I have opened my home to my elderly mom. She’s been living with me going on three years now. My question is this. Am I supposed to ask my siblings if it’s okay if she spends the holidays at one of their homes? They live in Texas and Mississippi. There were two other options Tennessee and Georgia but those two siblings are in a rough place financially right now. But, before I committed to caring for my mom they all did say they will help in anyway that they can but, they haven’t done a thing. It’s so weird too especially since they are older siblings. It’s like wow do I really have to ask? I would be thrilled if they called and be like we want mama to come spend Christmas with us. They haven’t done anything. So, I’m here to ask fellow caregivers if I should make a group chat and ask the both at the same time. Or should I call them individually? Or just wait til they offer?

When my father had his stroke, I had LOADS of people offering to help. Trouble was, there was no real way for them TO help. They can’t go in place of me to the hospital (hospital limited visitors to the same 2 people), drop the kids off at school, make their lunches, fold the laundry, etc. People I think are by and large giving, but clueless as to how to ACTUALLY help unless you specifically spell out what you need.

I would start by approaching the sibling most likely to say yes. And then I would say it like, “Would you mind taking mom for Christmas this year? I’ve really been struggling and am burning out, and I’m scared what will happen when I do. I really need a break, and I know she’d love to visit you. Can you help???”

Remember, honey rather than vinegar.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Lizbitty

It is perfectly ok to ask, but it's also perfectly ok for them to not to volunteer to take her in, or to tell you no.

Similarly, it is ok to tell them no if what they have in mind is crowding in with their families and their children for you to entertain so they can see mom.

I think the better course is to group chat or ask the sibs individually what they would do if you weren't here. Since you are, you should be getting the going rate for a senior board and care since that's actually what you are doing. And if they don't like that, then she can go into such a facility paid for by her assets, if any, and by Medicaid if not.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to PeggySue2020

I would ask.

If they offered when this started, it is times to make the help you need clear.

Can mom go spend a couple of weeks with each of them and give you a real respite.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

You don't tell us much if anything about your moms health. Is she able to travel well and to be able to adjust to new surroundings without making her more confused? Because as you know if she has any cognitive decline, she will do best in her familiar surroundings, as changing houses can be very upsetting and confusing for her.
And you must also know by now that if your siblings really wanted to help you, they would have offered by now, since you say she's been with for almost 3 years now. So I guess at this point all you can do is ask, but don't be surprised when they all come up with excuses as to why they can't. I'm sure they all figure since you've done everything this long that you can continue with things as they are.
Instead you may want to look into hiring some outside help(with moms money) to come in and give you some breaks during the week, as it's important that you get away and do some fun things just for yourself.
I wish you the best in getting this all figured out.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
MalaysiaMuva Dec 6, 2021
Thank you. So much.
Yes, one have already given an excuse. I’m waiting to hear back from the other after he asks his wife. I will probably have her again this holiday but will ask the senior daycare that she attends for more help so that I can hopefully get a break. x
They might agree, they might not. If you don’t ask, you won’t know. Two things:
1) To protect yourself from a lot of resentment, perhaps make it a tentative request, in writing rather than in a conversation. “I’m wondering if one of you….. It would mean such a lot to me, and Mother would love it.”
2) Do it immediately. Most people are well into the process of arranging Christmas, and springing it on them later makes it more difficult all round.

You lose nothing by giving it a go.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

Wait 'til they offer? Guffaw!

I should start by checking with your mother that she would actually like to do this. Do you think she would?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Countrymouse

After 3 years of not helping, they obviously are not going to offer.

There is nothing wrong with you asking them to help out. There is also nothing wrong with them saying no. It can be really hectic around the holidays so maybe be ready with a counteroffer of a different time frame (like mid- January) when the busy holidays won't be an issue.

By group chat, do you mean an online chat or a phone conversation? I think it would be awkward to ask both on a group phone call. An email or text to both would be fine, IMHO. But I hate talking on the phone so that could be playing into my answer.

Actually a group email could be a nice way to talk about things, including the sibs with financial issues. You never know what they might be up for so I would not exclude them. Let them know you would really benefit from a break every now and then. Could mom come to them or could they come to your place and you can go away? I don't know how capable your mom is of traveling alone and adjusting to a new environment, etc.

If you're wanting a little break here and there - can your mom afford to pay for some caregivers? You should not pay for it. If she can't afford it, perhaps your siblings could kick in a little to make it happen.

It is very common for siblings to not help. Many people are not interested in caregiving. You have to accept that and not be mad about it. If/when you are burning out, get help.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to againx100

If they have offered in the past then I would take them up on it, and moving forward try to work out a schedule for the future holidays and summer. Yes. You do have to ask. Sad but true. But 'out of sight. out of mind'. Let them know that you will need breaks. How you ask them is really up to you and your relationship with them--sometimes it's easier to get help if it's a discussion with everyone. I would hurry though--it will be here before you know it! I hope you have a nice holiday!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to ElizabethY

Be direct. Let other family members know you need help and expect them to take on mom's care in their homes for portions of the year, You could make this a group chat with all the family members. Let them know what you would like and ask them to volunteer for holidays or weeks/months. If mom has dementia and/or needs a travel companion, discuss how handoffs could be accomplished while you are discussing her time with other family members..
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Taarna

You've taken on the entire burden of caring for your mother. (WHY?!?!) Since they haven't done anything up till now, what makes you think they would want to start? They do not want the burden of your mother during the holiday season.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to CTTN55

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