My husband's brother lived with and cared for their parents until their dad died. Now the other siblings think he owes them....

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9 yrs ago husband's brother offered to move in with their parents to provide care. Mom (at 77) had just been diagnosed w/dementia, Dad was 80. Dad recently died, and two of the siblings are now privately complaining that the live-in caregiver's lifestyle was being "subsidized" by the rest of the family, because he received food, lodging, and use of a vehicle over these 9 years. Mind you, this was not a lavish lifestyle -- their home is in a remote, rural area, and their daily life was simple and basic. In addition to doing all their shopping, cooking, cleaning, and chauffeuring, my brother-in-law helped them maintain the property, including planting and tending the large garden his dad insisted on having, and then canning what was left over. As their health declined, he took on more and more responsibility with overnight wandering, incontinence, bathing, and feeding. He was never paid for any of this, and never asked to be paid for it. He was surprised to learn that Dad made him the beneficiary of a $10K life insurance policy, with no explanation. We feel he more than earned it by literally putting his life on hold for 9 years. The two sibs think he "owes" the family, because (in their opinion) what he received from his living arrangements far exceeded what he did for them. I calculated that a 24-hour live-in caregiver @ 4 days a week making a meager $5/hour, for 50 weeks a year over 9 years would have made more than $200,000. That also doesn't consider the quality of care, availability of suitable care in such a remote area, reliability and continuity of having a loving, dedicated caregiver. We are dumbfounded and think the sibs are delusional and mean-spirited. What do you think?

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Sometimes situations are not so cut and dried. In my case, it is my sister who is living with my 81 year old mother who has ataxia and incontinence issues (she changes her own diapers). She doesn't cook for herself anymore, though. She goes twice a week to a day center and a nurse's aid comes twice a week to bathe her. My sister has been living at my parents' home since the early 1980s - when both of my parents were well. My father has since died. My sister lost her job about 3 years ago. She has never paid any rent and my mother pays for all my sister's expenses. She resents living with my mother and brings it up on a regular basis. I had suggested a living arrangement many times that would have been beneficial to all of the family (including my mother's rescued dog). I suggested we move into a triplex so both my sister and I could care for my mother and all live together but still have our 'own space' (plus keep the dog!). I knew that my mother's condition wasn't going to get any better. My sister was not interested - in fact it got on her nerves to discuss the situation. Now it's not an option anymore because I lost my job last January and houses are too expensive. I am angry at her because of this. Also, I don't understand, for example, how my sister can justify going to the dentist for a teeth cleaning 3 times a year at my mother's expense but my mother went without seeing a dentist for 3 years! Same thing with the hairdresser and the eye doctor. I'm just finding out these things now since I stopped working. I help out as much as I can with visits 2 to 3 times a week/I call my mother everyday/take her out on occasion/and now I accompany her to doctor visits. I am married, I don't drive and have agoraphobia. It's not easy. My brother who lives 1 hour and 45 minutes away doesn't help at all. I asked my sister today to write down what she wants me to do to help. I think the only thing that would make her happy would be that I leave my husband to take her place so she can split.
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Sibs should be bitch slapped!!!!!!!! Repeatedly!!!!!!!
How dare anyone undervalue the hell we have gone through in the care of another!!!!!!
May they reap what they sow!!!!!!!
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Ditto what Ted said. Your Brother-In-Law is a SAINT. He will be rewarded ten-fold, eventually, of the 10K , and shame on anyone who tries to take one penny of it away from him!
We on the "front lines" are disgusted--when we have time, that is--with the "wicked step-sister" attitude when we are doing all the work. I hope you print out all of our responses here and Nail them--I mean mail them-- to the wicked siblings... and they can mow my grass-- as soon as it stops raining.
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And I'd like to add - "may he know how many people consider those 9 years of his life a "Job Well Done".
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My congratulations and best wishes to your BIL.
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You're all very kind, but *all* the praise and admiration goes to my brother-in-law -- we're just calling it as we see it!! I should also add that not ALL the sibs feel this way. It's a huge family, and (to our knowledge) it is only these two who have this opinion. My mother-in-law's stays in the nursing home have gradually become longer and longer. Now that her husband is gone, and my brother-in-law has (hurray!) recently meet a lovely woman with whom he may want to make a life, she (MIL) will go into full-time nursing care, and BIL will get his life back. She has enough assets as it is to fund a 6-9 year stay in full-time nursing care, and it's unlikely she will live that long based on her age and illness progression. For all these reasons, it's even more absurd that the two sibs are making an issue of this. I can't tell you (all) how helpful and affirming it is to have your opinions. Hope we never have to use them as "ammunition" ... but will if necessary!
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By the way, if your BIL IS still caring for his mom, and dealing with her and his own grief and all that comes along with it, please let him know about sites like this one if he hasn't found something already. and thanks again for your support of him. You are a rare and wonderful thing.
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If I read you correctly, he is not done with caregiving for your mother in law. Are these other siblings willing to take her in? How far to they think this small (for today) amount of money will go? Wish I had a sister in law like you and a brother like him and your husband.
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It always comes down to 'the love of money' doesn't it? Gee... I wonder where I've heard that before? Oh yeah, God said it.
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I agree with everyone here. They're are being greedy and delusional AND cold-hearted.
But they are also being extremely nosy because the bottom line is, what happened between his parents and himself all those hard and scary years is none of thier freaking business.
I'm glad you're concerned that they keep it to themselves because it would be very painful for him to have his love and caring treated so callously and crudely as to be argued in terms of an hourly wage.
Thank you for standing up for him.
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