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I'm one from a family of 9. I retired early to take care of my mother because that's what I wanted to do. Not a big thing, not looking for thank you's or pats on the back or any type of martyr label. I'm divorced, the kid is grown, I'm 64, and mom needed help. Everyone else is married with wives and kids in school, yada, yada. We had some recent issues starting with Low Sodium in mom's blood, one week later UTI, one week later, severe constipation all resulting in hospitalization. Up til these events, she's been very healthy; but, the combination in such a short time took it's toll. She is back to good health and feeling great for 96. Now comes the fun part. Siblings calling and telling me what to do, what not to do, why didn't I catch this or that, blah, blah, blah. I stayed day and night at the hospital because I wanted to take care of her. I'm an avid reader for elderly home care, checking meals, keep a diary of her BP, weight, water intake, etc. It makes me feel better and my mother less fearful. My siblings are being a little difficult telling me how I can handle things, prepare things, TELL the doctor this and that, etc. The final straw for me was an older brother came to the hospital was there for 2 hrs to visit (she was in 3 days) her doctor comes in to release her. My brother starts bossing around nurses and aides demanding her release paperwork so he can get out of there. Some sort of car race was on TV he wanted to watch. The nurse and aides were wonderful to my mother; I was so humiliated at his behavior. I stayed behind to apologize for his actions; but, it will never be enough. He dumped my mother and me at home; and, immediately left feeling he had done his part taking care of his mother. It was so insane. I try not to waste much energy on these events. These are things that will never change. I let them say what they need to and let it roll off until the next event. I have quit telling them about her doctor appointments to avoid confrontations. Sad but true. In addition, I have a handicapped sister who lives with a significant other who is rather a bum. They depend on me to keep an eye on her because she had a drinking issue. I gladly do every day. However, they cannot pick up the phone to call her even once a week to say hi because they don't want to speak to her live-in bum. They continue to tell me what to do about her also. I've been retired for 9 months; and, it's not getting any better. I don't want to be mean to them. I have explained, encouraged, promoted, and now I feel like I'm about to blurt out "I'm so busy watching the monkey on the horse, I didn't catch that last problem!" I do not want to distance myself from my siblings; but, I find that I am now. I can't be the only one with this sibling issue. Does anyone else out there have this 'monkey on a horse' problem?

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I can tell you my story, but it's almost the same as yours. FIXIT, don't give daily reports, let them call you. Then tell them to come down and take over for awhile, you booked yourself a trip and won't be back for a few months. See what they say. If you really want to distance yourself, change your phone number.
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I don't have siblings, my controlling, manipulative narcissistic mother has been the one to get at me with "you should ..." all my life. Now in a NH she thinks she should still be living with me after 4 years of caregiving h*ll, no way), I should run down there all the time, entertain her, push her wheelchair around the village and so on. She also obsesses about buying another house and having live in staff/slaves 24/7 - she's not wealthy, just delusions of grandeur.

Interestingly her parents, in their 80s, lived around the corner from her, not in good shape and with no car while she didn't work, had plenty of money, free time and a big car. Did she lift a manicured finger to help them? Nope, couldn't be bothered, too busy shopping, getting her hair done and going on exotic vacations.

When her mother had a stroke and passed away she refused to care for her father, even though he had no health issues, "I'm not washing his dirty underwear, ewwww". He went to live with her brother, the house was gifted to the brother's daughter and no-one in the family ever spoke again.

Every time my mother complains, b*itches and whines I remember just how she treated others, trampling on anyone who crossed her path unless there was something in it for her. Those thoughts give me the strength to visit once a week to ensure she has all she needs and say NO when she starts up, walking away if I have to. I dread visiting her to this day.
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Oh wow I just read your post-you poor thing..if it will help I ve got a sis (younger) in Calif. (Im in sw florida) who calls and tells me to stop spending moms money..when in reality its really she that mom doles out 5,000.00 per month for her to keep her appartment..I ve been the caregiver for 7 years now and dont see a cent of it...hope that helps cheer you up- all my sis does is complain about how bad her life is and mom sends her cash. Last week mom emptied her security deposit box of 12,000.00 and deposited to my sis account..she tells me that she hsas no money..mom says thats her money and she can do whatever she wants with it...sis just wastes it on plastic surgery for her facial injections which arent cheap...its extremely hard to watch ..there is nothing I can do..mom wont give me poa or put my name on her accounts yet Im older than sis and was told we d have to split everything down the middle...not fair at all when Ive always been there for the woman...Best sandiw50. P.s.. I ve decided not to spoil mom anymore as she doesnt appreciate it...and yes, sis has tried to tellme many times "you need to get a job and go to work!!!!! She has no clue what I do all day...
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Maybe its the hat thats why i thought you were male!
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Chicago i always thought you were a man? just noticed you said husband! funny with all these names its hard to tell if someone is male or female!
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You have extreme compassion for your mother, and you act on it. That is wonderful, for Mom and for you.

Compassion is like love ... the more you use it, the more you have to use. Spend a little of yours on your clueless brothers and sisters. Perhaps they think if they share their vast wisdom of what "should" be done that are actually contributing something. Maybe it makes them feel less helpless. Or maybe some of them are just on a power trip. What if you just said, "Thanks for your input. I'll keep it in mind."?

You've taken on a huge and important job in caring for Mom. It should not cost you your relationships with others who aren't doing this job. You don't have to take their criticism and certainly you don't have to take their suggestions to heart. But I suspect they are more ignorant than malicious.

Since there are so many to be notified, have you considered a free blog on Caring Bridge? You can keep every one informed at the same time, and maybe even cut down on some of the inappropriate feedback.
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"You should ...." is a figure of speech, that we never realized that we were saying until my husband became POA for his mother. Tell them that it bothers you.
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Ship her out on the next flight NOW! Not helping is one thing but interfering would just be the end for me. Harden up and take a break you think mum in hospital for 3days is bad wait until she gets something else and you end up doing everything on your own. Sorry nothing siblings do is enough. My sister rang mums doc years ago and threatened him "if anything happens to mum ill have your licence". Yeh great sis really helpful for me who had to go and see him every week after that. Now shes BANNED from contacting any of mums docs they have a bloody cheek though dont they? throwing thier weight around and bossing about mum but NEVER actually spend time with an old lady who might not be here for long. Sorry but i hate my siblings i long for mums funeral when all the tears and regrets come pouring out and i walk away with peace in my heart!
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I agree with Pam.. Also Littletonway. Make time for yourself.

My siblings don't call or visit so at least I don't hear any crap from them..
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Set those boundaries now. You have Mom to take care of and the other siblings can deal with your sister. Just tell them like it is and don't forget you need relief maybe two weekends a month. They can either come over and take care of Mom or they can pay for you to hire a caregiver for that time. It is important to have time to yourself. Please do not allow them to bully you or turn you into their slave. Best wishes. You are doing a great thing for your Mom, not your siblings!
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You just tell them you will ship her out on the next flight. Shuts them up every time.
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