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How can they explode when asked for help by the caregiver? I'm in my mom and step dad's home helping to care for my mom with dementia. Even with the two of us it is very demanding and getting worse of course. I asked my sister to help out because I need a break and there is no one else to turn to. She exploded and left. She lives 3 hours away and visits for a few hours every couple of months. I'm feeling burned out and desperate. It takes two people to get mom from chair to toilet to bed, etc. I can understand why my sister freaked out, I believe she knows she is wrong. I just can't understand how she can ignore our mom like this?

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Siblings seem to be the hottest topic out there and believe me I have 3 of my own! My husband is an only child so he struggles with the siblings thing worse than I do.

I have taken care of my parents off and on over the years when it came to their needs so I could have predicted which siblings would have done what.

I send emails out to my siblings a couple of times a month. I have one sister that I have no idea what goes on with her. Not only does she not call mom but every month or so, she doesn't even acknowledge what is going on with mom. She won't even give money towards mom's care. I pay for the majority of mom's care. I have 2 siblings that help me out once in a while by giving me items for mom's care or money, but it is a few times per year.

So siblings will drive you crazy if you let them. How I deal is tell myself that they are responsible for their own actions. I have to answer for what I do and they get to answer for what they do. If I spend my time worrying about what they do and don't do it would drive me crazy. I just ignore my siblings and their actions, I know that sounds easy, but I have to tell you one of my siblings also thinks she is dying and is wanting me to assist with her care and family. My husband and I might be a team, but I work and he is a grad student, so with my mom we have our hands full.

So I know siblings drive us crazy, but I work hard to ignore mine and worry that I am providing mom the best care and adventures I can while she is able.
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oh this sibling issue makes my blood boil. looking after my father in law, and his absent son actually laid into us two nights ago for complaining about how hard it is. all we were doing was explaining that his dad is rapidly going downhill into dementia territory and that we need to find alternative solutions because its just not working with him living here like this. he was angry that we are finding it hard. after telling us that he couldn't possibly take him, he actually suggested that we throw him to his brother .... who is blind and 87 years old ...and make him take care of him. we said there are two solutions that we can see, one is assisted living, and two is a bigger house with a separate apartment for him, but this is all very expensive, to which his reply was, i can't help, i am barely making ends meets here and hung up.

i am beyond disgusted. throw him to his blind brother??? but yes, he will be first in line with huge tears in his eyes when the will is read.
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I can relate to your situation, I have one sister who does not help like I think she should. My sister only lives 2 miles away and I have to take my mother to her in order for me to have any type of break. My sister has indicated that she doesn't want my mother every weekend, even if it is only a few hours one day out of the weekend. Family dynamics are tough to deal with on the best of days let alone when a parent is declining in health. This site is great to get the emotional support you need to make it to another day. Hang in there.
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The resentment of having a sibling NOT helping out, can almost double the stress levels of the sibling that is doing all of the work, in my opinion. In other words, siblings that DO help their siblings with caregiving, have the emotional support knowing that their sibling will be there if needed for caregiving, and that can reduce stress levels greatly. Lack of emotional support from selfish siblings can be extremely emotionally draining.
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OMG, Chicago...that's a horrifying story...I guess it qualifies as a cautionary tale! Caregivers dying before their loved ones, maybe due to stress or caregiving, is awful enough if its unavoidable in some way, but just thinking of your sister stressing herself out while doing things for Mom that she would have been better off doing for herself, and she could have been actually doing better all along and is better off in care now...OMG.
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I really thought that my sister did too much for my Mother. I was not going to help contribute to the situation. My mother was in better health than my sister and has now, out lived her. So, within a couple of months Mother had to go to the hospital and then, skilled nursing. They are taking so much better care of Mother there, than she had living on her own. She is seeing friends, eating and being forced to get dressed and walk.

My sister was so bent on caring for Mother, that she would not of let me insist that Mother bathe.

Caregiving is an awful job. I am not cut out for it. Right now, my husband and I have both of our mother's in some type of skilled care. We are fortunate that both places are nice. But, I don't blame anyone for not wanting to be a caregiver, even for an hour.
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Let me guess. Sister's perspective is that she JUST DROVE 3 HOURS and her reward is being asked to DO EVEN MORE. (Nevermind that you are only human and in need, and its her mom too.) She thought she was being noble, making a great gift and sacrifice and being a great human being, and you popped her bubble, or tried to...she's probably trying real hard to convince herself of some reason why she is just automatically exempt from needing to seriously chip in. Next steps? "Look, sis, I would not have asked if I didn't NEED and she's your mom too, I thought maybe you'd WANT to help - but if you can't, could you help fund a little respite so I don't go out of my mind?" And maybe - suggest she post her story on here about how her sister is demanding so much of her and making her feel guilty, and I think the chances are very, very good that we some good people would help set her straight.
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Hi geedeeooo, Good luck with your sister! I really hope she can help in someway- for you, for your Mom and for her. If she has all of the problems mentioned in my last post- well, it will be hard for her and it may make things hard for you too so I would do what Jeannsgibbs said and find some outside source of help. I wish you all the best of luck!! Keep us posted!!! and Welcome to the forum!!!!!!
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My favorite subject:) They are weak, selfish, can't deal with reality-- including crappy diapers. Crap in general. Are clones of the most difficult parent-- so remember that you will NOT, under any circumstances, EVER be available to be a caregiver for her. You are amazing, and don't forget that, either! Lol xo
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You need help. That is the one clear fact in the situation.

You are not getting help from your sister or any other family members.

Therefore, you need to find another source for help. What would you do if you were an only child? I suggest you call Social Services in your county and ask for a needs assessment. They can tell you how to go about getting help.

If further interaction with your sister results in some help there, wonderful. But don't hold your breath, and don't put off finding another source of help.
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I have found out that the siblings that do NOT help with aging parents, will be the first in line to collect the inheritence. This type of person has no integrity, and are as immovable as a tree stump, when it comes to helping out with aging parents. Also, I think a lot of it is snobbery, as they think they are too good for that type of work. Since most of the siblings that do not help out, probably are married and have their own families, they do not really care what their siblings think about them. It is all about them.
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I have two brothers who are not involved. It doesn't really bother me. One of them lives four states away. The other has a wife and 5 children. Caregiving wouldn't fit into their lives. We're not a close family. We hear from them occasionally. They are just into living their own lives with tight-knit families of their own. It is okay.
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Thanks for your input y'all! MishkaM you hit the nail on the head. My sister basically has all of the above problems that you mentioned. And yes when I finally did come right out and ask for help I was attitudy. Your suggestion about how to approach her is great. I basically told myself "forget her". But I will try to come at it again to try to maintain a relationship with her. I really don't expect anything from her though. She and I have had problems since time out of mind. I do want to keep my own self-respect so I will try to do what is right. This is my first time on this forum and it is really great. Thanks for taking the time to respond! :-)
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If I have learned anything from experience and from this forum is that siblings in general, will leave it up to one person to take care of the parent or parents. We cannot continually make excuses for siblings who simply don't want to get involved, or it is too "emotional" for them, etc. etc. or they are tooooo busy.

My sister did live 3000 miles away; but still did not want to give even moral support; and often laughed when I told her what was involved with taking care of our parents. This laughter only infuriated me and made me realize that she wanted nothing to do with the matter as she always had, even when she lived closer.

I did not appreciate the jovial responses when I was dealing with serious issues. It is easy to find an excuse, whether it be distance, problem relationship with parent, etc. There is plenty to do "from a distance" and there Is no humor in caregiving or being on the end of the parents impossible demands. As it turns out, most of us end up caregiving alone while the rest of the family carries on.
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I wish I had the answer for you, but I think you will find in this group that siblings are one of the biggest challenges when it comes to caregiving. I have one that lives a mile away and has a million excuses of why she can't help with mom. Every week it is something new. When my mom was in the hospital for a bladder infection, she was going to alternate every other night with me. That didn't happen, because of this excuse or another. The excuses abound and in their mind it is justified.

I have one sister that said she was going to come visit mom. She wants to take care of mom one night so my husband and I can go have a true date. But that is as good as it gets for me. There are two of us caring for my mom, along with me working 4 part-time jobs and my husband being a graduate student.

So I wish I had the answer for you, but all I can say is I am sorry and I do understand. I have a similar situation of my own.
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I did not mean to imply , in my last post , that you were all attitudy- not at all!! I think your post sounds very reasonable!
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Hi geedeeooo- does your sister have any extenuating circumstances that may make it hard for her to be a caregiver to Mom- even part time? Any substance abuse problems? -or mental health issues - or immediate family problems that take up a lot of her time and energy? How about her relationship with your Mom Was it healthy? Sometimes a person just cannot be a caregiver to their parent for various reasons. If there is a valid reason maybe you need to accept that for what it is. BUT if there is not any real good reason for her not being involved , well..... maybe try and have a heart to heart with her without any anger or guilt? If you are not able to take care of your Mom alone tell her that. Ask her what she thinks you should do. Not all attitudy like but for real, like, hey, I am really confused - and scared- what should I do? Maybe if you approach it as - Gee , sis, I am failing at this caregiving thing (not that your are) and I am sooo lost and I need some advice she will feel less defensive? Just some thoughts. Good luck!
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