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I have a sister and a brother who could be helping me with expenses. Mom is in AL & I take her to all appointments, for outings, hair salon, etc. They've never once offered to help with my costs for all this. I live a 2&1/2 hour drive away! There are nephews who live 20 minutes away! But nothing. I don't know how to approach the subject. Or - do i see how mom would feel about moving to a home in my city? She has been in her current AL for almost a year. How traumatic would that be for her? Anyone done that?

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Tried to use the "edit" but wouldn't work. Spell check changed wording in sentence about daughter's husband so lucky me... I get to type this word again.. He died of suicide, & was discovered by her. It's one more strain. Because of this latest, I am in this other small town a lot more often..but don't necessarily want to use my time helping mom...rather daughter & kids! Life sucks right now for sure.
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It took me this long to realize i had received answers to this question. Just found the link in the dropdown by where I login. Thought I had to just keep clicking on news feed & searching for posts where I had asked a question! Lol. Well I am glad. So, here's more info for you in case anyone still wants to continue the discussion. I realize I didn't include enough details!
The AL was chosen by me, my daughter who lives in same town, and sis who lives closer than me but is moving soon. It was the best most central location for all the family..but since mom got settled in, they just visit. My mother has mild dementia. I've handled her finances for about 3 years. Her funds are running out...this is why I can't "use her money" to reimburse my expenses. She is most definitely not a NH candidate yet!! Her mobility is walker dependent. But she doesn't remember from one time to the next how to fasten a seatbelt, etc., etc.,etc.
Yes, the AL has a van & they do short outings maybe once a month, depending on weather. They tell me they can "on occasion" take mom to Dr. Appointments if in the same town...but have yet to find a day that "works". Plus, this AL is in a tiny town in Iowa... mom's doctors (other than eyes) are in other cities. Yes, there's a hairdresser on-site but Mom prefers sticking with a lady who is a 1/2 hour drive from the AL & who my sister has been taking her to *when* she can. Quite often sis would end up asking me last minute & yes, I am too soft!!! Now that sis is getting ready to move to a different state, i'll insist mom use the on-site lady.
You are also correct in suggesting that I state clearly that this is a strain & make rational suggestions ...especially since now, after sis moves, I will be the only one other than my daughter. By the way Daughter just lost husband to answers 3 weeks ago, is handling 3 businesses and raising 3 kids (2 teens, one 7 y.o.) so please don't even suggest that I ask HER.
Any other questions? Or answers?
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Dear CaringRN,

I wished I had taken your approach much earlier in my relationship with my siblings. But I guess I was too much of a pleaser. Now that my dad has passed, I hope I will not make the same mistake with my mom. I also fell into this role with my grandmother, but I have taken a step back since my father passed away. She is well looked after in assisted living. She has 7 children and 13 grandchildren and 7 great-children. It seemed shocking that I was the only grandchild visiting her every week and helping out.

Glad to hear your mom is nicer to you now. This is what I am hoping for once I step back as well.

Thank you all for sharing your stories and making me feel less alone.
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It is a disgrace that this is a very common problem within families. There are givers & there are takers. We, on this site, are the givers. After 16 years of being the reliable one who cared for Mom, I finally learned my lesson last November when I had had ENOUGH of the 'Do Nothing, Know Everything' sibs. I chucked the 'hands on' , caregiving aspect & put it on them, since they believe they can do a better job. So here! Go for it! Don't think I have "abandoned" my Mom. I would never do that. I just stepped back & took on a different role. One positive outcome of this is that THEIR eyes( especially my Mother's who contributes to a BIG problem in this equation with her constant complaining & manipulation) have been opened. Now, they are getting it. When the situations arise, it's for them to deal with & in the last 5 months, I can see how it is wearing on them, & it's 2 of them dealing with it, to my 1 ! Also, FINALLY, my Mom is nicer to me since I'm the one who gets to sit & visit with her. She is now 93 & bedridden.
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You say you don't know how to approach the subject. I agree, it's awkward and embarrassing: you can almost feel yourself blushing at the very thought of saying "oi, you lot, help out or pay up!"

But at the same time, you ask why they don't help with expenses. Well, probably because your mother's situation isn't costing them anything, so they don't think of it, and you haven't mentioned it, and they are not mind-readers. In brief - they don't pay because you haven't told them there's a cost.

The key thing, and it's a good thing, is that you're expressing this before it all gets totally out of hand and you end up howling with rage at them. If that were to happen, they would be first nonplussed, then defensive, then critical of you; and the whole thing would descend into a hideous vicious circle.

So your next step, having identified the (genuine) grievance, is to decide what to do about it.

It is correct to point out, as others have, that it is proper for your mother to reimburse any expenses you incur on her behalf: so if you're taking your mother to an appointment, there's nothing wrong with asking her to pay for your travel costs. Would you be able to ask her to do that? Is she still in charge of her own money?

You must also, somehow, bring yourself to talk to your brother and sister about how much help your mother expects (see also FF's important point about services provided within the facility) and how this is to be shared out fairly among the three of you.

Don't let it fester any more: call them.

P.S. If she's happy in the ALF, don't move her.

PPS Who picked the ALF, by the way?
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You travel two-and-a-half hours to take Mom to the hair dresser? I am sorry, but that is crazy! I imagine you wish to visit her periodically and perhaps you can combine a visit with doing some of these errands. That is less crazy. But still, Mom is in a facility that provides care for the residents. Many people in the facility have no one to visit them, and they still get to medical appointments and have their hair done.

Your family has never once offered financial help for your help to your mother. Of course not! Most people would not think of that. Have you asked them? "Guys, I make the trip to the ALF x times a month. I am happy to do it, but the trips are putting a strain on my budget. Would you be willing to chip in for gas?"

But I don't think getting a little gas money is the solution. A five-hour round trip to visit your mother is burdensome, whether you are getting some money for it or not. If no one else is visiting Mom where she is, moving her closer to you seems the obvious solution. Do you think any family member would object?

In proposing this to family, I suggest you leave out references to money, or to their lack of visiting. Don't say anything that will make them defensive. Just focus on this being good for Mom's welfare. You could make more frequent visits if she were close. You could drop in to take her for ice cream and bring her back in less time than it would take you now just to get to her building. You would be close at hand if an emergency arose.

Don't say, "Because no one else bothers to visit her ..." or anything that sounds like an accusation. This is just something that would be very good for mother.

I wish you success!
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I also have the same question as Sunnygirl above.... doesn't the Assisted Living have on-site hair dresser?.... have transportation to doctor's appointments where an Aide come along... and mini bus once a day to a certain store be it Wal-Mart, local grocery store, the Dollar Store... plus once a week a group goes out to lunch.

I have no siblings, but I also was surprised at how much work is involved caring for an elder. I had no clue as I lived States away from my grandparents. Care usually falls into the hands of whomever lives the closest and who chooses to be the main caregiver. I wouldn't think any of the nieces or nephews are clued into caregiving and really it's not their responsibility even though it would be nice if they helped out once in awhile.... but they could feel once in awhile would turn into full-time.

cr, therefore, don't enable your Mom to a point where she depends on you for everything.  Let her explore on her own within the facility to see what is available and to take advance of such, since she is paying for those perks.
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Why are you taking your mom to all of these things when you live so far away? She can find transportation to the hairdresser - my mom uses an elder transport service in her town that only costs $2 trip (within 15 miles) so it is reasonable. There is also Uber, or the ALF would have a bus.

Assess what you are spending on your mom - she should be spending this, not you. Sounds like you are volunteering to do stuff for you mom, or maybe she is demanding this of you, but the solution isn't to dump this all on your siblings.
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Yeah, this is really common.

My only sibling never calls, never visits. The only contact was when Dad died.. by brother showed up to try to get money. Even suggested he would contest Dads will.

Last I heard from him was months ago. He sent me an email asking for money.

I don't even begin to think there will ever be help from that quarter.
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Some people don't think about things like helping out with family member's expenses. Even if they are reaping benefits, they don't think of what is fair. I think it's related to how they were brought up, but, that's JMO. HOWEVER, it may not be something they should be doing. If you have volunteered to do these things for your mother, then, that's your decision and I can see why they may not think it's their responsibility. You could ask and see what they say. Maybe, they didn't think about it.

Also, why does the facility not do these things? Most of the AL's in my state have the hair dresser on premises. And the facility provides the transportation to doctor appointments. Family members normally meet them at the medical appointment. So, I wouldn't expect siblings to contribute money to me, if I were in that situation. It might be nice, but, when so many struggle for money, maybe they don't feel comfortable with it.

If you are going to be the one caring for mom in the AL, I would take steps to make it as easy for me as possible. I might explain that to siblings so they understand why she needs to be nearer to you.
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Why are you paying for this? Shouldn't this be on your mother?
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CR, you have to make things as simple as possible for yourself. I would let the family know of your intentions before moving her. Personally, I try not to judge others for what they do or don't do. I just assume they are doing the best they can and move forward. Thank Goodness your mom has you.
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Neither of my siblings offer any time or money to help mom - I might as well be an only child

Her memory care facility is expensive and she will be out of savings soon

If your mom is still reasonably cognizant then I'd say move her closer to you while it is still manageable
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