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My 89 year old mother with dementia lives with my husband and I and I am feeling so tired and resentful towards my sister who lives in the same town and does not call or come around to help. My mother is exhausting and I have zero support and feel so overwhelmed and tired. I wake up crying everyday and go to bed crying. My dad passed away a year ago and my mom went down pretty quick. I feel like I am dealing with grief on top of grief watching my mom go down. She is very stubborn and sometimes very mean and moody which I am learning is part of dementia. I just want to run away and never come back most days. I just need to vent and hope to get into a support group ASAP. It helps reading the sites and understanding that I am not alone even though I feel so alone. I am feeling so angry with my sister who has pretty much checked out and have such mixed feeling about caring for my mom. I keep saying I will do it until I can't anymore but my health is suffering. I can not sleep at night and feel so exhausted all the time.

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Don't focus on what you DON'T have (sister's support). Focus on what you DO have: the precious gift of taking care of your beloved mom as she declines. Resentment is a horrible feeling. It robs us of joy and serenity. Get rid of yours if you can. It's a horrible master.

If you want to understand why your sister is behaving thus? Just follow the money. It's usually about that.
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All of these replies are from true caregivers. Maybe sometimes we are envious of little things...turning the music up loud and being silly on a Subday morning, when what do is be very quiet so mom or dad can rest. Having relations spontaneously with your partner wherever whenever. There are many little things we forget about, but have to replace them with different little pleasures. I will be the first to admit I get envious at times, but I tell myself "this too shall pass".
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I have a LOT of aunts and uncles on Mama's side of the family...all of them younger...all of them pretty much raised by my Mama when they were young. I have one sibling, a brother. I love him but he comes by once a week for an hour or two and that is it. The one person I had who used to come and sit with Mama had a stroke and will no longer be able to be here for us, God bless her, so it is Mama and me...that's it.

My biggest issue now, even more than all the cleaning, lifting, wiping, cleaning, lifting, wiping...is the watching and watching and helpless waiting...of seeing the strongest most independent woman I have ever known slowly decline and leave me...It has been three years now and for some reason the past month or so has really done a number on me.

I agree with Maggie re the issue with non helping siblings sometimes being a blessing in that there is no reason to do things any way other than how you want to do them. I have finally started doing that. I do what Mama needs and do it in a way that will help her the most, and at the same time in a way that is best for me...no one helps me, I do get some 'sage advice" now and then from do nothings who pop in just long enough to sling out some words of wisdom and I have finally learned to let their advice go in one ear and out the other.

I feel catatonic most of the time, but going into this, looking back, I could have predicted that what is going on is exactly what would be going on...People are shallow, self absorbed and incompassionate, particularly when it is not their immediate loved one..and all too often even when it IS their Mother, Father, etc. ...I expect nothing from anyone, and I am not disappointed. Mama seems happy enough...every now and then I have glimpses of her..but not nearly as often as it used to be...It's hard to understand how someone who is still right here can seem so far away...Life just is what it is...do the best you can, get help if you need it...and take care of yourself
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Hire a caregiver to help you out.
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Take it from someone who has 5 useless siblings..

You need to take of Mom.. All your whining and complaining is a loss of energy you need for caring for Mom..

Mom depends on you and you need to move past the siblings for now..

But remember you can always vent here! Just remember to leave it at the door when caring for your mother..

I can understand my Mom's dementia brain better than I will ever understand my siblings selfishness!!!
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Some things you can change; many things are outside of your control. That is just the way the world works. By taking care of your mother you are trying to change her misery into something less awful. You can't control her dementia progression but you can control your own reaction to it and how you respond to Mom. That is well worth your effort.

You cannot control your sister. Her life, her decisions. After you've tried reasoning and persuasion all of the rest of the emotion you spend on her relationship to your mother is a waste of your time and emotional energy. Few caregivers of persons with dementia have any emotional energy to spare on things that won't make any difference anyway.

You can control your decisions about what care is best for your mother and for you. That is a huge topic to focus on. You cannot control your sister's decisions. Let that topic go. After Mom is gone if you have excess emotional energy you can revisit you attitude toward Sis. For now, focusing on things that will make a difference is enough.
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Sue, when you lost your dad, I don't think you had time to really grieve properly; losing him brought mom into the spotlight, needing your help. And you just haven't had time to process everything.

I don't know how old you are, but I care for my mom (who has dementia and congestive heart failure...special diet) and have for a year. She's 87. I'm 67. I wish I was 20 years younger, it would be SO much easier.

It's darned HARD. And sometimes I just don't think I can do it anymore. But I know if I start throwing myself a pity party? I'll never stop. So I choose not to.

I'm an only, Sue. My significant other is a wonderful man. I don't ask him to do TOO much for mom because he works part-time . . . and because, well, she's my mom. I'm her legs and hands and feet. Her cook. Her chauffeur...Her butt wiper; her valet; and, well, I'm her everything.

Frankly, with only ME responsible for it? I do it exactly the way I want and NEED to do it. I don't have to coordinate with a sister/brother. Oh, it'd be nice; don't get me wrong -- if it was a "Waltons" kind of relationship. But, let's face it. They hardly ever are. I'm content doing it alone because I can do it my way. I don't have to listen to advice from someone popping in and out of our lives once or twice a week for 5 hours offering up a bunch of "shoulds". I manage mom to my convenience and ease. (That's kind of a joke, really, but you know what I mean.)

I spend her money to make her life easier -- and my life easier -- and there's nobody telling me I'm taking advantage or should be doing things differently. I'm glad I don't have a sibling sticking their not-always-friendly nose into our business in this house.

So. The reason I said all that is to remind you that, if your sister WERE more involved? You might have a whole brand new set of problems. You're doing what you're doing out of love. For the woman who gave you life. What can be more noble a calling?

And. If it gets too much? You throw in the towel and make other arrangements for your mom's care with your head held high. Know why? Because you love her enough to have tried.
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I have been taking care of my 87-yo mother with dementia for 5 years. For two of those years I was also caring for my 90-yo father with dementia. Though my tasks have not been particularly physically hard, I have aged to a 500-yo woman emotionally. My two brothers call occasionally, but they probably figure that I have everything covered, so don't need to do anything. And, to tell the truth, I don't think they care much. I don't resent them because we were not the Waltons. There were never the loving, warm feelings that many families share. I also realize that if one of them was caring for my mother, I might not involve myself, either. Knowing this, I can't resent them.

We each make a decision on how much we can do for our parents. You sound like you stepped up to the plate, Sue. Taking care of someone with dementia is not easy as they progressively lose their capabilities. There comes a point where we might not be able to do it anymore. This point varies among carers. If you feel that your mother is becoming more than you can handle, maybe you and your sister could discuss options together. This may get her more involved and also give you a window to look through about what changes would be best for all involved.

Others can handle it to the end. They are a special breed of people. I don't know if I would be able to do it. I already have choices of good care facilities lined up in the event they are needed. Planning for the future is empowering, because you know the right help will be there if needed.

Forgive the rambling. I just one day figured out that it was Mom and me alone and I had to make plans for anything that might happen. I know that one of my brothers will show up at the hospital and the other will show up at the funeral. That is just how it is when it comes to people making choices.
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Kudos to you Daguirre, for keeping track of how mom is doing, without sacrificing your health and your future.
Captain, you are right on the mark, some folks are not cut out to be caregivers and so they stay away. That's fine, I know nobody wants to look stupid. You can't fix stupid. You can't hide it by staying away, either.
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Some people tell me to get over it at least you got it gone.And to snap out of it well my mom is in assistant living now and doing great I just worry a lot I'm the only one that does
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I had the same problem. I have 4 sisters they were always to busy one lived in another state one helped a little with what she could the other two said it was not there responsibility
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i agree with pam in theory but ive seen the treatment in NH too . its wonderful health and well being care but zero personal emotional care . some families can swing the home care , others cant for many legitimate reasons . if your mother needs to go to NH you can still be a large part of the comfort team. nh takes great care of my 90 yr old demented aunt but i bring the daily dose of companionship .
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some people just dont have it in them . dementia especially takes a very special kind of person to deal with it and even that person needs to self educate by every means available . the more you step up and master the complicated task , i believe the more your sis may chip in seeing that mom is in expert hands and only minimal things will be asked of her . you have to educate yourself to the greatest extent you can then you can educate the rest of the slack joweled family . a year ago my cuz didnt know what dementia was . ive helped her understand it to the extent that she can laugh sometimes at her mothers craziness and mistruths . finding small bits of humor in such an incredibly difficult undertaking as dementia care seperates the pros from the dont-have-a-clues . a very respectable professional in the field told me that very bluntly ..
when my mother was hallucinating with only days left to live i did not dispute her delusions and hallucinations and in fact told hospice " we dont need no stinkin facts around here " ..just makin mom comfortable at any cost ..
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Neither you nor your sister can take any more stress and strain. We are not young ourselves, so Mom went to assisted living. Our parents are truly living beyond OUR age of having the strength to manage their care.
The meanness will pass, but it is replaced by a deeper confusion that requires minute to minute care. Remember that 30% of caregivers die before their patients do and that is just not fair to you or YOUR children. Get her a safe place with lots of staff.
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