Mom thinks his time is too valuable to take her on errands etc when he comes. I live next door to her and am around all the time.
We have family in our town, she'd rather go to lunch or out for social gatherings with them and rely on me for errands, dr appts etc.
She doesn't think we need anyone from an agency; someone who's reliable, vetted and trustworthy.
The family she has asked to help aren't reliable to show up.

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You cannot change them, but you can change your own behaviours.

Put boundaries in place. Your plans come first, if Mum asks for a ride, during work hours, tell her no, you have to work, you can no longer afford to take time off. As long as you are at her beck and call, there is no reason from her point of view to pay someone to help out. So stop being available.

You set the day time you are available, not the other way around. Your time is valuable too.

If she misses an appointment it is on her not you.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Tothill

Mum & Brother probably DO understand 'we need someone to help her with errands'. And that someone is YOU.

Without being nasty, they may we'll see it but as you are there, doing it all & doing a good job... well.. what's to change? This suits them fine.

But it doesn't suit you so speak up - it has to work for ALL of you.

I speak from experience after *helping out* became a *slippery slope* that ate my free time, then one workday a week, then weekend time too, then my head space.

It was like a collection of symptoms (need shopping assistance, appointment assistance, cleaning, bill paying etc etc). All together the *diagnosis* was she couldn't look after herself anymore. Real choices for a plan;
1. Get a team of helpers
2. Move to where a team is (ie AL).

Using me as a team of 1 was NOT working for me & obviously not sustainable.

Many chats ensued. But as I was still the easy/preferred option - no change. As other have said - put in your own boundaries. That is how my situation changed. Not all huffy like no no no but just speak the plain truth. "I work all week so you will need a team of helpers".

Please avoided the fall down the slippery slope - the further down, the harder up!
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Reply to Beatty
helenb63 Feb 11, 2020
Wow, Beatty, you could be describing what's happened to us! My mother is already in AL but objects to paying when we could do it for nothing. The trouble is, my husband is retired and I work from home and my work is not considered a real job by some, so it's harder to claim we don't have the time. When we got in carers for 1.5 hours a week my mum threw an emotional scene, saying that she was so unhappy and wanted to die... because (she thought) my husband had refused to take her shopping ever again. But if we didn't make and take her to medical appointments she just wouldn't go, as she has abandoned all responsibility to us even though she could do it herself as she did before she lived here. We made the mistake of being round a lot to help her settle in after her big move, and didn't realize then what a rod we were making for our own backs. It's very hard to say, 'We just don't want to do so much for you any more', as she would never accept anything except a medical reason without getting nastier than ever.
Your brother has a long day, 3 hours each way, when he visits your mother. This was the same timetable for my husband and his mother in AL. It wrote off a full day every time, and wasn’t easy. Naturally he wanted to spend the time with his mother, not heading off to do jobs and leave her alone.

However brother doesn’t have to do the shopping in your town. Work out how to get the shopping list to him in advance, so he can bring things with him. I'm two hours away from the supermarket and have good cool bags so I can get even the frozen food home safely. Get your mother’s head (and her cupboards) organised so that you can see well in advance what she will run out of. Many posters have said that the person they care for actually arranges for emergency purchases so that they get more company with deliveries as well as the sense of power they want. You may still get stuck with the appointments, but you may be able to cut down your load. Try working out how brother can help more easily within his own timetable.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

You talk to your brother. Ask him to take some of the burden off. Explain u work fulltime and can't do everything for Mom. You no longer can take off time from work because its effecting your job. Ur employer has mentioned ur taking too much time off. And really, that personal/vacation time needs to be for you.

When my Mom stopped driving I set up one day a week for shopping and errands. Living in the same town, I could pick up her prescriptions when I was out. I worked a week on and a week off. So appts needed to be made in my off week. I found with one Dr. she was going every two months. Even the Nurse questioned why Mom was there. I told her "if he asks "so why are u here" the every two months will stop. He did, Mom stopped going unless she was sick or needed a new prescription for a med. Unless an emergency, I did things in my time. Other Drs, once her numbers were stable they allowed Mom to come 1x a year.

I now have a disabled nephew and a grandson with epilepsy. Both depend on us for transportation. Both call and tell me what they need. If I am not doing anything, I or DH will take them where they need to go. If I am going out later, I take them then. All appts are run by me. I tell them when I am going on vacation so they can plan around it. I am doing them a favor. That may sound harsh, but I get overwhelmed if I have too much coming at me. I do better planning ahead.

Get Mom a magnetic white board. Tell her to make a list of what she needs before she runs out. Because, you are no longer going to be at her beck and call. Call your Office of Aging and see what resources are available. Mine has buses for shopping and appts. Just need to give them 48 hrs to put u on the schedule. Mom needs to be as independent as possible. What if something happened to you?
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Reply to JoAnn29

Your mom should hire someone to help her. Your brother lives 3 hours away, it’s unreasonable to expect him to relieve your burden. Your mom needs to hire someone to take care of the things she can no longer do yourself.
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Reply to worriedinCali
JoAnn29 Feb 8, 2020
My answer was based on "when he comes".😊 He can do something while there. My GF lives in Washington State. When she is here in NJ she takes her Mom to appts so her working brother has a break.
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JoAnn, you make a good point about a job being affected by caregiver time.    Interestingly, I once interviewed with an elder law firm, and one of the questions asked was the status of my parents, and how I would handle caregiving.   I don't recall what I said, finessing on my answer, but it was clear that time off for parental care would not be met with approval.  

Obviously I didn't follow up and express any further interest with that firm.

And on a related issue, when I learned from my sister's oncologist that she was in a terminal state, the OM of the law firm at which I was then working told me to take off all the time I needed.
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Reply to GardenArtist
jacobsonbob Feb 11, 2020
After reading this, I'm undecided as to whether the elder law firm is a bit hypocritical (in the sense that it might not truly support children caring for parents), or whether they firmly believe alternate arrangements for care of parents should be made early and decisively to obviate the need for their children (i.e., the firm's employees) to take time away from work to provide care. I take it GardenArtist's conclusion was more along the lines of the former.
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Find an agency to do what needs doing so you are prepared. Decide what you are personally still willing to do and how many hours you are willing to spend. Half day a week? Whatever. And inform both of them what you will be doing and not doing. And stick to your guns because if you waffle, they will continue to take advantage. You get to live your life and do what you want. Not what your mother wants. Too bad that your brother lives far away. Does not make it your job. If she says no, then fine. Tell her she needs to figure out a solution that does not involve you being at her beck and call.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to dogparkmomma

They will understand when you stop doing so much. My mom lived 1.5 miles from me, my brother 20 min. away. I don’t work, but at the time was homeschooling 3 kids. She is now in a nursing home.

Other than Dr. appointments, I stopped doing so much. I was almost spending as much time at mom’s as I was at home! So she had no choice but to hire someone to come in a few hours every day. I still went to Dr. appointments.
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Reply to mollymoose

She relies on you for errands because that is the way you got all this going. It is what she is used to. For groceries, do you have any local stores that do delivery? That's one errand that can be delegated. Big box items can also be ordered and delivered right to her front door and make it easier on all involved (washing detergents, diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, etc and will allow you to have plenty of stock on hand),

As for relatives in the area, ask first if they can do dr appts here and there. Make the appts and coordinate with the agreeable relative(s) and don't tell mom until just before they are to arrive to pick her up. Tell her you can't get off and Aunt Sue is on the way to tak her. You can do the same with an agency who can take her to an appt or an errand. Don't tell her in advance - wait until they are nearly in the driveway. That way she doesn't have days and days to fret over it. Don't involve the unreliables at all.
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Reply to my2cents
Beatty Feb 12, 2020
It's funny how so many people are against deliveries.

My folks were but have now seen the benefits. As you said, big box stuff - much easier than lugging it home! Quite a few places have free delivery & even with a fee it still saves my folks fuel money. Dad had to take on being the shopper & he finds he likes to shop online at his own pace, rather than traipse around being bombarded by loud shop music & impatient staff.
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Is there a council on aging van that she can learn to use? My mom didn't see the need, but I encouraged her to try it. Soon, she was comfortable enough to use it to go to the local hair salon and to the nursing home that my dad was in. Just that little bit helped her feel more independent and it helped ease the number of times that I had to help. I still took both to doctor/dentist appointments, lunches out, and all errands imaginable. But the van was helpful and cheap and the driver was kind. The other thing I did was hire a home health aide to assist mom. At first she wasn't open to it and frankly, the first person who arrived at the home didn't work. The second person was a dream and proved to be sooo helpful over the next four years. While testing out the home health aide situation, I stayed with mom to help her feel more comfortable, help develop a list of tasks that she needed help with and to assess whether the person was a good fit for mom. This person helped with household tasks, cooking, and occasionally purchased bread or milk (I lived about a 30 minute drive away.) Over time, she came to develop good friendships with her caregivers which again, took some of the pressure off of me as I was trying to balance my life and immediate family needs with caring for my dad (in nursing home) and my mom (at home). To make a long story short, don't ask her. Just do it. But do it with her at first.
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Reply to lynina2
DeniseMiller Feb 12, 2020
I like your answer. May I add mom doesn’t know if you hire someone to do tasks the daughter needs help with so yes I would begin the process of background checking etc and get the heir she the daughter needs. Sounds like moms got it handled already it is the daughter that needs the help ..
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