How do you handle family members who start attacking you about your caregiving ways?

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I agree that it's common for some families to resent the person who is giving care. The responses from all of these good people are wonderful. You need to be true to yourself and the truth. Hang onto it. Your mother may be in a stage of undiagnosed dementia, it could be her blood sugar, or a combination of things - plus manipulation by family members. Anyway, you have a lot to cope with and many members of the forum have been in your place. Please keep coming back to check on answers.
Take care,
Carol
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For some reason when you are the one who is providing the care that the rest of the family refuses to give, you are hated by the rest of the family! I don't know if it is a control issue, or an issue of guilt but they take it out on you. It's not fair and in our case has caused a huge rift that cannot be repaired between brothers. You would think that a family would pull together in this type of circumstance, not fight over it. We have been accused of living off of Mom and abusing Mom. Both of which is easily proved untrue.

Stand tall. You know what you are doing is right and just in the eyes of the Lord. For us our Faith is everything. We do have each other, Thank God! Don't let the negativity of others effect who you are. It's painful, but you have to take control. Explain that you love your sibling, but you do not have to take their abuse. If they wish to be helpful and add to the care of your loved one, then they are welcome to come around, but if they choose to be ugly they need to stay away.

For us, we have a sole POA. This means that we do not have to have the approval of the family to take care of Mom. We just do it. We were able to take a stand and tell the ugly one to stop and when the threats came, we took out an order of protection. We were given no choice. In taking the stand and following through with the order, it stopped all the bickering and ugliness. We had to show strength. Not the outcome that we wanted, but the outcome that was necessary.

Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself!

Pattie
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What I've done to "protect" myself as my mom's POA and caregiver is to keep a journal. I have every penny, every phone call, and all my concerns documented. It may not help me to deal with the nastiness from relatives, but I can easily prove that their allegations are unfounded.

I wish I had a better idea on how to get them involved and willing to help. They would rather blame me, than help me to help my mom. I'm walking a fine line between the accusations, and the need to have her seen and under a doctor's care. I even contacted Adult Protective Services to see if they could get her to see a doctor. Do your best, weigh each decision carefully, and DOCUMENT it!
-FyreFly
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Because of the situation between my siblings and my father, they don't critique my care giving anymore. I told them if you can do a better job be my guest. You want to see people run like the house is on fire. Several of my siblings are in denial about my fathers condition. Others can only tolerate him for 15 minutes at a time and still others burned the bridge (no longer socialize). Holidays are always interesting when we all get together, that is if anybody shows up. I have only one sister that helps out occasionally, but she has a sense of entitlement. She feels that she should be repaid for her time. There are times she says things and I have no idea where she gets these selfish thoughts. Unfortunately that is the way it is and it's not going to change. If and when my father goes into assisted living, I will still visit him and take him to Medical appointments. But as for helping my siblings with cleaning out his home and stealing his wedding/family photos, I won't be helping them but hindering. There failure to help with his care, appointments, meals, errands, and house keeping for the last year or so has made me less agreeable to there desires. Okay so basicly I don't give a damn what they say or think. Sad but true.
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Niteorchard3, I tell them to mind their own business. Sorry, but I took crap from some family members and the worst incident happened on Facebook. I tried to be polite, but after I was accused of the reason my mother broke her leg and the reason it was not healing, I changed my whole attitude.

I am sorry that family is giving you a hard time, but my words would be if you can do better than get off your lazy butt and come do it otherwise keep your comments to yourself.

I know it sounds harsh but I have more challenges with my mom's siblings than my own. My own siblings say nothing, but my mom's are a whole other story. My mom has 2 sisters that not only give me a hard time but their children and grandchildren give me a hard time.

So I tell them to mind their own business. I tell them I don't tell them how to care for their parents and they don't need to tell me how to care for mine.

I realize it sounds mean, but care giving is a hard job of love, we need cheerleaders that support what we do and not sit on the sidelines giving directions. Most of my issues are because my mom's siblings have children that won't do anything with them. I take mom shopping and on trips, so they get jealous.

So I believe in this situation the direct and honest approach is best. If they do not like it and do not want to speak to me, I can live with that. They still talk with mom, but they can't even call my mom most days, so I am not taking their orders or insults.

I say stand up and do not take it. You do not have to accept the drama that family can create.
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Mine have attacked me more than you can imagine and I hate it. I deal with accusations and verbal abuse. Is it on the phone or email? So much depends on what your position is in this situation. You can just not retaliate, that hate that and you win. I know its hard, I cant even do it but recently tried and it worked well so far. Its usually from the siblings who's mouths are going but they do nothing to help.
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What if you did move out? It sounds like there are plenty of people there who could take over, especially since they seem to know better than you do how things should be done.

Do you have a good friend you could move in with for a few weeks?
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Recently I my mother, who has lived with me for the last 9 years, has moved into hospice in the home. This change of status apparently has triggered many emotional responses in my siblings. My older sister has been anticipating this for a year and spoken many times about coming and staying with my mother through this end-of-life process. It seems she's had a change of heart but can't really face up to it. Knowing her well, I never took her "musings" seriously. So, when I gave her, along with my other sister and two brothers, the update, she became cold, complained she didn't understand what I was saying, accused me of wanting to do things only my way (implying I was cutting her and the family out of any participation although I do have durable power of attorney for health care and power of attorney for property) and, yet, was wanting something from her, too. To make matters worse, she attempte to involve my other sister in some sort of alliance over this. What really seems to be going on is her guilt over changing her mind, an inability to own up to it, talk about it, and understand that I can't hold her responsible for taking care of our mother. I don't want to waste this cherished time with my mother dealing with my sister's issues and told her so. This time is about my mother's end of life journey, not about my sister's guilt and deflection. Sometimes, it is hard to point out a family member's emotional dysfunction and how it is negatively impacting others. Yet, it was important under these circumstances for me to tell both of my sisters what I tought was happening and to say it should cease.
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I have learned in a very short time that when one becomes a caregiver you also seem to become a target for others "guilt" My husband developed numerous illnesses most rectently Vascular Dementia, we have 3 children, two of them have and are very supportive of us, however ther third/middle child and his wife are and always have been very distant, beleiving everything they did and thought was the "proper" ways. They have distanced themselves for years from us and their two siblings, acusing us of playing favorites, etc. Now they seem to think what I and the others are doing to care for his father are not ENOUGH, he never has had the time to share with us, unless it was convient for him. even thru the numerous hospital stays my husband has had. Recently there was an episode of the dimentia, my husband called him said he was being mistreated, so the son said he would come get him, so he started packing his suitcase....I had to contact our son via text (because he would not answer my phone callsl) to explain just why he could not remove him from his surroundings. His comments, was acusitory in that had I checked with all doctors, etc....again he thought he knew best for his father, even tho he had not seen him for almost a year and only spoken to him on the phone for a couple of times. (he would not talk to me, cause he thought I had taken his father away from him, and had said, in his mind some inappropriate things to him and his family) He has distanced his self from us and his siblings for years, and now he thinks he knows WHATS BEST FOR HIS FATHER, why is it that when one becomes a caretaker by choice or force, that they also become a target for others, condemnation, is it their guilt? Whatever it is, it is another challenge to deal with by doing the best we can with the information, and energy we have.
For all us I Ask daily for the physical and emotional energy to keep going forth in this journey
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Daughter52, I understand completely! My older sister would come by and tell me that mom behaves the way she does because of her age. But my sister does not get and now that we are in Stage 4 of Alzheimer's with each day being something new, I just don't take crap.

Your sister doesn't get it and that is sad that she has to be that way. The care giving job is tough, but family will make it that much worse.

Do you have other siblings? Do they give you a hard time?
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