Follow
Share

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.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
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?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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)))!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Probably she is trying to manage and control everyone around her to not deal with very real fears of dying being alone. If she is someone who was selfish before it is nothing new, perhaps maybe enhanced. If your brother doesn't want to be in the loop, you can't make him. Family dynamics are complex and painful, you do what is best for you and your family, and keep him in the loop with a bi yearly update...
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It has always stunned me just how big of a gap in understanding there is between the caregiver and the "Community-at-large". Perhaps caregiver advocates need to focus a bit more on some basic PR that will educate or at least hint at the actual difficulties, hard as they are to express sometimes, that we deal with everyday.

i have heard some tidbits like the study showing that 60% of caregivers die BEFORE their charges, and that one seems to have gotten some notice by THEM ( as opposed to US), but I still believe that we are being a trifle overlooked.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I looked back over your profile and see that you and your husband have lived with your mother for 43 years. With her being 83, that means she was 40ty when you moved back home. No wonder she feels a sense of entitlement to control!!!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sorry... hit the 'enter key' too fast. If she doesn't have Alzheimer's, then make your plans and know that you are doing something for just you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Your mother has Alzheimer's. Please remember that.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

sylvester18, I ditto your response!

Despite your best efforts, as long as you remain in her house, she will treat you like a little girl making you feel like you have to ask permission to go out. My goodness, it's your husband's birthday! If you are going to stay home, then maybe the friend who gave the money should go out with your husband to celebrate his birthday. You really don't need to ask your mother for permission!

When you speak up to tell your brother, your mother or anyone else how you feel avoid 'you' statements because they invite a fight. Instead "I" statements are better because you are taking responsibility for your own feelings instead of blaming it on them, i.e. instead of 'brother, you make me so angry because you are not helping" try "I feel angry when you refuse to help me.

It is very possible as dependent as your mother has become on you that even if you do speak of for yourself and go out for the birthday celebration, she will resent you putting him before her for well you are in her house living without any housing costs.

I've not read anything about how your husband is doing in all of this. Does such absence mean he's like non-existent to this whole situation? Practically speaking is sounds like you are cleaving more to her than to him, but in terms of time will she likely outlive him? During the mean time how long has he had to play second fiddle to mom and how long will that last until he just might be gone? Think about it, ya an't married to your mommy! If he was cleaving more to his mother than to you then how would you feel?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It's been my own experience that not only don't my siblings 'get it', they have absolutely no intention of ever 'getting it'. I guess it's it kinda like the old puttin' your head in the sand -denial trick. I believe if they were to allow themselves to understand the true difficulties we face, they would be overwhelmed with guilt about their own parents as well as their own sibling.
Or maybe I'm just feeling generous today.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Staying home instead of going to dinner or any place else is giving her control over your life. My grandmother lived until 105 and just before she died, she told me to do what I wanted as long as my father was in a safe environment. You have to realize that they are scared of something happening and you will not be there if it does - some stranger will be taking care of them. If you can, just ignore the comments knowing that you are doing all you can to care for this person to the best of your ability.
As far as your brother, pretend you are an only child. I have 2 brothers. One that lives with me and one that lives down the street. I took both parents in my house when I got divorced and I have asked my brothers for help or relief since I need to work to pay the bills and both ignore the situation like it didn't exist. When I do things as a only child, I don't get as frustrated. It's sad, but you need to do things to survive the frustration. Because, as the adage goes, every dog will have his day!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Sylvester thank you. I tried not to think of it as 'confrontation' with anyone,but just SCHEDULING.

I'm not sure if there is a resource on this website for doing so, but the LOTSA HELPING HANDs website provides this resource free of charge and it is VERY helpful.

DJ: asking your brother for advise is like asking directions from someone who doesn't speak the same language. Just a waste of time If he starts asking questions, then provide him with what has worked for you, but don't hold your breath.

I have provided (free) books, online resources, and even 'cheat sheets on how to 'talk to Mom', what NOT to say, and what TO say when she asks questions and from a few family members I heard:
"You are such a control freak!!" My answer? NO, I am not a control freak, I just like to see things UNDER CONTROL!! If they had ideas I was all ears! Rarely did they! And I was not willing to sacrifice my mothers peace for their pride. I didn't correct my mother, but I did correct my 'siblings'. I honestly didn't want them to make the same mistakes "I" made, at Mom's expense.

SO DJ: make an IDEAL schedule of what you would like to see happen, and then give your brother a copy. Don't expect HIM to provide you with the help. So far you can see he isn't doing that.

Also look for outside resources to give you the help you deserve. Don't leave any stone unturned. There are services out there to help.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I mean no disrespect in my answer, first of all. We all have family members to a degree that do all or nothing. Unless you are an only, which I am, which means I will/am doing all. Your mother has no problem being controntational (Childlike), as she is getting her way, when she does this. You and your brother are not confrontational and do not like confrontation. no one likes confrontation, however, rather than a huge long-term build up, sometimes confrontation is exactly what is needed. I take it you and your husband take care of most, if not all your mother's needs. This is to an extent a pay-back from childhood, however, I doubt your mom let you talk to her the way she is talking to you. In other words, she is getting her cake and eating and enjoying it. If you did not set any negotiable rules with your mom when you started, you need to at your earliest point, when she is in a light mood. Nothing demanding, just talking. It will help both you and your mom, and she may or may not realize the stress it is causing you. However, don't use the term stress. That will encite her. Talk to her, as you too have a life, outside of caregfving for your mom. If you have any relative, such as children, nieces, nephews that need extra money, going to college near you, or just wanting the extra money due to economy, suggest a trade in them staying with her and some time away. It is also helpful if it happens to be someone she likes. As for your brother, you nee to have that talk with him, Asap. Confrontation, yes, but you need to tell him how you feel if you haven't, He may have no idea. Not Really, Agreeing that at that age......is not solving the situation. Sure we can all be a certain way at any age, but how productive is it to others. Ex: an unrully child in a department store. If they can get away with it, they will. Making everyone else miserable. Talk to him, straight-forward, but not preaching. That will give better results, if you are to get any. If he is apt to help, if not, he will let you know, he has a life, and you have her. If thiat is the case, don't expect much from him. As bad as it may sound, if he does indicate, this, he will have a day of recogning. Everyone who says this does at one point, whether they realize it or not at that time.
Give yourself a break, Open up and talk positively. It may sound scary, however, the alternative of what is happening now, is no answer. If worse comes to worse, you may have to put your mom in a day care for a while during the week some, She won't like and will tell you so, however, she will get past that, as well. Sounds like you are a good daughter, trying to make everyone happy but yourself. Start thinking of yourself, as your time on this earth may be limited to stress also.
I hope this helps, signed been there with relatives, no the sitation. by the way, you are not alone. I can count many families I know facing the same situation. GOOD LUCK - this can work out!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with MiaMadre, if your brother is close, don't ASK him to do things, make him a list of things that will help you out, and choose dates that HE will take over the load of caretaker. You HAVE to be confrontational with siblings, it's not that they "don't get it", it's they don't WANT to get it. They have buried their head in the sand, all this turmoil is going on around them yet they cannot see it because they CHOOSE not to. And just because you live WITH your Mother in her house does not mean she controls your lives. This will have an effect on your marriage if you allow it to continue. When you married, you took vows to forsake all others and to cleave to one another. You will not be thought of less by your Mother if you stand up to her as well and tell her that you and your husband will be doing this or that, so she will be going to "brother's, unless she wants him to come there and stay with her.
You say you and your husband are already being driven crazy by her, it is not going to get any better. You have to stand up to all involved and let them know if YOU are going to be doing the caretaking, it is going to be by YOUR rules.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Djnorris, As long as you're living in your mother's home, you are having trouble tapping into the power you need to assert control over your life. In reality, you always have that power within you, it's just that--- living with your mother you are put in a position where your mother has constant access to you, so she can try to wear you down. And then you can fall into that old role (that Crowe was talking about) of the little girl who has to obey her mother. It's possible for you to stand up to your mother right now, while you're living with her, but you have to be aware that you going to have to constantly monitor yourself to stand strong....and believe that you have the right to decide for your own life. You are in charge of your life, not your mother. It would be so much better if you and your husband could move out and make arrangements for good care for your mother without all of you under the same roof. Good luck! Stay strong.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hi djnorris,
If someone that is a friend and doesn't happen to be a relative is trying to help you out by giving you time away from your mother, then I say take it and tell your mom 'tough tookies'.
This is the way it is. She should be deeply indebted to your husband & you for taking on the responsibility of caring for her.
Everyone needs a respite from caregiving, even if it is all too brief. I was Primary Caregiver to my MIL before she had to go into the Nursing Home. I took it on with the understanding that every sibling would help out. It worked until her 1st hospitilization. After she came back, everyone helped out for the 1st month or two and then it was like pulling teeth to get all
of them to help out. Then came the 2nd hospitilization and she
had to go into the Nursing Home for good--I'm sure--because not everyone wanted to help out. If everyone wanted to, she could have come back to live with us after rehabilitation. But, no-o-o-o-o-o! You have to act like the parent now, whether you like it or not. I didn't, but I muddled thru and made it. Also keep coming back to www.agingcare.com, because I don't think I would have survived it if it had not been for this site. You never said what your mother illness has that has you & your husband living with her & caring for her. Vent on here, ask for advice.
You can try asking your brother again to help out occasionally.
Try that for starters. Maybe you'll get more of his time to sit with your mom. After all, it's His mother too!!!:) :) :) You're doing a GREAT job and you are very STRONG and KIND for doing this service for your mom. (((((((((HUGS)))))))))!!!!!!!!!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

DJ: you are doing the best you can, and dealing with a parent with Alzheimer's is quite the challenge. Nothing makes sense to them. If you have someone (other than your brother) that will stay with Mom while you go out and enjoy your hubbie's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUBBIE), please go and enjoy yourself.

Why not have your mother CALL your brother? Some people just don't get it (sounds like my brother) and unless they LIVE IT they won't. It took one solid month of my mother being with my older brother for HIM to get it!

Be strong, and know that you are doing the best you can. Look for ways to get relief for yourself by having her attend SENIOR Day care, or other supervised care and respite.

If your brother is close, make a schedule and let him know that HE will need to care for Mom from "date to date". You don't need to give him a reason. After all.. its HIS mother too!! :)

God bless....
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I know exactly what your going through with your Brother, I have two siblings that do not have a clue what we go through, and they really cant understand, they still see the same sweet Mama they always had, they dont hear all the complaints from her and they dont have to get two ready everytime they go somewhere and all the other stuff that goes with it. Everytime I say something that my Mama says about me to my sister, her response is wanting to know what I did to make her mad. I hope you do have support from your husband, because you definitely need some from someone. I think yall should just go ahead and go out, she may get mad but if not for that it will just be something else, plus if you dont go that just lets her know she has the upper hand. Hope it works out for you and your husband.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Does your mother truly need 24 hour care? If not driving and vision problems are the issues, independence is still possible. I see it done all the time in my line of work. I think for the sake of your marriage you find another place to live and have home services come in and start helping your mom continue to live independent. Nothing says you can't stop in daily to make sure her immediate needs are met, but her controling what and when you will do things with your spouse will surely affect your marriage. As far as your brother helping, maybe he doesn't agree with mom needing 24 hour care - and he may be right.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You might want to have a family "come to Jesus" meeting and bring in a Geriatric Care Manager to be a buffer - another option for you.

I wish you well.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

"aren't confrontational people, so we didn't really deal with this problem, just sort of dropped it"

To me the heart of this whole thing is both of you not confronting this issue and just dropping it. This same pattern is seen with your mother and these plans to go out and eat. You are your mom's adult child, but not her little girl anymore. Your husband can't fight this boundary battle with your mother only you can because it sounds like she's got you with a lot of F.O.G. fear, obligation and guilt. Tell mommy that you and not playing kiddie-bo anymore and some nice has offered to come over so you two can go out. I really does not matter if she feels like it or not because she's not the one going out. I can only imagine the burden this has put on your marriage and I wonder how your husband is bearing up under all of this.

One big boundary problem is that you are no longer in your own home. She's got you just where she wants you, but I think for the sake of your own sanity you should find some way for her to be safe and cared for while ya'll find somewhere else to live. And please don't hide behind your husband's pants expecting him to be your knight in shinning armor. My wife tried that for years and it did not work.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.