Youngest Caregiver with the Most Responsibilities

My father is in the Hospital and is dying of Cancer. My Mother has early stages of dementia.


We live 14 miles from my parents house and 95 miles from the hospital where my Father is. My Mother can not be left alone. I have 5 siblings, two of which live in the area. One Sister lives right next door to my parents house. I am the youngest in the family and I am married with a home and two small children of my own.

The two siblings that live nearby are both retired and have no children at home. None of them will come and help with my Mother. They expect me to leave my husband and move in with my Mother to look after her. They refuse to even spend one night with her to give me a break.

I am so stressed and sad and angry. I cry all the time. My kids are miserable and my husband is at his wits end. We are even on the verge of having our phone disconnected cause he has missed so much time at work running back and forth that our bills fell behind. They don't care. As long as they are not responsible they are fine.

I am grieving the fact that my father is going to die and now I have my mother to care for. My life feels like it is over. I don't know what do do. I asked them to help and they said no, then told everyone in our community that I don't care about my Mother and I don't want to look after her. I just think it is unfair that it all falls to me.

I can't even go visit my Father at the hospital because I can't leave my mother alone long enough to go. Everything is a nightmare right now. I don't know what to do.

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Response
by: H

I appreciate your advice and I am taking it under serious consideration. I love my parents, but I am a parent also. My own family has to come first.

The guilt I feel is overwhelming, and that is my downfall. I am really trying to do the right thing but even that seems wrong. My husband and I are going to try to step back and watch what happens when we are not there. I want to spend time with my Father, but he has been fed so many lies that he doesn't seem to want to see me.

They all think I am being mean for saying that my Mother is too much for one person to handle. They want us to be there to look after her and just keep our mouths shut. We don't want anything but for the time we have left with my parents to be good. Now that I have stood up for myself they have closed ranks and I am the bad guy.

None of my siblings are speaking to me anymore, but in a way even that is a relief. I feel like my parents are already gone, what I have now are just shells of who they were. Instead of coming together as a family, mine has completely blown apart.

All because I wanted one night to spend time with my own family. They call me selfish and now they say I have mental issues too. I probably will have by the time all is said and done. I have gone numb.

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Try this...
by: Anonymous

The first place I would start is with her family doctor. Explain in detail what is going on and ask for his/her advice. Next, I'd be seeing a lawyer. Honestly, I am from the old school, no one can make you a door mat without your permission. They know you will look after your parents and just to make sure, they throw a lot of guilt on you and you accept it.

If you have trouble as many do, with direct confrontation, write a letter, put it all in there and tell them what they need to be doing.

Right now, you are sacrificing everything and believe me, when it's all over, no one will acknowledge it or thank you. But, when it comes time to collect their share, they'll suddenly have time to be there for it.

I know the type you are dealing with, and trust me also on this, if something goes wrong, they will not hesitate to blame you. That way, they alleviate their own guilt by making you look 'worse'.

I hope you get a backbone and get your life back. I feel so bad for you. Good luck!

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Response
by: H

I have tried to say no. The problem is that they seriously do not care. They will leave her alone in her house where she would not be safe. I can't take the chance that something will happen to her if I am not there.

I would like to try to force their hands, but I can't risk my Mother in the process. I would never forgive myself if I walked away and they did not take care of her and something happened to her. As far as a nursing home, again there is not much I can do. I suggested it to my sister who is in charge of all medical and legal decisions and she said no. She does not live in the area and so it is not her concern.

I do not know what the solution is. I do know that I am not only losing my parents, I am losing my whole family. I don't think I will ever be able to get past their complete selfishness towards their own Mother. I know we are supposed to forgive, but I really can't see how I ever will.

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Just Say No.
by: Anonymous

This is easy to figure out where you went wrong. You were the only one who didn't say no. When you didn't say no, and took your mother in, the rest were more than happy to make you the 'responsible one' so they can live their care free lives to the fullest.

Pack mom's bag, take her to your siblings and say 'mom is so excited to be spending time with you' and leave. Go see your dad and in a few weeks when the rest have had mom for a while, take another turn. Or, look into a good long term care facility for mom. I learned the hard way, no one can make you become a door mat without your permission. Good luck!

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Perplexing
by: Anonymous

Your comment is one of many I've read that indicate the situation is all on you and your siblings refuse to help. I don't have siblings, so I don't know what that kind of relationship and dynamics are like.

What pops into my head, though, is what would these selfish siblings do if you just stopped being the caregiver? Would they continue to refuse to help? What if you moved far, far, away? What if you died? Would they step up to the plate?? It's so unfair to you. I don't understand it.

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