My mom is going through preparation for small bowel surgery, so this is all heightened, but I need help. Before the bowel stuff, and the hip thing (more below on that), which has healed, she was able to do most things by herself, although the urinary incontinence was not helped by the bathroom being upstairs.
My brother is in his 40s and splits time between my mom’s house and his girlfriend’s. I live three hours away. My mom has been needing things done for her for a while (laundry, major house renovations), and my brother claims he’s taking care of them but they’re not getting done. When I offer to get them taken care of, both my mom and brother yell at me (I’m in my 30s) to “give them time.” My mom will then ask me to come home to do her laundry because she’s too embarrassed to ask my brother.
Anyway, my mom was sent home from the hospital and put on liquid nutrition to gain strength before the surgery. My brother and I find out she turned down rehab, but then I look in her notes and find that he also said he lives with her. I say to them that I cannot handle helping with everything (this has made her extremely incontinent), but my brother said it was only for three weeks until the surgery, and we’re one week down. Ok fine. I should also note that I am a month into a new job.
I work from my mom’s on Friday, and my brother asks me to stay on Monday, then calls me and said he realizes Mom does not have a date for the surgery so the time may be double. Mom has also said due to his outbursts she doesn’t like telling him when she needs something.
My mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in December, although the last scan was clear. She had been having trouble walking for months before that because the doctors had missed it in her hip (she’s had a partial hip replacement and double knees from years ago). She knows she needs to go to rehab after surgery. She currently lives in a multi-story building, and I keep mentioning an apartment as a way for her to maintain her independence (in-house laundry, close bathroom, maintainence crew, etc.). My brother balks at the idea. They also don’t want people (nurses etc.) in the house because of the mess, repairs needed, etc. My mom also does not have any income or savings besides Social Security really as well.
One more note: We were also caregivers for my uncle when he had dementia, and my brother was in full denial until the end. He literally thought he just needed Vitamin E, and would get him Vitamin Water.
I have a history of depression. I’m waking up in hives and shaking, and I can see the path I’m starting down. We’re a very close family, but I don’t know how to overcome my brother. I can’t find anything where the caregiver was the one in denial. The surgeon said my mom would make a full recovery, so I really think an apartment would be a good solution, and I realize she needs to recooperate from the surgery. They will always say they need time, which I fear is what will happen again. They just keep making decisions without me and then asking me to carry them out.
Thank you for listening to my rant. I cannot tell you how much your advice means to me.