I am the only one of three children caring for my parents. My siblings help sometimes....but if I dont care for them....I am not sure what would happen. I dont speak to my siblings anymore. I am a single mom of teenage kids. I used to be so cheerful and now...the anger is always threatening to explode. I used to have a job and friends, not now. I know my mom is old, but she knows she is taking advantage. I know that they won't live longer than a year...probably as they are failing fast. They wont take care of themselves. And I love them very much. But how dare everyone? I hate the way I feel. I doubt I will ever speak with my siblings again. I am just tapped out. My mom knew I was feeling this way so she suggested she pay me. But, they never have the money. I guess I just feel like they don't realize that I matter too. They just take for granted...dr fixing....TV and laundry. Prescription ordering........ ok so now I know I sound like ....poor me. Like I am whining. This is what my sister said. As she is far away and living her life. My brother lives 2 miles from my parents. If they have a need they refuse to call him. I am 30 miles away and they choose to call me. First thing my mom will say is ....I don't want you to drive out here oxygen isnt working (for example). Or ...your dad isn't well.....I go out 3 x a week. I am tired and and angry and I don't want to lose them. I know I sound insane. Thanks for letting me rant.

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Arlenes1 I'm glad our answers were helpful! Keep us posted on how things are going - we all care and understand what you're going through. Your parents won't move to assisted living because you're still bailing them out. When you stop doing that, then they may have to make that move.

My mom refused to let people in to give her medicine, even though I KNEW she was forgetting to take them. She insisted she was taking them daily as prescribed. Until she didn't take her blood thinner for 3 days and wound up in the ER with a clot in her foot. Of course, I had to take her and take her to the follow-up visits to the vascular surgeon. At that point, I blew. I told her I was DONE. We were getting help. She knew I meant business and didn't fight me. I had people come in 2X a day and give her meds (she lived in independent living). Once they started, she was fine and liked them. Sheesh! But to get her to that point involved an emergency and me finally putting my size 11 foot down and not taking no for an answer from her. Good luck and keep us posted.

CarlaCB, I think you're right. She knows that she is so NOT in charge, and so ordering me around lets her think she's still in charge.

Even as her memory and reasoning are going, she still thinks that she is always the all-knowing, all-wise wizard-woman. Everyone ELSE is stupid.

If/when she becomes more dependent, I have no intention of becoming her Mommy, though. She has LTC insurance and will be placed in a facility. I have also told my brothers that I do not want to be the one that gets called or consulted, even if I am the only local one.

Wow!! The responses were incredible and I thank all of you!! I did not want to check because I thought maybe...someone would say...martyr. But you all gave great suggestions. I have a very hard time with I am going to decide what I can do for them and stick with it. To answer some questions about their living arrangement...they live in senior living ...upstairs. They are alert and oriented but physically compromised. My dad is just wiped out, something is up with him but the doctors havent figured it out yet. He sleeps almost all day. My mom is compromised with COPD, and is 80 lbs. She almost died last month with severe COPD exacerbation r/t the flu. So they need help. But they refuse assisted living...adamently. I have compromised my children and myself with this caregiving. It has been going on for years. The thing that kills me is....I am like the blacksheep....all this caregiving has turned me into an angry beast. Anyway, I just really appreciate all the suggestions and the means so much! Tonight I will design my caregiving hours, probably 3 times a week. But 2 hour minimum, no more buying things that they need. Also, I have a number for a caregiver, I am going to call and have my mom and sister pay......okay wish me luck. Thank you again!

CTTN55 - I think I have an answer to the 24/7 question, at least as it applies in my own case.

Your mother is still well enough to go out and do her own errands/shopping. Her relative hardiness allows her to think that she's in charge, and you are there to do her bidding in a servant-like capacity. My mother was like that, totally. Now that she's totally dependent and confined to a hospital bed in her living room, that illusion has fully dissipated. She's become like a baby being fed and changed by Mommy. That would be me. :-)

blannie: "My mother would tell my brother not to call, that she knew he was "too busy"."

This is my mother regarding one of my brothers. She had just given me an assignment to do all sorts of research on fall detection devices, and I suggested she ask Sonny No-Show. Well, that started the crying/shaking routine with insults ("HIS time is more valuable than YOURS!")

I'd told her to just get the upgraded device from the company she already had (Great Call). But, oh, no...she said she had to research it all and then make her decision. I never did the research. But when another brother came to visit, he had her out at the mall and told her to get the upgraded Great Call device, which she did without argument. ?!

I don't know how those of you who have to take care of parents 24/7 do it. I can't stand the 4 - 7 hours/week it takes to ferry my mother around (and be her guide/personal assistant while we're out).

Sis who is far away can contribute money toward having someone come in and do the cleaning.

"My oxygen isn't working" is a definite NEED and a serious need. When you get that call, turn around and call brother to get over there asap.

"My computer or TV needs fixing" that can wait.

I have a similar situation with my two brothers. One lives a mile away and comes by once a month to have dinner with mom and me. The other brother lives 5 miles away and calls mom once a week and sees her on holidays. They are good guys but only help out when asked too. As the only daughter they just assumed I would be the sibling to move in with mom. It's taken me close to 2 years for the resentment to lessen. This site has helped so much, I know now that what I've been feeling is "normal". When you start putting another adults needs before your own it leads to resentment, stress, and sometimes anger. ( I don't let mom see this emotions.) Then the guilt for feeling this way!
I agree with polarbear 's suggestion on saying "no" when necessary and telling your folks to call your brother. Wouldn't he be more likely to help if the call came from mom?

Arelene - to echo what polarbear said, you are not crazy, and I don't blame you for being resentful. Your sister in particular needs to have her head handed to her (as my mother would say). I had a sister like that (now deceased). She told me I was creating drama and acting like a martyr. People say things like that because they are uncomfortable with what you're saying and they want to find a way to blame you rather than themselves. There are a million variations of this, the ways that uninvolved family members invent to not only withhold help but attempt to demonize the person who is sacrificing so much to care for the ailing parents. Don't listen to any of it.

maybe you could split the duties somehow.
between you and brother, and if sister is too far away.

list on large piece of cardboard. with large sharpie marker.

who to call: dr appointment driving - give to brother (name and phone #)
computer, tv problems - give to brother
grocery shopping - give to brother
phone calls, rx orders - for you (name and phone #)
laundry and cleaning - for you

if she called wrong person. tell her - no mom, for should be called.

your brother should have to help too! tell him he is responsible too.

can she afford a cleaning service every two weeks? do parents have dementia? they are failing fast? do they pay their own bills on time? these are other things that will have to be addressed, and can make things even more difficult.

contact your sister too and let her know even if she isn't close. things are getting bad.

Has anyone ever asked your brother to pitch in? Never assume that he already knows he should. While taking care of my dad on my own I was going crazy trying to do it all on my own until I called my brother in hysterics and he said, "What can I do?" Since that moment we worked together.

I assumed my brother knew he should be helping. My brother assumed I would ask for help if I needed it. When we got together it made a world of difference.