Caregiver for Father and Step-mother. Dealing with Stepkids

by bb
(South)

Dad remarried after mother's death to woman whose children demanded pre-nuptual agreement to protect their inheritance. Dad pretty much abandoned us kids for his step-family to keep peace with step-children. They have been married 20 years.


Dad took care of step mom through years of depression and mental illness. Now that dad is 83 with physical downturn and some dementia, step kids want us to step in and help care for them. I have never been in such a situation in my life and am drowning in stress.

I am oldest sibling with a sister who refuses to help and brother who lives 350 miles away and doesn't want to help either. I feel obligated to help my dad and want to, but step-sister is making my life a living hell. There are several children and extended family on the stepmother's side, but only me on dad's side.

That's the way the step-kids want it (separate)- duties, finances, care, medications...everything. They want it Smith side versus Jones side. Impossible! I think they are working on putting Dad in nursing home so they can move step mom in with step-sister. Dad and Step mom want to stay in home together. Step kids don't want me there and treat me like an outsider because the house is their inheritance.

Dad wants me there and makes me feel guilty because I had to hire caregivers after 10 months of working full time days and staying with him every-other night, weekends, holidays. I'm a 63 year-old widow in poor health myself. The step kids are younger by 10 to 15 years, but expect me to handle the care giving on the Smith side by myself when they have 5 or 6 people to share the duties and they will not share in the finances because of the prenup.

Dad has no money or possessions left. Step kids stick like glue against me on everything. They are hateful, rude, and deceitful. I can't trust them with my dad and think they are being mean to him behind my back. Help! I'm going under mentally, physically and emotionally. I feel like a red-headed stepchild on South fork, with a stepsister like J.R. Ewing.

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Shocked
by: Lynn - Kansas

My parents divorced at 40 years old. My father remarried immediately and has remained so.

He is now 80 years old with some dementia and other health conditions. My stepmother has tired of caring for him and basically dropped him off at my house and said this is now my responsibility.

He spent little time or money on me or my family and only saw us when we went to him several times a year. I do not want to take care of him. I can't believe this has happened.

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There is a Reason!
by: Anonymous

There is a reason your siblings have said "thanks but no thanks!" I can't blame them. Your dad CHOSE to turn his back on you for them and this is the end result. The darling step-children are selfish and will be more than willing to have you swallow the burden of it all as long as it doesn't take away any material gain for themselves.

At 63 you should know that. Why are you beating yourself up and letting this stress help decline your own health and well-being? It's crazy! See a lawyer, tell him the whole story. Next, tell your dad that if they are abusive toward him you will help only if he moves out of that house and into a senior home.

Honestly, the man abandoned you and your siblings and you should understand the reason they are not willing to give up their lives now for this man.

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