My husband and I are going through a lot caring for my 83-year-old mother and my brother doesn't "get it". Should I ask for his advice anymore?

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I haven't had hardly any help from my brother who lives here in town since my husband and I moved in with my mother three years ago. He never calls and offers to help with mother or to come stay with her to give us a break. He has stayed with her when I've asked him so my husband could go to MD Anderson. I will tell him once in awhile problems we have with mother and problems with living with her. But, his reaction is that she is 83 years old and we don't know what we'll be like when we are 83 years old. Well, tonight, I told him a problem that is about to happen with mother and I still got the same reaction. The problem coming up is... my husband received a birthday card with money in it to "take his sweety" out to supper." Of course, that's me.... and that the person giving the card would come over and stay with mother while we went out to eat. I didn't ask mother if my husband and I could do this or not because mother doesn't have plans for Saturday night. She doesn't do anything without me. She can't see well, can't drive, and has a lot of health problems. Well, the person who gave my husband this birthday card and money came over to our house to eat tonight and we discussed going out to eat Saturday night and they would come over to stay with mother. Mother immediately said that might not happen because she might not feel like doing this. And, she said that we were always bossing her around and she might not want to do that. So, now, mother will be upset if we go out to eat and she doesn't want us to. I guess she feels she isn't in control of what is happening. I just hate to know we'll have a confrontation about it. Well, I told this to my brother and he started this thing about we don't know how we'll be when we are 83 years old, etc. I told him that my husband and I can't just stay with mother 24/7, that it will run us crazy and it has already run us crazy!! He didn't seem to get that we need a break here sometimes. My brother and I aren't confrontational people, so we didn't really deal with this problem, just sort of dropped it. Now, my husband and I know that mother is about to be upset and we'll have to listen to her put-downs of us again. Mother says really mean things when she gets mad at us. I don't know if I have a guestion or not, it's just that I don't want to tell my brother anything else because he just doesn't "get it." He needs to come live with her for a month, then he'd get it.

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Mother upset?????? Heaven forbid!!!!
After all, her life is soooooo much more important than that of you or your husband???? How dare you wish for a little time for yourselves????
Sounds like time to GET a little confrontational unless you enjoy being run over.
I understand you are living under her roof, but you are a human being & deserve a life also. Are you daughter or servant?
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I understand exactly too what your are going through when I tell my bro about things i also get that condescending look and the ahh but I have had my mother now some 400 and some days alone he had her at his house for 3 weekends big deal and the million of excuses why he can't tale her more. I have always been the one to cook holiday dinnners since my mom can't anymore well guess what this year it ain't happening i don't have time either
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you could look at it this way, your mother is likely to be mad about something or other even if you stay. Actually she has the RIGHT to feel however she wants to, just as we all do. A spiritual leader said warping our own lives to change the behavior or feelings of another is...the prescription for enslavement...put that in your pipe and smoke it for about ten years. What a concept.
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djnorris,

You can hire someone from an agency to come in and sit with your mother while you and hubby go out. TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY. If you do hire someone from an agency, it will more than likely be a Home Health Aide (HHA). Nurses only come out for evaluations of the patient. Also, if you have someone come out from an agency, the longer you're out, the less expensive it is that they charge. I remember to have someone come out when my MIL was here--the minimum was 2 hrs. and with each hour it got cheaper until it reached 4 hrs. and then it stayed the same amount--but it was really inexpensive--so I stuck with 4 or more hrs. ...but I wanted to make sure that her bedtime routine was followed to the 'T', otherwise, I'd have problems with her the next morning. I was just getting comfortable with leaving her with someone else at her bedtime when she had to go into the hospital and from there the Nursing Home permanently. Even if it is an early dinner, TAKE IT. Have fun! Good luck! (((HUGS)))!
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Maybe you could give her a choice of hiring a caregiver to stay with her or she can pick up the phone and ask her son to stay with her if she asks him he might decide that he could do that one thing to help out and if she refuses to call him then it is the paid caregiver. You should schedule a date night every so often once a week or so otherwise if she does not live forever you and hubby will be strangers in your elder years-you may have to put up with ranting from time to time but get yourself away from her face and she may learn to change-my husband never did and was still issuing orders the night before he got real sick on the phone from the nursing home and I told him I had more important things to deal with at the time and hung up the phone and I thought as he was dieing and in and out of it he might say he was sorry for the hell he had put me through for years but he just would not respond to me only the nurses and our children and grand-daughter and friends from church so I let it go.
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I think your brother doesn't want to get involved because he is afraid if he gets in conversation about her with you, he may get dragged into helping out...which is something he wants to stay away from. He is free from the responsibility so far.

You need to just tell your mother you are going out and your friends or an agency (you can hire some by the hour) will be there and just go. You need to have some relief. Just because you are living with your mom doesn't mean she is in charge of your life. Now go and don't worry and have a great time!! Hugs!
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If you no longer wish to seek eldercare input from your brother, it's ok, djnorris. Sometimes we need breathers in life and greater perspective. Nothing wrong with that. There are many caregivers at AgingCare.com who will understand what you are talking about when you share.
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Dj, it seems to me your biggest problem is NOT the brother, it's the mother. You don't say in your profile that your mother has alzheimer's, so I would ask her this 'mom, do you remember that you looked forward to spending time ALONE with dad?, well that's what hubby and I are going to do. We're going out to dinner, someone will come and visit with you while we're gone if you like, and we'll be back late so don't wait up'. PERIOD don't take no for an answer. Like the Nike ads says, 'Just do it'. Make your plans, and stick to it. She won't die if she separates from your hip for an evening. Have fun.
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djnorris, one of my SsIL (sisters-in-law) was uncomfortable putting her mom to bed (I was Primary Caregiver for my MIL-her mom). I laid the DEPENDS/TRANQUILITY disposable underwear along with her pj's on her bed and brought her pills
down so that my SIL could give them to her. That gave me an opportunity to tell my SIL what the rest of her bedtime routine was. If I really needed to be out of the house when she brought her back at 7:30-8 pm, I could've written down her bedtime routine, but there was no need. After that first time of me being in the same room where they were, I think she felt more comfortable doing it because she did it whenever she could.
A breath of fresh air! A breather! How I hated bedtime routine
as MIL got nastier right before she went to bed.
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It is very hard to stand up for yourself when you are not used to doing that I remember the first time I did not let my husband order me around and the sky did not fall and he was mad as hell but I felt like a winner and it did get easier. Go out to dinner with your husband and just let your Mom know ahead of time and if she puts up a fuss just walk away and the only thing you have to say is this is what is being done. At one time someone asked if my husband would get mad about something and I said yes and then he will be unmad. My Mom had me in tears one time I was staying with her to give my sister a break she was picking on me constantly -I had to let her comments go in one ear and out the other. Let her fume and fuss she will get over it and when it does not get her anywhere she will learn-it will not be easy but do you want things to continue the way they are. I would ask your brother to help in some way maybe he can take her shopping once a month or something he may be afraid of not doing something the same as you would or maybe she has gone off on him like she does with you and he has the choice of not dealing with her that you do not have-but since someone has offered to stay with her for heavens sake take them up on it.
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