...such siblings deserve the resentment they get. Functional families kick in money from afar for services rendered, whether by "professionals" or kin. Words of gratitude are like the "thoughts 'n prayers" after mass shootings that achieve nothing. I think the idea the caregiver made a "choice" is cheap pop psychology that denies that someone -- or many -- must step up to the plate. If some do not, but apply heaps of "How's mom?"s, the grins on their faces when confronted with their apathy are telling and should be seen for what they are: strangleholds. It's sad that our parents didn't want us to be this way, but it's even sadder if we lose so much dignity as to blame ourselves for making the noble "choice" of caring and then being abandoned by one's brothers and sisters for making this "choice".

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You have every right to feel anger and resentment.

I’ve been there.

My sibs offered gratitude in the beginning. Over time, even their gratitude disappeared. (Consider yourself lucky?)

I think they were (silently) thankful. Not thankful to me, but thankful that it wasn’t them.

They offered little time, zero gratitude and zero money. Actually, one of them tried to get money from my parents, so that’s almost zero time, zero gratitude, less than zero money.

How does my story end? I was the one that gave the love and received the love associated with caregiving. That was worth it all.

My parents received all their care in their home (and mine).

Some people discuss charging their parents rent. I didn’t. Never even thought to. My time was free of charge also. Did it cost me to be a caregiver? Sure! The dollar value of all that would have been significant, but I never thought to add it up.

Do I have any regrets? Never, I’d do it all, a thousand times again, with even less sibling support and higher expenses.

You may not feel like it is worth it now, but I hope someday you look back on this experience with a sense gratitude and pride. Gratitude that you were able to do this for your loved one. The others aren’t even part of that equation.

I miss them SO much. They were my wonderful parents. I miss them every day and always will. My love for them is unwavering, even though they are gone.

I now have a great relationship with one of my siblings, great relationships with many nieces and nephews, an okay relationship with one of my siblings, and we won’t talk about the others.

You get to to decide whether you forgive them. You don’t have to. For some, I won’t.

At end of the day, everything I did was for my parents (not for my siblings). In the process I grew stronger, tougher, more capable, more empathetic and more experienced. By choice.

I’m grateful and proud that I could be, and was, there for them.
Helpful Answer (2)
mitch101 May 2019
thank you. thank you so much.
Yes, I understand the resentment but I chose not to be mad at my brothers. One lives 8 hrs away. He raised my sisters son who had physical and neurological problems. Meaning his own children got shorted. Now, he and wife have his MIL to deal with. My other brother, is in the wind. Nice guy, just doing his own thing. The one thing both did say was "thanks for taking care of Mom". Which meant a lot.

Really, need to let it go. It will only eat at you. I wound make them aware though, that they share money wise in anything Mom needs. Also, ask that they give u some time for yourself. This will also make them aware of what caring for someone means.

What goes around comes around.
Helpful Answer (3)
mitch101 May 2019
i really appreciate your reply. thank you.

You sound angry and frustarted and I get it.

You made a choice, somewhere along the line to cargeive for someone (your bio doesn't show much) and your sibs are not stepping up.

I agree--it takes a VILLAGE to care for an elderly person. And a lot of times, the VILLAGE won't show up, can't show up, ignore the elephant in the room and it makes you mad.

I am not 'allowed' to do ANY care for my mother. She lives with my brother and he directs all her care. He's not even her POA but she defers to him on everything, meanwhile begging everyone of the rest of us to please take her in with us.

Yet when we've tried to step in and help--YB has an stroke. HE is going to care for mom according to his choices. Period. I think he's abusing her. I have called APS. I have told her over and over when they COME, to ask to be removed from the home and we'll deal with it. They come out and mother hems and haws, and says things were blown out of proportion and she's fine.

I would do ANYTHING for mother. Brother will not allow it. My sibs are all MIA as this has gone on for 15 years and they are sick of it. (As am I, but one of the reasons she's with him is b/c she's close to me. And I am not allowed to be in his home, unless he says so.)

My sibs would also do anything, along with throwing money at the problem. The 'stranglehold' in our family is also the primary caregiver.

So--you can't put us all in one basket. we have a lot of dynamics to work with.

As far as 'thoughts and prayers'--well, what CAN we do? It does sound trite, but prayers are good going out there--we can only make our own "niche" in this world better.

You sound so angry and I am so sorry. Been there. Am there. What are you looking for, exactly? More help from sibs? More compassion? More money? More respite?

Come back and be more specific. Anyone doing elder care is exhausted and depressed, I've found.
Helpful Answer (6)
mitch101 May 2019
very thoughtful reply. thank you. but i never made a "choice". that word should be banned from the caregiver vocabulary.
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