Sibling Caregiver Anger and Resentment - A Different Take

Enjoyed reading your informative site but you forgot all of the siblings and family members who WANT to help out, who have offered help, but have been purposely shut out.


Resentment can be worked out, but there is nothing we can do when sibling control is the main focus in the family/elderly courts and is a growing concern with mediators, attorneys and families.

As the main caregiver, actions should be made objectively and what is in the best interest of the parent, and make sure actions are not due to past sibling conflicts or rivalry. Care giving should not be used as an excuse to take ill intentioned actions, lie to all family members and cutting off all communication to siblings who want to help. Taking a sibling off of the emergency list at the assisted living facility is not helping "mom" and calling up AFTER she leaves the hospital and insisting that a sibling fly in after for a week is not working and communicating with family members.

Your section on resolving sibling conflicts seems one sided and is not addressing what is going on in the court systems today and the growing need for mediators because of unequal control , lack of communication from the primary caregiver and sibling resentment and past sibling rivalry.

I completely disagree with you - COMMUNICATION with the family is vital, and as the primary caregiver - a responsibility. As power of attorney, you are by law, acting on the wishes of the parent, not on your feelings about a sibling.

EDITORS NOTE: We have always believed that communication with siblings is vital....and for all siblings to work together as a team in the best interest of care for our elderly parents.

We are currently working on a series of articles that have this subject as a focus and will have them published shortly.


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The descend of the descendants
by: Anonymous

After my mother's somewhat mild stroke, it became apparent that Mom and Dad needed assistance with medication reminders and general household care.

I was told that neither should be allowed to cook. The logical choice was my brother (B) and sister-in-law (P) who lived next door. (P) began telling me grandiose stories of "rescues" of my parents, whom have placed themselves in precarious situations.

When I asked Mom about these episodes, she could not confirm them. Was it the stroke? Or was P repeating her history of telling her version of reality? Upon visiting one day, B and P were moving in, "renting" their home to their son, common law wife, and soon to be baby. They said my parents needed more help, and that Mom had tried to burn the house down from cooking.

Again, Mom had no memory and seriously, unplug the stove! Soon after, they removed Dad's beloved piano and walled up the "library" (this is one of the nicer mobile homes). B and P's son moved in with a pit bull. No sibling was notified nor asked permission.

This situation limped along until Dad died recently at 91. I'm a teacher on summer break and more able to help and have been getting Mom out to exercise and sure enough, yesterday discovered P and the son's girlfriend cleaning out a room for her to move in!

My brother and his family are ALL taking advantage of an 80 year old woman. The son is now driving her car. Meanwhile, if Mom needs something, I buy it. I'm seeking advice from an attorney to unwind my brother's power of attorney status.

Their premise was that they provide care in exchange for room and board (again, no permission was given). Microwave meals does not account for adequate care. P speaks to Mom as if Mom is a child. I'm seething!

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It's about Time the Other Side of the Story is Told
by: Anonymous

I've cared for a number of sick family members over many years. My siblings were often not available due to work or distance.

When my mother was diagnosed with dementia, I took care of her. During this time, my mother was violent, had major mood swings. In-home caregivers, paid to help me, ran for the hills.

I paid out of pocket for specialists who helped my mother, never requesting or expecting reimbursement of any kind. My mother's mood finally stabilized, but I became ill. I called my sibling, who is Power Of Attorney.

She'd joked that taking care of mom would be like taking care of a child, and that since she and my brother-in-law had raised 2 kids, it was my turn. I was stunned she even made that comparison.

When my mom went to stay with her, I soon discovered this sibling was draining mom's savings to pay her child's tuition. She's taken care of mom for 4 years and emptied her account.

Now that her daughter has graduated, she's screaming that she wants a break. I've tried twice to bring my mother back, each time to be rebuffed because I mention that some medically related expenses for our mother will need to be paid for.

She expects everyone to remain silent about what she did, plus pay for the kind of expenses my mother had set aside money for. She's on a power trip of unbelievable proportions.

My other sibling simply goes along because she put my mother's savings account in his name. I'm sick of the "poor caregiver" side of the story. Many are exploiting the elderly, resist sharing care when offered, and use sick, aging parents as human shields to avoid accountability.

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Poor sibling relationships
by: Anonymous

I was the primary caregiver for both my parents before their death. I was the only one home full time and therefore expected to do the bulk of all the care. I was happy to help my parents because I loved them. However not so happy that my siblings didn't help more. Note: we all lived within fifteen minutes of my parents.

My siblings would visit my parents but always late in the evening after the house was cleaned, parents fed and ready for bed. By then I was tired and had to go home to see to my own household. My siblings were full of wonderful suggestions on how I could improve their care and how I could do more. Not one ever offered to give up their day off so I could have one.

Apparently since I was home, I had plenty of time to do it all. After all, what else did I have to do with my time?

Since my parents death there is little to no contact. I still hear how I never did enough. If this is called being supportive they can keep it. I wish them well but do my best to avoid them at all costs. I am happier and healthier without them in my life.

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Just Go and Help! You got it RIGHT!
by: OhSuzanna

I love how the other siblings don't have cars or jobs and can't find the time to come help with Dad. But yet they have all the time in the world to do the things they love. Then to help out they want to get a taxi and take Dad out to lunch (on his money of course) and do all the FUN things with him, then drop him off for me to take care of 24/7. When I say NO, "that is not fair," they think I am controlling.

Not one time have they come to visit and said do you need me to change the sheets on Dad's bed, cook him lunch, wash his clothes, clean his room etc. How about clean the pee all around his bathroom and the chair he sits in all day. Not ONCE have they ever asked what would help YOU?

When you ask them or tell them what would help they get defensive because GOD forbid they would really have to do something.
If it was me and they were the primary caregiver I would be going over to their place every week and help with the cleaning and shopping and getting Dad out for the day so they could have a break.

If they REALLY cared they would be doing everything they could to help.
They are LAZY, they know someone else will do everything, it's a cop-out. Then some how they are the VICTIM. Give me a break!

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Control freak
by: Anonymous

My identical twin and I have been dealing with similar issues after our mother who was diagnosed with dementia gave all control to our younger sister, who has manipulated her through her entire life making Mom feel guilty that "she didn't have a twin".

Now our younger sister who declared bankruptcy a couple of years ago is now in COMPLETE control. She's financial power of attorney and health care power of attorney and executor. She has moved our Mom's accounts and doesn't share any information with us anymore. She doesn't communicate AT ALL on how the doctor appointments are going.

We can ONLY go on what little I see when I visit her, or what we can discern when we call her. Mind, she says her memory is getting worse and worse. We've confronted out sister that she's in it for the money - she is the only one joint on Mom's accounts, though she has tried to accuse us of wanting the money. We just wanted to protect Mom from HER.

So, now my twin and I have NO voice, and the manipulative narcissistic sister has ALL the control.

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Power-Freak
by: Anonymous

I and 3 of my siblings are trying to deal with our sister who lives closest to the folks. She has, over the years, become more and more controlling. She is always very sweet with them, but she has pressured them into signing financial power-of-attorney (neither of them remember this), and she has steadily refused offers of help from me to transport them to medical appointments.

She told me that she would not allow me to take them to appointments without her being present. She was quite disgruntled when my mother finally insisted that I go with her to see her psychiatrist. By the way, I am a psychiatric nurse, and their medical power-of-attorney.

I generally visit twice monthly, and on a recent visit I found that my father had a tumor in his ear, and that she'd had him seen and a biopsy was scheduled. She made no mention of this to anyone.

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Just go and help
by: Anonymous

All you folks who say you want to help. Just go and help. Stop using the excuse that you want to help but.... I do not know one care giver that would stop a sibling from helping. It's just that most siblings who are not the primary care givers want to come for a couple of days and leave. Then they think they "really know what is going on." What a joke. Care giving is 24/7. Yet their big two visits a year entitle them to have an opinion.

Who has time for that?

They have time for vacations and time w/their families yet they actually think a phone call is all they need to do each month.

Are they serious?

How about if they showed up every month and did their share? How about if they realized this is not a choice it is their responsibility? How about if they acted like they really cared and realized it is not about them but about their parents?

How about if they just grow up and help?

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Anger and Resentment - Executor of Estate Rules
by: Anonymous

My sister was made "Executor of the Estate" years ago because she is the oldest. I was not even asked who should have the job. There are 4 girls, I am the second oldest.

The sister after me (one year younger) asked me at the time, "Why did they do that?" (Make the oldest one executor). I did not know and we did not take the subject any further. We should have.

The younger sister is now gone (killed by a drunk driver) and the "Executor" is making me miserable by overruling all my suggestions and demanding that I do it her way when it comes to taking care of the parents.

The youngest just goes along with her because they both live in the same town as the Nursing Home where my parents reside and I am an hour away (I do more than my share even though I live so far away). I know we won't have them long, so I try to cherish my time with them and they won't hear of anything negative I have to say about the "Executor" anyway.

I have been miserable for 2 years now and do not expect anything to change.

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