Sibling lives in Colorado. She is trying to give me the guilt trip. She believes I don't care about our dad, because I'm not willing to give up my job to care for him. I'm tired of feeling guilty and made like I don't care. I don't know what to do.

Find Care & Housing
"Gee sis, if I had a million dollar bank account I "might" consider helping out with dad but unfortunately I live in the real world and I have a life and obligation here so I am not the solution to this problem. Lets try and brainstorm some realistic options."
If sis lays on some more BS then "there's no point talking to you if you are just going to keep rehashing that same old crap, don't call me unless you are prepared to have a realistic conversation"... (hanging up phone)
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to cwillie
MaryKathleen Dec 11, 2019
Might include Dad in the conversation too. He might have some ideas.

Being 85 I resent my "children" making life decisions without consulting me. Nagging is OK, decisions on my life isn't.
Yes, this requires a calm discussion with your sibling AND dad about needs, expectations, ramifications, etc. More info would be helpful:

Has your father asked for in-home care?
Is your father to the point where he requires daily oversight in person?
What is his prognosis?
What would be the cost for agency-provided care in NC for your Dad and would he be willing to pay/can he afford to pay for it? Would Medicare pay for some of it?

Maybe you can offer him help managing other things that you can do remotely, like managing his bill payments, home maintenance/repairs, etc.? I do this for 2 Aunties in FL, from MN.

I would let your sibling and father know that it is just not possible for you to stop working (especially if you have a spouse/kids) but that you are willing and able to help in other ways. Family can push lots of buttons but it's very important to not let your sibling's guilt tripping get to you. For your dad's sake the conversation needs to be calm, productive and realistic. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Geaton777

Don't let her guilt you, if she is so concerned let her move to NC or move him to where she lives. Tell her that.

You don't mention the type of cancer, so he may be just fine, my husband had cancer for 12 years before he died.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to DollyMe
Thumper1 Dec 11, 2019
He has throat cancer. Will be starting radiation 5 days aweek for 6 weeks. Chemotherapy 3x a month. Trying to reduce size before surgery.
I go with getting Dad in on this. Ask him what he wants. People hear Cancer and think its a death sentence. He may have times he needs you and times he doesn't. I think you need more info to make anykind of decision. Maybe u both need to go to NC and sit in on a meeting with Dads doctor. We had a friend with throat cancer and he was still able to leave his home and go places. Not saying he didn't have good days and bad. His wife worked.

Don't make any hasty decisions. Maybe you can take family leave time. Someone on the forum said it can be taken in increments. Or, take vacation time when he has his surgery.

I wouldn't alienate ur sister. I would wonder though, why she feels you need to quit ur job. Why can't she be there and you give her a break when u can.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to JoAnn29

I am facing something similar except my brother lives with mom but doesn't help much and she was recently diagnosed with cancer. She already has health issues that will be deepened by any treatment. I'm not willing to give up my career and move to her city although I want to help as much as possible. I hired a geriatric care manager who is helping put things in place for me and can be eyes on the ground to check on her. In preparing for surgery, I reached out to the American Cancer Society who had good suggestions. One being that they provide transportation (volunteer and/or a certain amount of ride share rides) to treatment appointments. Other assistance is provided too.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Nicole77066

Wish I had a dollar for how many times I heard and read that some family members are very free with giving advice from afar, but never get around to dirtying their own hands. My response would be to tell your sister that since she has all the answers she is free to put them to good use. You will put your father on the next plane to Colorado! And then hang up the phone and don't respond to her calls, at least in the short term. That way she cannot continue to try - and it would appear to succeed - in sending you on guilt trips.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Shezza1
Davenport Dec 12, 2019
I finally DID tell my 2 siblings that since they had better ideas than I did, I'd let them have a crack at it.

Initially, I was recently unemployed, divorced and lost my home -- ALL after 30+ years of consistency, so it made perfect sense for me to move in with mom (emotional comfort, very nice home) - TEMPORARILY. In those 5 yrs., mom deteriorated rapidly physically and cognitively, and so it was a v. intense 5 years of solo caretaking (with zero room or time for me to process my own 'stuff'). It was suggested (and I agreed) bya few friends, therapist, and caretaker acquaintences that I should move far enough away that there'd be no question that I was out of the 'picture', and they were on their their own to 'figure it out'. Since for 50 years I'd lived in the same city, this was the hardest thing EVER for me : ( At 65, single for first time in 40 years, in a new state ... The only rare communication I've gotten (and only from one) is how wonderfully smoothly 'everything' is going, just like clockwork, [implied] 'no stress', 'mom's doing MUCH better' -- all intended to convey how poorly I'd handled everything, and see, they were right! Fact is, my 5 years turned out to be the worst (daily trips to doctors of every stripe and 10 911 calls/ambulances at ALL hours, etc.--trying to diagnose precisely the various neuro and physical stuff) -- she's stabilized physically now, the meds are straightened out, no ambulances. Since I've left, there are 2 new caretakers, and housekeepers and gardeners. I was simply replaced by my 26 y/o single niece, who's making a nice living, and saving rent $$ to travel the world and buy her own home.. My 2 sibs never did and won't ever know what those 5 hellish years were like. Or, they were right that I'm simply a hysteric, high-strung weakling that couldn't handle the stress. Fine : )
Wow, she doesn't work and you do? Why are you worth less than she feels she is ( or her life is?) I would pitch it all back at her.. why doesn't she move,, she has no job! Dosent she care for her dad? What is wrong with her for not caring for him?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to pamzimmrrt
Davenport Dec 12, 2019
Well, pamzimmrrt, I was in a similar situation where I'd be completely factually correct to 'pitch it all back to her'. The fact is, the words wouldn't have touched her, and she'd have dredged up 56 years of resentment and ill-will toward me, which I painfully know by heart too well. My experience is/was: Anyone that's so out of touch and mean ain't going to listen to anybody else--and 'throwing' ANYTHING at them will result in emotional nuclear retaliation. And, I'll never fathom 'what is wrong with her for not caring about [our mom]?' I practice accepting it and not letting hatred into my heart, which I need like a hole in the head : ) Prayers for ALL of us!
Is your sister planning on going to help during this tough time? If so, that's her choice. If she's worried that it's going to be hard, she's probably right. If you can not do the same, just be honest (and calm and kind) about it.

Technically, your dad is not the responsibility of you OR your sister. It's very nice when the grown kids are willing and able to help, but it is NOT required. That may sound mean to many, but I think it's realistic.

I would straighten things out between you and your sister before you involve dad. He does not need to be involved in the convos where you two try to come to terms with what is and is not even possible.

I agree that you need more info on your dad's situation, though you just never really know how a person is going to handle treatment nor how quickly they might recover. Or not. Unfortunately, we have NO way to KNOW.

I do like the idea of the two of you maybe going to visit and attending a doc appt with him to get a good feel for what to expect.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to againx100

Tell sis to "put up or shut up." If sis does not have gainful employment, then she is the one who has the flexibility to care for dad.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to dragonflower

Why isn't she caring for him? She has nothing to give up. Start guilting her. She's used to not being paid. You aren't. People at your job depend on you. Nobody depends on her. Make it clear that you cannot, WILL NOT leave your job and move, and that if she wants Dad taken care of by family, she's it.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to SFdaughter

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter