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My brother who refused to help, even said our father wasn't welcome in his home, is claiming that he did his part by suggesting that our dad pay a caregiver to look after him.

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I feel that we should try to do what we can for our elders. That doesn't necessarily mean creating financial disaster for ourselves or taking them into our homes if that will destroy the family. It does mean working with agencies if we cannot provide some care by going to their home to help out.

I agree that obligation is a strong word because that can breed resentment and turn into elder neglect or abuse. This is especially an issue if the parents were abusive to their children. When child abuse was present, the adult child may feel very conflicted about caring for his or her parents. In these cases, unless there's been significant counseling to help the adult child recover, it's perhaps better for the adult child to take an administrative role in caregiving if, indeed, they can take any role at all.

In close-knit families, adult children generally want to help their aging parents to whatever degree they can, within reason. That's not out of obligation so much as out of love. There is a difference.
Take care,
Carol
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This has been a question I have been struggling with and it has caused me so much agnst at one point I thought I mike have a nervous breakdown.
Why? Because in my heart I want to do the "right" thing. The "right" thing that my upbringing taught me, what I see some other people doing who say how could you not do for your aging parents? I have visited people in nursing homes who I see sitting in wheel chairs frail, looking overmedicated, heads fallen down on their chests and I am horrified. Could I put a loved one in a home?
Yet I also know in my heart that I am not a one on one caregiver. I don't have it in me to wash my parents body or wipe their behind or change diapers. I have no nursing type bones in my body- sickness makes my already anxious personality go over the edge. Plus things are not as they were when they took care of their own- the wife was a homemaker not working 2 jobs like myself- one of them which is running a small business that we own. I'm out of the house 10 hrs. a day doing my day job which affords us the health benefits. I don't have the liberty to quit either job. Everything gets on my husband's nerves and he is very vocal about it. It would be a stressful environment to bring someone into and it would be stressful for him to have more things to get on his nerves. But I still feel like I'm "bad". I have much guilt and yes also resentment.
Thank God I found this site. Not only did I find I am not alone and the worst person who ever walked the earth- but when I read about the challenges it has reinforced my mind with the knowledge that if it comes down to it I cannot bring my parent to my home to live. I will do what I CAN do. I will be the best advocate I can and find the best care we can afford and I will stay present in the situation at all times. But I refuse to feel obligated and then have it all blow up in my face. God forgive me- help me to do what is right for all. Give me the strength to deal with what it is I need to do and to allow myself forgiveness for what I'm really not called to do.
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i think that the system thats in place in the usa right now is pretty common sensical. if the family doesnt step up and provide good in home care for the elder the state will -- but, there will be no assets left for the family to fight over.
my mother helped me thru some of lifes most bleak moments. what some might see as obligation i saw as repayment.
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Sure, there's a certain moral obligation to help our elderly parents, but there's certainly no obligation to give up LIFE for them. Unfortunately, that's usually what it boils down to. Children of elderly parents, especially those with alz/dementia can find themselves up to their eyeballs caring for them to the exclusion of all else, including having to give up their careers and jobs. No parent should require that of their child. I took care of my mom for over 10 years. I was 36-37 when I started to care for her and I'm 48 now. Had I known then what I know now I'd have run for the hills before I took on the role of caretaker. No amount of money in the world can give me back those years I lost. I'm glad that I could be there for her for her sake because I'm an only child and I was all she had and moral obligation and guilt hooked me into it. But the cost to me mentally, physically, emotionally and financially is beyond anything that anyone should ever ask of another human being. Period.
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Each child has to make their own decision. A decision that they will have to live with. My brother made the same decision yours did. He focuses on his own family, wife and children. He said he would help to put our mother in a home, nothing else. Visited her once or twice a year, briefly.

My sister agreed to visit my mom once a month for the weekend, which was a huge relief to me. Although it was not much, I will forever appreciate it. Also my sister spent the last few years of our mother's life talking with her and working out their issues and getting closer.

I chose to be there for my mom. It was hard and took a toll on my life, but I would not have it any other way. She was a good mom to me while I was little and it's what I wanted to do. Now I have good memories of helping her when she was failing needed me and I know I did the best I could.

My brother and sister have to live with their decisions and trust me, they both feel fine. I only hope two things...

1. That I will not be a burden on my sons
2. and if I need them, they will not make me leave my home.

All we can do is the best we can do and if we do our best, that's good enough.
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I think there is no right answer here. Everyone has to decide for themselves what level of care they can handle if any at all. I don't think anyone should be forced or made to feel guilty for their choices when it comes to elder care. I don't think a sibling that believes they should do every thing possible for elder care should think that all the siblings should believe the same. I don't think the sibling that steps up should feel resentment because other siblings don't feel the same.

If you have chosen to provide care that is your decision and you shouldn't expect other siblings to give the same commitment.

With that said I would hope that all would want to help but you can't force it or lay a guilt trip on those that choose otherwise
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My 2 cents:

It just gets tiring being the only one responsible for your aging parent..

"Out of sight, out of mind" for siblings..
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Sooozi, I personally do feel an obligation - a loving one - to care for my mother. That's why I volunteered to do it. My siblings clearly don't feel the same (or not to the same extent, anyway; I didn't exactly have to fight for the privilege…). Some people feel strongly that their parents have destroyed any such trusting relationship, and reject the obligation: could one result of this legislation's being invoked be a rise in the number of child v. parent "divorces"? And would I want my children to feel "obliged" to care for me? Maybe I'll feel differently when I'm ill and old and frail, but right now I'd be horrified if they did.

The point, though, is that the obligation is a moral one. I get a bit twitchy when lawmakers start enforcing morality. It never seems to end well.
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windytown, why are you singling out cher062? She is not the only one who doesn't think that all children have an obligation to care for their parents. For example, I don't think that is reasonable. Does that mean I have no empathy, in your view?

If one sibling choses to care for a parent and the others chose not to, or not to in the same way, that may not seem reasonable or fair, but all children have the same opportunity to decide. For example, if three sibs think Dad should go to a care center and one daughter thinks he should live with her, what gives her the right to insist all share her view of how things should happen, and all share in the work?

Several of us found a nice assisted living/dementia care center for our mother. She gave notice on her apartment. One sister who had just retired decided she'd rather see Mom in a private setting, so she took Mom in. Awesome! The rest of us were thrilled. That really is a better situation for Mom. Do I feel obligated to do more for my mother than I would be doing if she went to a care center? Absolutely not. I have my mother in my home about 10% of the time, to give my sister respite. Not because I am obligated to, but because I love my mother and love my sister. Other sibs are helping out in similar ways, for similar reasons. My sister did not insist that I do this, or even ask me. I volunteered.

I was my husband's caregiver for 10 years for dementia. I would never, ever, take on caregiving duties for any sum of money, any amount of inheritance, or any "obligation." The only reason worth doing it for it the reason I did it for my late husband: love. I would hope that in most families, most children do love their parents. That is apparently not always true. That is sad. But it doesn't create an obligation, in my view.
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Aw cher062, there's just so many nuances that are hard to communicate on the 'net, i.e. background of years of family crap and the like. I could waste a whole lot of electrons......

Wish we could all get together at a caregiver's convention and talk in real time face to face. I think we all long for that or we wouldn't be here. AC is a great safety net, though it's not perfect.

You give good advice and I appreciate that. My mom is in an assisted living place - has been for 2 1/2 years - after I had to kick her out of our house. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. So I do have practice protecting myself and hubby and son. I visit her every other day which I need to step back from because the negativity is pretty bad.

My husband and I joined a caregiver's support group this winter, and I think it's kind of made me a little more agitated in looking at what I do. Everyone winces when they find out I'm doing this on my own. Perhaps I was better off in my ignorance. Everyone else in the group has a sibling or multiple siblings involved and THEY are burned out. I don't enjoy being the object of pity and this has reinforced my angst about my brother not being present, ever.

It's not so simple as finding a church and supporting people there which, as I said, he thinks will be a solution. He is in a religion that pretty much requires that you divest yourself of this world and your 'family' are only fellow believers. I am not that person. He is of the opinion that standard religions, Lutheran, Catholic, etc. are dead churches. That is his criteria for me and I am a failure in his eyes if I don't somehow transform myself to that ideal....and my mother...which is so freaking unreasonable and impossible.

Somehow, he saw our dad as 'good', but mom and I are heathens. My dad would kick his butt every which way to Sunday if he were still here today. He was the glue that held everything together. That's what keeps me sane in dealing with mom's nuttiness and bro's unreality. I know he's there in my heart and he taught me well in being positive, though I struggle . My mom and dad were polar opposites in their attitudes and the 'little lady' is chipping away at me.

So that's it - stuck between a narcissist and a brother that wants to save the world but rejects his own family because we're not worthy as we're not like him. And doesn't keep his promises to me, because, well, I'm not good enough.

I would settle for a normal absent sib instead of one who thinks my mom and I are going to #ell for not following him in his religion as he is now leader in the family with my dad gone. (Heh!) My dad never bought into bro's beliefs and thought him strange, really strange, but loved him just the same.

Enough electrons....

I wish you peace and lots of rest in the next two months. It's good you realized the aftercare was not in your wheelhouse for MIL. I don't know where elders get the idea we are schooled in nursing. Hopes and dreams, I guess. Will probably be there someday myself. Hope my son meets a nice girl. LOL
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