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I have for 33 years, and I am exhausted. Mom seems to excuse him.Brother and family live within 25 miles of Mom, I live 10. They only show up when they get family dinner or a holiday. She had a tree smash her hose when she was 90, they never came to see, let alone help. I did it all, cleaning out her stuff and moving it to storage while the house was repaired, and returning it all when it was done. She was in the hospital 3 times that summer, had a biopsy the last time, and after 3 weeks NONE of them had inquired about the outcome! I can't get my head around that attitude. When Mom is gone, I never want to see them again. I know that is not Christian, but I don't think they are very Christian either. Mom has dementia, lives in her house, which means 24/7 for me. She is the most stubborn person I have ever known. She thinks she never misplaces things, her TVs are junk - she can't remember how to use the remote., etc,etc. I'm 70. I have lost the last 5 years of my life. I love her and don't regret it - yet. but the feeling of helplessness is getting overwhelming. Any suggestions. We have an agency in 1 day a week, which Mom says she doesn't need. She does nothing herself anymore, just flits around the house and moves things. .

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sspiel, I really believe our parents think of us as still being 35 instead of senior citizens ourselves with our own age decline issues... I am pushing 70, and when I first came on the forum one of writers said point blank that I am too old to be doing this, and boy she was right. I use that excuse when I know I can't do something.... and there are times I want to enlarge my Medicare and AARP cards and pin them to my shirt as a reminder to them.

Think about it, how many times have you visited a continuing care facility and seen someone over the age of 60 working full-time being a caregiver? Probably none... there is a good reason... the work is exhausting and it would accelerate our own health issues.

Just because we were born female doesn't mean we were born knowing how to do caregiving... no different than your brother when he was born. He is just coping out because he doesn't want to do the work, which he feels is "women's work". Such very outdated thinking, but that is how some men were raised. How often did we see Dad being a caregiver to Mom when she was under the weather? Never..... the husbands were too busy sitting on the front porch wondering when dinner will be ready :P
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Your brother is either a male chauvinistic a-hole or he's using that for a pathetic excuse for why he does not lift a finger to help your mom. If it would help, you may tell him I said so. I'm really sorry if facing the reality of Mom's condition just seems too hard for him, but if he was a decent man he would man up and not dump it all on his sister. He probably does not even realize he is sowing the seeds of permanent estrangement if he is not there for mom and for you at some point before she passes on. The fact that Mom gives him a pass is irrelevant - a lot of people from that generation thought of dishwashing, laundry, and caregiving is women's work but that does not make it any the less a pile of heifer dust.

Even if mom truly wants to stay at home in the worst way, if you can't do it alone and can't get enough help to make it doable, have a plan B so you don't kill yourself trying to to the impossible. To be brutally honest, that is not always figurative, it can be literal. Some caregivers who neglect their own needs for long enough have been known to pass on before their caregivees, and if that were to happen, Mom would end in in skilled care or memory care anyways. I suspect you ought to get more than one day a week agency help - you probably spend that whole time on just all the errands that are 100% your responsibility too.
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I would not feed them a family dinner, not a spoonful. Gosh, at 70 you should not have to care for anyone, be sure you tell her MD that. The MD is the one who orders home care, so if you need more, ask for written orders. Your brother is spoiled rotten, forget trying to change him. Give him to God and let go. He's too old to be of much help anyway. Caregiving is for someone under 60.
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I agree with gee whiz. After what you been through its time for a break. I don't think we should sacrifice our lives for elder care. I'm a 60 year old man and I will not repeat the horror stories I read about here. Just look at some of the names on this site. I mean no disrespect to those that devote their lives to caregiving but I just could not do it full time. I would not expect my relatives to live with me when I'm old, incontinent and mean. Take care of yourself first. If your brother tries to interfere with your decisions regarding moms care, walk away and turn it over to him. It's a sad fact that the guys all to often dump eldercare on the women.
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Just wondering if it isn't time to move Mom to a Memory care center. It would allow you to be the visitor rather than the caregiver. Since she is in her 90s already, the money from her house should support her in the assisted living memory care center. You are fighting an uphill battle and it won't get any easier. You will be a more effective advocate for her if you are relaxed and not worried about her.

As for your brother, well most of the contributors to this site have been through the same stuff. Once you move Mom and relax, you can forget about expecting anything from him. BUT as a wise person once said to me - "when your Mom is gone, your sibling is the only family you will have left'. I followed that advice and stopped expecting any help. I was able to renew the family relationship after my Mom passed.
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Siblings come up with all sorts of excuses if they think they can get away with it. It's because "you're the girl" or "you're the oldest" or "you don't have the responsibilities I have." It doesn't matter what it is, really, it's a lame excuse and, if it works for them, then more power to them.

It's hard to walk away from a parent needing help. On the other hand, if we don't put any boundaries there, then it's going to still fall to us.

It's sad that we let our families do this to us, but we're just too close to the situation to realize that we have to find ways to nip it in the bud, where possible.

Think of it, this way - if your sibling finds their lame excuse and then you fall for it and do everything, they can sit back with a clear mind - they don't have to do anything AND they don't have to worry about the parent - it's a totally great situation for them - they get it all.

Before anyone says something like, "Hey, how come some of these people don't have a conscience?," well, who knows. If we could figure out why some people are responsible and others aren't, we could write a book, get rich, and pay for our parents to be taken care of in great style without any more worries, probably. :-)
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Sspiel, I would like to share my story with you in hopes you will see that you must get some help. Mom has dementia. My sister, my aunts, Dad and I took care of her 24/7. We were finally able to get in home help through a Medicaid waiver. We had caretakers through the day and Dad took care of her at night. My sister and I did weekends. One of my aunts goes to Florida for the winter and the other is 75 and couldn’t drive on the bad snowy PA roads this winter. Over a month ago, Mom got a UTI. Anyone caring for a person with dementia knows how devastating a UTI is for a person with dementia. She was out of control. She became violent. She swung at my Dad and at me. She hit my sister. It broke my sister’s heart and I think her spirit. Dad couldn’t take anymore and he became very ill. He was rushed to the hospital via ambulance and we did not think he would survive. With not enough care for Mom we had to put her in a nursing home, temporarily. Dad is now in the rehab unit of the nursing home where Mom is. He is fighting so hard to get better so he can go home to die. Mom is fine. She is thriving. The first week in the home was awful but she adapted. We found a good nursing home. You have to look for them because a lot of them are not good. We tried to keep her home too long. The nursing home is her home now. Two weeks ago, my 52 year old sister, died. She had a heart condition no one was aware of and she passed in her sleep. The stress from taking care of Mom and then possibly losing Dad, and then worrying about taking care of him if he did come home, was too much. It cost her, her life. YOU MUST GET HELP. Call you local Agency on Aging. There are so many programs that can help. Adult Day Care, nursing home respite, memory support assisted living. Do not try to do this alone, if will cost you dearly. Your mother is only going to get worse. There will come a time when you will have no choice but to put her in a home. Don’t let that choice come at the cost of your life.
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Oh I know all about those special sons... Even when she cant remember that she got married and had children, but can tick off our names by looking at her fingers, she gets to that little pinky and says John my John......... then asks what does he look like
Hey you never chose your family, you care for your mother, so now its time to choose your life and love yourself. This might sound hard but after 2wks your mother wont remember where she lived or what her house was all about. and after 2mths she will stop that routine I hate being here my family forced me into care. [that's a default built into the elderly] Please go have some fun you are only a couple of years older than me. I have already divorced most of the family apart from one. and its really nice n pleasant.
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I haven't read the other answers yet, but you touched a nerve. I never want to see my siblings again either after Dad is gone. I am also the daughter, single, and have given up the last 10 years of my life (and income) to give Dad a safety net. I do it for him and for my deceased mother who were always there for me. But I have three siblings who are happy to let me do it all. One who lives in an adjacent state tries to visit overnight a couple of times a year, but the other two don't visit him, though he lives alone and they live within an hour's drive. One of the two will host holiday dinners to which Dad is invited as the guest of honor, but they assume I will be his chauffeur. When I ask them to do more, one ignores me and the other responds viciously. Of course, they are happy to let Dad pay if they go out to eat with him and, of course, the vicious one always eats expensively. So, I have hired someone to help me out 20 hours/week and those two days off are mine. Additionally, I am visiting assisted living places and I will put Dad on the reserve list for an expensive place where I know he will get the cheerful, loving help he needs in the event I am unable to continue. I probably will spend down their inheritance in the process.
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We have to expect c*** from people like this your brother will never accept any responsibility That is his way of handling an awkward situation.
please be brave believe in yourself You helped your mother and have done the right thing God Bless YouKeep Positive.
m
My example is people say I should put my Wife Wendy in a nursing home but I can afford to have carers in and Wendy is peaceful I know one day Nursing home may happen although I think she will pass on peacefully at home.
Others do not know and don't want to know the pain you went through
If your not on same train as your brother he will ignore you
Bless You I am not religious but the more We go down this journey it helps
Best Wishes Kevin
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