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My husband has a brother and sister who refuse to lift a finger to help or educate themselves about the disease. We have had him 24/7 for over a year and his son has not called one time to talk. The sister is much younger than the brothers and is clueless as to what his disease entails. She calls her dad but she has a fit when she doesn’t get a call back. She only cares about herself and when I told her that we have been dealing with a heart and cancer scare with me she didn’t even ask about it nor did she want to know how her dad was - she just wanted to tell her dad about her problems hoping he would send her money (which I asked her to tell me if there is anything we can do to help but I don’t even know what is wrong with her (or frankly that she is even sick) - she expects that she tells her dad and then he tells us and feels like we should call her and see if she needs something. She doesn’t get that the second they get off the phone he doesn’t remember who he was talking to! The siblings live about 4 hours away but they refuse to visit or assist in his care at all. We even bought her brand new tires as she said her tires would never make it here but she has yet to show up and that was last Thanksgiving!


It really makes me feel angry that I am stuck in my house 24/7 since I work from home and deal with the cooking, cleaning, and laundry while my husband handles all the rest and he is about ready to drop dead of a heart attack any day! All the siblings want is the money at the end - it must be nice to do nothing but the same amount as the one who takes care of all of it!

It sounds like you are responsible for everybody’s everything. You’re taking care of FIL and trying to help out SIL as well.

Have you ever ever had a frank discussion with your husband’s siblings? They aren’t involved with their dad because they don’t have to be. You and your husband are willingly doing all the work for them. Does his dad mention his other children at all? Does he pine for visits from them?

Decisions need to be made as to what to do for Dad. Is he difficult to care for? My FIL with dementia was pretty much complacent and calm. On the other hand, my mother was difficult and could be combative. In any case, you and your husband need help; be it an in-home aide during the week, respite care every six weeks or so for a few days, or considering placing Dad in a facility. Send registered letters to the others. Calmly but honestly explain that changes need to be made. Ask for their input and possible solutions. Example: You alternate Dad’s caregiving. If there are 4 children, each of them cares for Dad, in their home, for 3 months at a time. For sister with the bald tires, you will be happy to deliver Dad to her personally. Experience is a good teacher, and once she cares for him for 3 months, she will be very aware of what dementia entails. If you don’t have POA and control of Dad’s funds or guardianship, get it now. See an attorney if you need to. He doesn’t go visit his other children with checkbook in hand or he’ll come home impoverished.

Solutions #2 and #3; you enlist home health care or Dad goes to a facility. All promises to “never put Dad in a.nursing home” are off because you can no longer do this with no help. You will research facilities or home health agencies and make the decision, but you will keep them informed. You will gladly accept suggestions. They are welcomed to research facilites in their areas as well. You will use Dad’s funds to spend down and then file for Medicaid. You realize there will be no inheritance, but oh well. Dad’s money goes for his care and not in their pockets. Leave Sister to fend for herself, What has she done for you or her dad lately anyway?

You and hubby need to take a stand before something bad happens to you both. 40% of caregivers die before the person they’re caring for.

Please come back and keep us updared.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Of course you feel angry but since they are showing their true colors I would write them off as best and quickly as possible. You have enough to deal with without expending more mental angst on their worthliness as though it is extremely unlikely they will change. Can you get help from an outside source meaning are their funds available for that? That is what your focus should be on which will be consuming but necessary. Since they have not helped their own parent they need not be consulted for his future. I hope you can start the process to get the help you need and remove the focus on the lack of support as it will only sap the energy you need to move forward. Hope you find some solutions soon.
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Reply to Riverdale
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No it’s not wrong to be angry, but it makes more sense to do something about the problem. Your father in law should be receiving paid care, either in your house or in a care facility. You need your own life, and you cannot do this indefinitely. FIL has funds, so his money should be paying for the care. The others have no right to ‘the money at the end’, and you have no obligation to make sure it is there for them. You could perhaps feel better about the care you provide if you are paid for it (and you need it or you wouldn’t be working from home). You would definitely feel better if the burden doesn’t all fall on you and DH. A start might be to list all the things you do, put a dollar value on them, and write to the siblings with the list. Tell them your proposals and ask if they have any workable alternative ideas! Then duck....
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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