My sibling is avoiding my calls because he doesn't want to share expenses for our father's care. What can I do?

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Last September I needed to move my father into assisted living. His social security doesn't cover all the costs. My husband and I cover the rest of rent, personal expenses, insurance, etc. plus a huge expense to move him. My brother says he can't help out financially, but lives in a nice house, drive expensive car, etc. and now he is avoiding my calls, even though I have never pressured him to help. Just asked if he could give ANY support financially. Very sad that I have now lost a relationship with my brother and not sure how to salvage. Both Christmas and Fathers Day my brother told my dad he sent him a gift card, which my dad never got either. Think he is trying to give the appearance to my dad he is helping out, but he's not.

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You and your brother have equal rights to decide what you will do for your father. You each exercised those rights. You made one decision; he made a different decision. I doubt that there is anything you can do to change that fact.

If you are in a position to think it is ONLY $1,000 per month, you should be grateful for your financial security. I don't know how you can judge anyone else's financial situation without being privy to the details.

You apparently had the kind of relationship with your father that makes you want to help him now. I don't think you can automatically assume that your brother did the same.

If you want a relationship with your brother, accept that he is not going to help. And if you want to write him off because he made a different decision, accept that he is not going to help. Then decide if you want to be swallowed by anger and resentment. Make that decision based on what is best for you, not on anyone else's needs.
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Amy, your father's living expenses should be paid for by your father. Have you looked into what assistance he is eligible for?

If my brothers asked me to pitch in to cover mom's $12,000 per month private pay NH, I'd have to say no. I live in a nice coop and have a relatively new car, but I have a mortgage and am approaching retirement that I need to save for.

We're you brought up with the expectation that you would pay for your parents' old age care? I certainly wasn't
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Amy,
I'm sure others will chime in here but I'd suggest you look into Medicaid if what you are saying "He only has SS". If his SS is too much to qualify, then seek the advice of an Elder Attorney for a "Miller Trust." This allows for him to qualify for Medicaid and when he passes, the trust goes to the State. This would take the burden off your relationship with your brother and you two can get back to what really matters - your family and relationship with your father before he passes. Hugs
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Dear Amy,

I know you are trying to do all you can for your dad. It is hard to get siblings to help out with time or money. I struggled with this too. How? How do you get a sibling to care about what you have done for your dad? But also get them to contribute. I was so angry. Two of my three siblings did as much as they could, but in my mind, it just was never enough compared to my contributions.

I know its extremely hard to say "let it go." He clearly does not want to help if is ignoring your calls. It hurts. For myself, the moment my dad passed away the anger went out of me. I realized I couldn't get blood out of a stone. As much as I wanted things to be different, they weren't. No matter how angry or sad I was, they weren't going to change their point of view.

For myself, I sort of wished I talked to a counsellor or joined a support group for caregivers sooner. I needed to learn to manage my expectations. My siblings weren't going to change and neither was I. I just wish I didn't let the anger and resentment consume me in the end. I feel it affected my ability to care for my dad and myself.
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Amy, you really can't do anything to change your brother's response. You got your answer. He is not going to help with your father financially. Living in nice house and driving expensive car? My cousin would not take his mother, my aunt, to live with him in his new, fancy, 5 bedroom house. He drove a fully loaded, very expensive SUV. He ended up in foreclosure because his expensive house was mortgaged to the hilt, he had no money to pay for the balloon payment at 5 years, and his expensive SUV was leased and repossessed for non-payment. So outward appearances can be deceiving. Telling your father he sent gift cards? Well, if they never arrived, hopefully he kept the receipts and got them reissued ( yes, I'm being sarcastic). I have a brother that I love, but he and his wife are VERY fond of telling everyone all that they do for family...they don't. My brother's father-in-law lives with him and his wife, yes. But he has 3 pensions and pays for part of the mortgage, my sister-in-law's car, $500 monthly to both his adult grandchildren...you can't change other people. If you asked about money more than once, your brother decided you were "nagging". Let it go. Texas is pretty awful about financial support in AL. No Medicaid expansion hurt lots of folks. You might consider a smaller board-and-care if you're taking up most of the slack or get Dad on a Community Waiver for Medicaid. I could not have afforded to pay for my mother's stuff either. And maybe brother is worried about further spending sprees with scammers being the reason there is no money based on your Dad's history and your posts.
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Listen to Jeannegibbs. We are so far down that road. Once you're into the anger and resentment, it's hard to let go of it. I hate for Dad that my siblings and I aren't speaking now. But I have to say that for now, not speaking with any of them is how I stay out of the anger and resentment. It's all so very sad.
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I cared for my husband until he died and then I cared for my Partner for nearly 8 years. I am a gluten for punishment. NO, not really, I loved my husband dearly and he died after a very short hospice setting. My partner had children who refused to call him or to visit him as long as I was in the picture. They would have placed him in a nursing home and he was so fearful of that. Well my partner died 2 years ago. Before he became ill, he transferred everything to me. House and all assets. Thank God he did. 2 yrs later and I am now faced with a son who made it through brain surgery and is more than likely to be struggling with MS now. I sold the house in Oregon and moved to Texas to be near by son and help his wife with his care. My money is in the bank and I insist that I will not want my children to care for me financially. As elders, we need to start taking better care of our financial picture so that the children are not left with a BIG ZERO. I am a healthy 75 year old. I realize my money may not last, but I am sure doing my best. I gave away everything I owned, furniture, antiques etc to the church. I came with my clothes and 2 yorkies. I no longer have any love for personal items. Of course I took photos etc of the family history. Again, Elders need to take a better look at how they will be hurting their children by being broke. I did not want my kids to have to empty a house full of THINGS kids no longer want anymore. It is not up to my kids as this is MY responsibility. The elderly are living longer and need a financial plan BEFORE they get to old to make that plan,
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He has made it clear that he won't help, so accept it. I have a sibling who won't contribute a penny and does less than the minimum in terms of visits but ironically is an activist in the family values and pro life movements!
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Lots of great input and things for further reflection. I appreciate each of your perspectives and I have made note of them. I thought as much regarding my brother to just let it go. I have only asked him twice for financial help in 9 months. Again, taking away some great recommendations on things I need to plan for, look into for financial assistance and emotional support. Thank you!
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What is your plan when your dad's care needs increase?

You can't know what your brother's financial situation is unless you do his taxes, and even then....

Does he have children? A wife? This all becomes very complicated. We often talk here about how you CAN'T make siblings care, do caregiving or contribute. There are laws in place to force PARENTS to care for their children, because that is a legal responsibility that you take on when you have a child. But there is no legal obligation for a child to provide care for their parent; there are "filial responsibility" states, however, and you might want to see if you all live in one. Then, if brother is truly financially able, you might be able to get a judgement against him to provide monies for care.

However, that would destroy the relationship further.
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