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He tells me he doesn't owe me any explanation as to why. I am having trouble dealing with this fact. I know there are other resources for respite, but I can't get over the hurt. How do I tell mom that he does not want to watch over her? It will break her heart.

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Most Assisted Living places offer respite care. Some even offer a one-month trial with half off. I would look around. I am 63 and could not even take care of my 60 year old sister. You have to know your own physical and emotional limits.
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Thank you to everyone who has responded to me. I need time to wrap my head around all of this ( it just came up) and I will do what needs done. The one great blessing I have is a very supportive husband. All of you have been very helpful and given me things to think about. I really appreciate this web site and all who participate. I can vent, like I just did (about my brother) and get valuable feedback to help me cope with the job God has given me. I do believe he lead me to this support group.
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I just read your profile and Mom's main issue is depression. Do not add to that by telling her your brother does not want to help or even see her. Best to let him slide because caring for an agimg parent is very depressing work for most. And put the depressed two of them together is a recipe for disaster. Does your Mom take any sort of andepressant? Is she possibly developing dementia? That would be a whole new cause for her to be depressed. Are there any activities or friends she enjoys? Does she go for walks? Get her moving, doing something.
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Sounds as if your brother has had something come up that he doesn't feel comfortable sharing with you. That's OK, like blannie says, he may come back around in time. Just try to let it go and enjoy your time away.
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I agree 100% with Blannie. My husband has little to no contact with his mother. He "lets" his sister handle everything. He says he can't go visit his mother because of me (she hates me, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't take his portion of her care!!) ...at the end of the day, he feels really guilty because the truth is, he doesn't like being around her but he would NEVER say so. Sister has asked him many times to help out with small things and only IF he is really in the mood will he step up. He doesn't have a reason. I'm the one who sends flowers or small gifts for all events and sign his name. She has enough anger/sadness in her life, she doesn't need to know her son doesn't want anything to do with her, (Correction: sons. His older brother will not speak to her at all.)
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Just tell your mom your brother is unavailable this time to take care of her. He may change his mind down the road, so no reason to make it sound like a permanent situation. Get your respite and let it go. I know it's hard. But your brother's relationship with your mom is between him and your mom.
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Some people simply cannot be around an elderly person. My sister cannot help with mother, she simply can't look at her--I think there is a fear of death, of change, I don't know. My sister fell to pieces when daddy passed. Literally. The rest of us were OK. She also fell to pieces when our older brother (who was totally estranged from the family for 12 years) suddenly died. She couldn't deal with it--no real reason. Sad for your mom, but gently explain to her that she is going to still have company and don't make an issue out of "Oh so and so will NOT hold up his end of your care"..maybe she doesn't notice anyway? I also have a daughter who is so "grossed out" (for lack of a better term) by elderly people and their age spots, knobby arthritic hands, etc--she will literally vomit if she sees someone who is obviously advanced in age and smells bad or seems "too old" for her. She won't go see my mother w/o me and she won't stay longer than 15 minutes then she dry-heaves afterwards. Do I think she could be more compassionate and helpful? Of course, but she has her issues and I have to accept that. I'm so sorry you don't get help from your brother. Mine has a wife who won't let him spend much time with mother, and he doesn't (yet he is the favorite kid and she wants him around all the time). You have to accept what help you can and unless you brother is being a jerk about this (doesn't sound like he is) there isn't much you can do. Bless you for caring so much. Get your respite and don't expect much from your brother. Whatever his reasons are, I'm sure to him they are legit (even if you think it's weird or selfish).
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The problem is he has cared for her in the past. This is the problem as far as Mom understanding why we are getting someone else to watch over her. She does not need to be dressed or bathed, she just can't be left alone. I know that he owes me nothing! But he does have a Mother that has been there for him always and this is a change in his demeanor. That is my problem in explaining his decision. Do we not owe our parents any compassion? I think we do, but I will come to terms with this somehow. I am compassionate enough not to say to her that he won't care for her, but she is not stupid. I guess I'm just trying to protect her feelings and I can't do that is this situation.
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It sounds mean but he really doesn't owe you any explanation. His reason could well be one that he just doesn't feel like sharing and you need to respect that. Please don't take it personally.

We would all be better off if we would just learn to say, "No, I can't do that" from time to time.
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You don't say if your brother has always had a close relationship with your mother. It is possible he just doesn't feel up for the job and knows that whatever reason he gives will be up for debate, so he goes with "I don't owe you an explanation". It can be difficult for a lot of sons to even contemplate physically helping with dressing,toileting etc. Has he cared for mom in the past? Are you and he close? Does he expect you to do all the caregiving, or in his heart would he be fine with her placed in assisted living? Just because you made the choice to bring her into your home doesn't mean he has to jump on board with you. Perhaps there are other things he could do... contribute to the cost of respite if mom can't afford it, perhaps?
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I would say not to tell her about the conversation. Sometimes we have to shield them from things like this if they are in a fragile condition. This is something that only your brother should have to wrestle with. His remark that he doesn't owe you an explanation was rather rude. I hope you can find a good and reasonable source for respite help.
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Linda, YOU need respite. Your mother needs care. But your brother has needs too. He may have a physical, emotional or other infirmity that makes extended caregiving impossible. He may just be too shattered by your mom's decline to cope. He msy have another family member who is ill.He may just be a coward. The important thing is not why, and you're NOT going to say to mom, "brother won't come to care for you and that's so sad"... because that would hurt her and you don't want to do that.

Let it go, get other respite but make sure that if there is an emergency, he is the one who gets called by the hospital.
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