Why don't distant family members have concern for our life at severe Alzheimer's and how do I cope with the loneliness?

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When I was young my uncle made it a habit to bring the family to visit his parents once a month, and he called once a week. He was a busy executive and they moved a lot, but his devotion to this never wavered. It had to be a conscious decision to make this a priority, because piling 4 kids in the station wagon and driving hours had to be a real pain! I think sometimes we get in the habit of living without giving any thought beyond our needs and the daily grind. I know when my sibs kids were small they would hardly have seen their grandparents if THEY hadn't made a point of visiting, and now that we can't go to them it's like pulling hens teeth to get the family to come to us, there is always something else going on. Days turn into weeks and months before they suddenly realize, then they make a 15 minute phone call and think that it's sufficient.
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I'm so sorry your family is so far away. There are lots of us here, who feel like the family just won't help (even those only an hour away will not visit). It's painful because their choice is to go about their own lives, as if nothing "bad" is happening to their parents/family. Or maybe, they just have no idea what to do, or even say. If possible could you ask them, why they don't visit or help? Be prepared with several things they could do, to help. Maybe they are just plain ignorant--they might need a few pointers on how to be helpful.
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There are many posters on this forum who share this issue. Can you elaborate a little bit? Who are the family members who are not visiting or calling? Do you want them to share in the caregiving or just keep in touch. Do you have a good relationship with these family members other than the fact that they are not showing concern? I'm sorry that you have expectations and they aren't meeting them. It's so hard sometimes to make people aware that you need help or even just sympathy. Tell us more and we can try to help.
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