Elder Care Anger - Husband's Siblings are Selfish Jerks

by Anne
(California)

Hello,

My husband lives in California and have been caring for his elderly mother for the past 12 years. She lives in our home. She has a home in Maine, and until 2007 she would return to her home in Maine in the summer months. But now she is 91 and can no longer travel easily so we've had her all year since October of 2007. It's more difficult now because I got used to that summer break and now it's gone.

My husband has 2 siblings: an older brother in Oklahoma and an older sister in Illinois. Both are financially stable. In fact his brother is quite wealthy. My husband and I struggle financially. He had cancer 15 years ago and has been on disability since then. I work full-time.

His brother was o.k. at helping us financially until recently. He seems to have stopped sending money in the last 6 months. My husband is too proud to speak to his brother about it. His sister has never contributed anything financially, and has only come to visit her mother once because she was failing at the time but she recovered.

I am growing increasingly resentful of the whole family, including my husband. I hear about his siblings' lives, their travels and vacations that we cannot afford and even if we could we don't have the freedom to take off whenever we want to.

Since my husband can't address the problem with his siblings, I would like to, but I'm not sure how.

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Thank you
by: Anne

Thank you. I appreciate your feedback. I don't want to say it feels good to know others are going through the same or worse situations, but it is helpful to know I'm not the only one.

I will have to speak to my husband about approaching his siblings as I can feel the anger in my gut every time I think about it.

Furthermore, 2 years ago his sister had Mom's will changed to leave her as the sole beneficiary of the house in Maine! The nerve of these people!
Thanks again.

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Elder Care Anger - Do not give up
by: Anonymous

Hi I know and understand how you feel. In a very simple and to the point letter you can tell your brother and sister in law that you understand that everyone has obligations and that they cannot come and see their mother as much as you know they would like to. You can include that you know that they want her to have as much good care as possible and you know that they want to help.

Perhaps they can come and you can have a family meeting or a conference call on the phone. I do know what you are going through since my mom has Alzheimer's and the last vacation I went on was 7 years ago before she became ill. I have used up my savings and much more to keep her at home. She does have medicaid, which does help a great deal and if your mother-in-law is eligible for it, based on her income alone and not yours or your husband's then you need to speak to an elder care lawyer or someone at the medicaid office in your state to learn how to apply.

Look up the website for the guidelines for your state to get the help you need. You can also ask your husband's siblings for financial aide to help you in case you have to pay for some help at home. Do not let this come in the way of your marriage and tell your husband how you feel and ask him for his love and support to get you both through this.

Don't give up on your life or yourself. You are truly a rare daughter-in-law to care for her. I know that she must and I hope she does appreciate you.

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