You know who you are. You provide the 24/7 if the parent lives with you!

Sibling mails out of state lottery tickets for Mom to scratch off,
this has been going on for 2 years.

The big pay off????
About $6 bucks every time....:)

Lets Mail those $2 dollar winners back and keep this bullsh*t going......:)

Meanwhile, you wrote to the sibling THREE TIMES IN MAY.



But hey......keep sending those winning scratch offs!!!!!!!


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I have a useless sibling, if you spend any time on this site you’ll find the majority of us do, and most of the time they get a pass for the uselessness by our parent. The best gift you’ll ever give yourself is accepting what is, stop being resentful over it, and finding ways to move forward while expecting nothing from them. Getting upset over useless siblings does nothing to change them and only makes you bitter, like drinking poison yourself and waiting for them to die from it
Helpful Answer (21)
Penelope123 Jul 2020
LOVE your answer! Your last line says it all for those of us who are feeling resentful. I needed a reminder to not fall back into those feelings which is so easy to do under the burdens we carry alone and that did it!
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My husband and I are the sibling component in our scenario. BIL and SIL moved in with FIL and provide 24/7 care. We live about 45 minutes - 1 hour a way with traffic. We do everything we can to help, we've stayed there for them to go out of town (his home is the only place equipped for him, he can't get into ours because of the stairs) we visit every other week (SIL/BIL come here on the off weeks for a few hours to get out of the house). We call, we get involved, we take to dr appts when needed.
We do everything that we can, but I often feel like my SIL is frustrated because we don't do more. Honestly, we can't do more unless we live there too and that is out of the question. We still have our own family at home and, while my mother is very active and healthy, she is also an only child and has her own mother to care for and we help where we can there too.
Full time care fell to my SIL for a number of reasons. They moved in several years ago because they needed to. Stayed because he needed them. And she doesn't work outside of the home. The rest of us have full time jobs.
But I often think she feels we should be more involved, while we are as involved as we can be and not live there. Even if we lived there we wouldn't be 100% because we have other priorities.
I say all of that to say this.
I know it doesn't seem fair. I spend half of my day fielding calls and texts from SIL/BIL actively dealing with him, because my husband can't due to the nature of his job. We do everything we can to stay involved. But I know from her perspective she's feeling like she's out there all alone and fighting all alone. She's not, but I know she feels that way.
Sometimes siblings can't be involved. If yours are making it clear that they aren't going to do more, I would suggest looking elsewhere. The cold hard truth is they don't have to help. They are allowed to set their boundaries and stick by them.
There are other options. Respite care for times when you need to leave them. Outside help. We are actively looking at a week of respite care next year as we will all be out of town at the same time and he cannot go. So we are trying to make sure it is covered. But sometimes it is more than you can handle. Your siblings have drawn their line. At what point do you get that chance yourself and consider other options?
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You and your husband are doing great in spite of living up to an hour away, having your own family, your mother who also cares for her mother and having full-time jobs. It's like you're in the middle - your right arm is being pulled toward the BIL, SIL, FIL situation and your left arm is being pulled toward your mom and her mom's situation. Honestly, I don't even know if there could ever be 100% fairness for any caregiving situation - if there is, it would be rare. You and your husband seem to have things mapped out ahead of time and I applaud you both for that. I would be so grateful to have your help - I have none other than my husband (who's just trying to keep his job of 27 years) as I'm an only child. He did take a six-week leave of absence after she got COVID-19. We get zero support, input or appreciation from my 95 year-old mother's five surviving siblings all whom are in other states. No phone calls, texts, cards or emails. I've been caregiving for 16 years now and I'm depleted. Best wishes to you both!
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My mistake was not asking for help soon enough and specifically enough. The best way to ensure buy-in of sibling support is to get together in a family meeting (early in the process) and divvy up the responsibilities. Then let them manage it their own way. I have seen this done successfully in other families. Not in ours. I started out as the caregiver because I lived nearby and was single. They were happy not to have to deal with it. When I asked for help, there were a million reasons why they couldn't. When I asked for family meetings well into the process of taking care of our parent, all my decisions were criticized by the one sibling who offered the least help. Not surprising; many families have that person who has to disagree with everything to make themselves feel important. I was exhausted many times and my hair turned white. I have an everlasting resentment and dislike for the sib who made everything difficult. For those of you like him: If you won't help, at least get out of the way.

Oh, I did tell them I would be spending their inheritance to buy the help that I needed and couldn't get from them.
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Beatty Jul 2020
What's that saying?
Follow or
Get (out of the way)!
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I get that it doesn't feel fair. I get you need a break. But expecting others to provide what you need often leads to dissapointment.

I really needed a break when a struggling first-time Mum. My folks made it clear they would be odd occasion sitters not a regular service. I needed more than that so had to cast the net wider. Booked the baby into daycare. Expensive - yes but kept everyone resentment free - that was priceless.

Similar happening now as parent needs a break from other parent's care but I cannot leave my work & family to provide. So residential respite care arranged.

Cast your net wider than your sibling/s for help.
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I'm also one of the walking wounded siblings that did most (if not all of it) and while I learned to not expect any help it galled me that they didn't help but also criticized how I did things for my mom. My one sister even had the nerve to tell me I wasn't brushing the hair off my mom's forehead properly. What! Hello? Hey, if you think you can do things better, then by all means do it. And none of them had the "I live out of town" excuse either. They were all local.

No, no one is obligated to help but in my case my mom was a saint. The kindest, most loving person who sacrificed every day for us so my question was "why would you not want to help?"
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Invisible Jul 2020
My parent was also kind, so I didn't begrudge helping him. My siblings never got to know him the way I did. That is my reward.
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Do they not suggest that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome? Because you already know what the sibling will and will not do. Just give that up and it is one more thing off your plate? Does Mom enjoy the lotto tickets? If so, let her have them, and after all, one of these days..........................who know. (Refer back to the definition of insanity.
Helpful Answer (8)

From the other side of the table.

When my sister first started taking more and more care of Mom I lived 3000 miles away. At first there was nearly nothing I could do but send money for the odd bit of equipment, then I started spending my summer vacations near or with Mom so I could help out. I finally moved across the country to be nearby.

That being said, I know my limits and there is only so much I am willing to do. Before the pandemic I was spending 1 to 2 days per week with Mom. I did not do her housework or any of the in-home chores. I took her shopping and to lunch and visited with her. Now I call her and try to keep her spirits up.

I know that my sisters would like me to do more, as Mom has many needs. My response? They are doing what they chose to do. I took care of my MIL in the last months of her life when I was 60 and I know that I cannot do that again at 70. I am doing well to do my own housework and yard work, without even thinking about taking on Mom's.

My position has always been that I will help Mom as long as she can care for herself and her home. When she can no longer do that she needs to find a care situation that meets those needs. It still is.

In our area the nursing facilities and residential care facilities did not experience a big incidence of Covid-19. Out of many one had 1 case and another had 2 cases. The rest instituted safety measures in time to prevent outbreaks. Mom would probably be safer in one of these residences than at her own home, given that she falls a lot, has trouble with sanitary needs, and can't stand long enough to cook.

Am I willing to help my sisters clean her house, prepare meals that she usually puts in the trash, etc.? No. My position has been clear for more than 7 years. If my sisters CHOOSE to provide more for Mom, good for them, but I am doing what I feel is right for me. When they want to look for a placement, I will help with that. In the meantime I am doing everything that I have committed to.

I miss my old home sometimes where I had spent years getting everything the way I wanted it, but I do not regret moving here 5 years ago to be with Mom in her final years. I also feel a little offended that they are always hinting around that it would be easier for them if I did more. I feel that I have done enough, am doing enough. If the work is too much for my sisters they need to think about what further arrangements to make. I didn't ask them to take on Mom's housework and yard work and I don't appreciate them trying to guilt-trip me into doing something that I cannot do. That being said, I do love them and we do have some good times together. My advice to anyone whose sister/brother is not doing what YOU want them to do is to ask yourself why are you doing this? Have you taken on more than you can really do? What steps can you take to lighten your load? You are doing what you chose to do. Did you make a mistake? Have things changed so much that you should re-evaluate what you can do? Think about YOUR choices and don't waste time and hurt the relationship you have with your sibs by trying to make choices for them.
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I agree on the clear setting of boundaries. I don't think your sisters should be hinting at you like that. I think life in general would be better if everyone could just communicate and it sounds like you explained clearly what your role would be and I respect you for that. But that doesn't always happen. I've been in both the "limit setter" and the "caregiver-not-getting-help" roles. I think the trouble with siblings (and other non-helpers) can be traced back to some of these things:
1. Sibs who said they would help with Mom and then did not.
2. Sibs who complain about care being freely provided by someone else (me), but don't offer to help and don't offer realistic solutions because they are so far out of the loop.
3. The size of the caregiving job was misrepresented by these same non-helpers in order to manipulate helper into stepping up in the first place.
4. Even one-shot-deal types of help are moaned about (such as "help me move this dresser - it'll take 5 minutes") and take weeks for sib to show up to do this. Meanwhile, we see on social media that he dined at a restaurant 15 mins away during this time, but was "too busy" to help with the dresser. Would be much better to set proper limit and say he's not coming. Much better.
5. Sibs who say "I'm here for you" but then are not.
6. Sibs who call while I'm cleaning up body fluids to ask about their inheritance and how much they adamantly don't want Mom in a nursing home because they are waiting for their money and they realize NH will "take" all of it.
7. Sibs who can't give even a 1/2 day of respite care so that I can research possible placements for Mom since current arrangement is not working.
8. Sometimes, caregiving starts with something that's supposed to be temporary assistance with simple things and turns into something much more and caregiver is stuck or believes they are stuck.

It sounds like none of this applies to your family and I'm so glad that it doesn't. Most people and families seem to not communicate so well - which is evident by many posts. Plus, some caregivers (myself included) are so stressed that we don't know what to do and all the light has gone out of our lives. In that state of mind, it's easy to be upset when someone calls about an inheritance but doesn't have time to move a dresser. Even just having sibs willing to discuss the situation realistically would matter so much because it's still their LO as well as my own. I'm glad you posted this, because I have been on the other side of it as well and you pointed out some important aspects of that.
I can totally relate!! My brother and I are carrying the load, while our sister (oldest) refuses to help. Our mom was diagnosed w/ ALZ in 2016 and dad w/ mild cognitive impairment in 2018, plus he had physical impairments. AL didn’t work (they lasted only 3 weeks!), so we’ve had home care aides for a few hours daily.

Since I live closest to M&D (75 miles away), most of their care responsibilities have been on my shoulders ~ finances, home mgmt, dr appts, meds, etc. So, lots of driving back-and-forth and extended time staying w/ them. As a result I’ve given up pretty much all opportunities/commitments in my life (work, volunteering, activities, friends, etc). I’ve been mostly fine with that, especially having a supportive life partner who has chipped in and tag-teamed to help. Plus, my brother (1,300 miles away) has made multiple trips, often coming for several weeks at a time to provide relief for me. Throughout their lives, our parents have been wonderful role models w/ tremendously giving hearts ~ so we are happy to give back and now help them. And fortunately, my brother and I are on the same page about most decisions regarding their care, estates, etc.

Our sister has been oversees teaching for many years, coming home for only a few weeks each year (Christmas/summer vacations). For awhile, she’s been planning to retire in 2021. Two years ago, I began asking her (multiple times) to consider retiring this year to help us care for M&D. But she has refused, saying “it’s complicated” w/o giving any concrete reasons. Note that she is single, w/ no spouse/partner, no kids, no home ownership. And it’s not a money issue, since we even offered to cover her final year’s work salary/expenses from our parents’ estate. But she declined. Then COVID came, giving her a solid excuse not to return to the US due to travel bans from her current country.

I finally realized that throughout our lives, she’s always been selfish and has NEVER had my back (e.g., I’ve had my own major medical issues w/ multiple hospital stays, including ICUs ... and not once did she visit me in the hospital while she was in the US). So, I have basically let go of that toxic relationship and ceased communication (my brother keeps her updated).

Our dad died at home this spring (not COVID related) ~ he had a wonderful life and as good/comfortable a death as I think possible. Mom, brother, and I were with him. His last coherent words were thanking me for all I had done for him. It’s just too bad that my sister chose not to be here for our parents. She’s the one who has to live w/ herself, knowing that she is missing out on their final years.

Although at times I do resent the fact that she’s not here to help, I no longer expect anything of her, which has been a big weight lifted. No expectations = no disappointment!! And I can certainly look in the mirror knowing I have done everything possible for my parents, and they have appreciated my efforts.
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caring2 Jul 2020
That’s for sure true ‘No expectation no disappointment’. We can’t control others. Best to let go and move on.
Yep. Join the useless sibling club along with the rest of us. Not much you can do really. Just have to learn to vent about it every once in awhile to keep your sanity but, otherwise, you just have to accept that things will most likely not change. I totally empathize though and am sending you a hug!
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ComfortK29 Jul 2020
Thank you, I needed that hug too.
I have 2 brothers. I am the oldest child. Parents appointed my brother, middle child as POA and executor (Thank G-d).

My youngest brother is 11 years younger than I and 8 years younger than middle brother. Whole different generation, and although we thought he was "coddled" he had a rather fraught relationship with my parents.

My POA brother had the best relationship with parents; he was often serious ill as a child, took up a great deal of attention due to that and also had some learning and behavioral issues that caused him to be very much the focus of attention.

And then there is the fact that elderly grandma moved in with us (mom initially resisted this the first time grandma broke her hip, but decided to house gma after second break several years later). My adolescence was taken up by ill brother, ill grandma and baby brother tending. Not much ability to grow and develop there.

When mom started to decline in her late 80s, I was happy to lend medical expertise and visit once a week, but made clear that I could in no way be a full time caregiver. Both brothers also were not able to provide this. Mom went into Independent Living at age 88 and transferred briefly to AL at 90, broke a hip and went to a NH and lived there for 4 1/2 years.

My point is that all three of us had very different experiences of our parents. Brother in the middle saw my parents as nurturing and caring; child number 1 (me) and youngest brother? No so much.

Get your parent(s) what they need, but don't expect your siblings to have had the same experience that you did. Parental care and love is not always distributed equally and having been told often as a child to "suck it up" when I had challenges that should possibly have been attended to made me a poor candidate to be a hand's on caregiver to my mom.

I knew that when my mother became anxious, wringing her hands over things that were not happening and were not going to happen that my default setting was to tell her to "suck it up". It would not have been kind, nor would it have been helpful. Getting a geriatric psychiatrist to see her and professionally treat her was the kindest and most useful thing I could do.

Yes, Arimithea, there is selfishness in the world. But consider the other possibilities.
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Gershun Jul 2020
I agree with you on that Barb. If my mother had been selfish and needy and had failed to be a good mother I would of probably thought differently about being a caregiver to her. In my case though my mom had always treated us equally. In fact I would say that I wasn't even her "favorite" if there was such a thing but she never did any of us wrong and it's because of that I was so
disappointed in my siblings when it came time for us to pay her back for all she had done for us.
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