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My dad passed about 2 years ago and my mom still resides at the house. She has MS and does not drive and depends on my brother (executor of the will) and his wife for doc appointment, groceries etc. They live 5 minutes from her.


My wife and I live 50 minutes away and call and visit every other weekend. My other brother really doesn't care to help her out like me and my other brother. With all her ailments and refusing to go to a care facility, I am looking to take a job across country but feel guilty if I do so. This will put more burden onto my one brother and his wife. My mom refuses to help herself. She needs to see a psychologist but refuses. She sleeps all day and is up all night. No exercise to speak of and is over weight. She is currently in a hospital for kidney stones and will go to a rehab because she is weak.


I love my mom but how can I help her if she refuses to help herself? She is 73. She could live for another 10 years like this. Am I being selfish to move across country? Should I tell my other brother to step up and help his mom like both his brothers do? Thanks.

The issue isn’t with the brother who doesn’t help. The issue is for the brother and his wife who are five minutes away and are doing so much, do they want to change anything or are they happy to continue in this? The brother who isn’t involved can’t be made to change or become involved, he’s an adult and has made his decision here. But mom can’t refuse a new plan for her care if no one is willing to constantly be on call, she’ll have to change. You should take the job if it’s what it best for you and your family. Have a serious talk with super involved brother and his wife about whether that want to go on the way things are or if they want changes. Sounds like they are being run ragged and it will only get worse for them if no one is willing to stand up to mom
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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lkdrymom Jan 13, 2020
This is true. The unhelpful brother is the smart one because he understands what a boundary is. Why do you and your brother feel they have to do everything for her? There is no law that says you have to make her bad choices work for her. Let her suffer a few self made consequences. Tell local brother he needs to be unavailable more often.

Make the move if it is best for your immediate family.
(4)
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Make your move. It will make no difference at all to Mum's refusal of help.

I would not hesitate to move if it meant better opportunities for me and my future. You are not responsible for your mother's condition.
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Reply to Tothill
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She could live for another 20 years, my mother is 95. Unfortunately, you cannot force a sibling to come to your mothers aid. Has any consideration been given to placing her in a home? Or, hiring a firm to come in daily and help her manage the various needs? There are so many firms today that do that.

As for your job, I would do what is best for your family and your future. There are options available for your mother, why not explore them?

Good Luck!
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Reply to DollyMe
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Your mother is pretty young and unless she has cognitive issues, she is the one driving the bus here--she is in charge of her own health and happiness.

If she doesn't care to take care of herself, she has no right to demand that you and your siblings do that for her. Your brother who doesn't step in sounds like he's set up some "healthy boundaries" in his relationship with your mom.

There is a book called Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud that might help you and your brothers clarify what one does and doesn't owe a parent in terms of attention, especially when there are mental health issues involved.

I would take the job.

PS, that rehab setting can turn into a permanent placement; there is a very good opportunity right now for you to tell mom that you won't be around to cater to her needs and perhaps she needs to look into a permanent facility so that she can get the care she deserves.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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MS is a debilitating desease. You have good times and bad times. My cousin was diagnoised at age 50 and passed at 70 with respiratory problems. The cost for medication is awful. Mom may not hit the criteria for LTC.

I suggest you try Medicaid in home care. She will need to be low income. She may get an aide for certain hours a day. They provide transportation.
Office of Aging may have resources too, like transportation. By getting her set up you can take that job knowing you did what u could.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I am sorry that you and your family are struggling with this situation. MS can be quite challenging. I feel for your mom but she has to face the fact that caregiving is a huge responsibility and ends up becoming a burden on family members.

The family has to decide what is best for your mom not only now but for future years. Your mom may live many more years. At least look at assisted living facilities for her.

This gives everyone their independence while mom is being cared for. Your mom has gained her independence by not having to rely on one of her children.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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MJ1929 Jan 15, 2020
Exactly! She is not independent at all -- she is dependent on others to help her, making her think she's independent.

Her current hospitalization is a good time to consider moving her to a NH.
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You have to live your life and though you do not want to burden your brother who lives the closest you have to do what u need to do for your career.
Encourage your other brother but at end of day he will do whatever he feels which could be nothing.
Maybe a compromise with your brother who is there is to send money to help with the cost of her care or arrange for food to be delivered etc to your brother and his wife who sacrifice so much for mom who does not receive help well.
Prayers for your decision to give u peace one way or the other
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