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Sadly, this site is filled with caregivers whose siblings couldn't/wouldn't help care for parents in need. For those who cared for their parents while dealing with absentee siblings, how is your relationship with your sibling(s) now?


This is on my mind because we just had the one year anniversary of my MIL's passing and no communication between my husband and his brother. Hubby had a good conversation with his sister that day but didn't care to reach out to his brother or hear from him.

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Being born into a family doesn’t automatically make it a family. Family dynamics can be very complicated. It takes all parties to make it work. Not everyone has that. For those who do I am truly happy for you. What a blessing.

Please understand that some of us wanted that too but through no fault of our own it simply wasn’t possible. We can’t force siblings to care.
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Sounds like my family. My brother had absolutely no use for me other than as family slave. He passed away several years ago and it doesn’t bother me. At the time he died, I gave him a nice funeral (his daughter tried to steal jewelry from I’m me at the funeral. I cut his children and wife out of my life. I want nothing to do with them. His daughter tries to get me to take her two little girls, but let her husband’s parents take them.
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I don’t anticipate ever reviving my relationship with my sibs. You find out how people really are when the chips are down
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madzeena Nov 2019
So true
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I read through quite a few responses before I decided to respond.  I think it is one thing to have a sibling who lives across the country and logistically can't help, but it is certainly another when the sibling lives next door to you, makes more money than you and works out of his home and has the ability to make his own schedule and chooses not to help. Oh, and I forgot the best part...he is an RN.   After my mom was diagnosed, she was still lived in her own home.  That meant the grass needed cut, the bills needed paid, meds needed refilled, put in a dispenser and calls made twice a day to tell her to take them.  Grocery shopping needed done.  She needed taken everywhere...doctor, dentist, grocery, etc.  I was working full time, had a kid at home and my own acre of grass, and grocery, etc...  I was killing myself trying to manage her life.  My brother did NOTHING.  I kept calling him and saying we need to divvy up these responsibilities until we can figure out what to do with her.  I was visiting assisted living facilities, trying to sell her car, getting crazy phone calls from her at my job telling me she let a strange man into the house and he gave her a pill to take...just crazy nonsense.  When I approached my brother to say lets work out a schedule ...I suggested I take one week and he take the other... something like that.  He literally WENT OFF THE RAILS and said he didn't have to do sh*t.  Then the personal attack started...the name calling and what not.  I hung up on him and we didn't speak for 3 years.  He is a self absorbed narcissist who doesn't do anything that doesn't some how benefit him.  During that three years, I had to put my moms home on the market, put her car on the market, leave my job everytime there was a showing to clean her house and take her out of the home during the showing.  Find an assisted living facility, buy her new furnishings that would fit in the efficiency apartment, sell all of her old furnishings, clean out her house once it sold, meet with a lawyer to get POA.  etc.etc.etc.  Once placed in AL, I manager her care, bills, laundry and personal items.  Much more doable.  I WILL NEVER forgive my brother for his actions and the lack of assistance he gave our mother.  After three years of silence, we do speak and he does come over for holiday meals and what not but it is not the same.  I choose not to focus on it because the anger and bitterness will eat you alive and it's not hurting him, it is hurting me.  So I choose not to think about it, but deep down there is a real dislike for him.  I got to see the real him.
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AnnReid Nov 2019
I understand you, and I’m living it with you. I work at forgiving it all, but I don’t always get too far with this goal.

I can remember better times, a kinder affable guy, and I brood about when and how it went off the rails. I can’t see how anything will improve. Still, I naively hope.
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No relationship here either since my dad passed. I saw this coming years ago, but even I did not think that it would turn out this ugly. Unfortunately I do need to deal with him in the future when my mom passes as I am executor and he is a beneficiary, but I plan to do all communicating through lawyers because I will not subject myself to his abusive tirades.
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My Mom & Step-dad lived 4 hours away from me, each way. My sister lived 3 miles down the road from them. For almost 20 years, two days a week, Tues. & Thurs., I would go down to see them, do what I did, for 20 years. Called every day. On my days there, my sister would show up, mouthing. She brought them a pot of beans, once a month. This is what I did; cleaned the house, did the laundry, shopped for food they could prepare, arranged with the drugstore to let them get their meds., & anything else they wanted, I paid the bill. I also paid the utilities for the home. I would leave each of them a 100$ bill, to use as they chose to. My sibling told me I never did anything for them. She believed she would "get everything" when they were gone. As a notary, I knew how to fix that. Me and parents talked bout this; they did not want her to have it. I made their wills, did all necessary paperwork to have everything transferred to another sibling - not me - and when they went home, my sibling got the shock of her life. She walked away empty handed. Greed will do you in, everytime. I have been "disowned" by my sibling, 8 years now. I don't miss her b*tching at me. I have found peace in my soul.
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alexis9368 Nov 2019
Wow. That is so satisfying. One of my brothers won't even talk to my mom and told her he wouldn't go to her funeral because she wouldn't tell him where the money was. He had already been estranged for years. But she won't disown him and he gets as equal a share as I do. That's insulting enough but what troubles me more is the fact that I will have to deal with his litigious greedy ass no matter what. I think even if I signed over every penny to him he will still harass me asking for more documentation to make sure I didn't hide anything. Mind you this is from a person who has a guaranteed government pension, something most don't have these days.
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What Siblings....
my four sisters decided to turn their back on the very people who brought them into this world, who loved them, and was always there for them, never letting them down either.
BUT when the shoe was on the other foot, they were no where to be found. Not a call, no drop by, not even a card was sent. they made it clear to me that they were to busy with their own lives to
find the time to chip in at all. They were so busy that not one of them and or their children came to my parents wake and or funeral.
disrespectful to say the least.
but guess who called the day after my parents were buried wanting to know what was in my parents will and what they would get.
I had the pleasure to tell them "NOTHING" just like you gave them and hung up never to speak again.
in my book this is so disrespectful and so unforgiving. I don't see it any other way.
I had four sister in my life at one time. I now have four ex-sisters whom I will never forgive or forget the pain they added to my parents on there death bed.....
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Daisy9 Nov 2019
I am so sorry your sisters deserted you and your parents.
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As one person answered, holding on to all those negative emotuins againat the "absent" sib(s) hurts you, not them...but it doesn't mean you have to become best buds and that their actions were ok.
Your sib(s) actions demonstrate the lack of love and respect for the parent(s) also, which to me is the biggest offence. These people who gave them life, housed, fed and clothed them, loved them....are being tossed aside because their "usefullness" is gone. These sibs have lost more than they can ever fathom. I pity them...and wonder what will happen to them when they need what they would not provide.
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Grammy6pak Nov 2019
When I finally decided that it was better to get my sibs out of my life, it was like a load of bricks off my shoulders! I hardly ever think about them anymore and I’m at peace with that!!
(15)
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Going on five years of not speaking to my brother. He sent me a text wishing me a happy birthday a year ago. At the time I did not know who it was, then when I figured it out, I tried to reach out to him to ask for help with mom. Both my older brother and I work 10 hour days, and pay for the care mom gets when we cannot be with her, and are there with her in the evenings and days off. We just wanted some help... However, received no response, so I guess no response is a response. You grow up with these people your whole life and think you know them, and they turn out to be someone you never knew... I have mourned his loss long ago and moved on. When it comes time for the Lord to come for mother, nothing will change. He was not there when she was alive, don't need him when she is gone.
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I blocked my brothers phone numbers. There is nothing I want to say to them and nothing I want to hear from them. Nothing but blowhards, bullies and hypocrites.
(6)
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I’m involved in both my elderly parents care. They do pay me some but certainly not the equivalent to having home care but I’m fine with that. My siblings know I get paid so that gives them the silent excuse not to be more present for my parents. I find this sad but refuse to dwell on it. It certainly has changed my view on those that choose to be absent. Thankfully I have a decent relationship with my parents but caring for them can get overwhelming.
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Invisible Nov 2019
I get that. When you fill the void, they think they don't have to. Interestingly enough, your parents know this and you will be blessed with a stronger bond between you. Is there any talent/interest your siblings have that can be used to facilitate their participation in their parents care? For example, I had a sibling that liked to throw the family holiday dinner (yay - not me!). I have another sibling that has always been a hypocondriac and is excellent at medical matters. I have a sibling that likes to make/bring treats. They don't do what I need them to do but they can still fill a void. One sibling told me he just didn't know what to say so he didn't visit.
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I have seen this all too often. Sometimes others in the family for whatever reasons just simply will not or cannot help with caretaking. If the situation is really legitimate and valid, that is one thing to consider but if it is just simply selfishness and the unwillingness to do anything to help, then ask yourself - do you really want people like that in your lives? Personally, I would not. And then go on to make a good life for yourself without them. People have to deserve to be treated well and if they can't be decent, then why have them in your lives?
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I don’t either! Good riddance.
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