Follow
Share

She's total care. Both the other two siblings live less than a mile away. My sister and my mom and I share an apartment, all pay equal shares. But as time has passes, my mom has become total care. Either my sister or myself must be with her day and night. We are so exhausted but these other siblings just go on with their lives never offering help. My older sister is even retired and has plenty of time. She visits on occasion and is always so sweet to mom and just acts like an angel. While we have to be the ones who do hard things like telling mom she can't wander outdoors at night and other dangerous behaviors. In other words we are the bad cops and she the good cop. It's infuriating to say the least. And asking her for help? Well yeah, but if you do you'll see the ugliest meltdown you've ever seen. My brother, well he is totally useless. Don't these two have any obligation to put in some real time with her, real help, like a shift? We are dying here

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
How about asking your siblings, since they do not feel they can help care for your mother, if they would pay for someone to come in to provide respite care? Never hurts to ask.
I liked the suggestion that they help run errands and do the wash, ect.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

To answer your question, yes, sure they have some moral responsibility for their parents. That doesn't mean they're going to step up to the plate no matter how much you may wish it otherwise. In fact, they probably won't. A lot of people can't handle this job.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank u for reminding me of that simple truth: empathy, love, and just because a person cannot give you who they used to be, you do not just throw them away...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well, just because a social worker told you that you were responsible doesn't mean that you legally are. You can opt out, too, just like your siblings. If you just walked away or if you took Mom out and set her on a park bench and left her there, you would be in a world of trouble. You'd have to transition the responsibility to another person or an agency, but you are not responsible for her personal care the rest of her life just because you are providing it now.

But I don't think you are doing this because you have to, or because you won the drawing on who is responsible for her. Keep in mind why you and Sis are doing this in the first place. It is too bad, but VERY common, that not everyone has the same level of compassion and caring that you do.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thanks again for the replies. And I do realize not everyone can do this. I was a c.n.a. In an Alzheimer's unit for nearly 20 years and 10 years taking care of developmentally disabled adults in a 6 bed facility. I know this is not for everyone. And I have tried asking for different types of help, but I always get the same replies, gotta work, too busy, can't drive at night, slammed my finger in the car door, you name it we've heard it. They just don't want to be any part of it. It's sad, and it breaks my heart I thought I had this wonderful caring family and I've come to realize they are selfish and apparently don't care about how hard this is on my sister and myself, and my mom, who even though she's very very forgetful I believe it lets her down too. I basically was just wondering why we were told we WERE responsible and yet they are not. I guess it doesn't really matter at this point anyway. As soon as medi cal comes thru we will we looking for respite care because we really need two people here all the time with her. She's a handful to put it mildly. And physically I'm just not up to it anymore. My sister has been living with my mom even longer and is a saint in my eyes, she just keeps pluggin away, but I do feel I am reaching serious burnout. And yes, I am thankful for her everyday I try and remind her how lucky at least two of us cared enough to carry this thru. I guess I'm just so disappointed that our family splintered and is no longer whole. But tomorrow is another day, and as every day goes, we just put one foot in front of the other. And fake it til we make it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hang in there! Once Medical comes through, you will have some additional options for help. You NEED help ... but it doesn't have to be from your sblings.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I have the same problem. My dad is living with me now, early dementia, while my brother who lives 2 miles from dad's house, has been out twice in the last three months to see our dad. I wish I had the help of a sibling, but all I have is one useless brother. Don't know what the financials situation is, but if you can obviously hire a private health aide to come out and give the two of you a break do it, it's about 17.00 an hour, or look at adult daycare.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

deber... if your siblings can't help with hands on care..... some people just can't do it..... ask them what they can help with...... laundry, errands. shopping. Can they make meals...... can they relieve you for 4 hour increments. It is so frustrating for you. You both need to talk to your siblings and say without help you don't know how much longer you can do this....... they may step up.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well thanks for the replies. I first started really wondering about this while me and my sister had to take mom to the hosp after a fall. She couldn't walk anymore. My sister who is my co-caretaker works at night. She's younger than I am and still needs to work, so I am alone with mom after she leaves for work. I am actually disabled myself I have really bad arthritis in my knee and back. I ask to talk to a social worker while we were at the hosp because I was really worried I would not be able to handle mom anymore without help. We were told medi care doesn't pay for respite care so we applied for medi cal which is taking some time. At that time I asked my other siblings for help, got some promises but they never came forward. The social worker told us we were responsible for taking care of her until her medi cal comes thru. I am just wondering if we are responsible why not the siblings in question? This whole situation has completely fragmented our family. I not only feel angry at these siblings but worse, I don't even consider them family anymore. I hate these feelings. They are really stressing me out but I feel so abandoned by them, and feel if my sister and I are responsible why are my other siblings not?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

To piggyback on assandache7, if your mother has appointed someone POA (hopefully you or your sister), have a family meeting and specifically ask for help from the absentee siblings. Even if it's only a few hours a week, at least it's a start, maybe then they will understand what you are going through daily with your mom. If they don't offer any help, or refuse, let them know you will use your mother's funds to hire in-home help a few times a week, or respite care, to give you a break. Also, if your mom has no money and is on Medicaid, see what help Medicaid may be with regards to respite care or Home Health, I'm not sure myself. My prayers are with you!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Yours is a very common problem. Perhaps your siblings think that with the two of you living there, things must be OK. Does your mom put on a "show" of competency, when they are there? My mother always did. But, actually my Mother only wanted the one daughter to take care of her. Mother outlived that daughter, so changes fell into place, then.

What happens if you and your sister announce that you need and want a weeks vacation - together? As you are finding out, taking care of a parent is an impossible job. I don't blame anyone for not wanting to do it.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

No, they don't have a legal obligation to help! Has your Mom appointed anyone to be her Power of Attorney for both medical/financial?
How about a family meeting? Let your siblings know you need help..
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If you've asked your other siblings for help and they have refused unfortunately there's really nothing you can do about it. We can't make people do things they don't want to do.

When you've asked for help have you explained how difficult of a time you and your sister are having? Have you asked for something specific such as, "Would you be able to stay with mom on Monday from 1p-3p so we can go to lunch?" If your requests for help have been vague try being more specific.

An obligation to help with the care of an elderly parent is a very gray area in my opinion. It would be nice if they would pitch in and lighten the burden from you and your sister but if they won't what can you do? If they continue to refuse to help all you can do is accept it and try to carry on the best you can. And if caring for your mom has gotten to be too much for you and your sister you might want to consider a nursing home with a memory care unit. That's probably not your first choice for your mom but being her caregiver was probably not your first choice for yourself either. Getting no help from family isn't your choice. The whole situation just stinks and you have to do what you have to do to get through this. If your siblings absolutely won't help you will need other options.

I'm glad you and your sister are sticking together in caring for your mom. Caring for someone with dementia is so difficult. I'm glad you two have eachother.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.