Being The Oldest Doesn't Mean Bearing Sole Responsibility
(Northern New Jersey)
I am the older of two siblings, by about a year. I am an overachiever while my sister is an underachiever. We both live in the same state as my parents, but I am close by.
I am widowed with a small child. My sister is married with two children who are not small. I am one person earning two salaries, in a job that a substitute cannot do. My sister is in a two salary household with a job that a substitute can do. Her husband is obsessed with sports and their kids are over-involved and on too many teams.
Sports takes precedence over family in that household. My parents know this. My mother is in failing health and my sister has no problem whatsoever, having everything fall to me. She has done very little, but to hear her talk about "her stress" and how "she can't be coming up every weekend," she keeps trying to justify how "much" she is doing, which is bare minimum.
The care of elderly parents is the responsibility of all children, not just one. It doesn't matter whether one is more competent or capable than another or others and doesn't give the other(s) the right to abdicate responsibility and let it all fall to one person. Not only is it unfair to the person bearing the brunt of the responsibility, it's a grueling pace that takes its toll. If others have the ability to do more but make excuses as to why they can't, there is no excuse for that.
Those who aren't doing enough when it comes to the care of aged parents know who they are. Rather than justifying with the "me's" and "my's" and "I's", they need to take a cold hard look at themselves and the burden they're placing on their sibling.
Not only does the sibling who is doing the most know it, more importantly, GOD knows it. Those who choose not to do more when they have the opportunity, may very well be held to account for their omission to act.