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Put the thought in their ear(s) and say "Your LO would love to hear from you." Then it's up to them to respond.
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Reply to Llamalover47

If you want to talk to someone, you call them right? You don’t just wait for them call....this is the same thing. Communication is a two street. If you (or whoever this is about), isn’t calling the family, you (or they) are part of the problem too. It’s not one-sided unless the family is regularly ignoring your calls.
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Reply to worriedinCali

The only thing you can do is say "Mom/Dad would love to hear from you more. Maybe a phone call once a week or so?"

Do not demand or have an attitude like "It would be really nice if you called Mom/Dad every once in a while" It turns people off. Don't even say "I do everything else, you could at least call"

Me personally, I never did any of the above. I was 65 when my Mom moved in with me. My brothers were 58 and 54. One 8 hrs away, the other 30 min. Neither of them called and rarely saw Mom. Who had been a good Mom who loved being a mother. I felt they were adults and they didn't need their older sister telling them what do do. That was their wives responsibility. Hopefully, they suffer from guilt because they didn't do more for Mom. I know my Dad was upset about how Mom was treated well before Dad died. Don't think he ever said anything to the boys. She rarely if ever received anything for Mothers Day, Birthday, or Easter. Christmas, one brothers wife made sure she got something the other, it might be Easter before Mom saw her Christmas present. And then, it was nothing she could use or she would wear. I found unused clothing when I cleaned out. I suggested that she be sent money. Then I would take her shopping to get her something she needed or wanted. Never happened.

So what I am saying, don't expect anything from the family. Just say something once and let it go. And don't be angry about it. Be content in knowing that you did for Mom/Dad. What goes around comes around. I have seen it happen. Does it make me happy when it happens, no not really. I just hope that it opened that person's eyes.
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Reply to JoAnn29

My situation: I ask my children - in their 20's - to call their Grandmas (my mother and my mother-in-law) . I ask my husband to call his mother weekly - in her 90s and has advanced dementia. I send monthly letters to family - especially those who never call, text. email or snail mail a response. So asking for folks to "do" contacting others doesn't work so well for me.

My solutions: I arrange time weekly to talk to my children. I use Skype, Face Time, and FaceBook to keep in touch on a casual basis. Since I see my mother weekly, I try to arrange times when "we" can talk to my girls. I talk to my mother several times a week via phone - sometimes she calls and other times I call. Remember, we are in a time of "safer at home" social distancing so I try not to put my mom at risk. I send letters and "fun stuff" to my mother-in-law who is a shut-in with advanced dementia in Hawaii. Our Bible study is using Zoom since the church set it up. I will admit I am not a huge fan of it, but it is weekly contact.

Basically, it comes down to this. If you want to hear from somebody, call them. Treat every time somebody calls you as a wonderful gift, because it is. Try different types of connection and "stick" with what works best for you.
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Reply to Taarna

How do you get participation by family members?

Because of the stay at home and work from home with this current virus situation, there's been a request to ZOOM so adult grandkids can see their grandmother. All this technology existed prior to this virus lockdown, and not one attempt at connecting or sharing was made. They are asking me if they have to download to get the compatible app for my mobile. Do I look like I want to add technical support to my list of to dos? I got a message that "we've been trying to get in touch with grandma for weeks now". This effort makes them feel better and feel as if they are doing their part. I am very annoyed with this as another excuse. There's a phone.

I call them and say your LO wants to say hello or hear another voice. I do this and stick the phone in front of my mother on speaker phone before they can respond to me. I also send pictures by text kinda like advertising of 'see senior life is not so bad'. That's seems to be all some can tolerate. In turn there is a better response.

What didn't work was my update on things they couldn't handle like ER visits, hospice evaluation, or requests for direct help. The real stuff needed.
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Reply to Pasa18

deb77388: "...just a simple phone call would be nice."

Yes, it would. Help would be better, but as many know, this often doesn't happen. Given a choice between absent and absent, but stick nose in, criticize, tell you how to make/do things better, etc, I will take plain absent thank you.

I did get SOME help from my 2 brothers during the prepare/move stage, and some help with the condo after, but certainly not a "fair" share. The bulk of researching her issue (dementia), locating/checking out places, taking over finances, trips to grocery/supplies, etc, then MOST of the work to clear out, clean up and organize repairs, as well as being the interface with realtor and EC atty, mostly me. Even now, although I don't do the hands-on, ALL of the other needs (and there are plenty) are handled by me.

As for communicating with mom - OB isn't local, so he didn't visit much, made a FEW trips to help with move/condo, but having sent him to visit with her before going to condo with him, he refused to go again, stating he "didn't know what to do with her." This from 1 of 2 who when they learned how much MC cost said "For that amount, I'll take her in!" Sure they would. Sarcasm intended. OB is abusive, can't deal with her repetition, has NO clue and would be a poor care-giver. YB isn't always on top of things and has no room, so another poor choice.

Since YB is local, I text/email about upcoming special days/meals and often sent several requests (they wanted head count.) There were 1 or 2 times he actually responded the morning of the day. Sure, that helps - not. Too often I would hear nothing, so eventually I stopped bothering.

You mentioned hearing loss - can she hear on the phone if they call or you call them? Speaker phones sometimes help, or phones made for those with hearing problems. Mom also has a hearing issue, but could get by with a hearing aid. When we moved her, I did not get her a phone for her room, as she would only call to get out or some nonsense, not just to chat. Incoming wouldn't work well as they encourage residents out of their rooms, to engage in activity or socializing. For us, it's better to visit - we can write down anything she can't hear/understand. But, given one isn't local and the other is out there somewhere... Now we can't even visit.

Mom has been drifting back in time, about 40+ years at this point (she's 96+), but still knew who I was. Not sure if she remembers the others. Someone else said something about seeing jogging the memory a bit, and it does seem to help, at least for a while. But, out of sight, out of mind. They WILL be forgotten.

In addition, since they never provide any help, they think she's moved and the condo is sold, all is good, everything is taken care of. NOT. There is still a lot someone has to do and THEY don't get it. Thankfully she has me.

If their lack of concern/contact bothers you, try to put it out of your mind and focus on yourself and your mother. It's wasted energy to worry about them, be angry at them, to even think about them. It took me a while, and a draft email to each to set the record straight to purge all the things that should be said to them, but I can't be bothered to send them. It won't make any difference, they'd deny it all, so they sit in my draft folder. I am already done with OB after he physically abused me during that last mom visit 2 years ago (thought that was all in the past, when we were kids, but I was wrong!) I have not emailed, texted or spoken to him in 2 years now and have no intention of changing that. Done. YB, depending on how things play out with the virus, may be "useful" when medical visits can resume, as mom won't stand/walk alone and I can't manage her weight. Local providers can be done with facility transport, but her Mac Deg treatments aren't local.

After she's gone? I will be an "only" child!!!
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Reply to disgustedtoo

You can't make anyone step up. Does your mom reach out to them? Do you? It's a 2 way street. Depending on your mom's condition, this could be part of the issue. Is she hard of hearing? Can she hold her own in conversation? Is she repetitive? Not saying she is having any of these negative issues, but they are things that could keep people from reaching out.

I would reach out to the family or have mom do so. Don't sit back and wait and expect them to do the work.

Good luck.
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Reply to againx100

I long since gave up trying to get my MIA sibs to step up--even to call on a regular basis.

Sibs who don't want to help, won't.

In fairness to all of us, she doesn't CARE if we visit or call. If we do, she just asks about all the other kids. It gets old. I aven't seen her in weeks--my visit was after a few months of chemo were over and I felt that I was healthy enough to handle being in a house full of cats and feral birds.

She looked at me and said "And you used to be my prettiest child". (I was still pretty bald). It just hurt.

Haven't been back and haven't spoken to her since and have no desire to.
Truth is, calling or visiting someone who doesn't want to see you is pretty depressing. Maybe that's your problem.

I LOVED spending time wiht my Grandmothers. Saw/called/visited them every week and hauled whatever kids were around with me.

Totally different dynamics.
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Reply to Midkid58
OneBlueMoon Apr 27, 2020
My mom has alzhiemer. But what I've noticed, the more she sees the individuals in her family/friends, the more she remembers and I have told that to her sibs. But they have given up visiting or calling in general. Communication with alzhiemer patients are different. You should not expect normal communication. Read how to talk to an alzhiemer patients and what to expect from them. It becomes easier for you. Don't take any negative comments seriously. The judgment portion of their brain gradually decline. Still be kind and joke with them, laugh with them, play music they like and dance with them. They will remember people who makes them feel good. Do that weekly and see how things change. Make these last years memorable for both of you....Good luck and god bless🙏🙏🙏
My mother was the most loving and caring to all of her family. Inviting everyone at least once a month to dinner and entertain. After she was diagnosed with alzhiemer, no one except her sister would even call to see how she's doing! They all considered her as "gone"! It made me so shocked and angry thinking how much this angel did for each one of them when she was well! I still call them and let her talk to them, but that's it! No one comes to visit her nevertheless to offer any help to take some loads off of my shoulders. I never knew people I thought I knew could be so cold! These are the times you'd know who has really been your friend and never wore the friendship mask! Hang in there my dear...Wish you guys the best..🙏
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Reply to OneBlueMoon

Hi deb, yours is a very common challenge. The short answer is you just can't make people do things they don't want to do. They are under no obligation -- even as family members -- but it is disappointing and distressing nonetheless. You don't give much detail of who and what it specifically happening. One thing I did that was a passive-aggressive move was to send out regular emails as sort of brief updates: a picture or two, what happened that week, a message from mom, etc. I realize this may feel like just another thing to add to your responsibilities, but part of the problem in aging is being outside of people's normal circles of engagement. If the senior has cognitive or speech challenges that makes communicating difficult, it just doesn't help. So you become the voice and personality of your mom and put it out there for her. If you get responses from people you can set up quick Zoom check-ins, or slip in her upcoming birthday, etc. Be cheery and positive and brief. This can also inform relatives of your role. People may be (and often are) very surprised at what's involved in daily caregiving. After I started doing the updates my 2 brother-in-laws started asking how they could help. Of course there's the chance this won't happen for you, but relatives won't be able to say they "didn't know" what you were doing and what was going on. I wish you peace in your heart that you are doing a wonderful, loving thing. I wish you lots of support and rest.
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Reply to Geaton777

Have you specifically asked that they call?

If she is hard of hearing is that really feasible?

Sometimes we just need to be completely honest and ask for the help we need. That would be the 1st thing I tried.

If they don't respond I would find a local charity that does friendly visits and calls to help with the loneliness of being discarded by her family.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

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