At a family meeting to decide where to move my Mom from assisted living to home of my sister-in-law's sister, I presented my family with a statement from my psychologist that I could not provide respite care for my Mom due to my inability to handle the stress involved because of the fact that I have bi-polar disorder. Before the meeting they actually offered to pay me if I would provide care on the weekends. I had not expectation of being paid - I would do it for free - but I can't. It wouldn't be beneficial for me or my mother. Has anyone else dealt with the frustration of wanting to be of more help but not being able to because of your own health issues?

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It there some other way you could help maybe a pay some every week that they could save and then use when they need help or do some shopping or fix meals or do some of the business end like pay bills. Carol is smart and has been a caregiver many times over and is right about staying firm.

Since you've already had your doctor speak up for you and your siblings still don't listen, they are in denial. Try to find solutions by researching paid caregiving options. If possible, offer to help pay for the help.

You must remain firm - let them know this isn't good for you or the care receiver because you can't predict how you'll be feeling on any given day. They must understand this is not a copout - this is for your own good, yes, but just as much for your Mom's welfare.

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