Siblings won't Help Out.

by Ben
(Chicago, IL)

Several years ago I moved in with my mother to help her out after my dad died. Now my mother is 84 years old and needs more care.

She is afraid of being alone, and doesn't take care of her hygiene needs and doesn't cook for herself anymore. She also doesn't drive.

I do the best I can in caring for her, but I also work a full time job. I have 3 siblings in town but get very little help from them. In fact most of the time I get nothing but criticism from them, and they resent me because I don't pay rent.

One of my sisters lives directly across the street from my mother and I, but helps out very little. Also, although she doesn't work during the day time while I am at work, she refuses to visit our mother or bring her meals. Quite recently she put in a elder abuse against me, but it was dropped.

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Siblings won't help
by: Anonymous

You are in a difficult situation. I imagine that in addition to your siblings resenting you for not paying rent, you resent them for not helping your mom. Before your dad died and your mom got sick, did you have a healthy relationship with your siblings? Do they invite you and your mom to family gatherings?

I have a similar situation, but it is my brother who lives with my mom. She is also 84, and just quit driving this year. I work at a school, and since there is not school in the summer, I usually get some sort of job but my mom has so many doctors appointments that it would be hard to figure out a work schedule. My brother also does not pay rent, and I don't know how much he helps out financially. He moved in with my mom because he and his wife were getting a divorce (about 12 years ago). I know that my mom has helped him out a lot and I don't mind that.

What really bothers me is that whenever I go over, he is laying around in his room watching TV, or on the computer. I do give him credit for doing laundry, and washing dishes. He said he doesn't liked yard work, but he does rake in the fall, and cuts the grass. He doesn't like doing more than he has to because, as he told me a few times, "it's not my house". I do try to help out. My son and I went over the other day and did a lot of yard work. Today, I went over and did some cleaning. I don't want to do it for my brother, but for my mom.

Normally, when I do work at her house, it is when my brother isn't there. That way, I won't resent him laying around while I work at the house he is living in.

Is there an organization in your area that would be able to help you and your mom? Maybe someone could come over a few times a week and bathe her or cook for her? Do you come home and cook after working? Would you be able to hire a cleaning service to come into the house once a month or every couple of weeks?

You have probably already thought of these things,and I know you are in a difficult situation. Since your sister across the street won't help out, are there any other neighbors who might be willing to just drop in on your mom while you are at work? Just to say hello and see how she is doing?

I hope you are able to resolve things to help your mom and you.

Why the complaint?
by: Christine

I would like to see if any of my experiences with my mother might help you, but what was the elder complaint about? Was it just a misunderstanding or something more? Sometimes what seems like nothing to us is life-altering in their mind.

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