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My siblings call my mother once in awhile to check on her with a very brief phone call. Rarely visit her.


She will talk about issues, then they criticize me for not doing things the right way. They have no clue that my mother doesn’t always do what she is supposed to, she only tells them of mishaps that occur afterward and I get blamed. My mother will not defend me to them.


She is so happy to hear from them and it’s the old, keep the peace story. I understand that she misses them but I feel hurt that she allows them to speak badly about me, her daughter who does everything for her. My siblings do not know her daily routine.


So hurtful to me. Her doctors have all told me that I do a wonderful job in caring the best I can for her. My siblings have no contact with nurses or doctors due to I am the one who accompanies her to doctor appointments and emergency hospital visits. Very frustrating to me. My siblings never ask me how I am doing. It would mean the world to me just to have them ask how I feel. I feel pushed aside, forgotten about.


I have always been the closest to my parents. My dad died several years ago and only asked me to care for mom. I think he knew I was the responsible one. The one he could rely on. I took care of him too.


I always wanted to be just as close to my siblings but they lived their own lives without wanting a close relationship to me. They came to holiday dinners though. Not to brag but I’m a great cook.


By the way, I always babysat their children too. When my children were born they had limited contact with them, same as they only had limited contact with my parents and me. They always found the time to do whatever they wanted to do, hang out with their friends, etc. Family was never a priority to them.


If others have suggestions about how to handle siblings, please let me know. I always thought loved ones should pull together in hard times but they continue to ignore me.


Thanks for listening. It helps to have a shoulder to lean on.

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I'm of the opinion that mom complains to the siblings about you, her caregiver, because she has absolutely zero contact with any other things in her world. They simply hear what she says and don't realize that her world consists of the four walls and YOU. My solution: you place her in a care home so that she can have contact with other people besides you. You can continue to serve as her driver, but she will have a social life and other people to complain about.

You can't change other people, but you can change how you react to other people.
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NeedHelpWithMom 3 hours ago
You are so correct. I wish I could convince her to go to local senior center. Even just for lunch. They do offer arts and crafts, bingo, etc. Her answer is always that she can’t go because she is too tired. I’m sure at 93, I’d be tired but I don’t think I would like be lonely. She doesn’t seem to mind being alone as much as I would.
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Unfortunately your siblings made their decisions to be absent long ago.

Your mom will not defend you for fear of offending them, stopping the infrequent contact. Have you talked to her about her complaining to them?

You may need to explain that you can't continue to do everything for her and deal with their harrassment. Something's gotta give. Maybe tell her that she should be grateful you aren't treating her like they are, but if she is so unhappy with your care it is time to figure out other arrangements. It is okay to tell her that her behavior is unacceptable and is causing them to behave unacceptably.

With your siblings, your best bet would be to laugh and say, yep, seems like there is no pleasing her nowadays. But you know, she would love to have you come stay with her for the weekend. When can we expect you?

I try to use humor when dealing with ignorance, when they are being armchair caregivers try imagining them giving a speech to a large crowd, only they forgot to put their britches on when they left the house, or put on 2 different colors of shoes, really anything to amuse you while they try to get rid of their guilt for doing nothing to help. They are randomly shooting spit balls at the hole in the dam, while you are diverting the water, rebuilding the dam and trying to conserve the fish and wildlife all while complying with city, state and federal regulations. They must feel really ineffective and most people will attack trying to distract attention from themselves when they are not doing things they know they should.

Try to take what they say as just that, justification for their lack of help.

You are doing a great job, you are there when we all know how easy it would be to pack a bag and run away.

There are always other options, you may have to be creative but please, don't let any of them treat you poorly because you feel like there is no alternative. There is.
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I understand what you are going through. My older brothers live on opposite sides of the map and little sister here lives in town with Mom so...

I will freely admit that I really didn’t pipe up to them about what has been going on but with this last bout with mom I sure as hell did. I am lucky, though, because my oldest brother has asked how I am, and my other oldest brother has asked me to let them know what they can do.

So I’ve started updating them regularly. No holds barred, no sugarcoatin. “She is abrasive and slightly abusive today.” or “I found out that she is having trouble with x, y, z because she hasn’t been telling me.” I’m going to see to it that they know it all going forward because doing so will be a hell of a lot better than radio silence and then a “I have some bad news,” phone call.

There’s also a possibility that your mom is saying all the wrong things in an effort to drag your siblings in to her care, or as a means of trying to get them out to see her. If your family is anything like mine, one “Come out and see for yourself,” would be responded with, “you’re doing a good job.”

Monday morning quarterbacks that are 1000 miles away can talk all they want. I agree with another poster, you need to tell your mom that your siblings need to know how wonderfully well you are doing, because you are.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 18, 2019
Oh my mom would love if they were in her life. I have begged them to visit.
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Hi. I have no siblings. But my mother does and some of my cousins are very close to me. When I got any criticism from any of them, I said “take her for a month”. It stopped right there.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 18, 2019
Tried that once too. Brother said to me, “I can’t, taking care of mom is better suited for a woman, not a man.”
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There r others who wil, chime in. Has Mom always been like this or only since her illnesses. You know Dementia and Parkinsons go hand and hand. It seems that the caregiver is never appreciated. You need to stick up for yourself. Seems you won't lose anything. Tell them they have no idea what its like caring for someone 24/7. Tell them if they think they can do better, they can do the job. If they don't want it then shut up.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 10, 2019
Oh boy, I have said that to them. I’ve said, “You don’t understand what I go through on a daily basis”. Their response is that they look at me as if I have two heads! They are clueless and treat me like the crazy one and act like I shouldn’t complain.

I tell you, they wouldn’t last a day doing what I do. Mom would be in a home. Sad part, she doesn’t have money so God knows what type of facility she’d be in.
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Please understand your mother expressing complaints to your siblings is not a really a slam on you. Your mother is confident in your love, loyalty, and continuing care - so confident she can tell stories of your care challenges. Her world has reduced to a point where talking about little mishaps in your home and care are all the "stories" she has to share with others during the infrequent conversations. Your mother's lack of concern over possibly alienating you is wonderful testament to the quality of your care and devotion.

I would recommend coming up with a couple of good responses when someone expresses some criticism of your care that shuts that conversation down immediately. Other postings list a few, my favorite is "So you'll be here Saturday to provide proper care? If you're not ready to put your time and energy where your mouth is, then you need to just be quiet." I don't tend to take much BS from anyone so I might not hear from this family member for a while but that's not such a bad thing to me - not hearing any criticism either. I once handed over a stack of books I had read on care giving for vascular dementia and told the cousins when they caught up with me on the reading we could discuss my father's care.

Find a senior or day care and push your mother to attend at least 1-3 days a week so she has some socialization and you have a break too. Contact Area Council on Aging to find out what is available in your area. It's a good long term support for both of you and will give your mother another source of conversational stories.

As the "responsible one" you may have to just accept that your family wants you around when there's a problem you can take care of more than when there's a party. Once there was a medical issue with a grand-nephew I was taking care of while his custodial father worked out of town. I called my nephew to discuss the treatment options and he told me to just do whatever I thought best - that he never worried about his kids when I was taking care of them because he knew I would take better care of them than he did. On the other hand, he really didn't appreciate my warning during a camping trip that transporting 8 kids in the bed of his pickup truck around a state park was probably not a good idea for a man still involved in a custody contested divorce. Responsibility is not a trait easily turned off. When there's a problem, you are a highly valued resource. When there's not a problem, you're a "downer" that impedes the party. Try to get satisfaction from meeting your own "responsible" standards and others (like the doctors) that value responsibility and not so much from relatively irresponsible family members.
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Enshope Jan 13, 2019
Love your response to siblings who mouth off but do nothing to help. I said to my sister..."SO do you want me to buy a one way ticket for Mom to where you live?" Since then...all has been pretty good.
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You know Medicaid will also pay for Daycare based on Mom's income.

My Mom had some money so I sent her 3x a week. It cost about $80 a day. They bathed her which was a big plus. She was given breakfast and lunch. She was given some therapy and there were activities. She was picked up at 8 am and brought home at 2:30.
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“Givers” must set limits because
“ takers” rarely do!
Setting healthy boundaries is important for your health. This action includes your siblings AND your Mom!
Make changes soon, otherwise you will not last. With deep understanding and empathy I urge you to “stand up” for what is good for you and your Mom. The Caregiver has TWO PATIENTS:
the loved one she cares for AND
herself she MUST care for.
Get help whether your Mom or anyone else agrees or not. You owe it to yourself. Your life is more than just being a Caregiver.
Sending you positive thoughts, NeedHelpWithMom
YOU can do it!
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 18, 2019
Oh you said a mouthful! Love it!
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Tell your siblings to BACK. OFF. Then tell your mother to zip it. Mishaps occur and she doesn't need to yap to them about what you "do wrong". If anything, your mom owes you an apology. Some way for her to "keep the peace" between you and your siblings! If they still blame you, remind them how selfish and stupid they've been towards you and your family. Under no circumstances do you owe them, or your mom, anything. (Especially if all they do is use you as a scapegoat)
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I am so much like you in that I wanted/needed close-knit siblings who always looked out for each other. Unfortunately (for me), that is not what I got. What helped me was realizing that my siblings don't have the same wants and needs as I do, and that my expectations were the problem, not my siblings. They have their own wants/needs/expectations! Who knew? If you express your wants and needs in a non-judgemental way, you might get what you want, or you might not, but it's worth a shot. Personally, I finally let go of my expectations and enjoy them for who and what they are, and try not to fuss about who they aren't. I'm much happier and more relaxed. I do have to say that when I was deathly ill this past summer, all the siblings came running to support not only me, but my husband as well. Pretty cool, all in all.
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