"Caregiving is not the type of job that entitles you to days off." I quit my job with benefits to take care of my Mom who required 24/7 care, and after a few weeks, my Dad also required 24/7 care. I received no help or support from my family, and I would get emails like the one above insinuating that my job was so easy that I didn't need to take time off. My brothers REFUSE to listen to me when I try to explain this to them, and their justification for not responding to my multiple emails begging for help was - You're just trying to start drama. I sustained a hip injury and rosacea, went into a major depression, my anxiety disorder escalated, (mostly due to being ignored by my family.
-They will not read anything I send them - they will only listen if it's from a professional source, like a doctor. and they think I made up the term "Caregiver Burnout"
PLEASE HELP. How can I get them to understand??

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Who has Power of Attorney?

You should NEVER get yourself into a caregiving situation when YOU don't have POA, and the ability to use your parents' resources to help care for them.

However, if you DON"T have power of attorney, you can also set an end date to the caregiving.

Inform POA (in writing, sent certified, return receipt) that you are leaving on August 1st.

Undoubtedly, they will place your parents in a care center where you can visit as a loving daughter instead of being a slave.

Go back to work. Get your life back on track. This was very generous, what you offered to do, but you should never enter a situation like this without a caregiver contract that makes payment, respite and an exit strategy explicit.
Helpful Answer (12)

I'd like to agree with what Barb said, but I think that in many cases, family dynamics or family finances make the idea of a caregiver contract just not feasible.

I have POA for my mother, but there are no resources to provide care for her. Her monthly income pays for her living expenses and medical copayments and that's about it. There are no savings. I'm already co-owner of her house because I provided the down payment and closing costs. There's nobody to send a letter of resignation to.

Of course, I don't know about the OP, but my guess is it's something similar.

To the OP, you probably can't get your brothers to understand. I actually was the target of an identical attack from one of my sisters, accusing me of trying to start drama when I pleaded for help with my mother's issues. That sister is now deceased, but she never really came around to understanding my point of view. Instead, she accused me of "judging her" when I complained about her unwillingness to help. What I learned from this is that people who don't want to hear you won't hear you. They will find some reason to make it your fault and justify ignoring your situation.

I would suggest looking for sources of support outside the family. If your parent has funds, hire caregivers. If you have funds, see a therapist. Check out the availability of public resources in your area. Medicaid, veterans benefits, local nonprofits that provide senior supports. Hospice too if either parent is eligible for it at this point.

I know it seems very unfair that your brothers won't help you or even provide emotional support, and it is very unfair. But trying to make them understand is probably a waste of your time and energy and likely to be an ongoing source of agitation and frustration for you. If your parents have funds and your brothers won't let you spend money for help, that's another matter. Then I would agree with what BarbBrooklyn has said above.
Helpful Answer (7)

I agree with BarbBrooklyn. I wish that I had thought of those things. I just went into care giving mode. I asked for help and was basically told they all agreed (6 siblings), that if I lived with my mom, I should do the day to day! But when did the day to day end? I am not sure you will ever get your family to understand. Maybe they do not want to. I know my sibs did not. They used it as ammunition.

The physical care giving for me, was not as deep as the emotional. I feel scarred today, because I took the brunt of my mom's aggression and depression. Plain and simple, your brother (sibs) do not want to help. They throw it back at you to justify their behavior. I too had injuries and health issues, but didn't care. Human's have a tendency to take care of themselves first, unless they are an empathetic being.

If you could foresee the future, I say take care of you. It does not get easier. I have gone no contact with my sibs and have no desire to have them in my presence. They manipulated my mom, turned her against me for several months. It was a heart breaking time. When I got my mom back, I spent the last year of her life in happier times; She passed last September and I miss her terribly. Adding insult to injury, they had me written out of the will and took everything, including possessions that were suppose to go to me. Now I can only feel sorry for their childish selfish acts which I believe are due to their own subconscious guilt, if it exists!

I miss my mom terribly as her 95th birthday comes up, but I no longer have any communication with them. People who do not help their parents and treat you like you are the problem are only projecting their own inadequacies and guilt. It has been a long journey for me, but I know I was there for my mom until the end, which they weren't. I can hold my head up with no guilt.

You cannot make them see. They do not want to see. Unless you have walked the path, you truly do not understand. You will not change them. I am sorry. I have been there. Take care of yourself!
Helpful Answer (6)

This is what Jeanne Gibbs wrote 7 months ago...

"youngestsis1972, I think that you are right -- you cannot DO anything to change your siblings' behavior. If Mom wants you to be POA now and that is what you want, she can easily make that happen.

Here is what I suggest, for your own peace of mind:
1) Realize that you made a decision to come take care of your parents. Your siblings could vote until the cows come home, wagging their tails behind them, and it would not obligate you at all. You CHOSE to come. Keep that in mind.
2) You are choosing to stay. It is your choice. You can change your mind. Obviously you aren't going to walk out the door and leave her stranded. You would have to make arrangements first. But nothing is holding you there except your own decision.
3) The only decisions you can control are your own. Your sibs have their own relationship to your parents, their own life priorities, and their own right to make decisions. (Your brother was abused -- and you expect him to care for parents now -- what kind of sense does that make?) You may make any judgments you care to about their behavior but you cannot change it. Accept that. You'll be a lot less frustrated to simply face this reality.
4) Once you accept that you are not going to get the help you need from your family, work out other arrangements to get it. No one can remain sane and care for an elder 24/7/365. You NEED breaks. How would you get them if you were an only child? Because in this context, you are!

Let go of the notion that your siblings are going to help you. Face reality. Arrange your life accordingly."
Helpful Answer (5)

I think the answer is : You can't. You've been in this situation so long it's now, "the norm". And your sibs, while maybe being off board and snarky, ARE aware of the day to day caregiving and that's exactly why they are NOT there to do it.

My mother lives in an apt with my youngest brother. She has been there almost 20 years now. What seemed like such a great idea to brother at the time has practically killed him. He's having back surgery today, most of the damage is due to Mother's care (lifting, moving, etc). I asked him recently if he still thought having her there was a great idea and he said he should never, ever have done it.

My sibs know good and well how hard it is to care for Mother. I am the only other one who helps out, but it's limited to what mother will "allow" me to do for her. She feels that it's brother's job. (She has some dementia and that makes everything worse).

If you can "resign" from this, please do. Caregiving can literally kill you. I spent 3-4 hrs with mother on Monday and spent yesterday in bed with a raging migraine--all thanks to my lousy relationship with her and trying to be "helpful". If she moved in with me (which she hinted she'd like) it would kill me, literally.

Truthfully, you know you can't get your sibs on board. This is not a new dynamic. It's been gong on a long time. They are all comfortable with you doing it all and nothing will change unless you change it.

I am so sorry for your struggles. I understand. A lot of us are in similar or exactly the same situation.
Helpful Answer (4)

From the OP's previous posts, that IS the situation, Carla.

As you say, trying to get family to help when they are clueless, mean, ill, overwhelmed or too far away is a sad and useless row to hoe.

Better to let it go and find local resources. Contacting one's local Area Agency on Aging has proved for several of my friends to be the way to find the means to pay for care.
Helpful Answer (3)

Let me send them a letter, 2.5 years looking after both parents. I have had slipped disc, rotator cuff injury, sciatica issues. When I get sick I still have to put in a hard days work. I garden, I clean everyday all day, laundry, taxi service, cook the meals, grocery shop, keep their finances in order, pay their bills, doctors appoints, Heart specialist out of town, personal care, and medication. But the real hard part the one I need a break from is them not understanding what I am saying now. Both haveon-set denentia as well as seriousmobility issues. Heart problems, oh dear , the list goes on. So if u would like me to write ur family I would be happy too. Hang in their ok, I understand what your going thru ❤️
Helpful Answer (3)

Well, you almost answered your own question! Often the words from the doctor can be very powerful. Can you arrange an appointment where the Dr. Tells them you need help? Can your folks afford a nursing asst. for mornings and bedtime prep some of the days?❤️ from a fellow caregiver.
Helpful Answer (2)

Thanks Barb. I had seen the previous posts but hadn't made the connection.
Helpful Answer (1)

Guardians have a duty to provide for the needs of the Ward, with the Ward's funds, if they are available. IF it's not being done properly, the Court would be entitled to review and intervene. A new Guardian may be appropriate. I'd consult with an attorney to get the options and process.
Helpful Answer (1)

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