Follow
Share

I have three siblings but you wouldn’t know it by their level of participation in the care of our father. One sibling is a raging alcoholic and hates me. Having him involved with anything is more trouble than it’s worth and I avoid it at all costs especially since he told my father he suspects I killed our mother when she was dying from brain cancer! I have this brother blocked on my phone because he’s so venomous and toxic. I have another brother who lived in the home with my dad until recently but didn’t take part in any of his medical care, appointments, Errands etc. He cooked meals and that’s it. He refuses to help financially in equitable manner. He moved out to his girlfriends local rental about 6 months ago and today told me he is moving to live with her 10 hours away. My sister has always lived 10 hours away and hasn’t been much help with hands on stuff. She’s very supportive though. We get along great though I have been feeling more resentment toward her recently. I sent a text today informing my sister and the one sober brother that my brother is moving, Informed them that we need a plan on who is coming and when because I refuse to do this completely alone. My sister immediately responds that she will speak to her boss/HR and take FMLA leave to come here and stay one week at a time every month. My brother responds with “I’ll help however I am able”. I want to crawl through the phone and choke him!! Since his girlfriend entered the picture he has been looking for a way to run and used a fight today as his chance. He feels having lived with my parents and then my dad alone after mom died that he has had the brunt of the pressure. He lived there but I did all the care. He could be sitting right next to a parent with a need and they would call me “because you know he won’t do it”. He allowed this to happen. I told him to tell them he could help and he would simply say “I tried” and then let me do whatever was needed. I am seen as controlling by both of my brothers because I get in and do what is needed to ensure proper care. Clearly I am burning out!! Hopefully something positive happens. Thanks for listening/reading!

Find Care & Housing
BillsDaughter -

I'm sorry that you find the comments here unsupportive, but to be honest, you are in the same situation many of us have been in, and the advice offered is sound and valid.

Ever hear the old adage: 99% of the work is done by 1% of the people? It holds true in caregiving. Very, very rarely do we ever see a situation on this site where siblings all pitched in equally to help care for aging parents financially, emotionally and physically - it's usually only one that does 99% of the work, with other siblings pitching in here or there, but not enough. It's *never* enough - especially in the eyes of the one doing the 99%.

You have some decisions to make, I'd say.
(1)
Report

Your alcoholic brother is of no use anyway. And if his ‘girlfriend’ will put up with him, she’s an alcoholic or drug addict too. A mentally healthy woman wouldn’t put up with him. Does he work? Or is that a funny joke?

Sister is at least actually stated her plan to get the ball rolling. Good for her!

Brother number three would let your dad choke to death and turn the TV up so he wouldn’t hear the gasping.

You tentatively have 1 sibling and it’s your sister. Actually be thankful for her. You two are friendly and sound close. Give her time and she’ll help in some way.

My daughter and I joke about our relationship. I say she’s ‘my sister, my daughter’ and I thank god that I was fertile for about 6 months in my youth. Her dad’s gone (yay) but my current husband #2 is a saint.

I feel fortunate.
(0)
Report

You’re right. I do find your comments offensive and lack any support at all.
(1)
Report

It sounds to me as though you have thrown on your superwoman cape and are p'd that your sibs want to be mere mortals. Bro will do what he can - sorry if that's not good enough but not everyone wants to shoulder the same level of care that you are committed to and you need to accept that fact. When I jumped into caregiving for my mother I knew that it was a decision I was making for ME, I had absolutely no expectation that anyone else in the family was going to help. If your situation involves an unrealistic expectation about the ability of willingness of the rest of your family to help then you are doomed to unmet needs and resentment. How long can your sister realistically sustain using up her FMLA benefits and time? Your brother has a girlfriend - although you disparage his previous contribution even his physical presence in the house was a benefit because it freed you to attend to other things, did you expect him to put his life on hold indefinitely?
I apologize because I'm certain my comments are offensive to you, but you mention that you are seen as controlling because you get the job done, perhaps they feel there are different options that you won't even consider.
(1)
Report

When I first found this site, my dad had a stroke and became bedridden. Now, I had 2 bedridden parents and none of my 7 siblings stepped up. I guess they expected me to quit my full time job and take care of the parents for free. Well, we're not independently wealthy, and my dad's monthly income was under $26,000 year. There was no way to live on his income, pay the bills, pay for mom's monthly medical supplies, and dad's supplies.

Dad's income was low enough to qualify for the government weekly caregiver's visit in which he chose for them to come 4 times a week to sponge bath him. He also got the meals-on-wheels lunch Monday-Fridays. Even though I was a full time worker and dealing with 2 bedridden parents, a private caregiver company offered me a free voucher for shopping, movies or whatever I chose, plus 1 hour respite a week.

Yes, my dad didn't care for strangers to come in. For the respite caregiver, he just wanted them to converse with him. He didn't want them to sponge bathe him, change his Depends, etc.. He just wanted to talk. These caregivers - both the private and gov't - were very friendly. I learned a lot from them. They would enter and dad would be grouchy. It's fascinating to see they were able to get him to laugh and talk. I watched and learn.

As for siblings, it was this site that helped me to accept that I cannot force them, beg them to help. However, I learned that my nieces/nephews/oldest sis were willing to help out if I offered to pay them. All they did was literally elder sit - no other caregiving duties. Fine. You need to come to terms in your mind and heart (very very hard!!!) to let go about expecting your siblings to help. If they help, yay! Don't forget to 'reward' them if they do.

P.S... one time my baby brother visited us. My dad actually told my brother to give me his dirty laundry and I will wash it (because I'm a female - and that's what women do.) I gave my brother a mean look and told him that he can d*rn well wash his own laundry. That was the last time my dad told any of my siblings that I would be doing their laundry.

I'm a former caregiver. I have about 25 years experience - most of it was on learning curves. First times.. first time mom was violent. First time she attack while bedridden. First time to change an adult bedridden pamper (not like a baby!!! learned that first hand...) First time to deal with flesh-eating to the bone bedsore (yuck!!!). Sooo many first times in those decades. And I'm still learning when I pop in to read here once in a while.
(7)
Report

"He could be sitting right next to a parent with a need and they would call me “because you know he won’t do it”. He allowed this to happen. "

Yes, he did allow it to happen. So did you.

But it was your *parents* who considered him the man of the house and you their gopher, bottle washer and general factotum. I wonder why..?! 🤔

Doesn't matter any more: the three of you who are steady on your feet are all getting together to make a plan. Way to go! Stop being angry with your (sober) brother, who is not doing anything unreasonable, and link arms with both siblings to make sure your parents are well supported without anybody ending up under a bus.
(5)
Report

And to get back to the original poster, I echo jeannegibbs' questions.

Can your father afford to hire caregiving help? Also, is it time to consider out of home placement for him?
(2)
Report

I find the former caregivers to be very helpful on this site. They don't take a defensive stance, and readily admit things they wish they had done (or, more commonly, NOT done) in their roles as caregivers. 

However, there are unfortunately former caregivers who appear to post on this site only to defend their caregiving activities, and to attempt to shame others for their feelings and caregiving activities. (One example is to call SNFs "government death camps.") Just because someone may have suffered an alcoholic abusive upbringing (and perhaps hasn't resolved those resulting issues very well), doesn't mean that person can come on to this site and bully people.
(6)
Report

Shaking, I'm with Jeanne! This is supposed to be a support group, not a character assassination site.

Those of us who have taken the entire journey with our loved ones, from first noticing the changes that come with getting older and needing more help,  to watching them take their last breathes, have the perspective of "What I wish I'd known then" to " this is what worked for us". I'm not sure why you'd like to see us "old hands" go away?

I'm not leaving. Some people find my advice useful and as long as that's the case, I'll stick around.

Oh, and please stop being such a bully, will ya?  It's very unpleasant.
(11)
Report

Shakingoffdust, your pet peeve is people who come here many years after they have any involvement in care giving. Could you name 4? Or even 1? I can name several who came here as active caregivers and then stayed on, to "pay back" the useful advice they received. I'm in that category. Also frequent flyer, and several other "old timers." We are people who have been through the entire journey. Yes, we have more answers at this point than we have questions. Do you really want us to go away?
(11)
Report

Shakingdustoff, I find your comments regarding Us "PREVIOUS Caregivers", the ones who have put in many years of service to their Elders and Loved ones who are now past on, and so Now We no longer have anything of value to share with those current Caregivers, Rude and obnoxious!

Who are You to say that what we share is no longer of any value to others? "SPAM", Really? You know, you don't have to participate here, you don't have to read the comments, if us "Old Timers" are cutting into your precious time, and why would our advice be any less relevant to yours, just because our Caregiving days are behind us? That is Ridiculous talk, as many of us cared for multiple parents, and often for Many, Many years, and I for one participated in the care of 4 parents over 25 years, so I feel I'm quite qualified to share my experiences, to give practical advice, and lend a helping hand, when my experiences are relevant to the Thread.

Shakingdustoff, you have posted some very nasty comments towards other posters on this Thread and many others, and quite often! Why do you feel the need to do that, does it make you feel superior to others? Not everyone can relate to your alcoholic abusive upbringing, but you sure refer to it often enough. Should those of us who do not relate then make Snide Comments towards You?

I suggest that if you don't have anything Nice to say, then don't say anything at all, and leave your Snide comments to yourself! For the record, I find the majority of your posts off putting and rude, and of little value, and maybe You need to be a little kinder and gentler, before hitting the PRINT ANSWER button. I really doubt that the OP needed to be told she needs a "proper bubble bath" and to "pull herself together", and to just let her sister "out to dry", and not "waste her time training her" in the care of their Father, as where is the Team work in That? You are So Out Of Line, AGAIN! Uggg!
(11)
Report

Fair enough. I was just checking and yes, you did not mention your website in your answer. I'll give you that. Sorry if I cast aspersions on your character.
(2)
Report

The person whose behavior you can control (most of the tme!) is the one who looks back at you from a mirror. The persons for whom you can make decisions are that mirror person and anyone for whom you have legal authority, such as guardianship.

You cannot decide what your siblings role will be in caring for your parents. You cannot control what they do. But you certainly can make decisions for yourself. You can make suggestions about your sibs actions. But that is it.

You can most certainly say, "I am beginning to burn out over the level of care I provide Dad. With Brother no longer there to prepare meals we need to come up with some other arrangements. I can't do it all. Can we have a meeting next week to discuss our ideas?

You can decide "I am not doing more than X." If your family can't pitch in and do the rest, then you need to figure out whether to get that done by hiring in-home care or whether it is time to consider out-of-home placement for Father. (Is it fair that you should be the one who has to figure this out? No. But I have a feeling you are not about to ignore it and let Father flounder without adequate care.)

Having a needs assessment done for Father might be good background for discussing how his needs can be met.

Is meals on wheels a partial replacement for Brother's cooking?

I am really impressed that your sister is willing to give up 25% of her income and SS credits to take FMLA leave and care for Father. Wow! She must really want to see Father cared for in his own home.

What are Father's finances like? Can he afford to hire help?

You are entitled to take any attitude you deem appropriate toward your sibs, from resentment to gratitude. I hope your decisions about that aren't more harmful to you than to them.

I hope you are able to arrange for all Father's needs to be met, without overwhelming yourself.

Please let us know how this works out. Yours is a common situation, and we learn from each other!
(5)
Report

Yes I have a website and yes it would be great if others found it through here but I am in no way promoting it directly. I am simply sharing my passion of caregiving. If you find out through my profile that I have a site and visit it, that's great. If you simply read the answers I share and that's it, that's fine too. Look through the answers I have provided and you will not see a single promotion for anything. I see no harm in sharing that I have a site if people wish to learn more about me personally. Thank you and have a great day.
(4)
Report

Caregiverology, I just read your profile. I hope you didn't come on here to promote your own website. If you didn't, I am sorry for implying anything but truly, Agingcare is a fine site on its own. Please don't use this site to promote yourself.
(4)
Report

I am sorry for your troubles. Sounds like you could definitely use the help from your sister. Make sure she follows through with that. You should use that 1 week out of the month to take a break and do something you enjoy. Hopefully your brothers will see your sisters efforts and help out as well. If she doesn't fall through, you should seek help elsewhere, even if that means hiring home health care. You should not be trying to do everything on your own. Best of luck.
(6)
Report