My siblings seem to have elected me in charge of my mom without telling me. Everything has been dumped on me except legal paperwork that I found my brother was shuffling off to my SIL. My mom is in stroke rehab right now but they don't know if she will be able to return to her senior apartment. Of the 5 siblings my brother and I live in town. Everyone else has made excuses to not help. My brother I found out isn't visiting my mom anymore with the exception of an occasional visit. I do not get along with him or my SIL to begin with and all the reasons for that are now playing out in this situation. People are making gross assumptions about my ability to be the sole caregiver of my mom, that I don't have anything better to do as an excuse to dump it all on me. This isn't true. In between I get accused of being unreliable and my SIL shows up long enough to get my mom all worked up, that I won't make it to her appointments etc. My mom expects me to be there to see her every day and gets upset when I don't. Relatives pressure me that I should be there or why am I not there if I don't stop by over the weekend or miss a day they think I should have driven to town to see her. I already had too much on my plate before this all happened, I work freelance, a husband and one kid left at home. Neither of them are any help and continue to make things worse. They won't do anything at home to help me, expect me to do everything at home and complain constantly that things are not done but won't help, he's become really nasty the past few years too. On top of this my husband had two surgeries in 2 years so I spent much of the last 2 years taking care of him or doing everything that needed to be done at home. Now he might need another surgery. I can't become my mom's full time caregiver but my siblings seem to have decided I should without even asking me. Even if my mom is able to handle assisted living I know that will require much of my time. Nobody will help, nobody will listen even when I tell them point blank what I need or what is an issue, they just make up excuses. But they all seem to be quick to criticize unless they are the ones who split and went into hiding. It seems like anything I do to try to get someone to get a clue is just going to blow up into being a problem about me rather than my mom's needs or that person's need to get a clue. I have kept my extended family at a distance for decades for a reason. Now I am in the middle and feel like everyone is against me. The nursing home rehab unit isn't helping. My mom had a heart attack (actually was a-fib). Instead of calling 9-11 they left a message with her doctor's office and CALLED ME to ask what I wanted them to do. I ended up driving her to the hospital in my car. Luckily I was nearby on my way to see her when this happened. They won't give me a clear answer if they will call an ambulance if she needs emergency care or if they seriously expect me to be available 24-7 "just in case". I'm not even the power of attorney, my brother is. But he told them to call me because "im always available" and he's not. I am just at my wits end. I have tried to just ignore the lot of them and deal with my mom, she herself is not my problem but the rest just wont leave me be. To the point that panic ensued because I stopped for 10 min to eat lunch one day. I am at my wits end.

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Who have you talked to at the rehab place? If you have spoken to the director of nursing and haven't gotten a straight answer, maybe it is time to contact an ombudsman. If your mother has a health care directive, they should be following it. If she does not have one, put it in writing that she does wish to be resusitated, have her sign it, and give it to them. Yes, certainly they should try to get in touch with a family member, but not delay calling an ambulance while they do that!

Just because your brother put your name down doesn't mean it has to stay there. You can provide the cell phone numbers of all your sibs, and tell the NH to call them in rotation. You'll take your turn, but not be the only one on the list.

Yes, all the complaining and yelling you are enduring is indeed crazy. Please, please try to distance yourself from it. "Sorry, Sally, I don't have time to discuss this right now. I'll try to call you this weekend." "Gee, Ken, I'm sorry you don't approve of how I handled it. I'm doing my best. You certainly can handle your relationship with Mom the way you see fit. I'm not going to discuss my actions with you."

The exception, in my mind, is your immediate household. That is worth working on, instead of distancing yourself. I strongly suggest family counseling. Work on that family. Turn a deaf ear to the rest.

Thanks Jeanne, what makes things just crazy is everyone is complaining or yelling at me everywhere I turn. My family at home is far from understanding and multiple talks have done nothing. I get yelling and complaining that dinner isn't planned, things around the house are not done etc.just really petty things. Life at home was not good before this all happened. The strains on my time just made it worse, I get no support at home. Since this started suddenly there is a larger demand for "me" at home to do everything. So instead of getting some help it purposely went the opposite direction. Any time my phone rings it is something with someone blaming me or criticizing me. Not answering my phone sets off a flurry of people freaking out that something must have happened to me and getting more people involved. It is just crazy. My mom seems to need me there lots because nobody else is visiting her and it bothers her. Everyone else is far from supportive to outright sabatoging things or committing me to things behind my back. Like how I was made my mom's emergency contact without my knowledge because my brother decided I don't have a life. I am not sure how to sort this mess out with the rehab hospital. They insist that their procedure is to call a family member to "decide" what treatment needs to be done. I can not get them to give me a clear answer if someone keels over in the hallway will you call 9-11 or just stand there and watch them die? The line they are telling me is they won't do anything until they talk to me or get a routine call back from a doctor. This has left me in a horrible place. I certainly don't want to be on call 24-7 even if my brother is dumping his responsibility on me. The fact that the rehab hospital won't give me a straight answer that they will call 911 if there IS an emergency has sort of stuck me in that situation. I don't know how to get out of it. Rehab won't cooperate with a clear plan of action if my mom needs emergency care. This isn't normal is it?? Expecting someone's life to be up to the ability to call me and only me on my cell phone is just not acceptable IMHO. I don't know if rehab didn't realize how serious she was or if they seriously won't act if someone needs emergency intervention without their "standard policy" of calling a relative first? They won't tell me.

You cannot control your brother or your sister-in-law or your absent family members. You can try to influence them, but it doesn't look like that has been very successful.

Fortunately there is one person's behavior you can control: you. Nobody can make you do more for your mother than you reasonably can. Decide what is best for your mother and for you, what you are willing to do, and what you are able to do. Then do it. Don't consult your critical sibs. Don't let them bully you. If you decide that you will visit twice during the week and once on the weekend, then do that. Don't apologize. Just do it. Does Mom have a health care directive? Has she decided the DNR question? Do you know her decision? If someone else is named as the health-care decision-maker, that is who the NA must call. You are not on call 24 hours just because your brother says you are.

Continue to love and care for your mother. I certainly don't mean for you to abandon her. But do it on your terms, and do it in such a way that you have energy to devote to your marriage and to enjoy the last kid to leave the nest. Distance yourself from your non-helpful relatives.

Best wishes to you.

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