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My parents live with my brother and his family. Due to unforeseen circumstances they cannot live elsewhere. My parents were both high achievers and medical professionals.
My brother constantly argues with dad and tries to correct him and tells him off. My father is very intelligent and was a leader in his job. He is still knowledgeable but when he discusses anything, my brother will try to negate him and tell him off, sometimes bordering on rudeness.


Dad is still very well read and knows a lot on several topics. He speaks authoritatively and is mostly correct. I cannot say anything to my brother as I don’t want there to be a problem in their family. How do I say to my brother that dad is hurting? What do I do? Mom will never say anything. She used to be close to my brother. Now she just watches TV all day.

I was the full time caregiver to my mother for over 14 years. I would like to say that it is an extremely tough job.

Caregivers are often criticized by the person they are caring for, family members and others. Caregivers sacrifice their lives for the person they are caring for.

Caregivers rarely hear from the person they are caring for, “Thank you, you are so helpful. What would I do without you?” We start being taken for granted. Perhaps not intentionally. but it happens due to constant togetherness. Getting on one another’s nerves happens because of too much togetherness.

Ahhhhh, but who gets blamed first for everything? The caregiver. Who doesn’t get asked for their side of the story? The caregiver.

We usually don’t hear from siblings, “Thanks for taking care of our mother. What time should I come by so you can have a break?” Would you like me to bring dinner over?” “Can I run to the pharmacy to pick up the scripts?” I would have given anything to have heard those words instead of criticism because mom stirred the pot.

We constantly hear, “Can you do this? Would you do that? I need this, that and the other.”

Caregivers are tired! Caregivers are not perfect. Caregivers get lonely, depressed, frazzled, etc. Unless a person has done this they truly have no idea how hard it is and how it only gets harder and harder. I didn’t know myself until I did it.

Dad may be smart. Brother may indeed be agitated. All caregivers get agitated at times. You are only seeing a small portion. You don’t live there! You aren’t around in the middle of the night or early in the morning and the caregiver attends to his every need. You aren’t around when they have a good day and laugh together.

Mom doesn’t say anything. She may be seeing both sides and is remaining neutral.

I am not in any way trying to rag on you. I am taking it upon myself as one who was in your brother’s shoes to speak on his behalf because I have been there.

I can appreciate your concern. I am not saying your brother doesn’t have character flaws. Don’t we all? Dear old dad has flaws too.

No one is perfect! No one should expect someone to be perfect. My mom was a perfectionist. There is no pleasing them. Sometimes it’s subtle picking, other times it’s down right cruelty but it all wears us down. Caregivers start to lose themselves. One final note, caregivers burn out. I did!

Thanks for listening. Sorry so long. All caregivers and former caregivers deserve to be heard. Siblings do too but they need to want to hear the caregivers side before making an assessment of the situation.

Caregivers deserve to be able to express their viewpoints. Don’t force a caregiver to ask for help. This places the burden on the caregiver. It is so much nicer for someone to offer help.
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Isthisrealyreal Oct 27, 2019
Wow, you have come a long ways from the start of your journey on this forum Need. Your answer brought tears to my eyes.

Never apologize for your longest post, you have been through the fire and you have come out a changed woman.

I am sure that I am not the only one here cheering for you and how far you have come and how well you are doing.

Keep on keeping on lady!
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The thing here, and it is major, is: Dad and Mom and guests in your brother's home.  Not head of household or anything like that, just GUESTS. If your Dad is trying to "speak with authority" than for sure he is overstepping your brother's reasonable boundaries. It makes no difference how intelligent he is, or even if he is correct and brother wrong; as a guest you show respect, even deference to your host.  Basically the parent child interaction no longer applies here.  Does Dad understand that?  Are you able to explain that to him? Otherwise, have you considered AL, a separate living situation for your parents?
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 23, 2019
I love your response. I can relate to everything you stated.
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Perhaps your parents need to rent a small house or apartment then. Do you have any idea how stressful it is to have parents living with you? Who still think they are in charge. Do you have any idea how hard it is to lose your privacy?
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Angelahays Oct 21, 2019
Hi. Thanks buddy. yes need for privacy is great.
I am now working on solutions. I am planning to take them on weekends away, till we find a small unit close by.
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Your parents must have money put aside if they were pros. If not, there are low income apartments.

Very intelligent people tend to look down on others. Maybe growing up Dad made your brother feel like his opinions meant nothing. I think u need to find a place for Mom and Dad.
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Angelahays Oct 21, 2019
hi. Thanks for your answer. It made me look at it in a different way. My brother is smart too( but in a different field). Growing up dad was very proud of him as he was a high achiever too. Dad doesn’t give advice, and both mum and him don’t interfere cos I have explained to them not to. They disagree and unknowingly may offend each other.
This has made me realise that they are the same...and so neither realises....but I will talk to them separately.
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Angela,

My father comes across as very imperious and he believes that women should be promoted based on looks and makes lascivious comments about women who work in public. Yet, most people feel he is a well read, thoughtful, intelligent man.

When my step dad was dying this time last year, his daughter was incensed when Mum told the doctors that he had become childlike. He had been an accountant working at a high level prior to dementia. Mum was not saying it to be cruel, she was letting the doctor's know how he behaved at home when he was not show timing for the doctors.

My point is Angela, you really do not know how Dad is when he is just with your brother.

And I have to wonder, why your parents sold up and moved, without first investigating the cost of living in the new location. If I were your brother, who has been 'forced' into this living arrangement, I would be questioning my Dad's intellect.
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Angelahays Oct 21, 2019
Hi, thanks for the reply. The choice to live together was a joint decision. We all ( 2 siblings) thought over it and decided upon that. Initially all went well , and they helped with household work and looked after the child when they were at work.
I think this has made me realise that the parents are now ageing and I need to help them too.
we will definitely consider AL and in the meantime, I’m thinking of taking them on weekends away.
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Please keep in mind that your father's intelligence does not give him any special status.  I've notice that many very intelligent people make the mistake of thinking that they are "better than others".
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Your brother may resent having your parents live with him and his family. He may feel like he’s been forced to take them into his home and depending on the relationship he had all his life with his dad, he may be “acting out” with what amounts to verbal abuse.

Have a discussion with your brother and ask him if there’s anything you can do to make things easier for him. Remain calm and nonjudgmental. Listen to the way your father speaks to him. Is Dad being argumentative? Is he baiting your brother with comments and topics he knows will set your brother off?
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Angelahays Oct 21, 2019
I think you are right about the resentment. The burden is there for sure. I try to help with taking them for appointments and buying groceries etc but he has to look after the major issues.
I don’t think that dad baits him, but dad is a very smart guy and can put people on edge with his talk and his knowledge. He says things innocently, maybe doesn’t realise that his talking is making others feel not as smart as him.....thanks
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I don't understand that parents HAVE to live with brother and they do not have a choice. There is a back story here that may help get relevant responses.

Of course brother is resentful, anyone would be when there is no choice in the current situation.
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Angelahays Oct 21, 2019
The parents sold their property from their country of origin, which doesn’t amount to much here. They were not able to buy a house here and hence live with him.
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If they can not live elsewhere can the home they are in now be adapted to have an "in-law" unit added? This way they are there but independent of your brother and his family.
Once you have another adult, particularly one(s) that raised you in your house things become difficult. Your brother was/is head of the household but now mom and dad are there and since they are elders your brother may be trying to make sure that his role as head of household is still in place. Sort of like the male animals in the wild fight to be the leader, when a younger one feels strong enough they begin to assert their strength knocking the older one down, the older one is usually run off.
This may be difficult for your parents as they are the ones that raised your brother and it is difficult to be other than the patriarch and matriarch.
Is looking into senior housing an option?
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Isthisrealyreal Oct 27, 2019
So true, my dad tried to be head of house in our home. My husband is and I stood up for my man and it created loads of crap from my dad. He thought he should be head of our house and his passive aggressive hatred was to much.
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What's the plan for the future, as they need hands-on caregiving? And who pays for medical appointments? Do they have medical insurance?

Who will pay for the in-home caregivers or facility?

I take your brother's side in this. His family life is being enormously disrupted by having your parents there, and it is only going to get worse as time goes on.
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