Exhausted, Broke and Terrorized by My Brothers
by Daughter is Trying
I have cared for my Alzheimer's mother for 4 years now. The long and winding road has taken me thru hell some of the time, and some times I am so grateful for some pleasant times with my Mom.
My mother set it up years ago that my 2 brothers managed her small retirement funds, and that I have access to her small monthly income checking account. She made the checking account a joint account with me. I have paid all the bills and managed everything these past few years. As she got worse, I moved her in to my house, then eventually gave up my job, put my stuff in storage, and brought her back to her townhouse so she could spend some time in her own home.
After a while, she became impossible for me to handle, and as much as I wanted to keep her at home, I placed her in an assisted living community, with my brothers help on the day of the move in. Otherwise, I am the only one on a daily basis, as my brothers live out of state, and have regular lives.
I have been committed to helping my mother, and giving her the best possible care. She has fallen sick several times, and had to be hospitalized, and I attended her constantly.
She is now in the memory care side of the community. I visit her daily, and smooth the way for the staff as she has her temper tantrums, and doesn't want anyone to help her shower other than me. I am happy to try to make her life as good as possible. She is still normal in most ways. I feel sad that she has to be there, but it was abusive for me living with her 24 hours a day.
A difficult situation and exhausting for me. Years of continual caregiving, no breaks at all. My brothers show up a few times a year, and she is so happy to see them. They really have no idea how much I do every day, and have for so long.
Now my brothers are becoming dictatorial to me, lording the fact that my mother named one of them the power of attorney, and they think I should not use any of my mothers small income to continue to pay the bills, since she is in
the memory care community. Meanwhile, I have been working on her behalf for hours every day - dealing with recent month long hospitalization, and endless problems.
I get argumentative phone calls and emails, basically calling me a thief, and slacker since I have not found a real job yet. I have applied to several places, and it really has only been recently that she is not sick for the first time, she just got over pneumonia. She could fall sick again at any moment as she tends to.
I feel terrible after awful screaming discussions. I feel so misunderstood, and unable to defend myself.
How can my brothers treat me so cruelly? They have NO idea how close to being sick I am myself from stress and exhaustion.
Every time I talk to them it is worse.
I am scared they are going to freeze the checking account, so I won't have any funds at all. I need to continue to pay rent so that I can still visit my mother every day, take her to doctors, shower her etc.
I tried writing up a family caregiver agreement from a template off the web, and it just brought more trouble and complaints that I am trying to create a job and income for myself. Well it is a job, and why shouldn't I get a tiny income? I feel like I am considered not worthy of any value, even though I have given up my life completely. Also my boyfriend has had to have his life changed by my choice to be near my mother. He is so angry at the way my brothers treat me, and he has to foot the bill for me to survive, more than my brothers, who just hurt me.
I am so tired out, I don't have the strength anymore to explain myself. The arguments stress me out. I am getting to a dangerous edge of prolonged stress.
My brothers are merciless and cruel as they yell at me, that it is my mothers money not mine. I'm talking about paying bills here, no excesses.
I can't win arguments with them, it's sad, and I end up getting hysterical and hanging up.
Now I must find a job quickly and try to bring in my own income after years of relentless caregiving.
I am broke, exhausted and worried.
Thanks for listening. Only other caregivers know the endless details that I have been taking care of.