she eats, she has to use the bathroom, (I wish I was that regular) so I make sure I'm around a bathroom during that time. Can you time it for them, giving them a time slot of visitation? Or is it just my mother-in-law that's that regular? I don't know.
Top Answer

Whether embarrassed or not, your brothers should step up to the plate. When mom got really ill a couple of times, I used to say to "Can you clean up down there? ... Here. Let me give you some wipeys." If she struggled with it, I'd do it but all the while avoided looking straight into the "spot."

I'd go to those websites for nurses for tips on this issue. You can either teach them or send them the link. They have to step up to the plate. She's their mother too.

-- ED
I don't know if you can get them to do anything. My brother used to watch my mother sometimes. But as soon as she became incontinent, he would not watch her anymore. Also, I received very little moral support. Instead, they questioned my care for her, and how much I was spending on caregivers. He contributed no monetary help.
Ed is absolutely on target. No one LIKES to do the "icky" stuff...but some one has to. Why should it always be the women of the family - I thought we had gotten past stereotyping. Everyone in the family should step up to take care of an elderly parent. Mothers raising boys right now should teach them the same lessons on caregiving that they teach their daughters. If they shield their sons from the realities of life, sons will not be present when they need their assistance.
My brother "checked out" long ago on all caregiving. And I have to admit, that when a man, in this forum, writes that he is a fulltime caregiver of a either parent or spouse (including personal care), I am surprised. I shouldn't be...this should be the norm. The result is so many burned out women who are not taking care of their own health.
I heard recently that two of my male cousins put their parents in nursing homes (both did NOT need it)...what a shame. Because they feared taking care of them, they made a rash decision and missed out on spending time with them - so precious.
I wish more non-compliant sibs would read the posts on this site. Caregiving of an elderly person is grueling and sometimes thankless work, but it is also the most humane and loving thing you can do for another human being.
Tell your brothers you can't do it alone. How old are they? Can a home health be there while they are visiting. They need to find a way feel comfrtable and maybe grow -up a little
Okay Ed, in a perfect world I would've told her brothers to 'buck up it's your mother too you moron', but since it's not a perfect world, I gave them an out. I failed you.....

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