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Mom doesn't live with me. She live in a nearby county. In her own home with my brother. However, Brother won't help mom much. Mom has one problem after another and looks to me to help. There is no one else. Been going a few stressful weeks with mom. And then the blizzard. Mom snowed in and we are snowed in. I.had to get snow shoveling arranged for mom. Keep talking to physical therapist to find out when she can get out of neighborhood to go to mom. My husband and have been out three or four times a day since the blizzard started shoveling two
feet of snow. And I have been fielding phone calls from mom and about mom everyday.
I said to husband " I need a drink." He just looked at me. Then joked that I could get a cocktail at Hooters. It's so upsetting and frustrating that he just doesn't get it.
He has it easy with his father compared to me. His father is in Assisted Living. Only five minutes from our house. He has a brother to discuss issues or problems. about his father with. My brother just adds to the problems. He is also a person that feels you just do what you have to do. Life is hard sometimes. Just do what you must. No emotion. Except when his father becomes annoying or difficult my husband does get emotional. He can't. see. It though.


Barbara


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Barbara - Correction, Life is not hard "sometimes". Life is difficult to quote Dr. Scott Peck from his book, The Road Less Traveled. The way girls are socialized is different than the way boys are, and boys just fall down, get hurt, and get back up again without running to mommy. Stop whining and take care of your mother like she took care of you, or get added professional help. If your brother does not help, he is expecting you to. So, try not helping and see what happens. You only get abused when you ALLOW the abuse.
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No one understands until they've walked in the caregiver's shoes!
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Hadnuff, please don't waste your energy for any one to understand. If you do you will end up with depression and health problems. My sister and brother told me lies for 9 years that they will do every thing for mom. They give me impression caregiving is our responsibility and they will support mom when she needs to. I am acaregiver for mom for 9 years. After 9 years being caregiver for mom who has dementia and other health issues I collapsed. My health went down like a hell. I collapsed mentally, emotionally and physically. I asked my sister and brother to help , to take mom and take care of her couple of months to get my health back a little. I told them I am really exausted. Guess what they said . They were rude to me. They said they have responsibility. They said they have health issues. They refused just to help couple of months. Not helping me. Help mom. I did not ask to help me . Even I am sick. Please please do what you can to help mom. Do not exaust yourself and do not wait in any appreciation or understanding from family. I learned in the hard way family members will play game and use your loving to mom and manipulate it. Once you will stop they will give their back and be rude to you because you no longer do benefit to them. The good thing about my situation I seeked my other brother help who was rejected by my sister and brother to take mom to help just because they did not Like my SIL. My other brother who is the one helped me. He stand by me to help mom and me. He walked with me to help me in my depression. Believe or not I was going to kill myself. My brother who saved me. He stand by me helping mom and me. I am not sure what I was going to do without him . I may by now will be dead. Again do not listen to family listen to your concious and your needs. Balance between your needs and mom needs. I still have health issues . Caregiving is very hard job. Just a thought your husband may be in your side. He does not want you to collapse. Please do not understand me wrong. Yes you need to help your mom no matter what . You will only have one mother in this worlf. But also balance between your mom needs and your needs. Love you , you are really a good person who suppose to be appreciated for life. God bless you
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I can only speak for myself. I find that the more seriously challenging a situation is the less talking about it offers any gratification. A brief summary is all or you lose people. Few really have the time or concern for an in depth talk. They are usually only being polite. Some people mindlessly believe they should offer a form of condolence. They really are not there to offer counseling or to receptive to your vent no matter how gentle. When you are in the thick of it there is no room to complain. You just do what needs to be done. Only people who think like this understand. The flippant remarks some people dish out are responses to perceived whining even if you are absolutely certain you are not whining. Just know there are people who do understand what you are involved in.
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Yeah Bay-Bee ! A lot of that gain' on here too ! I guess I'm blessed to be in a sort-of better place: while the 10 year best friend/'boyfriend' gets tired and annoyed...he's a funny fella. Puts on a bathrobe and goes over to Mom and bows like a monk and blesses her. She giggles. Never giggles for me ! He makes her a grilled cheese-tomato sandwich (something we never had at our house) and she makes a big stink about how fabulous it is. Sometimes zany distractions are good.
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I am getting to the point where going to the supermarket is like a mini vacation. At least they play nice music there and I talk to people. Getting out for the day and hiring a caregiver is worth it, too. If I don't get out, then the caregiver I am paying for will have to take care of me, too!
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Mom w/ Dementia wants ice cream....then 10 minutes later asks if we have any ice cream. I said that you just had ice cream. She says that she doesn't care...she's not a diabetic or a child. If I give her one more teaspoon more, then 10 minutes later....you guessed it. She asks for more ice cream. At least I remember she just had....so no more for today! Or I say that we ran out of it...
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My husband's relationship with his own mother and sister was - ' what's that got to do with me!!!' Neither of them drove! Can you imagine? They would call and ask for rides, and of course that was a maddening, stressful thing even if they weren't demented. But it would all depend on how Il Duce felt once a month. If too drunk or lazy or tired, 'they'll find someone else to take them'. So you can well imagine the grand support *I* got with my mother! "Go do what you have to do, but make sure I have something to eat later, and my work clothes ready." No sympathy, no compassion, just me-me-me.
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I have come home, or taken phone calls, trying to arrange care for my mom or trying to get her into assisted living (2 year waiting list) or a nursing home (go through the getting-on-Medicaid wringer.) Dealing with agencies who are LIARS about Medicaid. Dealing with caretakers, who simply were not sufficient for the problem and who would call me FIFTY PER CENT OF THE TIME THEY WERE OVER THERE. "You better get over here, your mother is on the floor/fell on the floor/found her on the floor/sh*t all over the floor/ and we are not supposed to lift her up by ourselve." And I would burst into tears on a weekly basis, driving half an hour to and from mom's house, taking her to doctors appointments (which took over an HOUR just getting her into a diaper, dressed, and into the car), doing the shopping, cooking, cleaning. Waiting by the phone for that call....And what did that PRIZE I was married to do? Go up and shut himself in his bedroom because he "didn't want to hear all that sh*t" after the long, hard day HE had. No help whatsoever, no sympathy whatsoever, all 'me me me'. He makes a ton of money, and so I have stayed, but that's his only redeeming virtue. He is self-centered and very stupid. I dread the day he retires.
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Looking back on it, I think it would have been unfair for me to expect my husband to fully understand the stresses on me of caregiving (made more complicated by the dynamics of my relationship with my mother). I didn't have a full grasp of how tough it would be on me until I was knee deep in it myself. As to gender and empathy, I've had female friends who were less than supportive until they found themselves with elder care issues. Then, magically, they had a clue.

It is a difficult and delicate balance to care for a parent, while also maintaining our relationships with our spouses and children. It saddens me to read of marriages failing because that balance was elusive. Caring for an elder often has us in a reactive mode, constantly putting their need or yes, want, ahead of the healthy, able bodied spouse or child. Looking back on it, this was an unfair way to treat my own family.

No one wants to have their parent in NH. Period. But as we all get older, needs of all must be a significant factor, not just wants. I know my limits, finally, and it is not possible for me to care for all the people in my life, personally, hands on. I have to triage out what I personally need to do, and what can be done by others. And for me, one of those needs has to be being a wife and mom, not just a daughter.

And sometimes men, like my husband, end up being really good caregivers once they're in the thick of it and have someone helping to teach them.
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Not everybody's up to the challenge of being a caregiver. Some people do what they need to do, some will seek more and then there's those that want to react to what they need to do in the moment. For me I think you should be honest with your husband and sit him down and tell him how you feel. Tell them that you need to be more supportive and understand that it's hard on you and why you feel overwhelmed sometimes. He needs to support you. In doing that hopefully you'll have more energy to support your mom. My brother is in very helpful when it comes to caring for family either. I have two siblings that have myotonic muscular dystrophy that live with me. My brother has never offered to take them for haircuts or shopping or to come over and help them clean. It's an out of sight out of mind thing for him. First sign of medical trouble with anyone he runs for the hills. That's why he does HVAC for a living and I am a therapist. You do what do because you love her. Sometimes it thankless and endless and it tiresome. I'm the end you do what you because your Hearst tells you too! That's amazing! I admire it. Stand up for yourself to your brother and your husband be clear on what they can do to help you. When you feel you have more support you an conqueror whatever comes your way!
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Wow. Very topical. I found that complaining and being frustrated was a sign something needed to change. And I had to talk to people to pinpoint what the issues are and what could be changed. And my husband is the same way.
This is what helped me become more objective about what my mother in law needs and what I could reasonably provide: finding resources( books, online, visiting assisted living places,) talking to people and keeping a daily journal. In the past year I started reading the q&a here most days. I talk to a person at church
Keeping a journal . Some days it's cut and dry but goes like this: . This is a problem, this is new/not new. She is aggravated/ I am aggravated. this is what is needed.maybe this would work. Not necessarily in that order. I put all my information there about her. The notebook has morphed into 4 notebooks, an accordion file three books and dedicated shelf for that. Keeps me organized and focused.
I needed help figuring out what I could and could not do physically and mentally. You and your mother need some kind of reasonable expectations so you know when the time comes that you NEED to find help with transportation, cleaning, maybe assisted living. The goal is not to have a marriage wrecked or for her to have a terrible fall before you decide to make a change.
Sounds like you have some legit reasons for making some changes: safety, anxiety, emergency preparedness, overwhelmed. You need to make it work for you. My husband turned out to be a better partner when I could tell him something more objectively without the drama. He reacts to me being upset by shutting down, so I had to tell him what I needed, what's going on. "I just need a hug, I'm stressed." " I can't figure out how to fix this."
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Men don't understand the emotional stress that goes along with all of that. Wouldn't that be a wonderful way to live? Free of emotional stress? Yes and no.... I have several men in my life who simply don't have the ability to have empathy for anyone. It's not necessarily their fault. They were just born that way. I think it's genetic. They are "Just the fact, ma'am" type of people. They don't want to know how you felt, just what you did. They want the physical aspects without any emotion. Heavy emotion is tiring. Add that to physical work, and you're exhausted....and (most) men don't understand why. Because they have little or no emotional involvement in anything.
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My husband, although very helpful and I want to say that i coukd not have gone thru the journey with my mom without him. He too, in thd beginning did a lot of complaining. Not until inwent shopping with my daughter and he stayed home alone with my parents for a full day, did he "get it". He became much more sympathic after that for a few years. When we reached the point where i could not do it alone and he was the only other available body, there was no denying it, he got it. He said he would do the shopping and cooking which gave me more time to take a break. My parents seemed to nap around 4 each day and if I didn't lay down too, there was no break, however dinner needed to be started at that time. By my husband tsking over the dinner duties, I got my much needed break. I think women just pitch in and do whst needs to be fine. Fir ky husband, it was better thst I asked him for help where I needed help, not where he thought I needed it. By me speaking up and asking for specific things, this worked much better for me. Life is not perfect but once everyone is in agreement what the actual priority that day was, things went much smoother. I don't think I could have taken care of my parents without the full help and commitment of my husband and feel very fortunate and know I am truly blessed. He can be a real shit in some days but now he really gets it. Good luck
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As the husband and caregiver to my disabled wife, I don't agree to the generalization about empathy being a gender specific trait. I think most woman feel they are the ones best suited for the role and most men are not going to fight to win that spot. Having said that......I also feel the odds would be in my favor to select a female caregiver if I ever needed one which probably comes from childhood experience more than a belief bad ones don't exist. I have been through some serious battles and many facilities with my wife before she was able to come home. I have seen the good, bad and ugly of both genders. I have been told I was the exception to the rule which I won't accept. Being a good care giver is one of the toughest & most unrewarding jobs I have ever had but wouldn't trust anyone (including my female daughters) to do it.
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I feel for you. I cared for my grandparent for 35 years while I was going to school and then while I was working. I never made a family because I loved my grandmom. I lost her at a nursing home due to their neglect and negligence. No one will know what you are going through unless they have done it themselves, but God is watching you. You are a good person.
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I feel for you. I cared for my grandparent for 35 years while I was going to school and then while I was working. I never made a family because I loved my grandmom. I lost her at a nursing home in the northeast due to their indifference and negligence. Nursing homes do not care about our elders. Dont leave your relatives there or else get ready with the funeral expenses because they will kill them and find loopholes in the law to get away from it. Take care of your relatives at home if you love them. Nursing homes are just in for the money from the insurance companies. They charge them thousands of dollars for care they never render to our relatives. They protect themselves here on the internet and keep their record of complaints and lawsuits with the health departments " confidential " . They get protection from the mafia somehow. Politicians have not paid attention much to these kinds of killers. No one will know what you are going through unless they have done it themselves, but God is watching you. You are a good person.
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I agree with many of the comments made already but would just add that much depends upon your spouse's own relationship with her/her own parents. I am an only child, and have always been close to my mother as for a number of years it was just the two of us when she divorced my father for physical abuse. Consequently, even though she now has dementia and can't bear weight, I wouldn't dream of putting her in a care home, despite it being very hard for me to care for her. My husband, on the other hand was one of four siblings and his sole contribution towards the care for his aging mum when she was alive, was to take her to the supermarket once a fortnight. It never entered his head to spend more time with her, to do things with her. The upshot of this - him being let off the hook - is that he simply doesn't understand the stress I feel and can be quite cruel in blaming my mother for our lack of social life. This is totally unfair because I do get carers in to allow us to go out, but he generally refuses, preferring to sit at his computer. On the odd occasion when he wants to go somewhere (a visit to his family) and I can't get a sitter I am made to feel as though I'm being unreasonable for putting my mum first. I do know some men who seem to appreciate how hard it is for their wives when they're caring for their mothers, but they are few and far between, and I think it's just that they don't care because during their own lives they've been lsupported themselves by sisters and womenfolk generally. They are much much more selfish than women. My advice is to tell your brother that you are going to charge him for the care work you do as he doesn't do his share, and to tell your husband to man-up and give you a bit of support.
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My mom had a tiny car accident and her health spiraled down after that, including a stroke leaving her incapable of taking care of herself. She went from an independent retiree to nothing. I started making trips to her home (out of state) and realizing how bad the situation was, I kept staying longer. My husband never went with me to see her. He started shutting me out of our life and still won't talk to me. This was a 3 year process.

Our marriage is over. But I don't regret going to her. Dementia is hard to grasp. I finally got her to agree on NH and I fly to see her about 5 times a year. My sister and I take turns. I told husband to file divorce but he is just doesn't bother. Once my child is out on her own, I will move near my mother and I hope its not too late to spend time with her. My father is also starting his decline in health although he still at home.

My mom saw the stress I was under. She agreed to go into NH when she realized that it was better for her children (my sister and I live out of state). She hates NH but understands how our men (our husbands) are. Mom says take care of our children first and then when we are ready, she would love to see us more often.

Men are self centered, they don't have the nurturing gene it takes to raise children, let alone take care of aging parents. I don't speak about all men, just the one's my sister and I chose. She is almost done with her divorce. I have not even started mine. I'm too tired to try to make him understand and be patient. His/our time will come and I can't visualize that he would be capable of providing me with any care as I would do for him. I'd rather submit to strangers like my mom has had too.

If your husband will listen, then talk till your blue in face. Your parents gave you as much as you give your children today. They deserve your assistance in their time of re-entry into source. When my time comes, I don't expect anyone will be there for me. I will be kind to my child and accept any attention she can give me.
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We understand your frustration. Spouses can get both envious of you spending time away from them , dealing with problems they can't fix, and protective of you, spreading yourself so thin trying to run 2 households with no sibling help from the guy who lives with Mom.
Giving him the benefit of the doubt, understand that he is on your side, wanting you to reduce your stress. How can you do that?
1. Reduce the number of visits you make to once a week.
2. Reduce the number of phone calls about Mom.
3. Tell your spouse one good story about Mom each day and find a friend to share the daily frustrations with.
4. Get outside help- volunteers, Area Aging on Aging to begin.
5. Write more. We get it. We've been there. We know how stressful it can be and how we need to protect ourselves so we are available for the others in our lives who love us and who count on us to be there for them.
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I think Perseverance64 nailed it. I have this same problem with my brother, but not my three sisters, which makes me wonder if it's a gender ability of men to minimize emotional stress. My brother is a kind, caring, thoughtful person, but when I tell him how draining it is to care for my parents (both with dementia), he looks genuinely puzzled, as if I'm some weakling with no stamina. He sees a single middle-aged woman (me) complaining about what he perceives to be "a little bit of light babysitting." I'm putting words in his mouth, but that's how his offhand comments always make me feel. I'm fortunate to have my sisters to turn to, and this amazing website. Hang in there, Barbara!
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I have family and friends who do understand, do care and will help as much as they can. But, my daughter's youngest daughter has Burger's kidney disease, my sister is 80 years old and my son's work takes him out of town. Sometimes I think AD is the loneliest disease in the world. The hardest part for me is knowing my husband cannot understand that caring for him takes everything I have.Today I will make a gratitude list and find at least one thing that makes me laugh. praying for us all.
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I have been caring for my wife who was involved in a horrible accident that left her paralyzed. I know what you are talking about with your husbands carefree attitude and casual "life is hard" and lace the boots one buckle at a time mentality. I have experienced this many times and find it ironic how it seems to mostly come from people who don't have a clue or ability to really empathize. I don't think you or anyone dealing with very hard situations are looking for a medal but we certainly don't want some patronizing remarks from people we know are fortunate enough to not have experienced real hardship. I do find it interesting when you see these same people complain about what they define as a "bad day". I think this is the primary reason I usually don't get into any deep conversation when asked how I've been etc. It's easier to just say "fine" than to set myself up for some thoughtful but clueless "life is hard and take it one day at a time" reply.
Know their are people on this site and in this world that do really get it and I have come to understand that the reason some don't is because they have not realized they're blessed with the lack of experience.
God Bless
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My spouse doesn't get either. His parents were proactive and prepared. They moved into a "age in place" facility. So their kids are set. I not so lucky. I have no siblings and both my parents have no finances excite their social security. I live in IL and they are in FL. They don't want to move to IL. So I spend a lot of time on long distance calls and recently have been here since Christmas. Dad took a bad fall in December and then a bunch of stuff has happened. Mother had dementia so can't be left alone. Respite is a big joke. They only give 2 weeks and it's complicated red tape bureaucracy to try and get her into the same Rehab with dad. I also work full time. Bless all of you because I have been hit with issue after issue. Would love to move them to Chicago with me but that more red tape bureaucracy.
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My heart goes out to you!! Maybe, at some point, your hubby will understand. Maybe not, but looks like you need to find some resources for your mom and some rest for you. Council on Aging has resources is highly recommend you find out about for your mom's area. See what's available. Through COA I took a free 6 week workshop on being a savy caregiver. It was a great starting point.
I've been caring for my mom (had to dump my job, move, leave freinds and neighbors) but through this stress have seen her thrive even with dementia. My family is no help, so I found valuable resources like a Dementia daycare through COA; a bus picks her up, brings her back and I have several hours "off" weekdays. I found a local care facility where mom can stay for a weekend so I can de-stress.
If they aren't helping; they can be part of the problem! Your brother needs to pitch-in, if that is possible (it might not be possible).
Don't expect sympathy from hubby. Look for that with girlfriends.
Figure out resources to mom care because this is not something you should try by yourself; you will be worn out quickly.
Take a night off and out!!! You must.
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I don't know if there is a solution other than to tell your brother that he simply must do more. Unless he has a metal or physical illness that keeps him from helping out, he should be doing the bulk of the caring. As was said about the storm, if your brother can get himself out he can get your mother out. But the storm isn't the biggest issue - it's the whole package.

Standing up for yourself is important. Many women (including me) have a hard time doing this. But you may have to stand up to your brother and even your mom (she does have someone with her). You'll also have to explain to your husband that you know you have different personalities but you could use some emotional support.

Will all of this get you anywhere? Maybe not right away. But if you stick to respecting yourself, you may get a little more respect back.This is a fact that I don't like - what we do should automatically get respect and empathy. But real life says that if we don't stand up for ourselves to some extent we get trampled.

Take care and please keep us updated. We're with you.
Carol
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Honestly noone gets it unless they have had a similar experience to yours. People ( even spouses and siblings) really don't understand if they aren't actively involved in the caring and I think there is some fear as well. They don't want to know sometimes. . I've figured forums such as these are so valuable because we get it. I used to vent a lot with friends and siblings but then began to realise I was being really negative ( I can see how!!!). I also couldn't mentally escape if all I did was talk about it. So now I read and participate here. Given up waiting for others to understand. I think It's beyond "outsiders" understanding the full situation. I just kept setting myself up for frustration.
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I have been taking care of my mom for 5 years,, my one brother died who was living here, but was so drunk or high all the time,, but he was here , If I went out at least I knew he would call,, I would get an hour or 2 fishing,, about a mile away but could get right back,, now I just go to drug store or food store,, My sister lives 5 miles away in last 5years has come about 6 times stays 20 minutes leaves says Mom is ok ( she's 94) falls all a lot trouble bathing,, has Diverticuliis,, repeats everything,,, been trying to get home care I am 67 had 14 back operations so I can't do much,, (at least my neighbors shoveled the snow) I am going nuts I have to lay down like 2 hours a day for my back,, I bought her a bell to ring (a mistake) if I am laying down and she needs help now she rings it all the time,, just to change the channel on TV,, Hospice won't come unless docter signs papers saying she has 6 months to live, Going nuts
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Who has POA? And if brother needs to get out.. can he? If he can, she can too and will be safe in this storm. My hubs is also pretty easy going, and he lives with my Mom and I.. but sometimes he says things that make me want to smack him! But let HIS folks call,, and he is all bent out of shape! I think men just dont get it as well as we do!
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