Caregiver from a Distance
(Fort Worth, TX)
I only live 8 miles from Mom, but that means 16 miles per frequent visit. She can't drive so I take her everywhere she needs to go -- hair salon, church, pharmacy, doctor, grocery store, specialty stores. She complains about "never" getting out of the house. I take her out about 3 times a week. Only very seldom do my brother or sister help out.
I am considered "the solution" because I am receiving SSDI and don't work. But that's because I have a major mental illness -- schizophrenia -- and sometimes it's all I can do just to take care of myself. They never offer to pay for my gas or my time, although I get a "Christmas bonus" from my brother every year. I feel like the hired help, only no one has hired me. They don't think it is a "real job."
My brother is even retired, and mostly what he does is travel all over the world with his wife.
They say they made a pact with each other that they would never give my mother or my sister-in-law's mother any money. Yet my brother is about to buy a $75,000 car and just went on an African Safari and a 2-week vacation to Puerto Rico, are about to go to Spain, and they only buy the best of everything for themselves.
Even though my income is extremely limited, I have lived independently the last 3 years. I would like to be able to help Mom financially, so I am thinking of moving in with her so we can share expenses.
She has recently broken a hip and cracked it again later, broken her back, and torn her rotator cuff. She insists on living alone in her own home, but it won't be long before something has to be done. She agreed to "think about it." Not something I am really looking forward to. I could use a little help.