Help, I am in a "no-win" situation with my elder mother, brother, and husband! What do I do?

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I so need to hear from others out there on adivce. I am very close to my 93-yr. old mother and 67 yr. old brother. My mother has mobility challenges due to osteoporosis and arthritis. She has a pacemaker, also. My brother was born with cerebral palsy and has been in a wheelchair all his life. He has no fine motor skills at all, of course, but he is amazingly resilient and types faster with a stick attached to a hat than many people do with their fingers. He was a football coach (believe it or not) for 35 yrs. at a college 3 blocks from our home. I've been married for almost 20 years and live 3 hrs. away from their home. Finally,
my mother's health issues needed more attention than I could give her from that far away and I persuaded them to move in with my husband and me. We've been trying for 6 months, but there are so many issues. My mother is so cold natured from the osteoporosis and my husband is very hot-natured. My mother wants the heat up higher so she will be comfortable, but my husband and I are so hot that it is about to make us ill. She has always been the sweetest woman, but age is making her very critical of almost everything. It seems there is always something wrong. They are afraid to stay by themselves in my home because it might be difficult to get out in case of emergency, etc.-even though I have portable ramps at both front and back doors. My husband and I feel as though we cannot go anywhere. Our home is not large enough for the 4 of us, but we don't want to move because it is our dream home on a golf course. They don't want to go to a separate home of their own or assisted living. I could send them back to the family home 3 hrs. away, but the doctors are nowhere near as good as the large metropolitan area in which I live. I couldn't be there to oversee her medical care, either. I would also have to hire someone to come in and drive my mother to drs. appointments, groceries, etc. She doesn't want to pay for that help as she is a child of the Depression and very frugal with her money. My brother gets help for 4 hrs. a day through Medicare. In addition to taking care of them and my husband I am a full time public school teacher. I am so stressed out and exhaused that I sit in my closet and cry so that the others won't hear me. I don't feel I have any options in their care. My mother and brother are "joined at the hip". She devoted her entire life to caring for him. After she passes on, she expects me to keep my brother living with my husband and me, but we will have absoloutely no life except for caring for him. We want to travel when we retire and would love to take him with us, but he has absoloutely no desire to do that. He would like to stay in the family home, but of course he has to have someone with him at all times to see to his personal needs. Everything revolves around him and his care. (By the way, his health is excellent and he take NO medications). It is so unfair to my husband and I can't do this to him. We are soulmates and he is the love of my life, but now there is a great deal of strain between us. I'm in the middle between them and him. I don't know what to do. Any way I go I have incredible guilt. Please let me hear from someone who has dealt with something like this----

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Musiclady, you shouldn't feel guilty for wanting a life. Even though your mother doesn't want to go to assisted living, I think this is a case where you need to look at that option.

Many times people don't want that option, but once they get there they love it. They make friends and have activities. Is there a close friend, a religious leader or some other third party that can take over and just say this is what needs to be done. It's far easier when this kind of thing comes as "doctor's orders" or from a third party outside of the family.

I hope you will respect your marriage and your dreams. It's not like you are dumping your mother and your brother. You are trying to find a balanced life and you can't have one like this. Please get some counseling or some other help. You sound depressed, and for good reason.

Let us know how your do.


Carol
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Dear musiclady, I have no advice for you, but I can pray that things work out well for all concerned. Sounds like you need help, and I'm sure you'll be getting lots of good advice here. Just know you're not alone, and my heart goes out to your family.
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Musiclady you are one heck of a woman to move both your mom and brother into your home.

I've not experienced anything of this nature but I'm sure you'll get great help and encouragment on this site, just as I have.

I'll keep you in my prayers. Wow a Football coach for 35 yrs. Now that's awesome!
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I don't understand why you moved them at all. I know you said that 'you' couldn't be of much help for them 3 hours away, but did they 'need' help? How were they surviving, just the two of them before you came along? Were they taking care of each other? I agree that your mother probably needs asst. living, but your brother maybe not. If he can have a care giver come in and take care of him on a regular basis, then maybe he would be alright by himself giving you and your hubby some free time. Or maybe there is a place where other people like him have apartments and he could be semi-independent. Kind of a community of sorts. They can still get together and see each other via medical lift or something. Good luck.
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