I am caregiver to both elderly parents. I live in their home and my siblings have made every excuse not to help. It is so hard and I now see the selfishness and unfairness to me, and my parents. I am burned out and my parents needs are increasing. One sister promised to come out more - and now she makes every excuse for not doing so. She wants my patrents to move into a home care facility near her so she would not be required to drive 2.5 hours every month to see them as they wont be around much longer as it is.

She does not want me to talk about any hardships or difficulties as it triggers guilt in her I suppose. So then I end up not saying anything or she jjust posits a bunch of history rewrites and lives in denial telling me to have compassion for my parents! Of all the twisted crap I have heard. I have been here 5 yrs now. The prefer to run from the responsibility and hardships of caring for them or at min. helping. They waltz in as preferred and take off as needed indicating it is my load to carry for the most part. If I say I am worn out or need help they get angry and start a fight. If I pretend nothing is wrong, they are happiest and still wont help. I am d*mned if I do or dont. If I update them on strokes or heart attacks or hosptalizations - they are angry I did not tell them ASAP but never speak to me on their own volition otherwise. I am caring for 2 elderly - how the hell am I to inform them when running back and forth caring for my parents? When I have told them they dont rush up to help. If I tell them they think I am complaining and feel guilt but turn it around that my informing them of their health is complaining. So they have painted me into a corner. If I say nothing, nothing will change - nor if I do. They only want the HAPPY parts of my parents which is seldom anymore.

They dont work. I dont understand how they can do this to my parents and me. am at the moment, sick with the flu after my mom suffered a stroke last wk. Neither close by sibling came up to help but got angry at me for feeling overwhelmed. Today one said she is not coming out more frequentl because she is doing too much for her adult children now & husband. Well ok then. Thanks.

Am I the only one who has stepped up to do this and has no help? Sure it is hard but i also feel these family members are selfish and lack compassion. They dont get a second chance to spend time with them when the die. Maybe they dont care. I dont know. I have no choice ATM. I also take the good parts. But all they take is the good. Caregivers are usually pissed on it seems. By those they care for and the fam. It seems we are expected to love every moment and never ask for help.

I dont get thank you cards or calls - only criticizing. My parents are not exactly nice to me.

I try to care for myself but I cant with both of them failing and being risky in their stubborn elderly behaviors. Is it wrong to say I am burned out.

Am I alone in this? Why dont people care or help? WTF is wrong with these people?

I can't even be sick - I have to cater to Dr appts for them. I am losing my balance. They fire everyone they hire and they are so negative all the time. Its ripping my life to shreds but I am trying so hard. I know this is not forever.

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Yesterday my brother (with whom my very difficult mother lives) came down to do a little handyman job for me. It turned into a 3 hour vent for both of us.
The main subject: Why are we (the two of us) doing so much to care for a woman who doesn't really give a rat's patoot about either of us? It's not the first time we've vented to each other and it won't be the last.
Some sibs just DON'T GET IT. No matter how much you talk to them, call them or shove the problem in their faces, they don't get it.
Brother has the worst of it, by far. I asked him, when we moved the folks to his place 17 years ago of he's have thought he'd still be doing this after this long---hesitant--and said "No. And the wrong parent died first". Dad was a peach and so easy to care for. Mother makes us insane. Brother copes better than I do, so I am really only a few hours twice a week (and I am timeout right now, so I got 2 weeks off-mom got mad at me :)
I KNOW it's so hard to look at your sibs and think "How HARD can a 10 minute phone call once a month even BE???" but mother is NOT on their radar, and that isn't going to change. They only step up if I blow a gasket (and then I feel horrible) and it doesn't last--they'll stop by for a minute or two, feel they've done their duty and leave for months on end.
I have no real answer. The "vote" to have mother placed in ALF last year fell flat and since then, brother has just made a few necessary changes to the apartment. He is now looking into installing a Hoyer lift in mother's room. She's pretty close to being bedbound/wheelchair bound. I can't get a PT job b/c I know once that step is taken, I am signed on for 20 hrs per week taking care of mom.
This is a subject seen over and over on these boards. I'm so sorry---b/c I am in the midst of it too. A lot of us are. I am just grateful mother doesn't live with me.
Helpful Answer (1)

Scared, I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through. I can only empathize. My sister is also a total nightmare.

I know things are impossible now, and I know that stuck, drowning feeling, but please, when you can gather the strength, think a little about what you will do when (God forbid) your parents are no longer here. In light of all you have sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice to care for them, can they sign the house over to you? I know it would be considered a gift under Medicaid, so they could add your name to the deed, so you would at least have that security.

I know you don't even have time to care for yourself, but at some point, if you can get away for an hour or two, schedule a free consult with an elder law attorney and ask him/her what he/she would recommend so that you are not totally desolate when (God forbid) your parents are no longer here.
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Scared, I'm sitting here alternating between wanting to cry and wanting to yell "oh go and [beep] yourself" at your sister before I slam the phone down. On your behalf, obviously.

I'm so, so sorry.

The only thing I can think of to say is that when you're under the weather things always look and feel worse. Trouble is, of course, that it's much harder and takes longer to get out from under the weather when you're so stressed. Hot lemon and honey, chicken soup and take a good bubbly bath soon as you can.

Who are the other siblings? Do they chip in their two cents, too?

Have you had a chance to build up any kind of relationship with the paid caregivers? I know our regular one was my rock and comfort when things were at their lowest ebb with my siblings. If you can do that, it will also make it easier to countermand your father's cancelling them - arrangements get made through you, informally or not, and not through him.

Hope you can get yourself a good supper, have that bath, and get to bed for some proper sleep. I know this kind of stress makes it harder to sleep, too - the bath will help. Big hugs to you.
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I have thought all these things through for a very long time but have had to take it one day at a time.

I lost my home after 20 yr marrige & divorce as well as my $ and couldnt get work. I live w my parents as the time aligned with thm needing help.

I work prn and its not much. I was going to MA school but cant afford it now.

My sistercomes up unannounced at leaves just long enough after tossing in her BS 2cents without basis. She has borderline personality disorder which makes people frustrated as hell with her undermining nonsense. She creates a sh!tstorm w me and plays mom and daddys little girl because he was indifferent to her as a kid so she has to make smoke & mirrors while going after everyone else.

I dont know what I want anymore. I am so sad watching mom decline and being attacked for ever saying a damned thing at all. The siblings have always hated me as I was the last of the group and whatever reasons they give. Its been hard.

I feel like my life is over. Do others ever feel like this?

I hate living in the north and I hate the cold. Short days. Short summer. Tied to people who are not suer nice to me. My mom is not the a** the rest of them are but she is no picnic, either. I am sure they think the same of me. My dad is really awful to me.

I don't know. I can't understand how some families get great parents and are there with and for them while I was handed this sh!t. Its the siblings that are hard and they cause so much ruckus.

I try to stay positive. Ive been sick w flu and cant even get to the dentist because of this crap.

Sorry I am very unhappy today.
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I do not see it as a solution because it is far from their home my sister would never visit them and my parents would not want to do that. I also promised my mom I wouldnt. I surely would hope my daughter would keep such a promise to me had we agreed upon it. But I feel guilt, fear and depressed. To me that would b throwing out my mom simply because my sister could care less and wants me out of the picture.
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I see a possible solution of going along with what one sister suggested (them moving into a home care facility near her). You've been on-duty for 5 years now. Time for someone else to take over.
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My heart goes out to you. You obviously are very burned out. And your sister sounds like a snake. But I'm going to ask you to put ALL of that aside for just a moment and ask yourself what you really want. It sounds like you love your parents and you are spending your health caring for them, but that you also take abuse from your siblings, and to a lesser extent, your parents. Why are you doing this? Did you just kind of fall into it? Do you need to live in their home for financial reasons? Do you dislike or distrust the idea of nursing homes? And what about your future? Have you had to stop work because of caring for them? If the stress takes you down and your health rapidly declines, will there be anyone there to care for you the way you care for them? What about your friendships? Have you been able to maintain any? (I know I now have no close friends because all my time was invested in my mom, and that makes me sad.) Do you have a job? Security? Retirement savings?

I know from personal experience that caregiving has a way of consuming your life before you even realize it's happening. So take a moment and think about *your life aside from caregiving, if there is one.

Is this a good thing for you to continue doing, or would your parents actually be better off in an assisted living facility where they would get their meals, meds, and recreation taken care of professionally? Is nursing home more appropriate if they need skilled nursing care?

If you think about it honestly and decide the best solution for you and your family is to continue caring for them, you MUST have help. You need paid caregivers if your siblings won't help. I would recommend you get as many hours as you can afford. You may even want to do "respite" at a nursing home for 30 days.

You also sound like you may be sleep deprived. Please don't think your sister has some sort of power to make your dad move; she doesn't. Her "meeting" is nothing official. You could also call a "meeting" if you desired to. The bottom line is, your dad's an adult, with the right to make his own decisions, even if the decision is not the best. He has the right to let his friends unduly influence him, as much as the next guy. He's going to decide whatever he decides and you can't control that. Don't add stress to your already incredibly stressful life trying to control things you can't control. Focus on controlling what you can: making your own decisions, deciding what decisions are best for you, not letting your sister's behavior affect how you feel about yourself and about life, getting enough rest and eating right, and as much as possible, living mindfully, aware that every day is a decision, and as much as possible being mindful of the consequences of those decisions.

Good luck to you. Many of us are in the exact same boat. I could write a book about my terrible, selfish sister.
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Thanks for replying and bumping the topic.

My sister said she was not going to come up anymore and then showed up without a note or text to me...just my dad.

Today she didnt want to get coffee w me and I sensed something was up. My dad asked me again today (after cancelling our caregiver visit today) if I would be home while he got the oil changed in his car. Second day in a row and I cancelled a mtg I had yest so he could go out to store. I could have gone for him.

So my sister goes out for coffee w out me. I get moms meds and coffee ready, get the paper etc and I take m dog for a walk. Get home and my sister is out for coffee and my dad asks me to stay here while he goes out.

I ased my dad to let me know the day before so I can plan and instead of saying ok, he got mad at me. Im like I didnt marry her! You did and I do enough! I didnt say that.

So he leaves and I text my sister. I explained what was going on and she texted back she felt bad for the hired caregiver who was cancelled. Nothing about me though. She then says she is meeting with my dads best friend later who is much younger than my dad. To talk about my dad and her thinking he needs to go into a home...and its as though she is recruiting him to tell me dad. WHY was I not invited to this meeting? Why wasnt I asked first? Furthermore, my dad would be outraged to know this! This is his BEST FRIEND!

My sister has no issue meddling. She does not live here nor want to help. She wants someone else to.

Then she does this bullshit behind my dads back and certainly mine.

She has no issue doing shit like this and it is so upsetting to me. I cannot trust her.

I asked her not to do this it would ruin her and my relationship as well as my dad and his best friends. She will snake her way out of it. Saying it is all my fault and she has a right to do it. She doesnt care for my parents...I DO. My dads best friend has no business in his private issues. There are some things that are sacred. My sister is a meddling asshole with no understanding of team effort and transparency.
Helpful Answer (0)

Dear Scaredtaker,

I'm so sorry to hear about everything you are going through. You are not alone. So many people with siblings have very similar stories including myself. I also felt alone in caring for both my parents. What you are feeling is terrible burn out, anger and resentment. Its not easy being the only sibling that has stepped up to the plate and taken on this enormous responsibility. And our feeling are hurt when there is no validation or acknowledgement from our siblings. Its makes matters 10 times worse when they have the nerve to criticize us.

I know its not easy. But please try and get help from the community. Try to access any community resources, church services, counseling, support groups, anything you can find to help you and your parents. Trying to get help and understand from siblings sometimes is like trying to get blood from a stone! Its impossible. I think the sibling that stays to take care of their elderly parents is normally the more sensitive one. And I was highly sensitive my whole life, so taking care of my parents has even been more overwhelming. Now that my dad has passed, I feel terrible regret for not getting help sooner. My dad needed a caregiver that had something left to give, but I was so burned out. I even broke down and yelled at my dad over a haircut. I regret this deeply. And wished I had found a better balance.

Take care my friend and I hope you find the help that will give you some peace.
Helpful Answer (2)

Scaredtaker, you aren't alone with the sibling situation. Mine don't get mad at me. It's really like they don't care. When my father was dying, one showed up at the hospital, the other at the funeral. One brother does call every week or two now, but he doesn't even talk when he's on the phone. It's weird. Mom said she talks and he doesn't say hardly a word. I know he feels it's an obligation and not a pleasure.

I don't blame my brothers, really. My parents never pulled the family close and it's too late to do it now. I don't expect help from them, so I'm never disappointed by them. I do what needs to be done and let them know things they need to know. Their relationship with their mother is up to them, so not something I worry with.
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Scaredtaker, I am pushing this post back up to the top of the forum, hopefully you will get some answers.   Wish I could answer but I don't have siblings.
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