Lone Caregiver

I currently have my mother staying with my husband and I because she has Dementia. I have three sisters. None of them have even a fraction invested in caring for our mother. Granted my oldest sister is suffering from brain cancer and understandably unable to contribute physically to Mom's care.

The next oldest sister lives hundreds of miles away but calls periodically to see how Mom is doing.

She even has sent me money because she "appreciates" all that I'm doing for Mom. Recently this sister flew hundreds of miles with her husband over Labor Day weekend to spend visiting family.

Her and her husband were here 3 days and they visited Mom for a whole 45 minutes that entire stay!! My 3rd sister lives an hour away. She visits 3 to 4 times a month.

She has a part-time job blowing a whistle at children on a playground at a local school but won't quit this job to help more with Mom. I asked her the other day if she would sit with Mom while I went to a scheduled doctor's appointment and she said "You do realize it costs me $20 in gas to come out there, right?" So of course I feel resentment.

They all tell me they knew this was going to happen... that I would get burned out as a 24/7 caregiver and turn it around as they did something wrong.

I have yet to find a forum that does not give these "hands-off-caring" siblings an excuse. All I read is that "This is there way of coping with the situation" or "Perhaps you need to directly ask them how they can help". Why is this acceptable?

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Lone Caregivers Response
by: Lone Caregiver

Then I guess my only option is to "suck it up" and ignore the "less-than-full" hearts of my siblings.

Lone Caregivers Response
by: Anonymous

My comments about my sisters separating themselves from the situation (my mother with Dementia) was focusing on how they are able to do that and still sleep at night.

We were all raised by an angel from God (our mother). She filled our lives and home with love. She stayed home to raise us. She was always there to give a hug or lend an ear to all of us... even in adulthood. Nurses, Hospice, friends tell me "God will know who stepped up." My concern is "What happened to my sisters? How can they be this way after being raised by the same woman I was?" Family should be there for family... no matter what.

It's not acceptable.
by: Anonymous

Sorry to disagree but I don't see where anyone on this site or any other site, and I've been on many because I've been a caregiver for my parents and non-family members for over 10 years - have said, as you put it, that "give(s) these "hands-off-caring" siblings an excuse."

What people on these sites are attempting to do is help the posters think through what's going on, commiserate with their situation(s), and make suggestions as to what to try.

Many times the custodial child(ren) haven't asked the non-custodial child(ren) to help; it hasn't occurred to them to do so or they haven't had the courage to do so. Getting encouragement from others helps them to do so. SO in my humble opinion to say "Why is this acceptable?"

I have to ask you: Why ISN'T this acceptable? The custodial child(ren) are doing a great service because they feel an obligation to their ageing parents. They aren't feeling appreciated. The non-custodial child(ren) don't seem to be showing appreciation. I get it.

My siblings left the picture with my parents over 25 years ago. I'm left to do everything, and my parents are NOT easy to deal with. It's hard. The bottom line here is you can't make your siblings help or care. If you don't at least ask you'll never know if they'll help or not.

If they won't respond to your requests then you'll know what help you won't get, and you have to go forward with what you feel is necessary; put your family member in an assisted living (I did), in a nursing home, bring in paid help, whatever.

Hugs for you for doing what you do, and my suggestion is stop asking for help and do what you know you need to do for not only your mom but for yourself.

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