Elder Care Anger and Resentment - Deadbeat Siblings
by Martha Stewart
My father died of colon cancer in 1995 leaving behind my 73 year old mother who was totally dependent on him.
It is 2009 and my mother is still living.
She is in late stage heart disease and has dementia problems. She lives next door to my sister in a house provided for free by that same sister and husband.
This is really sad. My mother has nine children living within a forty minute drive from her. Out of the nine, only two help my sister care for her--my youngest sister and myself. Two sons visit about three times a month (visit only) for a few hours on Sunday but don't dare ask them to contribute to her care in any way. The remaining children show up a few times a year.
Here are some of the excuses they use:
"My health is too bad, I don't want Mom to see me like this." (never mind that she goes to church, birthday parties and out to eat when she wants and is not as ill as she would like for you to think).
When asked to come on Thursdays around four o'clock p.m. and stay until Fridays at one o'clock to help give number one caregiver a complete day off--"I can't come because it might rain and I don't drive in the rain. Also, it might thunder and my dog hides in the closet and wets the floor because she is afraid of thunder. And my husband is stressed out and that makes me stressed. And I might have some furniture delivered..." To give credit where credit is due, she came twice but then never showed up again.
When asked to bring a meal for Sunday lunch and stay to administer Mom's one o'clock meds so that the caregivers can go to out to lunch after church--"I can't stay and give her lunch and pills because it's almost two o'clock when I get home and I feel dizzy and my blood sugar drops because I'm hungry. I don't cook anyway so I shouldn't be getting her meals.
The rest don't come and just don't offer an excuse.
Here's the kicker--the three taking care of my mother are and always have been her least favorite children.
Forget about family conferences, we've pleaded and begged until we're blue in the face. The fact is that they just don't care.