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Father had 2 open hearts surgeries and walks with walker, not very mobile. Mother is scheduled to have total knee replacement in April. Currently both parents live with my sister and her husband down the street. They both have grown children in their 20s. One is have a baby end of April. My name is Kathy and I am her sister. I have a 12 year old daughter who is in many travel sports. I currently take both parents to all of their weekly appointments and therapy. I handle all of the medical scheduling and authorization. My sister and I both work full time. We are now starting to argue over who does what. My sister feels that I should give up my weekends to take care of my parents because she has them Mon thru Fri. I have an obligation to take care of my daughter and get her to her tournaments. The stress and guilt is awful. I feel like I have young children and she does not. It's also important to say that they also pay her rent to live with them each months

Kathy...Please, Sit everyone Down, No More Frown...Come to a Complacent Compromise so it is Easier to Deal with Two People who I Feel are Terribly OVERLOVED. God Bless you all with your Hearts from the Start.
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Reply to Parise
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When we cared for my dad who lived with me, my brother took care of all the non-medical stuff and I did all the medical stuff. Yes, I was with our dad more because he lived with me but this was an arrangement that worked for us. My brother had a wife and 3 young children. I was divorced with a teenager. It just made sense that I had more time and flexibility to devote to the care of our dad.

We didn't carve out our roles based on what was fair. Fair would have been 50/50 but that wasn't realistic. I was better situated to provide more care than my brother was. I was grateful to have any help at all. Caring for our dad in this way brought my brother and I closer together and we've maintained that close relationship years after my dad died.

Find out exactly what your sister needs and try to help her if you can. If she's burning out, help her. Don't assume that because her kids are grown that she has all the time in the world to spend with your parents. Work with her.
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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Probably time for parents to go into assisted living. You both have too much on your plates and are now attacking each other.
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Reply to Kimber166
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Your sister, the primary caregiver, is asking for you to cover the weekend (days and an occasional evening?) since your parents are living in her home and she is taking care of the parents during the week with your support for their various (not insignificant) appointments. Since your sister's children are in their 20s and your child is 12, you believe your sister should not expect you to provide any care on the weekends because you need to take your daughter to tournaments. After all, your parents are paying your sister rent for living in her home.

I agree you cannot cover every weekend and you do indeed have an obligation (and privilege) to take your 12 yo to her tournaments; however, that doesn't not exclude you from providing care on any non-tournament weekend, before and after the tournament, or on _some_ tournament weekends when you can arrange for your daughter to attend with the support of a team member's parent(s).

Your sister also has an obligation to spend time with her adult children and since she works and cares for your parents M-F, the weekends are just about the only time available for her to fulfill this obligation. Spending time and babysitting her grandchild will also be very important. The money your parents are paying your sister for rent is immaterial to the care giving discussion; your parents live in the home and should share in it's monthly expenses.

Your sister is making a sacrifice of her privacy, personal time, and family life to be your parent's primary care giver in her home. As someone who has supported my mother in caring for my father from down the street and now cares for my mother in my home, I can assure you she is providing more care than you are from down the street or at least the care is having a bigger impact on her life. To continue providing this care for several years (which may be needed given your parents ages), your sister needs respite care and she has asked you to contribute/provide at least some of it.

I encourage you to acknowledge your sister needs to spend time with her family even though her children and step-children are adults. Your sister NEEDS your support to care for your parents. Please stop arguing about who is providing the "most" care and get into a shared responsibility mindset where you work together to meet your parents' needs. Instead of just targeting the weekend prime time, could you share some weekday responsibilities too? Maybe 1-2 evenings a week you could head to your sister's house after work to take care of the parents? Then "split" the weekend days with one of you taking Saturday and the other Sunday with a switch of days every so often? Compromise with concern for maintaining as much of your own life as possible but also with consideration for allowing your sister to maintain as much of her life as possible too. Have you checked with Area Agency on Aging to see what assistance may be available for your parents from public resources?

Care giving is very stressful and I'm pretty sure you fired off this post just after an argument with your sister. Very few people who take their parents into their home can fairly be labeled as "selfish" and very few people who step up to provide supportive care for their parents fit that label either so I don't think that label applies to either of you. Please don't let care giving pressures ruin your sibling relationship.

With your father's dementia diagnosis, you and your sister must acknowledge that the day will come when he needs 24/7 supervision that will be almost impossible for the family to provide. You need to develop a plan for where and how you will get your father the support he needs when that day arrives too.
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Reply to TNtechie
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Isthisrealyreal Mar 14, 2019
Very wise solid advise TNTechie. It does take a village and right now it sounds like the village is not large enough for all the need.
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