We are nine siblings living all over the country. Three sisters live in the same town as the parents. At the parent's house live:
Mom, 80, losing weight and showing signs of early Alzheimers or just dementia. As an example, she recently asked my eldest sister where the lights and windshield wipers were in the car she drives regularly. She also falls asleep in the middle of conversations.
Dad,87, and in good health but not at all capable to handle caring for Mom or our mentally disabled brother. He still expects Mom to cook and clean and do the laundry for the 3 of them.
A mentally challenged brother of 53, who is being sent by Dad to go visit his sister as often as possible (a clear sign that Dad is panicking about caring for his son).
Our eldest sister lives in the same town. She is a 52 year old married mother of four young adults, 3 of whom are still in studies, and a grandmother of four. She has always been present and caring as the oldest sister and seems to look after everyone (plus host visits all the time from out-of-town siblings and their children).
She does not seem capable of saying no to Mom and Dad's increasing needs as well as our brother's health care needs. She is writing to me about panic attacks and depression, as well as feeling guilty for not being capable of handling it all and resentment towards the other siblings, who cannot even call the parents to see how they are doing.
Being such a big family, no one feels responsible for Mom and Dad and that seems to include Mom and Dad themselves. They need to talk to the family about what they have planned for long term care and what their resources are. Instead they just rely on the one sister. I live out of the country and would like to make it clear that this cannot go on. Were I to write an email, it would probably be ignored or I would receive answers such as "everything is fine, our oldest sister is looking after things". As the siblings don't want to face the facts, perhaps it is best that the parents do. It's all new for all of us and we siblings range in age from 57 to 37, all with children, jobs and busy lives. I just want to be sure our parents live their last years comfortably, that our brother is in good hands and that the eldest sister doesn't continue down the path of sole care giver in such a big family!