Just wanted to know how others deal with family members that don't help or even visit.
I am 51, quit a good paying job,11 yrs I am a certified medical assistant, am living with my ailing 83 yr old mom, was working full time, finally got her on passport which is a whole different story, it took 6 months, but when we got her on it, it took them 2 months to find an aide as there was as shortage of aides. When they did find an agency, to say the least they were horrible. Well, the stress of never knowing if the girl was going to show up at 630 am (which there were days she didn't) and I was already at work, I decided to quit my job and become my moms full time caregiver,. I work for an agency and get paid.
I have 2 brothers, 1 who is 10 yrs older than me and comes over everyday at bedtime and helps me get her in bed, (wont change diapers), but helps out in every other way, then the other one has nothing to do with my mom he is 2 yrs older than me, and this started long before she got sick. For no good reason.
She recently contracted C-diff from one of the hospice nurses. What a nightmare.
I have 2 children, Lauren 24 who works full time has no children lives with her boyfriend, and Freddy 21 works full time and then some and has a fiance' and my one and only granddaughter who is 14 months old. Lauren does help when she can god bless her, and my son well, he is a boy and he works 7 days a week. His little woman doesn't work, well thats it she doesn't work.
My brother that helps has no children, his wife of 32 yrs passed away suddenly it will be 6 yrs on 12/28 of this yr. She was like my sister. If she was here, she would help all the time, My other brother has 2 children Tawnya 25 who is an RN not married no kids works 3 on and 4 off, and Brad 23 works and is worthless like his dad.
My story.
How does everyone else deal with this?

Burntout in Ohio

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I think the best way to deal with siblings that don't help is to accept thats the way it is and move on. The resentment I felt was adding to the already ever present stress of caring and worrying over my Mom.

My biggest thing was that I told everyone the situation so I knew they were aware of it and I felt that I shouldn't have to ask. They knew what needed to be done and I resented having to feel like I was the gatekeeper for my Mom.

Fast forward to the present. My Mom has since passed and I still get upset thinking of the times that I felt all alone with no support but you know what, I sleep at night knowing I did all I could for my Mom and one day if my siblings are at all human they will hopefully realize they missed out on spending some quality time with their dear departed Mother. If they don't realize it then I guess it wouldn't of mattered anyway.
Helpful Answer (13)

I was my dad's Caregiver while my siblings, both 30 miles and 1500 miles away didn't visit him or even call him, even tho I begged them to. By the time he passed, coming on 2 years now, I was totally burned out, and I had become bitter. Yet, something that I was asked recently (now that my MIL was diagnosed with dementia) was, "When does a caregiver become a caregiver?" She went on to explain that caregivers are BORN that way, they don't become one. We are the ones who as children picked up stray dogs and cats, finding them homes. We are the ones who found baby bunnies and birds. We are the ones who stood up for others in need while in school. We are the ones who visited the nursing home. She was not only describing me in detail, she had described what my siblings were Not while growing up. My siblings can no more be caregivers than I can NOT be, for I was born to be this way. This revelation didn't make my role as caregiver easier, however it helped to heal the hurt caused by my siblings refusal to help.
Helpful Answer (13)

How to deal with it?

Just move on..

Now time or energy to waste on useless siblings..

I should know I have 5 of them.......
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It's a common situation in many a family. In my family there's a kind gene and a selfish gene--some got the selfish gene in spades. Plus, every child has a different relationship with a parent--parents don't treat all of their children the same. Also, some kids will stay and suffer a bad parent while others escape. I think that the siblings who don't help may never have full closure. Also, they are missing out on one of the richest parts of life--nurturing others. I was fortunate to spend my father's final week with him--as he elegantly wound down his life. I learned so many lessons about dying with grace and courage that my selfish brother missed out on. Just know that some people lack empathy. Some of my siblings do and that is why I keep my distance. You'll never miss what is not there--accept that they don't have much to give.
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When I stumbled upon this forum I jumped for joy. Read the articles and the questions even when you think they don't apply to you because you will find great advice. I see your mom has lung disease. I'm sure that greatly limits what she can do. And yet I just saw a man yesterday with an oxygen tank in a backpack on his way to the movies. My guess is he was over 80.

You need relief and you need to accept that you're not going to get a lot of help from your siblings. Be grateful for your one brother who shows up at bedtime. The diaper change may just be too intimate/weird for him and that is both understandable and okay. I think my husband would pass out if he ever saw his mom's private parts.

What kind of community do you live in? Do you have a library that has programs for seniors? What about your county department for the aging? If you attend a house of worship what do they offer? You need to find respite care so that you don't go from feeling bad (burnout) to worse (compassion fatigue) like I did. I did not avail myself of my community's supportive services until I broke and felt nothing. I felt like a big black hole was inside of me.

If you have friends and neighbors who have home health aides ask them if their helpers have a colleague who needs work. I've found these people to be a tight-knit group who help families find good, reliable people. Remember that situations change quickly and a home health aide may be employed one week and the next their charge will have been transferred to a nursing home or passed away.

Volunteer or find some part-time work to get yourself out of the house for a few hours each week. Make life as easy and automated as you can. For example, grocery delivery and cook & freeze meals for the week. Setup automatic bill payments using online banking if your bank offers it. Simplify your life as much as you can so you can get some mental relief. And find something to do that helps you get out your frustrations...kickboxing...baking (kneading bread is very therapeutic)...get a glue gun...whatever helps you. Good luck! - NYDIL
Helpful Answer (8)

I have one brother who is no help at all. When I ask he says no. I've just accepted it. It is hard not to be bitter and angry toward him. I have just cut myself off from him that way I can move on with my life and dr caring for mom. I'll contact him when she dies and then after te funeral probably won't see him again. Sad? Yes. But some relationships do more harm than good, even when it's "family."
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Being a caregiver is a very lonely job. There is only one way we can cope. That is if we can not accept seeing our loved ones neglected. Most people do not see things the way we do. It almost seems that they look at it as we have chosen an unnecessary burden. That gives them a free pass. I have mostly accepted that. It does no good for me to wish things were otherwise. Maybe someday the blindfolds will fall from their eyes, but for now they just can't see the need to help. In accepting that, I find peace and grace to get through the day. Needless to say, there are still days when I fall back into the "why me". category. Then I have to offer myself the same forgiveness I offer them. After all, I too am only human.
Helpful Answer (6)

If I'm reading this right -- you do have help. Not as much as wanted or needed, but you are not totally alone. You have a brother who comes every single day to help get her to bed (and I, too, understand not wanting to change the diapers of the parent of the "other" gender. My father would have been mortified. I let my mother or husband do that for his sake as much as mine.) You also have a daughter who helps. You also have family members who do NOT help. We all do and many of the comments indicate as much. That being said, you still have my utmost compassion. You are the PRIMARY caregiver and that responsibility is overwhelming whether it is now your paid job or not. Working for someone other than your mother would have built in breaks where you could get away and relax. Perhaps your local Office of the Aging can offer a little support or help you find others. Check the internet. I found a volunteer organization who offered support to cancer patients -- it was private, well run, wonderfully compassionate and free. They continued to bring my mother meals for a couple of weeks after my father passed away. Hospice groups may be able to offer some ideas on respite services even if you are not participating in hospice at this time. They have lists of organizations and individuals who might be able to "sit" with your mom for a few hours. Maybe your brother would agree to spending a night once in awhile so you can get away -- maybe even staying at him place that night just for a break in stress. You could be back by breakfast if that's all he can handle. Nothing about these situations is easy and the exhaustion overwhelms the feelings of accomplishment in helping your loved one. Hang in there. Take advantage of the people who do help; look for outside help. Ignore the people who do NOT help. If they aren't helping now, they probably never will. Try not to let it get you down even more. Your emotions can't take one hit after another so let go of the things and people you cannot change to protect yourself. You are important. Remember that and take care of yourself as well.
Helpful Answer (6)

Detailed resentment about all these other specific people and what they could do and should do is useless. Its just another source of the stuff that wears me down. I have enough to do without fixing them, and I can't fix them anyway. You make your own choice, and you allow them theirs. You practice gratitude for those who help.
Helpful Answer (5)

I have two first cousins (my mother's nieces) who are my only family and live in the same city. They wanted nothing to do with my mom and me for many years. No reason. Both of them were medical doctors at one time.

I am an only child, a son, and I assisted my mom as her physical condition deteriorated over a period of years. I did so because I loved her and she needed me.

When my mom broke her hip, I called one of her nieces. She told me she would come to see my mom in the hospital. She didn't come. I called again and she wasn't feeling well; she would call me back when she felt better. Nothing. The Hospice nurse called on my mom's final day. Still no response. I called the next day to tell her that my mom had passed away. Neither of them came to my mom's funeral, sent anything, or called to offer any consolation.

Now I am all alone and in a state of inconsolable grief. I am hurt by the way my nieces acted but am not angry. To anyone feeling abandoned by their family in their time of need, take consolation from these words:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy.
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