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Hi All..

Haven't posted in a while. A few months ago I moved my parents to independent living senior apartments close to my house. My mom has high BP and had a stroke this summer (no permanent damage). My dad has beginning stages of dementia. My parents have been living here for about 3 months. My dad goes back and forth with being ok living there to wanting to go home.

Anyway, I am the in town sibling so ALL care has fallen on me. My mom has 2 younger sisters in town who swore how much they would love to have their sister closer to them so they could spend time together. Well.. so far one sister has only visited once for an hour and the other has come a few times.. but quickly leaves.(this is in 3 months time). and definately not enough to help me out or offer any respite for me. So they are basically just ignoring them.. even though they live close. Of course none of them even think about the toll this is taking on me.. or care.

My siblngs... My brother lives 12 hours away.. but he came to help me winterize their home they moved out of.. for a week. Well.. he left without getting the water properly turned off.. that is still on me.. and that was the main reason he even came.!

My sister... keeps planning trips and cancelling. The last trip I bought her a ticket. She was supposed to come and help me with some of the financial issues that have been stacking up.. paperwork... etc. and to spend time with them... well... that was last week .. and she cancelled at the last minute saying she was sick. This is about the 3rd time she has cancelled.

Neither my brother or sister even calls regularly ..

This morning I was telling my mom that instead of helping me my sister just put more on me to have to go back and forth with what ticket we should get .. planning her trip etc. (I even took time off work) Well.. instead of my mom understanding.. she thought that I was saying that I was putting uneeded pressure on my sister.... causing HER extra stress.. I cant even say how much that hurt.. like a knife in my heart!.

I am just beside myself...this is taking over my whole life.. and NO ONE cares, NO ONE is greatful.. or has any idea of the toll it is taking on me.

I know ... I am not the only one dealing with these issues and I have read posts similar.. but I just need to vent.. as there is NO ONE in my life that I can talk to about this.. I don't know what they think.. they probably don't think much about it.

Thanks for listening to my vent...

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Thanks everyone for the comments. It really helps me not feel so alone in all this.

Luckily my parents are still able to somewhat live independently and don't need help with personal hygene or mobility. My mom is physically getting stronger and able to do some cleaning and cook meals (I usually have to assist though). The stress I have is that it was difficult for my dad to move away from his home to an apartment so I am constantly feeling responsible for their happiness.. I go over there usually twice a day.. sometimes 3 times a day. I do all their grocery shopping, visits to dr.'s, paying bills, handling financial affairs, ... etc.

When my dad first moved to the apartment he constantly wanted to leave and go home. I would have to go over there for distraction.. take him out for a drive, out to eat, shopping.. anything to keep him occupied. He seems to be a little more settled now.. OH.. and they have met a few friends.. so there are some things to be greatful for.

The entire move was on me though.. not one shred of help from any relatives or siblings.. although they all knew about the move, about how difficult it was for both me and my parents. .

Bookluvr.. I feel for you having to do things like change your mom's pamper... I don't know if I will be able to do that when the time comes. I am planning on hiring some caregivers soon.. my parents can afford it and I shouldn't have to kill myself. The problem is neither of my parents wants to admit they need help.. They don't wear pampers..or have any mobility issues yet.. but they still need someone with them at least part of the day. I do worry what will happen if I get sick or unable to carry on for some reason. I agree with you about stopping expectations that some day family will treat me right and assist me .. or even be a smidge greatfull. I plan on paying for help at least some of the time so I can have an occasional night off.

JessieBelle,
I could have written your post.. that's exactly how my parents are.. they are so so greatful when my brother came for a week. Kept saying how he took a WHOLE WEEK of vacation just to come and help them.. poor guy!!! Never mind the fact that I have used ALL my vacation for the last 2 years taking care of them.. and ALL my weekends. Same when my sister comes.. on and on about how great it was that she did this or that... the thing is though they get to go back to their lives.. whatever they do is limited.

I worry about myself feeling so much anger and resentment..I just need to assume no one is going to ever help or be greatful or care.. but it sure kind of colors how I see the world.. I thought siblings were supposed to care.. but I guess it is pretty limited...I'm especially surprised how my moms sisters are now treating her. Maybe I just expect too much..
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I know how you feel. I am the only person to help with my second cousin. She's eleven years older than me and most of her other family is elderly, infirmed, dead or not interested in helping at all. For weeks, I drove 60 miles per day round trip to care for her, while trying to keep my own business open. No one cared. They told me it was so good of me to help her. Anyway, I will add this about her stressful situation.

I foud that when my cousin was not getting the appropriate level of care, the issues seemed to come about daily. Either the facility she was at was not that on top of it or she needed a different level of care. Once she was placed in a Secure Memory Care Unit, where she gets the attention and care she needs, thing settled down....knock on wood. I'm still very anxious, but except for the doctor appointments and regular visits to see her, I'm not being summoned to her for crisis matters and to attend to her every need. That's what the staff take care of.

I would reevaluate your parent's needs and see if they could get someone or get somewhere where those needs can be addressed. It will ease the burden on you .You still have the ultimate responsibility, but the day to day matters are not pressing you every moment. Best wishes. You are not alone.

I will say that going through this experience changes you inside. It's as if God is no longer way up in the sky, but beside me and within me. I feel a new connection with my spirituality that is something I never expected to have. It's rather peaceful though. I'm grateful for that.
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They see the hardships you're going through but won't really acknowledge it. Even when you have repeatedly asked for help. It's not their problem. It's your responsibility. I think from experience, it depends on the individual. I used to change my bedridden mom's pamper by myself. When my favorite sis or her teenage daughter (fave niece) see me struggling, they jump up to help. But fave sis other daughter would not (but she has plans to be a nurse). I do all the cleaning and they just need to hold mom while I do it. Oldest sis moved in. I have to repeatedly ask her to help me when changing mom's pamper. Most times I don't because it should be automatically for her to help when she sees me stacking pillows on mom to keep her from turning as I cleaned her backside. Oldest sis would pass through the livingroom and us. Yep, I recall coming here so much to vent all over the place. It really does help.

Is there like a social worker who can help you with your mom? Who can give you advice or options to lessen the load? Waiting for family to help you - forget it. Start by pretending it's only you and your mom so that you can stop hoping family will help. This will help drastically on the expectations and eventual letdown and depression from their inaction.
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Vent away. I understand totally. I went through this resentment last week when my brother came to town. It was all about what I could do to make things good for my two brothers. I knew the brothers didn't expect or really want anything, but Mom wanted to put on a show of graciousness. Of course, I was the brain, arms, and legs she was going to use to carry out her ideas. When I said enough! she got angry and said, "They are your brothers. You ought to want to do this for them." I am thinking that the brothers have never done a thing for me, so why should I put so much into something they didn't even want.

My brothers are fine, but I have gotten to dread them coming around. My mother thinks men are golden, so she straps on her spurs and starts riding me to serve them. Gosh! I already take care of their mother. Seems like they would be asking what they could do for me, instead. That isn't going to happen, but it's a nice thing to think about. It seems like no one cares for the caregiver and we can face a lot of anger when we care for ourselves. Shame that people can see us a lowly people -- it's how it feels sometimes.

Thanks for listening to my vent, too. My self esteem has been taking a caregiver battering lately.
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As a caregiver for the most part, you will wait a long time for gratitude! You just do what you can and find outside sources to help with the rest. Call you local senior services group to get them evaluated for whatever assistance they quality for. Their doctor can help with that, as well. Sounds like they need more than independent living if you are carrying such a load. Hopefully they have gotten involved in activities where they live. Good luck!
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