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Both refuse to participate in any way and live within 30 minutes. But continue to wage psychologically damaging speech via text email and phone providing mere excuses as to why they cannot ... fill in the blank. Both parents are of sound mind and clearly are hurt.


I live 2 hours away and have rearranged my responsibilities to pick up the needed slack to provide basic safety and security for our parents.


It's painful and the two siblings really need education and probably therapy to understand the damage they are causing. Thank you

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Some siblings are great, some not so much.

We have absolutely no power to change anyone else’s behavior. All we can change is our reaction to it. Oh, how I know how frustrating that can be!

We naturally want to try and resolve issues but it isn’t always possible.

The truly sad part is, our hearts can be in the right place. We treat them with dignity and respect and expect the same to be returned to us.

Rotten siblings are not capable of returning respect to anyone else.

Our problem can be that we feel because we are family that they will come to their senses and start to treat us like family.

I hate to burst anyone’s bubble but it doesn’t always happen that way.

We should not automatically expect any other behavior than what they have shown us.

Just look at their lives. They act the same way with their spouses, which is why they end up divorced. My sister in laws were smart to leave my brothers!

They even act that way with their children which is why they don’t have good relationships with them.

So why on earth would they treat their siblings with kindness? They won’t!

My advice is to stop expecting them to. It’s terribly sad but it is what it is and won’t ever be anything more.

You don’t have to like the situation or even like them. You can end the relationship and hopefully find peace.

You deserve better. We all do. It won’t change a thing if we allow them to steal our peace and joy.

Look for peace and joy in other places, not your siblings.

Let me close by saying that we can verify other’s actions.

A million years ago, when my children were young, I knew a woman who proposed that we help each other out by taking turns sitting with each other’s children once a week.

I told her that I would think about it.

Sure, it sounded nice but I would have never left my children with a person I didn’t know very well without a reference.

I decided to watch very closely how she treated her own children.

She was awful with them! That’s all I needed to know before telling her that I wasn’t interested in swapping babysitting with her.

Since she didn’t treat her own children well, I didn’t give her a chance with mine.

Siblings can be the same way in our lives. On the surface, we want to believe that we can have a warm relationship, but delve deeper and they can be more trouble than they are worth, so you’re better off without them.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Don’t listen to anything rude, you don’t have to read texts or take calls. Accept your siblings choices, they are adults free to do or not do as they please. They likely won’t change and it’s not on you to try and make that happen. Don’t discuss it with your parents, it’s never good to be in the middle of parent/adult children messes. One of the best gifts I ever gave myself was to accept what was with my siblings and stop expecting it to be different
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Perhaps you should be asking how you can set up basic safety and security for your parents instead. Without specifics, its hard to advise now on that aspect. However, It's obvious you will not be getting any real help from your siblings - something you cannot change. People advise to let it go, but I know firsthand how hard this is to do because it hurts DEEP. That said, do what you can, but encourage your parents to see an elder care attorney now to put their finances in order for the future. Set up wifi cameras so you can manage from your smartphone. Hire some help for them with errands and housekeeping needs. A geriatrician can help with their medical needs and keep you abreast. DON'T try to do it all yourself - over time it will take it's toll on you and fill you with resentment. Best of luck on your caregiver journey.
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Reply to NYCmama
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The sad sibling song again... You are most certainly NOT alone. This happens all too often. The saddest part is if/when the end comes, they are there with their hands out to get whatever spoils are left. Other sad siblings are just no-shows or nasty kids, but take it to an extreme, butting in, criticizing without offering to help, accusing and threatening or following through with legal action.

Initially my 2 brothers were somewhat helpful and "on board", but mostly with making the decisions about what to do with mom (tried the aides to keep her in her own place, but she refused to let them in after less than 2 months, then had to find/agree on MC place.) One traveled up a few times, getting reimbursed for the flights or gas to get here, to help with the move and then the condo. The other showed up maybe once at the condo. ME spent about 1 3/4 YEARS, making multiple 3 hr round trips to get it clear, clean and repaired! Last trip by OB revealed that very abusive little boy I grew up with was still abusive, but not little. Had ZERO contact with him after that. The other wasn't quite as bad, but very clueless and could be verbally abusive.

After incidents with them, I started an email to each one, and periodically updated or added to it. It allowed me to get everything out, but I never sent them. I realized my anger was only hurting me and sending the emails would never change anything, other than to perhaps make it worse!

The really sad part was having mom ask about them and not being able to give her a real answer. OBs last visit, she was SO overjoyed to see him, yet he couldn't manage another visit while he was still here. YB was sometimes just clueless but could be verbally abusive too. After I stopped asking him if he was going to attend special occasions (it would take multiple attempts to get a Y or N!), I really don't think he was visiting either.

We can't change them, only how we react to them. I would just stop asking for anything from them and cut off communication. If they send crap, block them. It isn't worth the aggravation. Focus on you and your parents. Assess their real needs and assets, and get them to hire whatever help they need that you can't provide or don't have time for (yard maintenance, repairs, etc.) If they truly need help in the home, hire some aides to provide some assistance - don't try to do it all yourself. Meanwhile, do some research on ALs in the area, so that when their needs become too much to handle in the home, you have a plan for their future. It's great to want to stay in your own home to the end, but it can be overwhelming for one person - we can't provide 24/7 care for one much less two! If they need that much care at home, it will become more expensive to remain in the home than to move to a facility (just 24/7 care for one can easily cost more than a facility, but you also have to add in the cost of the home - utils, food, RE Tax or rent.)

Anger towards them will only make you feel worse. Put them out of mind and move on without them. Try to make happy times with your parents and not dwell on their hurt by the others being stupid.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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Stop trying to fix people who won't be fixed. People do what they're willing to do and nothing more, and often they let you down. Worrying about it is wasted energy.

Your folks either need to rely on others for the assistance they require, or they need to move someplace where their needs will be met.
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Reply to MJ1929
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Hi, Onmyownyetagain.
Your siblings are refusing to help out and are being nasty about it because they are hedging their bets. The parents have started needing SOME help and your siblings know that situation will change at some point. Your parents needs will increase and become more demanding. Your siblings are making sure they won't have to become caregivers.
They're laying the foundation for their refusal to help now and you are being established as the designated caregiver. So when your parents' needs increase, they won't have to take any of it on. By making the excuses to your parents directly why they can't help out and being nasty about it now, keeps them off the hook later. In fact, it keeps them from even being near the hook. Your parents will not ask them for anything and will demand more from you as their needs increase with time. This happens all the time in families. My own included.
You can't do anything to change their minds or their refusal to help out with mom and dad.
What you can do since mom and dad are fortunately still of sound mind, is bring them to a lawyer and make you their POA. Then they can start transferring assets into your name. You are the only one willing to care of them so you deserve to be taken care of too.
This way if at some point they need to be in a nursing home, you will be able to inherit what is yours by rights because you're the only one willing to care for them.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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rovana Mar 9, 2021
A pay as you go caregiver contract is probably safer. Asset transfer may impact Medicaid and counting on inheriting may not work if their estate goes to cover their bills as they age.
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You should honestly ignore the siblings and what they say and do. They are not going to step up. The reasons are so much extraneous chaff that is simply distraction. You need now not to be focused on THEM, but rather on yourself firstly and your parents secondly.
It is clear you are on your own here. Think of yourself as an only child, as though the others didn't exist because for PRACTICAL purposes they do not. Then get on with it. Comb out what duties you CAN take on and what duties you will not be able to. Get together with and discuss with your parents their assets and their option.
Ignore the siblings. They have bowed out and are off stage. YOU remain, and your parents as well. It now becomes your play. Yes, it is painful. So much in life is.
As to therapy and education, unless we are parents that is something we decide on for ourselves, not something our siblings recommend (if they are wise).
I sure do wish you good luck. When my bro fell ill it was only him and me together, trying to figure out EVERYTHING. Sometimes I am happy about that. We see stories here more of siblings at war than of cooperation in times of need.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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What is it Mom and Dad need that siblings feel they cannot provide?

First, parents need to stop asking if all they get is excuses. I would block siblings calls and texts if it hurts them that much.

If your parents are living in their home and need more care, maybe its time for an Assisted Living. If its needing help with upkeep on the home and meals prepared maybe Independent Living with meals and activities provided is better.

Now our parents seem to be living in their 80s and 90s, staying in their homes is not an option when others have to pick up the slack.
If AL and IL is too expensive for them, then u need to look for other options. If they have any savings, spend it on someone to come in and help a few hours a day. Someone to clean the house, mow the lawn. Because I will bet when they pass those siblings will be right their for "their share".
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Reply to JoAnn29
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We don’t know how to fill in the blanks in your posting.

It sounds like you are having a very difficult situation with your siblings.

Many of us have crappy siblings. I am so sorry that you are dealing with this.

I certainly hope things will improve for you and your family.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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What is required to provide basic safety and security for your parents? You say they are of sound mind. You don't say, but I guess, that they live alone in their own home. What help are they asking for? Would you say that your parents themselves recognise what their care needs are?

Your siblings live much closer to your parents than you do, but for reasons which you don't accept as valid they decline to give your parents support. Why?

Could you explain what your siblings are saying to your parents and/or to you, and what psychological damage you feel is being done to whom?

Your screen name of onmyownyetagain suggests that either your siblings or somebody else has let you down in the past. I don't mean to pry, but would it help us to understand anything about that?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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