Mother Will Listen to Uninvolved Brother but not Me.

by Kbudewitz
(Montana)

My mother is 84 and has severe lymphademis in her legs. I take her to all Doctor appointments, grocery shopping, hair appointments, etc. It is getting to the point where she needs to be more active in a solution to having her legs feels better. She will not listen to me although I am the one that has heard what the doctors have suggested.


I've tried to get my brother engaged but he treats his dog better than me.I am so stressed and don't know what to do. I appreciate any suggestions.

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Ah, I Think I'm Getting it.
by: Anonymous

If my mom could be with me now, and was only able to dress herself, wash herself and at least be able to weight bear or walk a little...I would be more than happy to do everything else for her. I miss her very much, my life has totally changed without her. I miss the mom before the dementia set in and we could talk. I just miss her being around, terribly.

My brothers did little while she was alive, one didn't even go to hospital when I called to say she was dying. I was alone. Completely. I stayed with her until the very last breath, telling her I loved her as she went, telling her it was okay to go.

I have a nursing background and I can tell you when mom lost the complete use of her legs, became very demented and couldn't even wash her own face...I kept her home for two months and I did it all. We are only allowed two hours a day of outside help. I still had a business to run and a home of my own.

To top it all off, mom had her elderly boyfriend there as well and he was one miserable man. The place was like toxic soup and I was being boiled in the broth. I gave my mom everything she could possibly need or want but all I got from the two of them were complaints. It wasn't until after she HAD to go into care that things changed.

After she got over her anger and realized that I couldn't be guilt-ed nor manipulated...she calmed and we could resume a normal mother-daughter relationship. In care the nurses were terrific going above and beyond and she was kept clean, and as comfortable as was possible. I also helped with her care but that was fine as it wasn't all on my shoulders and I wasn't alone any longer.

People can only give what they have and they have to recognize when they are burnt out. If they don't reach out for help, that is where elder abuse can become a risk. Sometimes, being at home is not an option. Long term care and nursing homes are great, but the family has to stay involved and be the elder's advocate.

I know the facility I worked in was wonderful, bright, clean, cheery and had a full activity program. They are not all bad.

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Don't Misinterpret
by: Anonymous

I wish you wouldn't misinterpret my slant. I'm not dissing adult children who try their very best to take care of an ailing and elderly parent but then the parent naturally gets worse and worse so they end up needing full care in a hospital or other facility and then dying.

That is part of the long continuum of the aging and dying process and it is to be expected. And yes, I'm sure I'll do the same thing. I'm fully prepared to possibly have to admit my parent to a facility near the end of her life if that's the level of care she needs, but I also know that I gave her over 8 YEARS of help too.

The people who I'm criticizing (justly) are the ones who are too busy drinking in karaoke bars and taking vacations and long weekends rather than stopping by to do a SMIDGEON of something helpful for their parent. I'm referring to the parent who is still living independently but perhaps doesn't drive or can't do heavy lifting, someone who needs a little bit of help on a daily or weekly basis and thus a commitment from one of the adult children to help them.

They don't deserve the "I'll get there when I get there" refrain, as though they are less important than precious karaoke.

Moreover, the anguished posters on this board who want to help their parent but whose siblings do not help them deserve to be supported in their decisions to take the high road and help their parent despite not having any help from the sibling.

They don't need other posters on this board feeding them the "don't bother with the parent more than you have to" refrain.

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Not all are 'old'.
by: Anonymous

Not all parents as I have read on this board are 'old', some needing care are only in their 50's. Some people end up caring for a grandparent. Some, more than you think do have young families at home.

Sometimes the care is much too heavy to be done safely at home as was in my case. I did try though for two months over Christmas, by the time she had to be re-admitted to hospital I was far past exhaustion and my own home and business was left completely excluded from my life. I do still have one son at home, although he is now out of his teens.

My mother was very ill and needed total nursing care. I'm very happy I did what I did in having her home over Christmas for that two months though. I gave her the best Christmas I possibly could. But when she had to be re-admitted and almost died the day she was, I realized what bad shape I myself was in as I really did have the weight of the world on my shoulders and I also realized taking her home was risking her life and could I live with that? If she died because I could not protect her from herself or keep her well? That was too much to ask.

She lived the last two months of her life in extended care with the greatest nursing team on earth. She was always clean and those nurses did their very best to make her as comfortable as possible. I went up every single day to try to get her to eat and just spend quality time with her. It was wonderful to do that without all the worry and stress on my shoulders alone.

Sometimes the Florence Nightingale syndrome can do more harm than good and everyone involved can get badly hurt in the good intended process.

I'm glad when mom went that the resentment and frustration was no longer a part of our relationship...there were daily 'I love you's and calm special moments.

So, be careful what you say...as you yourself may have to eat your condemnations some day.

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Karaoke is More Important
by: Anonymous

If a parent is 84 or 90, then that makes the adult child somewhere around mid-50's or even older. So who's got small children at that age? Maybe a few, but that's RARE. It might be my "opinion" but there is still a right and wrong.

If someone is going out to karaoke bars every night, wasting time at movies, going on vacations and trips, and taking care of 4 dogs but can't help their parents, then that's just plain wrong.

If you did your best for your parent then you did the best you could and that is that. I am talking about the many, many adult children who do absolutely nothing for their parents.

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Why Bother?
by: Anonymous

Are you kidding me? Just because my opinion is different from yours does not make me "wrong" or a bad person. I took great care of my mother, she had everything she needed and more. But, there IS A LIMIT.

Your attitude is why so many feel guilt they do not deserve just for not wanting to be a whipping post and do the impossible. Some people DO HAVE VERY SMALL children at home and a parent who needs care. Some people DO HAVE TO HOLD down full time jobs.

Some elderly care is way too heavy to be done safely at home as was my case. My mother almost died at home needlessly. She could not walk, nor clean, dress herself at all, she was total care. I was her primary care-giver at home for two months, I had hoists and hospital equipment but no help.

She started to drink heavy on top of all this (a friend supplied it) and smoke 2 packs a day (also this friend). When she had to be readmitted to hospital, she had pneumonia both lungs and an accelerated heart rate. She was in ICU for two weeks then to a medical floor, then to long term care. Even though she was very abusive to me, I went to that hospital every single day for three months. She died on Monday.

Not everyone can drop everything and devote their entire life to an elderly parent. You were lucky you could and lucky your mom is well enough to stay home. Don't make people feel worse by further guilting them, it's hard enough as it is.

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Why Bother
by: Anonymous

This is to the woman who contends that she "deserves" a life. I don't believe that anyone "deserves" self gratification at the expense of someone else. Yes, I am single but so what? Don't I "deserve" a life more than someone with kids, since I chose to forgo having them?

Also, most women who are taking care of parents are middle aged, and their children are likely grown adults, not toddlers! If you are hovering over your 20 or 30 year old "children" instead of helping an ailing, vulnerable parent in need, maybe you ought to take a look at why you are doing that.

I understand that caregiving can become consuming to the point that when the parent dies, there is a great void in one's life. I am prepared for this. Sure, I've lost friends and opportunities, but so what? Those people weren't really friends if they deserted me during a difficult time. And career opportunities? So, I can't travel to Hong Kong for my job! So what! I don't even want to go to Hong Kong!

When my parent is gone, I am ready to start a new life in a new location. I have many hobbies that I want to get involved with again (some of them I am currently enjoying in my "spare" time, it's not ALL drudgery!). I am prepared to reinvent my life when my parent is gone. One thing I know: the kind of superficial "relationships" that I had in the past before my parent got sick will no longer be part of my life, and I'm glad of it!

Caregiving has given me a new focus on what is truly important in life. Seeing the latest hot movie or feeding my face at the latest hot restaurant or going out with a bunch of superficial "friends" doesn't cut it for me. I would rather be hiking in the woods alone.

I see your negative comments on other people's posts as well as this one, and you know what? It's alright to have your own negative attitude about your parent, but please don't put other people down when they want to help their parent.

If you have so much resentment that you don't feel any love or anything positive about your family anymore, so be it, but don't soil other people's experiences. Personally, I have had my ups and downs too, but I am committed to helping my parent until the end, as God's servant.

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I feel You
by: TR

I am going thru a similar situation with my Mother who thinks her son "walks on water." It may be a generational thing, or a cultural thing, but one thing that it is - annoying!!

I deal with it by just tuning it out, doing what I can, and most important - give myself a break. Sometimes I feel guilty because my mind is screaming "shut-up" at my poor old mums as she is telling me the same story once again. Then I remember she is my Mother and I love her so I keep my behavior in check.

By the way, studies have shown that one factor to longevity is having a DAUGHTER. Easy to understand, daughters are more willing to give up part of their life to take care of an invalid parent.

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Common Sense and Self Respect...not Hard Hearted.
by: Anonymous

I'm not hard heart-ed at all. You have no idea the lengths I went to with my own mom and still do. However, care givers are often abused and unappreciated to the extreme.

Everyone deserves a life of their own and no one has to take abuse. If people have to give up a life of their own to meet the oft times outrageous demands of a selfish parent, what happens when that parent is gone?

That care giver often finds themselves alone and with nothing, except fingers of blame from the other siblings pointed right at them! Some people you cannot make happy no matter how hard you try!

Sometimes the care the parent needs is too much for any one person to do and often the elderly person is in fact in danger and not getting the proper care they need. Nursing homes today are not what they were even 25 years ago and after an adjustment period they are often very happy there living among their own peers and as a son or daughter you can visit mom or dad and maintain a normal relationship.

That, my dear is not throwing anyone under a bus. You may be single with no family, but not everyone is. Look at all the people here with children they can't care for because an elderly parent is guilting them into focusing on their needs and their needs alone. Just because one may be 'old' does not make them 'nice'.

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Perspective
by: Sabina

The older folks whom we love and care for can be trying, demanding and infuriating! That is normal. Remember that many elders are living repositories of anxiety, fear and worry about their final days over which they may have no control.

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Empathy
by: Anonymous

I am not sure who the woman that posted before me is, but she seems very hard heart-ed. I do not believe in tossing one's parent under the bus in such a cruel fashion. So I will post my own viewpoint here.

I sympathize with this woman whose mother listens to the uninvolved brother. I think it might have something to do with him being a male. Mothers will often listen to sons but not to daughters, especially not to unmarried ones. Pecking order is as follows: Son, then married daughter with kids, then married daughter, then dead last is the single, unmarried daughter (who invariably does all of it).

I am the unmarried daughter who does all of the same stuff as you do: grocery shopping, doctor appointments, medical needs, house maintenance, etc. I am the only one in the family helping her. I am not going to throw her under the bus. Is she a pain? Sure, of course she is (at times). She is only human! How would someone else like to be old, frail, battling multiple health issues, have no money, and have no future except the dreaded nursing home? Would the mean spirited woman who posted her non empathetic response right before this one like to be thrown into the nursing home?

I believe strongly in helping one's parents. If one sibling won't help, then so be it. There will someday be justice for that (and not done by me). I try to do the right thing even if someone else doesn't.

As for the brother who treats the dog better, I agree, there are too many people out there like him. I see adult children who take care of 4 stupid dogs or 8 cats and they will not do a thing for their parents. One of my coworkers who has 8 cats but doesn't want to take care of her mother is trying to "spin" her into being confused just because she inadvertently forgot one silly thing. This way she can force her into a facility, I guess. If one act of simple forgetfulness makes one confused, then I'm confused too!

My own sibling always has an excuse about why she can't come down to give me a break. It's either this or that. There's literally zilch support from her.

I pretty much operate on my own. I do what I can, and I try to put up with my mother's bad days, and that's that. THIS IS LIFE, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE GREAT ALL OF THE TIME. Try to see your parent as human and needing your help. It's simply the right thing to do. Don't listen to people who tell you to throw your parent under the bus in her hour of need.

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She's an Adult.
by: Anonymous

Your mom may be 84 but she is an adult and she knows what the doctors want her to do. She chooses not to listen.

It's easier to be lazy and guilt a child into doing everything than it is to actually work on keeping her independence. You need to tell her that you have a life and if she continues to get worse she will need to go into care. Period.

Also, if your brother treats you so bad, why do you keep talking to him? If you hit your finger with a hammer you know it hurts, do you keep doing it?

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