I have been a live-in caregiver for 5 yrs, and 18 mos ago asked brother (POAs) for meager compensation (below min wage) for the 120+hrs/wk I take care of Mom. I work 40 hrs/wk outside home. I've gotten answers ranging from family can't be paid caregivers to drop the 'attitude' you don't work 24/7, etc. Now my sister has jumped in the fray and said I should be paying Mom rent, and accusing me of viewing Mom a burden bc I am asking for help, both $ and 'shift' relief from siblings.

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Your sister is being manipulative. If you are asking for help and not getting it from these shiftless siblings, they have to project onto you something bad so that they do not have to look at themselves.

Do not answer the question. It is a trap. You need to be the adult here as your siblings are not. Let me tell you, if something happens to your mother you will be the first to get blamed and they will be the first to take everything.

If your mom is not incompetent, then on a matter of fact basis without acting like a victim, let her know that apparently you are tagged and you are it for taking care of her and that the other two do not wish to meaningfully participate. Then nuff said to her about it.

Then decide if you want to be her caretaker. You really do not have to be her caretaker. If she was a lousy mom and favored the other two brats, then place her.

If she is a good mom and treated you well, then if you want to take care of her you should do so on your terms. Quit asking for help because you are just going to set up a sick dynamics of being the weak one and someone to be pushed around. Act like you are the only kid. Get legal documents in place like power of attorney for health care and for finances. If you are going to take on full responsibility then you need all the tools to do so. Any objections, then offer the job to the siblings and bow out completely. If they do not want the job, then proceed full speed ahead. Also get the proper paperwork in place for her will, POLST, etc. Leave nothing for discussion with those idiots. Be strong. Seek out an attorney who specializes in this sort of thing protecting the elderly. If your mom sees how hard you work for her and take on being her caregiver and wants to give you more in the will than the others, accept it. However do everything on the up and up. However, you have no obligation to have the other siblings get involved with any of these important papers as they are not assuming any of the responsibilities.

If your mom is incompetent, then get that documented, see an attorney and get the proper documentation for being her legal guardian.

Document any and all failures and lack of care of your mother that your siblings have done in a book. You may need this later on to prove your role as your mother's sole caretaker.

Do not answer stupid confrontational questions from your siblings. Do not argue with them. Do not pick fights with them. Just make your decision of what you are going to do (without them) and do it. You will not get help from them so move on without them and owe them nothing.

They are selfish idiots. Although it would be nice to tell them to grow up, don't do it. Don't pick any fights, choose your battles. Look after yourself first and then look after your mom.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (22)

It seems like the family doesn't understand what it's like to be in your shoes at all! Do any of them ever step in to help you or relieve you? It is like having a job because you have to be there, correct? How about showing them an estimate from a home health care company - this is what it would cost them to replace you! It's NOT cheap, as you probably know.

We were in a similar situation and the lowest price we found was $6500 a month for 24/7 care, which seems a bit low. $10,000 is probably closer to reality. My husband offered to be the 24/7 caregiver for $2000 as he would not be able to work but would need to be at home 24/7. This would mean no vacations away for us, being tied to the house ALL THE TIME, etc. The friends of my husband's uncle (the man who needed the care) thought this was outrageous that he would charge for it. They accused us of "bleeding him dry" and found some random college student to live there with him... not a good alternative.

I would call a family meeting and have someone with you (friend that supports you). Have information on what home health care would cost if the family weren't able to do the care. Try to explain things calmly and logically - what things you give up to be the caregiver, how no one is helping you or giving you relief and what that means for you. Find other stories on here where people describe the toll it takes on them. There are lots of websites where experts stress the importance of caregivers taking care of themselves because it's stressful for you too. Print that out and show your family that you aren't out of line in asking for these things. It's important to be calm and rational and they will take you more seriously than if you lose it and get angry.

I sincerely hope everything works out for you!
Helpful Answer (11)

They don't understand because they haven't taken care of a parent. When I asked for help from my siblings, they said I was attacking them and playing the victim. Discounting you eases their guilt.
Now that my parents are gone, I feel wonderful about what I did for them. My siblings will never know what sacrifices I made or the emotional pain I felt, I just have to let it go.
Get support from people on this website, it does help. The people on this forum have helped me so much.
Helpful Answer (10)

Maybe you can share my email with your siblings. ...I work only 28 hrs /wk away from home, but am age 60 with a 13 yr old and college age child. My dad lives nearby so he is with me alot of my free time. Everyday 5-8:30, Sunday 10-8:30.
Sat half the day..... lunch time M/F when I am off... If there is a holiday, he is with me most of the time...

I love him and it has only been 3 yrs, but I have little time for "me"..if I go shopping he goes with me, if someone invites me for a walk after work I have to find something for him to do too, he so looks forward to seeing me.
My siblings are the best. ALL live away, but when need to go out of town, my sister flys down for a long weekend, she also took Daddy for 3 wks,and my brother for the first time took him for a week, my other brother has come down for a week and then another long weekend. Just those short breaks are helpful for me emotionally..and I love our dad...OH, and we found a lovely lady that come 3 hrs /day on the days I work so if needed, he can go to the doctor or run an errand without feeling confined to his house.

If they should have your Mom t stay with them for maybe 2-3 weeks once a yr, they might understand better...My brother , after his week, drove him back 5 hrs, dropped him off and headed back 5 hrs. He could have stayed overnight since he was retired, but it does restrict what you can do when our precious parents are with us.

I found an elder care social worker thru my dad's MD that mediate elder care for siblings....and we actually are meeting Oct 28 for our second time so the others can understand and it has so far been wonderful. She evaluates the situation and suggests how ALL can be involved...

Just a thought....but you do need a break just to know you can do something,and to also know they are safe.
Helpful Answer (9)

(disclaimer: I know this sounds mean and I don't normally post things like this.)
Your sister is an idiot. Your mother is blessed to have you in her life. You, unfortunately drew the short straw and must stay strong for your mom. Forget about the option of getting help from your sister and search for other resources.
Helpful Answer (8)

Same problem here. My sister who would proclaim to anyone who would listen that "her Mother will never be in a nursing home" has all but disappeared. Siblings suck, they are not going to help so you have to be strong. Whenever I hear about paying rent, ect... I give them my bill for 24/7 hour care. I am an RN so that bill is well over $100,000 a year. Shuts them up magically. The other thing that I do is tell my sibs that they are more than welcome to take over our Mothers care and I will move out tomorrow- that shuts them up also. I was treated like a servant when I first moved in with Mom but no longer! Unfortunately this has caused problems with my sister and I. We were very close and best friends but that is no longer the case. She will have to deal with her guilt when Mom passes - that is not my problem. Do not let them make you feel guilty - they are the ones who are not doing the right thing. Hugs...
Helpful Answer (8)

Sounds familiar, and yes, it is their guilt. Remind them that there are human limits and invite them to do what you do for a week. Brace yourself: this kind of attitude gets worse once the parent passes away. Siblings I thought were my friends took every opportunity to yell at me and say that they, too, were caregivers. It is all guilt. I was the only beneficiary for a reason. My mother was terrified at the thought of one them being in charge of her funeral. Stand up for yourself. Remind them they do nothing for their parent. It will come back to them later.
Helpful Answer (7)

Why don't you stop and tell your brother and sister to take over your duties. If your brother controls and purse strings, you may have to wait or file in small claims court. It sure does show who is selfish in your family. Either quit your 40 hr. week outside job, move or continue to take the abuse from your siblings. I am not in your situation, and only you knows how much you can take. Do not allow yourself to be taken advantage of nor verbally abused by your siblings.
Helpful Answer (6)

Time to turn this one it's head. As family can't be paid hire a full time caregiver and tell brother to pay her plus her workmans comp and social security. If you need her 24/7 then she gets a room, board and time off. Siblings don't have to help including you and if Mom has money she pays the bills. go back to work if you want who is covering your healthcare and retirement. Whether or not you view Mom as a burden or not has nothing to do with anything your sister obviously does so she is trying to guilt you into continuing. brother does work 24/7 either. he just weaseled his was into holding Mom's purse strings. Don't feel guilty. get yourself to a lawyer ASAP. You have done more than your fair share. Let's see five years and three siblings, with my limited math you don't need to left as finger for ten years. Start stirring the pot and don't be timid.
Helpful Answer (6)

Don;t listen!! That's her guilt talking.Ask and keep asking! My mom is moving to a Nursing home tomorrow.I have a sister and a brother,my sister has been a good helper,but she works full time .Brother is absent.My sister paid us monthly for moms needs & to help with the bills she ran up.She keeps trying to escape and is incontinent now.I say if you don't get help,give mom to them.
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