Siblings Just Don't Get It

by Crazy in California

For the past four years my Mom 's health has declined with Alzheimer's. She has five children, of which two live in the same city as her and one is about 1/2 hour drive away, the other sibling lives out of state and the other one is me who lives several hours away.

What bothers me is the only two of the five are truly there to support and take care of my Mom. For years now the responsibility rested with my sibling in town being there the majority of time and me driving down to spend weekends every other week. I work full time and my sibling is no longer working due to a unusual health condition that while very serious does not render them unable to help.

She is a generous caring loving person and feels the way I do about my Mom and keeping her in her in home as long as possible. I have by far spent the most amount of time always with my Mom having had a very close relationship with her. She has always been my best friend in life.

Well, unfortunately the disease progressed so much so that she could no longer be left unattended 24/7 care is now needed. Last fall she was placed into a very expensive care facility that supposedly specializes in Alzheimer's care. All of my siblings were in agreement to her being placed into the facility since my sibling could no longer handle the daily care even with the aid of another caregiver coming in and me doing the weekends
it just got to be too much.

I did not think it was time to put her in to any facility but she was and that is that. Since she has been in the facility she has had numerous falls, injuries, skin infections all of which required hospitalization or emergency room visits. I can't help but wonder if she wouldn't be better off living with me or my sibling instead in this care facility.

I understand the disease has progressed to Stage 6 and she is about to enter the final stage but I am racked with guilt over her not being with me or her 24/7. I love my Mom so much and I wished that my other siblings had been around to ease the burden on my other sibling and who knows maybe we could still have my Mom living in her own home.

I know things can't be perfect but the situation at hand is far from perfect and I wonder if we aren't' hastening her illness by having her placed in this care facility. My other siblings showed up during the latest hospital stay due to a fall and seem almost angry at where are we at?

Well, I cannot be there all the time due to logistics and lack of funds and my other sibling is always around so I am really angry at them for making it seem like its somehow all our fault that anything happens to her. Where were they when she needed help? now she doesn't even know who they are! I'm done venting now.

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Get Real
by: Anonymous

"Try not to judge your siblings, they are probably suffering the same guilt and confusion as you are"

Doubtful that my siblings are suffering "guilt" or "confusion", not if they are off to the Caribbean for their annual vacation or to the nearest big city for a weekend seeing museums and shows while I am busy taking care of Mom after a difficult 50 hour work week.

Also, read my lips, I'm not trying to "judge" my siblings. I am simply stating facts! Why is it that any time one expresses an opinion or states fact, one is accused of "judging"? I'm not going to sugar coat something for the sake of sounding nicey nice! My sibling does nothing! Why shouldn't I state that?

It sounds like you are living in a fairy tale land, "bring your parent into your home." My parent has no intention of going anywhere or doing anything except what she wants to do! I am not here to "tell" her what to do or to "bring" her anywhere!

She isn't a cat or dog that I "put" somewhere or "take" somewhere! She has her own mind and is very shrewd and capable of making her own decisions. All I can do is support her. Get real!

Catch 22
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry you are going through this right now, there are no simple solutions. Try not to judge your siblings, they are probably suffering the same guilt and confusion as you are and are reacting badly.

One thing that you may want to try is taking her into your home for a couple of weeks,to see how you both cope? The care home fees will till have to be paid, but you would have the opportunity to see if his is the right solution and save yourself the heartache......

Relate to You
by: Anonymous

I empathize with you very much. In my case my parent is still fairly independent and lives in her own home but she is fast approaching the point of "what do we do".

In my case my sibling lives about 2 hrs away and doesn't help me at all, for a variety of reasons (some bona fide, some not). I too, think about the fact that our parent might be able to stay at home longer if my sibling would help me more but at some point my endurance is going to run out.

I am already working a very demanding job and commuting plus taking care of 2 houses (my parent's and mine). I too, feel that my parent is my best friend and I would do anything to help her. In fact, I have given up the past 7 years of my life to help her, which has entailed putting personal goals, friendships, career, and other things on hold. I want to move to a different part of the US but I had to put that on hold too.

I just think that siblings don't get it. Someday, when my parent has to be put somewhere and starts having the same issues as yours in the facility, my sibling will be fretting each and every day about the care there and I will just tell her, "if you had been willing to commit more time to helping me, it might be different".

All I want is a small break now and then, and it would mean so much to our parent too. My sibling rarely calls my parent and rarely visits. Other things are a bigger priority. Well, can always get another husband or another job, but we only have one parent.

It's Probably not the Home.
by: Anonymous

I worked in two very good nursing homes on the nursing level for many years. If you do surprise visits and the place is clean and the staff seem caring, don't be so quick to assume mom's injuries and illnesses are the home's fault.

In fact, as your mom progresses through this disease these things guaranteed would also happen if you had her at home or even worse. She could start a fire in the middle of the night, wander off, fall any time on stairs, in the bathroom where ever.

Also, as her health declines with the disease her immune system is probably also taking a hit, hence the easy infections. Can you imagine all this stuff happening while you are her caregiver? Boy, talk about a load of responsibility and the guilt that would follow.

Check out the home often, talk to other family members of residents there before you assume anything.

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