Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Strange how common this is...not getting any help from siblings. I am the sole caretaker for my dad who has cancer and dementia - now at end stage. I have six sisters, two of whom live 10 minutes away. I suffer from herniated spinal discs, spinal stenosis, all over arthritis, and fibromyalsa. I alone have to lift my dad in and out of bed as he cannot walk or stand. Just bending over his bend to change his diaper is painful to me. These sisters of mine don't call, don't visit....oh, wait a minute they took my dad out for father's day - the ONLY day of the year - and I'm told..."You can come if you want to". omg....This father's day, my dad was carted away on a stretcher to the hospital 10 minutes before these two showed up at the door with their stupid useless gifts dad could never use. They don't even realize how bad off he is. They get him a wallet, slippers, a tie. The man is bed-bound, on his death bed for cryin out loud. These sisters are very well off, have no children, and will not help at all. One of them is single with a beautiful new 3 bedroom house - and would never consider dad staying with her - and she's home all day! The other is too busy doing plays in the local town theatre....but can't take an hour to visit dad. The other sisters will not get involved either. They all say what a saint I am to be taking care of dad. I ask them to at least come over to visit him - as he is extremely sad he doesn't see them. I'm tempted to not even call them to let them know when he dies. I'll just wait for them to come over or call!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Not often enough unfortunately.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have never been offered a day off. One sibling lives with me and Mom, and works during the day another one lives about 40 minutes away and works with kids and no father to help. When I have tried to take a vacation, you would have thought the world ended as live in sis does not want to take care of Mom. She even falsely accused me of Elder Abuse to her, not Mom to try and have me thrown in jail! Thank God for witnesses!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

When mom was alive, my sister, the golden child, would come to visit only our mom every 2-3 years. Mom said go to the airport, pick up sis and I will call you when she's ready to fly home. I was never invited to join them for lunch or even to chat. Inbetween visits, there were no calls from my sister or discussing anything with me, the one taking care of our mother. What a piece of work! And my mom wasn't much better. It was really difficult to keep the resentment in check. I will never understand why one kid gets the caregiving job and the others get or take a pass.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Never. I took one week off while she was in a rehab center and they complained and said I was selfish.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Care4Mama, I feel your pain. You are not alone. I think this is common with caregivers and their thoughtless siblings. You sound bitter and twisted just like I have been for the past year and a half! Hang in there....it helps to hear others vent.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It's interesting to read the different answers to my question...bottom line....caretakers get taken advantage of and it stinks! This week I've had it! I let my sibling know how I feel. I asked why it's always such an inconvenience to keep mom for at least ten days every few months? I went on to explain that every time....and by the way it's always me who has to ask them (sibling and spouse) for help....my sibling hasn't offered to have mom over since fall....anyways....every time I mention a time frame as to when I would like a break its always, "okay, but it will have to only be this amount of days because we've made plans" " They have more plans then anyone I know! Here's a plan.....call and invite mom over and don't wait for me to ask! How convenient for you! What the heck do these people think I do week after week? I know it's because mom is mom....never wants to do anything, watches TV a lot, blah blah blah.....deal with it like I do! I reminded him this week that every holiday they "have plans" and I've had to take whatever days they will give me or no break at all. The last time they said four days....which may sound like a wonderful offer to some...I said "no thank you"....I'm just winding down on day four.....forget it....as I've said before in posts, I know when I need a break and four days is nothing compared to all the time I spend with mom (she lives with me), meals, showers, medications, washing clothes, washing hair, styling hair, listening to the same questions over and over, the same comments over and over, hair appointments, doctor appointments, not to mention the complaining I have to hear from mom on shower days, doctor appointment days, haircut days, etc......it feels like the toddler phase I went through with my own kids! The last thing I told my sibling was....some type of arrangement must be worked out that works for everyone...I'm damn tired of doing it all! Forget about Fourth of July....I'm sure they have or will have plans! :0
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother took care of her mom off and on for 15 years. My grandmother had an illness that would require surgies, intensive after-care treatment and because she lived 3 hours away and in a small town and the specialists were located where we live, grandmother was with us. My grandfather had pretty bad arthritis but honestly, could not have emotionally handled it.
My uncle lived 1 mile away for 90% of those years and him and his family never gave a break and took my grandmother.
Now here is something extra: my uncle and his wife were two healthy individuals with children older than me. Where did my grandmother stay? With my mom who was legally blind, had a ruptured disc, severe leg swelling, Sjogren's syndrome, anemic and other health problems. I was the youngest grandchild.
My dad once ran into my uncle at the grocery store and told him that they would like to take me on a small little vacation (like he did his kids and we received the post cards) during the summer. He said he wanted someone to help with grandmother. Now we are not taking Disney World. That would have just been crazy talk. This was a little overnight trip. My uncle looks at him and says, "wow...that is sure a tough spot for someone to be in isn't it buddy." That was it. Prison sentenced continued.
Fast forward years later, my dad was dying. He was in stage 4 heart failure, dementia, renal failure, you name it. My cousin calls me up on Christmas and the talk turns to my parents. She said, "well, you know if you are ever just mad over things and how they are sick, just give me a call." I said, "well, I can tell you now...yeah, I'm mad. I'm mad over all the years my parents did for everybody else and we couldn't do things together. I'm mad because no one else stepped up. I'm mad because we can never get those years back." Her response? "Well, you'll just have to get over it." Outside of talking to her at dad's funeral, I haven't talked to her again. I got over it.
You can be certain when the estate is divided and the moolah is ready that all those siblings will be there with their hands out. My uncle was. In fact, before my grandfather died, he knew he was getting sicker and he said to my mom, "you know...instead of going to a nursing home I think I will just divide my money now between you and your brother -- 50/50. I will give him his half, and give you your half and then come live with you so you can take care of me." No mention of him going to stay half the time with his son.
I have only ever met 1 family who did it right. It was a lady with three adult sons and each one took her for four months to give the others a break. Each would then receive her pension while they were caregiving for her.
I have also came to the conclusion that much of this is the parent's fault. They raised these uncaring, shelfish children. Many find one child they know they can manipulate through guilt and they leech onto them. They know it won't work on the others, so they focus their attention on the child they can control. My grandparents knew they had mom in their pocket. I think it is a reflection of the kind of parents that are out there and it is very, very sad to say the least.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Ha! My sister won't speak to me or anyone else. She was not helping with Mom 300+ miles away--leaving a frail elder to wander around a large house with stairs for 10-12 hours and not seeing to any meal but supper. The bath she used had nothing but a sink and toilet, and she was staying in a converted study--no closet and no chair to view TV. I just took her back with me. She is mad about that but I cannot care too much because Mom is so much better off. I was upset when I found out that my sister had planned a work trip to my town and flew under the radar and stayed in my mother's room at the ALF, being careful not to be seen. Wonder what happened to the per diem? She got caught on the last day--all during a busy week when I did not visit from Sun. afternoon to Friday night. I talked with Mom several times on the phone and she never let on. Only after my sister left town did Mom tell me about it. I feel like she was coerced into staying quiet. I would certainly not have minded it my sister or her daughter visited, but all kinds of liability rules are in effect for the safety of the patients and she broke 'em all. Now tonight Mom says that my sister is planning to come "visit" again. She can be arrested for using the ALF like a motel. If she were sick and someone needed to sit with her, it would be me or someone I hired and then made sure that the director approved. So, she knows my husband pays for everything and does not offer to help. Reprehensible? Sure. Motivation? Beats me, but mental illness is at the top of the list. I take care of a family friend, too, and let myself be always last. I am so tired of other people not stepping up. Sometimes I wonder if... Well, never mind.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My sister who lives 5 hours away came and stayed with mother for a couple of weeks during the summer for the last two years. My brother who lives 6 1/2 hours away came to visit twice in two years; both times for less than an hour. He did come for the day while she was dying. My brother who lives 3 1/2 blocks away from me only came a half dozen times in 3 years (maybe); even though he supposedly moved home 10 years ago to "help" with mother. The steps never even called. The entire time I took care of mother I thought my brothers just didn't care. As she lay there dying and they came to sit with us I finally realized it wasn't because they didn't care. It was because they cared too much and were just unable to cope with the situation. Two big, strong men and they were afraid of being around mother.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have 7 sibliings. Only twice,for several months, did they cover for me - out of necessity. I had to have 2 major stomache surgeries, one year after the other. Someone had to help elderly father caregive bedridden mom. I had my 2nd surgery - at Hawaii. We thought I had ovarian cancer but fortunately it was not. But I get to stay in Hawaii close to a month! =) That was 4 yrs ago....Other than that NO.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My brother and his wife live 15 minutes away and they might as well be dead to me and my Mom. She has late stage AD. If I asked, they would agree to help, but it would be nice for them to offer!! My Mom took care of their bratty kids years ago and now she is ignored. I am her 24/7 caregiver and have accepted it. Getting old sucks......
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I wish...That's just a fantasy around here...When I daydream that's what I think about..
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Until recently my siblings never ever assisted me with our mother. Only since the last hospitalization have they stepped up a tad. It seems that each one of my 4 brothers and 1 sister purposely set their lives up so they could not have my mother come to their house to visit. I asked my mother to be my roommate (didn't want to strip her of her independence) because I was over there every weekend doing the laundry, shopping and housecleaning. Now she lives with me and my husband and is in her last stages of COPD. She is very difficult right now because she wants to "go home" and her time is not there yet. I can't get her to keep the oxygen on so I'm constantly dealing with "episodes" cause by lack of oxygen!! I am so sorry your do not have any support, I refuse to let my siblings off the hook, I have now given them a schedule of time to spend with mother so I can get breaks. So far, they are all participating and assisting. Some even apologize for being so blind and thoughtless!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hope you can get her interested, Care4Mama. I think she would like it after she got to know people.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks for the answers...the comment about the teeth cracked me up! Praying15.......how you have gone this long without a break stuns me! You must have the patience of a saint! Don't you just love the siblings with the great advice? I have one of those....totally clueless. Fortunately, though, my mom is financially stable so I do not have to pay for any of her expenses....and she has NO debt! I am her POA and have all of her paperwork...financial, etc., all organized so for that I am thankful...it took some work...but I got it done.

The thing is the needs of my mom are minimal at this point.....besides me making sure she gets her medications three times a day and my husband and I make her meals...she can get her own bowl of cereal, go to the bathroom, pick out her own clothes and get dressed by herself. She can even make a sandwich if everything is on the counter....she just chooses not to do it anymore....would rather get spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar and be done with it. I feel this is the time when this sibling should have mom over more......while she still knows who her grandchildren are. My mom has mild/moderate dementia. I do wash mom's hair and style it...she can shower by herself....but I do a better job washing her hair. Just trying to explain the whole picture here. It's the repeating of the same questions and comments over and over and the negativity that make me need the break. I watched her lose herself when she took care of my dad and I do not want that to happen to me......she was an awesome caretaker...my dad was lucky to have her....but she took on way too much...she wanted it this way.....and it took a toll on her mentally and physically.

I have three siblings...the only one I can sometimes count on doesn't live far away but I always have to be the one to ask..."Hey, can mom come for a visit?" Reply? "Yes, but not for two weeks like the last time, that's too long." Um, what does this sibling think I do day in and day out for weeks, months at a time? Oh, that's right I don't have to work outside of the home....I have an awesome husband who has a good job...so I shouldn't need a two week break from mom....that's what this sibling thinks....whatever.....he chose his life path and I chose mine. I might not work outside the house but I have a household to run and two teenagers that still need me. Um, yes, I know my limit and I know when I need a mental break from mom......you know what I mean?

This sibling isn't employed....and currently neither is the spouse...and mom can and does pay her own way....and so this sibling is available to give mom her medications and meals...mom doesn't need watched 24/7...she can even stay home by herself for a few hours here and there.......my sibling just doesn't want to deal with it...mom can be a downer and monopolizes the TV during these visits.....I understand the "downer" behavior and have dealt with it on and off since she moved in last year. She has no outside interests and watches TV all day long.....yeah....that's why my sibling doesn't want her over.....soooo, I'm supposed to deal with it all the time. She didn't even watch her granddaughter graduate from high school.....chose to stay home and not be a part of this wonderful milestone.

I'm visiting a senior center tomorrow....a place where mom can make some friends her age and socialize.......maybe she will love it? Or I'll get the silent treatment. Wish me luck! ;)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My brother comes down here for about a month in the winter and I take Mom up there to stay with him for at least one month, sometimes 2 months or longer (depending on her health) in the summer. He is an excellent caregiver, actually, probably better than me. But he talks too much and drives Mom crazy LOL.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Never. Baffles the mind. I have a brother and his wife who do not work 5 out of the 12 months a year (not during the winter months), they live 20 minutes from me and they have never offered to help with her (she's bedridden, in a diaper, end stage MS). They visit for about an hour every couple of months. I'm single...not additional help here. My sister-in-law even went so far as to tell me that they would not be helping with her care. They've stuck to their word.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

One sister came to stay with Mom twice. Not to give me a break but to visit with Mom. The second time she slept on her "good" ear....Mom got up in the middle of the night, fell into the shower...turning the hot water on as she fell and screamed for over 10 minutes before my sister heard. She was 10 feet away. I'll forgo vacations for a while. The other sister...who lives 5 miles away....NEVER. She can barely be bothered with her for more than 3 hrs a week.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Never. I doubt it has entered their mind. I haven't asked them, however, so it would be unfair to blame. Wouldn't it be nice if people just knew what to do naturally? Most probably don't consider it, and if they do, there is consideration about how to fill the needs of the parent and their own families at the same time.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Never! I have not had a vacation since the late 1990's. First my one parent's health failed, then the other. My sib has a condo in Hawaii that he is always urging me to "come and visit" but no plans for what to do with our parent, who relies on me for care. Not to mention that caring for my parents has left me practically bankrupt and I could not afford the airfare! He actually suggested that I hire a nurse to take care of my parent for a week, so I could get some r & r. When I asked if he would help defray the cost, he said I should get the money from my parent, who is very frugal and would part with teeth before paying for a nurse when they can get me for free.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

When I cared for my Mom by myself? Um, NEVER.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sorry....by letting their parent stay with them for a week or so......
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.