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I am the youngest of four siblings and the primary caretaker for my mom who is experiencing dementia. As we all know this is a 24 hour job. My siblings all live within 10 minutes of my home and only
stop by on holidays. You would think that they would at least offer to keep my mom
for at least a few days but they always come up with excuses. I am so tired and
my husband is fed up with the lack of family support. When I mention to them that I need a break and that this is their mother too but they just act like they just don't have time. Not sure what else I can do to get them engaged in her care. Any suggestions?

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I have the same issue. But my suggestion is to let it go. Find help through respite services, senior services, etc.

Admit you are doing too much and risking your health and marriage. Place mom in assisted living or a dementia unit. I can't believe the difference in my mom since I moved her from assisted living to a dementia unit. There is so much more interaction. You can visit every day. Someone else can do the laundry, cooking and planning.

Admit you cannot control others. They are not answerable to you. They have decided to put their lives or marriages first. It is their decision.

I had a sibling that complained that I should visit x number of times while she was living with Mom. I tried to talk her out of living with Mom after Mom had lived with me, because I knew how hard it was and was no longer willing to risk my sanity dealing with it. I don't understand how siblings think they can decide for someone else how they live their life.
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Good luck! I'd find a professional before I left my Mom with my no show siblings.. They are not qualified to care for her needs. It's confusing enough for the patient not having you around, let alone someone who has no idea how to handle a dementia parent..
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These are all such great suggestions. I am definitely going to use these ideas because my husband and I are at our wits end. Can't thank you enough for your support!
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Don't just mention! Set a date say the end of May (or whenever) TELL them you will be gone for 2 weeks and who wants Mom. You could also check on in home care and give them the estimate and tell them you need payment the week before you leave. Some nursing homes offer respite care so that might be an option.

You absolutely have to take care of yourself and your family. Siblings that don't have the time should be expected to come up with the funds to allow you some time to yourself. Start now that you will be taking 2 weeks off each year and a 4 day weekend every 3 months. This gives them plenty of time to make their arrangements and also lets them know you mean business about respecting yourself and your time with your own family.

You can do this!
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I certainly understand your frustration. I've seen this often - one person ends up doing all the work while the others turn a blind eye to the need for assistance. I don't know if these suggestions will help, but I hope they will.

1. Make a list of all that you do, ranging from financial, legal, housekeeping, meal prep, etc. Then think about what your siblings can do.

2. Try to meet with your siblings, perhaps one at a time or all together, depending on the family dynamics. Sometimes just meeting with one person takes the feeling of pressure off them and more progress can be made. If they're all together, they may bond and provide a wall of resistance and refusal.

3. Tell them that you need help and have a list of ways in which they can participate. Don't ask them, just gently tell them what needs to be done. Don't give them the chance to say they can't do this or that - if they raise that objection, ask what they CAN do. Try not to end the "meeting" without at least a tentative commitment from them.

4. Follow up in a few days or so and ask when they think they can start helping out, and if they have any additional thoughts on what they can do.

5. Expect that they may get together and complain about your request. This could be the breaking point as they may bond together and refuse to help.

It's been my experience that sometimes siblings won't help because (a) they don't want to (b) it's easier just to dump all the chores on someone else, and (c) they've gotten away with it so far (d) Taking care of a fragile older person really does frighten them.

I had this problem with a sibling who lives across the country and only visited my father a few times over a decade. I got angry because he only stayed about 5 days and integrated his own personal agenda with my father's.

I finally realized he wasn't going to keep coming back and wouldn't provide any long term on site support, so I tried to think what he could do long distance, and what he loved to do and did well. So I found computer related research projects (security system, etc.) for him to do, and he did a good job at it.

Perhaps you can try to match your siblings' skills with chores that need to be done. One who likes to cook can bring meals - all it takes is a little extra food when meals are planned. Maybe someone can just spend time reading to Mom or just spend quiet family time.

If they say they don't have time, remind them that your mother had plenty of time to raise them, and now it's their turn to help her in her time of need. This is my father's attitude, but unfortunately I'm still the only one who bears the brunt of the caregiving.

Lastly, if none of these tactics work, you might float a "tester" idea, that you and your husband need relief and if they won't participate, perhaps they would rather contribute money so you can hire someone to provide respite care.

You'll have to be firm that they can't just get away with nonparticipation and need to provide something, one way or the other. Having said that, I know how hard it is to do.

And I agree with Whitney that they should be disinherited if they don't help, but it's hard for a parent to do that.

I wish you my best in trying to get some help.
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Unfortunately your story seems to be a common one and I can't say I'm the best one to answer because it's also similiar to mine. I waited 3 yrs to take a vacation, even spend a weekend off, because my siblings didn't have time or couldn't take off work. (Even though they went on vacations for themselves....) Would it be an option to tell your siblings you need a few days off and if they won't step up, hire a service to come in and you leave town!? I tried many times to count on my siblings to help, I finally asked myself why was I still waiting. I recently went on a work/fun trip with my husband. I hired a service to come in and had a friend come in. It worked! If cost is a concern, I'd inform my siblings I'm leaving for a few days, tell them everyone can split the cost involved if no one can help take care of your mom. They might just step up.....I know all family dynamics are different and my feelings have been walked on alot. I must say I didn't realize what a toll it was taking on my husband and kids, I thought we were different than others. Protect your family the best you can. Hope this helps....
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They sound like my siblings. My sisters claim also "they do not have the time", yet they have the time to take vacations, etc. I've asked my sisters to help me many, many times and they refuse. I wish I had a good answer for you. My sisters are extremely stubborn, but hopefully with your siblings you can continue to ask them and let's hope they give you a hand. It is terribly unfair of siblings that behave in this manner of being uncooperative. Hopefully, you are getting most, if not all, of the inheritance. Personally, I think siblings that have a very poor attitude about helping with aging parents should be taken out of the will.
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