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I've been caregiving for both my parents for over 7 years now. Although, their health is stable now, it has been a hellish up and down ride for the 7 years. I'm getting tired. My husband and I barely got our kids out of the house before my father took ill and then my mother was diagnosed with ALZ. Well, I have 4 brothers who 2 live fairly close, within a few hours of driving and the other 2 in CA. I am feeling a bit testy today. I am seeing that my brothers are camping, on picnics, with the wife's family and such. They call my parents and ask "are you going to the fireworks?" I feel angry. I say in the background "We went to the 4th of July parade today". Do they realize that we'd have to take my parents 4 hours early to get a good spot and then we'd have to wait a few hours after to be able to leave to get home???? While they can just do whatever they want at a drop of a hat, we have to plan and beg to have one of them come so we can leave? What do I do? How do I keep going? This is the first time in over 7 years that I have felt this way. I need my space, my husband and I need some time alone. Sorry to do this on the 4th but I needed to vent. Anyone ever feel the same way?

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You should go through the trouble of setting up some regular respite care and ask your brothers to pay for it. If you have someone come in for one or two days a week, you can get a break. Then it will be easier to set up something for a whole week so you can really get away with your husband.

Even if your parents are loving and grateful, it's still a VERY hard job, and you need and deserve to get out from under some of the time.
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Speaking for myself, I have found that my stress level has doubled because of my sister literally never doing anything. She will not help me in any way whatsoever even though she lives 20 minutes away and her days are wide-open, (she does not work), and her kids are away at college. She visits our folks about three times a year (mostly holidays). She can be very nice if caregiving is not discussed, but when I ask her for help, she can get a very arrogant attitude, and I cannot even write some of the things she says (bad language). It's almost as if she turns the situation around, and I am at fault. There are no comprises with her. Referring to your situation, it may be a good idea to ask your brothers who live near your folks to get them to give you firm dates and times that they can help, not just something vague. Perhaps you could tell your brothers that under no set of circumstances can they cancel out on you with regards to caregiving, as it's not fair to you. In addition, I hope your parents are leaving you far more of the inheritance, as you certainly deserve it.
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Dear Janice, if you would like to vent more, and to a "larger audience" lol - since a lot of AC users are unlikely to find your Question after another day has passed - there is another thread on here called "The Caregiver....How are YOU doing today?" Quite a few caregivers participate in it and its just a nice place to be heard and get much needed emotional support.

And I speak for THE ENTIRE HUMAN WORLD when I promise you, that, NO, you most certainly are NOT selfish. ;D
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Janice, all of us here understand the dynamics of your situation to some degree. You just keep on venting until you cry, then you laugh. We all do it/ have done it.
You and your dear husband are more capable, compassionate, generous, and whatever else makes us caregivers and the others-- not caregivers. We belong to a special group close to the Angels. If the situation with your parents becomes impossible for you, or your instinct tells you to put yourself first, then you will deal with it. We are your peers, we hear you, and we know you. Vent some more:) xo
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Perseverance and Sonswife, Thank you for posting on my question.

We don't get a reprieve very often. Two of my brothers who live 5-6 hours away took them for two weeks this year. I barely got my bearings and they were back again.

The two who are close seem to find excuses to not be able to help. When they do come, it is when we are here and they seem to think we need to visit with them. All of them say "All you have to do is ask us to come." ...

I am the only daughter and trying very hard to set some boundaries but it isn't in my nature but I can tell that I better do something or I will become bitter and then it will take a tole on my health and/or marriage.

They often say they can't come because they can't take off time of work or it is too expensive and then I see pics of them hauling their RV's for camping and wine tasting and such. UGH!

Before my parent's health took a dive, we purchased a nice home in the country. We were able to enjoy it by ourselves for about a year. Then we moved my parents in as we didn't think my Dad would survive his cancer surgery and Mom was diagnosed with her ALZ. We had no idea it would be this long. We have no regrets and they are VERY appreciative which makes it bearable.

One brother tells me to hire someone to come in. Does he realize it takes a whole week for us to plan to go away to make sure I have meds set up, instructions written out, food made as they are on special diets. I am probably preaching to the choir but I finally hit the wall and realize I need some outside support.

My poor husband works out of town most days and I don't want to burden him with the frustrations I am feeling but he would listen and console. It just isn't fair.

I am rambling. I guess I had more bottled up than I realized.

We bought a small camper and fishing boat and haven't even been able to use it because we can't find a family member to come and help. Maybe we will just have to sleep in it in the driveway and pretend! :)

Thank you for taking the time to write back. It truly helps to know there are people out there who understand.
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I hope venting helped, I am sorry that you are in your current situation. I've become very aware that the siblings who don't provide care just don't get it. They don't comprehend how much your lives are impacted by the needs of the dependent elder. My husband became very resentful of his siblings vacationing this winter when we were dealing with his mother's mental meltdown. It is better now since we had a family meeting and made them fully aware how difficult the situation was for us. I wish you the best.
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The nerve. Do your brothers ever give you and your family a needed reprieve? You need one NOW. It is time for you to ask them to care for them so they (at least one of them!!) can understand just what is required to care for your parents.
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