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I have 6 surgeries I have had to put off to continue to care for Mother.

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Being a male (56) and the youngest of 4 siblings, two older sisters and an older brother it was my decision at a very young age that I would be the one that would stay close to home and take care of mom and dad when the time came. My father passed in 96 at 73yo and my mother did fine for 10 years then started to decline around the age of 82. Since I am divorced and single it made sense to me to just step up and start assisting her. I have had no assistance from my family until the last year when my sister has started coming up once a week and spending the night with her to give me a break. My oldest sister disowned her mother 15 years back and my brother and sister-in-law want to sell everything and put her in a nursing home, which isn't going to happen.
As far as you needing surgeries, maybe you could find a local caregiver that you could afford, to move in and take care of the two of you, at least you could supervise what was going on for the care of your mother.
I am frustrated with my situation and can sympathize with you greatly. I find my strength in my Lord God. I know he sees your situation and really wants you to ask him for strength and support which he will give you. You need to have total forgiveness for your family and pray for forgiveness for having Ill feelings toward them. Then you will find the peace you need to care for your Mother. I have found that the frustration I feel toward my siblings only causes me to pass it on to my mother, which is unfair to her. I write this only to help support you let you know you are not alone with how you feel. God loves You!
This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, I hire women to come in and bath and dress my Mother, thank goodness she can still go to the restroom by herself but that is coming and everything is going to continue to get harder. I just installed cameras in the house so I can be two places at once. I will keep you in my prayers along with all of you that are doing the right thing by caring for your loved ones. And to the cliché’ that men cannot be caregiver’s is only a copout. Blessings.
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JessieBelle - my situation is like yours in that my family is not close and my mother has invested so little in relationships with her children (and grandchildren) that they can hardly be blamed for not wanting to help her out. I actually don't resent the unwillingness to help my mother; however, I resent the lack of moral support they have (not) given me around my issues with my mother, and their unwillingness to work with me in figuring out arrangements for my mother that wouldn't place such a burden on me/us. My plan to step away and dump it on my siblings is a last resort - I have tried over and over again to enlist their cooperation if figuring out alternatives for Mom. They'd rather ignore the situation since it's not their problem. If I resent anything, it's that.
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luckylu, you're not the only one who puts off taking care of ourselves. We should make it our first priority, but we often don't. If the surgeries are needed, then get them done. If your siblings won't help, then find a place for your mother to stay while you tend to your needs.

When it comes to siblings, I've learned not to take it too personally. Their relationships with my parents were between them and my parents. If they chose not to visit or help, it was up to them. One of my brothers lives too far away, so I don't expect a lot from him. I know him well enough that if he lived closer he would help some with things like the yard. Surprisingly enough, although this brother lives halfway across the country, he visits as often as the one who lives in the next county -- twice a year in recent years. I don't fault them for what they do, since the family is not close. My mother does fault the one that lives close, but that is between her and him. I don't let myself worry about it or feel bad for long. I realize that my solitude-loving parents pushed their children away from them, so I really can't expect for my siblings to now want to spend time here. Now that I'm older I realize that parents usually get the children the raised them to be.
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For what it's worth, I really don't entirely agree with the statement made by jeanegibbs, above, to the effect that "you could have made decisions similar to theirs." In many cases, not all siblings can elect not to be involved. Someone has to take some responsibility, even if nobody wants to. The parent needs a POA, they need to list a next of kin when they sign up with a doctor or go to the hospital, and somebody is going to get that call. Also, in many cases, the parent can't afford paid help but doesn't qualify for Medicaid. I think in many cases, the siblings who choose not to help are only free to do that because another sibling has stepped up and is carrying the load. Likewise, the responsible sibling has to carry a much larger burden than if the other siblings were willing to help out.

I think that if a parent needs to be in a nursing home and is eligible for Medicaid or has the funds to pay privately, then any adult child who takes on the care should accept that their siblings are not required to help make that work. Likewise, if a parent can afford assisted living, they should be in assisted living and if one sibling chooses to help them stay in their home, they're on their own with that. My issue is with the many other types of cases, such as my own.

In my own situation, my mother has terrible balance and leans heavily on her walker at all times, but is not disabled enough for a nursing home and can't afford assisted living. She can't drive, she falls and has other medical issues that sometimes require emergency care. And she has some cognitive impairment. So somebody does have to take her grocery shopping and to drs appointments, change her bedding, help with household tasks, monitor her finances, etc. etc. My siblings have pretty much all admitted that they would have to step up and help Mom a lot more if I weren't around. Yet as long as I am around, they feel free to make themselves scarce. They give many excuses for why they think I'm better suited to the task(s) than they are, but the truth is that nobody is willing to be stuck with her.

After 4.5 years of this, I've finally made a decision to leave the area and let the chips fall where they may. But I recognize that when I do that, my siblings are going to have to step up and either fill in the gaps or figure out a different plan for Mom, such as how to finance assisted living or paid help for her. We can't all "just say no." I think many cases are like that, too.
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You don't have to forgive them. It's just that you'll probably feel better for it if you do.

Holding them responsible for your deferred surgery - unless they'd agreed to cover for you and then let you down repeatedly, or something like that, and you'd inexplicably continued to rely on them - is irrational. What would happen if you didn't have any brothers? Who would you blame for it then?

Search 'respite care' on the forum for advice about where to find help. I hope you find something you're happy with soon, and wish you well with the surgery. Best of luck.
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Just write it off, sometimes a best friend will do much more then a family member, they will receive their just rewards in the end. Don't dwell on it as it will only take you down, it did me, but I came through it & just wrote them off as it was causing me more distress than caring for my husband with AD
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luckylu, one question... did your Mom teach your brother to cook, clean, how to take care of someone when they were sick, etc? If not, you cannot blame your brothers for just standing around with their hands in their pockets, shuffling their feet back and forth, not knowing what to do. Did you Dad help out with any type of caregiving? Probably not, so again your brothers never learned from Dad that is something they should know how to do.

Thank goodness with the younger generations, I am seeing more equality when it comes to care. Guys now are even changing diapers on babies where generations ago they wouldn't do that.
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You made your decisions. You are not responsible for or in charge of anyone else's decisions. That you put off your needed surgery was your decision, not your brothers'. You would have had the same decision to make even if you'd been an only child.

I think the first step is recognizing that all of your decisions were your decisions. Be proud of the ones you feel good about. Take full credit for them. Learn from the ones you now regret. But you've done what you've done because you decided to. Your brothers did not cause your mother's disabilities. Neither did you. You each had to make some decisions about how to react to that reality.Your brothers did not force you to be the caregiver. You could have made decisions similar to theirs.

Now you have additional decisions to make. Do you want your brothers in your life? Do you want to detach from them but without hatred and blaming? Do you want to continue to blame them for their decisions and feel like you were their victim? You get to choose how you want to relate to them going forward. Of course, they may or may not go along with your decisions, but at least you have control of your part of it.

Do you need surgery now?
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