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I have 2 brothers. One lives just outside of town, about half an hour away, the other is a thousand miles away. My husband quit his job to help me out at home. Now we're both burned out. My near by brother is unwilling to step in and spend much time with them, preferring to use our parent's money to bring in more respite workers (he does have POA for property).


Husband and I gave up our home, our jobs and our independence. We're paid a weekly stipend for caregiving, and live with free room and board. I've asked him to step in and give us a break, and also asked for an increase in the stipend. But, as I said, he'd rather pay additional outside workers more than we're paid (from our parent's bank accounts) than volunteer to help, or put himself out in any way...or contribute any of his own financial resources to their care.
Any suggestions as to how to reason with him? It feels very unfair to us, and to my parents, to only help by throwing their money around.

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Your parents were responsible for planning their own care and are still responsible for paying for it. You were happy for them to pay you a limited amount, with certain benefits, and solve the problem that way; that was your choice. Your brother was not happy to do that; that was his; and I can't see how he can be expected to feel differently about it now. Why should he?

What do you expect of him, exactly?

If you feel that the amount of compensation you and your husband receive in return for the support you provide is not enough, or you feel that you can't sustain this incredibly hard work, then you are free to to say "enough" and make a different plan for your parents in consultation with the rest of the family.
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Ditto to the above advice. You can't make your brother help. It's a tough job and not many are cut out for it. I think it is appropriate for your parent's money to be used on their care. Including paying you and paying for respite care. Get as much respite care as you can so our burnout does not become unmanageable.

You may wish and want your brother to behave differently but you can't make him so you need to accept his choice. Make peace with it. Let go of the anger or resentment that you may be feeling about it.

I realize this may not be the advice you were looking for but it just might be time for you to change your mindset a little bit and I think you'll feel happier.

Good luck.
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Think about you & your husband did—you gave up your jobs & your lives to care for your parents.

You admit you are burnt out.

And you are asking your brother to give up his life.

Why? If your parents have the funds, why not hire professional caregivers? NO ONE should give up their lives in this situation. If your parents require 2 people with them all the time, to the point where neither can work outside the home, then something needs to change.
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If your parents are in their 90s, I am guessing you are both in your 60 or 70s. Do you have any income of your own. Retirements, SS? Maybe it is time to move out, and let the paid CGs do the job, Can you afford your own place and bills? Get on with your lives, and visit as family, not CGs
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I made this comment before...40 hour work weeks with workers comp insurance to cover for injuries. What is your worth and how many hours are you providing? You can even calculate minimum wage in this minus reasonable monthly rent. Is your quality of living akin to slavery? If so bow out.
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NeedHelpWithMom Aug 9, 2019
What a smart answer! Okay, I am a slave.

You better believe when this is over I will be singing the ‘old spiritual’ tune that I see so many people dancing to at our jazz festival here in New Orleans. Can you guess the tune? Oh, Happy Day! I hope all of you will join me with the chorus when that day comes! Hahaha
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Your parents worked hard and saved so they would be okay in their old age. Their money should be used for their care.

If you are burned out then it is time for the plan to change. Your brother sounds like he is looking at this realistically and what he is saying he will arrange with respite caregivers is awesome.

Tell him to get it arranged and plan your vacation to rest up and decide if you are willing to continue to sacrifice your entire life to your parents or is it time to be a daughter and advocate.
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It appears you didn't get buy-in from this brother about hands-on care before you launched into this care plan. Now you're burnt out and upset that you can't get him to join you in the burnout? I'm sorry, but I don't blame him. Accept the outside help and give yourselves a break and don't fight with your brother over it. He's not "throwing money around", he's participating in the way that he choses, since he didn't agree to your way up front. I'm sorry but you're the one being unfair.
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Many of us have siblings that don’t help for various reasons. They can’t be forced. Make the arrangements that need to be made without their input.

You know yourself how hard it is to be caregiver. I do too. I’ve done it since 2005.

If your brother is offering money, that’s generous. My brothers don’t offer anything. If your parents have income, use it. You and your husband can resume your lives without caregiving.

Your parents will accept your decisions made regarding their care.
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I’d accept those respite workers your brother prefers to bring in. You can use that time to gain perspective in this situation and hopefully come up with some solutions to improve things for all of the family.

You, your husband and your brother aren’t interested in providing hands on care for your parents but your brother will make sure caregivers are hired to do so? That’s wonderful!

You can go back to visiting your parents as a daughter and focus on you and your husband’s own life and future 🙂
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It is perfectly reasonable to hire caregivers and pay for them with parents' money.  Why not?  And the only situation where a child might have a hands-on caregiver obligation would be a very extreme situation where there was literally no other choice between that and the gutter for them.  I get it that they don't want to be placed, BUT life is like that. We all have to do things we do not want to do. Fairness all around is the aim, not the preferences of an elder. So, could I suggest your asking brother for respite caregivers to come in and you and your husband decide what you want to do going forward?  It sounds like you have reached the end of this particular path - more help is needed, you are burnt out, time to think about placement. Generally these days, longterm decline, growing chronic medical problems, mean that caregiving the aged has changed from what it once was. Homecare becomes unfeasible unless you have the money to turn your home into a hospital. I think it is your brother's right, in these circumstances, to refuse to do hands-on caregiving, because there is the possibility of subcontracting care.
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