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My mother has dementia and my father has many health issues. There are two of us siblings who live locally, and are the first responders to the daily "crisis" calls. A third sibling lives 3 hours away and claims it is "a hardship" to travel to help her parents, when we call her to give a break for a few days.
The two of us who live locally work full time, while our sister who lives in a neighboring state does not work and has no young children at home.
What can we do or say to her to help her understand that just because she is not local, there are many ways she can still help us out?

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I remember being so angry with the out of town siblings for not helping in anyway. Anytime I suggested something they could help with the response was I am going here this weekend I have this appointment on this date, yada , yada , yada. All I was hearing was their life was more important than mine. I reminded them my parents had five children not one. Bottom line they don't change usually. I had to be the one to change and place my mother where she could receive the care she deserved. I have no regrets, sadness, but no regrets. Good luck to you.
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Want do you want your sister to do, Stephaniesoria? Would it help if she called Dad twice a week? If she sent letters, post cards, greeting cards, etc.? Does Dad need financial help? Could she do some online research as various new medical topics come into your lives?

What most caregivers really want from distant family is interest and support. We want relatives to talk to Dad, to talk to us, to ask how we are doing, to thank us and admire us for the difficult things we do. Suggestions, yes -- criticism, no. I don't know how you'd put this in a "to-do" list, but perhaps you could at least talk about what kind of emotional support would be meaningful to you.
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How do you answer a sister that says,,what can i do from here( Texas) to help dad in NJ who is 82?
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i think the will should be written so that the children doing the care get all the assets/money.

i doubt my mother will have anything left as she is a spendaholic, but i would want my sister to have all of it. my brother doesn't deserve it, and i had to cut all ties to the witch to preserve my physical/emotional/psychological health. my sister is the only one of us who deserves anything.
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I have a similar problem. I have been caring for mom for about six years. Recently her health has declined to a point I can no longer provide her needs and has been put inot hospice care. My sister and husband live over 1000 miles away. She has only visited a few times in six years. She and her husband are retired. They have family issues with thier children and grandchildren and with health problems and I guess that is thier excuse not to have the time to help (other than calling on the phone) . I on the other hand take on all the responsibilities with mom, for the last six years I have endured all the responsibilities with help from my wife. My father passed away in 1962, my brother passed away just over 7 years ago, so it is my sister and I. None of the granchildren have done anything at all to help. MOm has had several mini- strokes in the past several months. I would have expected some help or visits from my sis or other family members. Everyone is so busy they do not have time to be bothered. I have chosen to ignore and forgive this selfishness rather than loose my sister or family. It will not help if I get mad and complain. Just creating negativity amongst family. I cannot change anyone else and getting mad and being pissed off at my sister will not accomplish anything but creating additaional hardship. My mother is hurt because her daughter has not done more but I cannot control that. I do what I can so I can sleep at night. No sense in fighting .. so I have chosen to forgive and do what I can and what I have control of.. It is very very hard to do and knowing mom is dying is hard enough.. let it go or it will just add to the stress. May peace be with you... god bless.....Accept the things you cannot change and change the things you can and have the wisdom to know the difference (Serenity Prayer)... you can only be responsbile for your actions.......
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Teri the short answer is, you can't do anything about someone else's actions, only yours. If the out of state sibling doesn't want to be 'hands on', then ask her if she'll help financially. She can pitch in with monies so that you can hire someone to give you and your sibling a break. If she's not willing or able to do that, then you'll have to let it go. Sorry.
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Terri, there is one person whose behavior you can control, and you probably see her in the mirror every morning. You decided that you'd provide care for your parents. Your local sister decided she'd provide care for your parents. Your distant sister decided she would not. You all got to make decisions. You don't like the decision Distant Sis made. I wouldn't either. You have tried to influence her decision. That is all you can do. I don't think there is any way you can force her to make the decision you want her to make and then follow up with her behavior.

It would be easier if there were three to share the load. In fact, it would be better if there were five. But you don't happen to have 2 siblings who will share, any more than you have four. It is what it is.

If you and Local Sis are willing to each do one-third of the care, why not hire the remaining 1/3 done? This should be paid for out of your parents assets or income. They are very lucky to have the two of you local daughters!
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Sorry. My stupid iPhone gets a Facebook twitter strip that pops up and blocks this space. Lol. "Lives here" 6 months. Anyway, life has a way of evening out. I hope.
xoxo
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Brandywine!!! I am not referring to you! Guess what? I work, go to school, I have an auto-immune disease and am caregiver for my Mother. My sister Lu Ed 6 months here and 6 months in another state that does not get too hot in the summertime ( oh, poor baby) She has never had a job in her life. She has never had an independent thought separate from her husband, she has had umpteen facelifts and breast implants. I don't need them. Lol. She admits to having no ambition, but tells me her life is more important than mine. I am not sure how she figured that, but she's the selfish idiot, not me.
You do not fit those shoes, so don't take it personally, sweetheart. We love you:)
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Brandywine 1949.....I understand your position. However, my out-of-town sister has never had to work because her husband is a physician and she does not endure any financial concerns. Neither she nor her husband have health issues. She will, no doubt, be the first in line to declare her share of our parents' estate, when that time comes. I know I should forgive and have more understanding, but that isn't always easy when I spend weeks at a time juggling my full time job, my parents' needs, and my own household chores. It leaves me little time to enjoy my grandchildren and special time with my husband. That is why I am bitter. I am 60 years old and should be enjoying my own life while I am still healthy enough. If the responsibility is shared equally, then no one child would have too large a burden to bear!
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Okay, this is the other side of the coin. I am the out of state sister who is being blamed for not helping. As you probably know from my other statements, I am sick, old,my husband has dementia. I can't work. I live at the poverty level. My sister on the other hand has money, health, a young husband who make tons of money. But I get blamed for not doing enough. Try to be understanding of the out of town sister. Forgiveness and understanding are good traits.
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If I had been smart, I would've let it go when my sister 3000 miles away told me she wasn't interested in participating in the care of our mother. But no, I lived angry at her for years and finally told her off. The harder I tried to make her help, the more she dug in her heels. Our mother has been gone for two years. My sister and I no longer speak and we never will. Our parents are dead, we are no longer sisters and I have nobody to share childhood stories with. It hurts my heart. Not helping was wrong, my forcing was wrong. Please accept that your sister may never help, for whatever reason. You aren't in charge of your sister. Concentrate on working with your other sister to help your parents. Neither of you are giving her a pass. You're just focusing on what you can control.
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This is a classic situation. The ones who work and/or do the most, who care the most, who are the most thoughtful, are caregivers. The others who escape it are usually shallow, selfish, ignorant, lazy, and just not very nice. DUH.
There is at least one of them in every family, and on the flip side, at least one like the giving people here on Aging Care. That is the way it goes. Save yourself time and frustration by ignoring it. People don't change. YOU are awesome! xo
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