I am in my early 50s, divorced and live across the country from my dad and older brother because of parenting custody laws in the state that I moved to when I was still married.
My older brother who is divorced too, cared for my mom before she passed 6 years ago and then moved into my dad's house and has cared for him 24/7 for the last 3 years.
During this time, my brother gave up a career that he enjoyed and has been absorbed further and further into dad's controlling and narcissistic ways.
Dad is 87 and has begun to fall at least once a week and become increasing confused. He is incontinent and absolutely will not agree to anyone coming into his home or going into any group type care. He could afford help and probably ALF but is bound and determined to stay in his home until they haul him out on a stretcher. Brother fully believes that if he set a deadline and left dad- he would be prosecuted by the law when Dad passes alone in the house.
Two years ago I had our family minister take dad to tour some assisted living homes nearby and dad completely refused to move. I've urged brother to hire a PT caregiver- he checked into this and then said, Dad's so difficult, no one would put up with him.
Recently, dad has had hernia surgery, recurring staph infections and fell in church and hit his head on the pew and paramedics had to take him to the ER where he needed 7 staples in the back of his head.
My brother believes he is in prison- counts the nights he sleeps on dad's couch and cries. Normally he is stoic, capable and very independent and now he appears to be in a severe depression. He did see a psychiatrist a few years ago but refuses to take any depression meds or get counseling for himself.
I told him I can fly out to visit next week and his response to me was "Absolutely not! I can't handle company at this time."
I am SO HURT that he now classifies me at COMPANY instead of his SISTER!
I am so hurt that he completely rebuffs any efforts I make to try to get them help, resources or set boundaries. I also feel guilty that I live so far away- I've been raising 3 kids the last 10 years on my own and work quite a bit to try to make ends meet since I am not getting child support any more and have not remarried.
Would appreciate your thoughts about what we are going through...