How is it possible that siblings won't help care for a parent.

How can they explode when asked for help by the caregiver? I'm in my mom and step dad's home helping to care for my mom with dementia. Even with the two of us it is very demanding and getting worse of course. I asked my sister to help out because I need a break and there is no one else to turn to. She exploded and left. She lives 3 hours away and visits for a few hours every couple of months. I'm feeling burned out and desperate. It takes two people to get mom from chair to toilet to bed, etc. I can understand why my sister freaked out, I believe she knows she is wrong. I just can't understand how she can ignore our mom like this?

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Hi geedeeooo- does your sister have any extenuating circumstances that may make it hard for her to be a caregiver to Mom- even part time? Any substance abuse problems? -or mental health issues - or immediate family problems that take up a lot of her time and energy? How about her relationship with your Mom Was it healthy? Sometimes a person just cannot be a caregiver to their parent for various reasons. If there is a valid reason maybe you need to accept that for what it is. BUT if there is not any real good reason for her not being involved , well..... maybe try and have a heart to heart with her without any anger or guilt? If you are not able to take care of your Mom alone tell her that. Ask her what she thinks you should do. Not all attitudy like but for real, like, hey, I am really confused - and scared- what should I do? Maybe if you approach it as - Gee , sis, I am failing at this caregiving thing (not that your are) and I am sooo lost and I need some advice she will feel less defensive? Just some thoughts. Good luck!

I did not mean to imply , in my last post , that you were all attitudy- not at all!! I think your post sounds very reasonable!

I wish I had the answer for you, but I think you will find in this group that siblings are one of the biggest challenges when it comes to caregiving. I have one that lives a mile away and has a million excuses of why she can't help with mom. Every week it is something new. When my mom was in the hospital for a bladder infection, she was going to alternate every other night with me. That didn't happen, because of this excuse or another. The excuses abound and in their mind it is justified. I have one sister that said she was going to come visit mom. She wants to take care of mom one night so my husband and I can go have a true date. But that is as good as it gets for me. There are two of us caring for my mom, along with me working 4 part-time jobs and my husband being a graduate student. So I wish I had the answer for you, but all I can say is I am sorry and I do understand. I have a similar situation of my own.

If I have learned anything from experience and from this forum is that siblings in general, will leave it up to one person to take care of the parent or parents. We cannot continually make excuses for siblings who simply don't want to get involved, or it is too "emotional" for them, etc. etc. or they are tooooo busy. My sister did live 3000 miles away; but still did not want to give even moral support; and often laughed when I told her what was involved with taking care of our parents. This laughter only infuriated me and made me realize that she wanted nothing to do with the matter as she always had, even when she lived closer. I did not appreciate the jovial responses when I was dealing with serious issues. It is easy to find an excuse, whether it be distance, problem relationship with parent, etc. There is plenty to do "from a distance" and there Is no humor in caregiving or being on the end of the parents impossible demands. As it turns out, most of us end up caregiving alone while the rest of the family carries on.

Thanks for your input y'all! MishkaM you hit the nail on the head. My sister basically has all of the above problems that you mentioned. And yes when I finally did come right out and ask for help I was attitudy. Your suggestion about how to approach her is great. I basically told myself "forget her". But I will try to come at it again to try to maintain a relationship with her. I really don't expect anything from her though. She and I have had problems since time out of mind. I do want to keep my own self-respect so I will try to do what is right. This is my first time on this forum and it is really great. Thanks for taking the time to respond! :-)

I have two brothers who are not involved. It doesn't really bother me. One of them lives four states away. The other has a wife and 5 children. Caregiving wouldn't fit into their lives. We're not a close family. We hear from them occasionally. They are just into living their own lives with tight-knit families of their own. It is okay.

I have found out that the siblings that do NOT help with aging parents, will be the first in line to collect the inheritence. This type of person has no integrity, and are as immovable as a tree stump, when it comes to helping out with aging parents. Also, I think a lot of it is snobbery, as they think they are too good for that type of work. Since most of the siblings that do not help out, probably are married and have their own families, they do not really care what their siblings think about them. It is all about them.

You need help. That is the one clear fact in the situation. You are not getting help from your sister or any other family members. Therefore, you need to find another source for help. What would you do if you were an only child? I suggest you call Social Services in your county and ask for a needs assessment. They can tell you how to go about getting help. If further interaction with your sister results in some help there, wonderful. But don't hold your breath, and don't put off finding another source of help.

My favorite subject:) They are weak, selfish, can't deal with reality-- including crappy diapers. Crap in general. Are clones of the most difficult parent-- so remember that you will NOT, under any circumstances, EVER be available to be a caregiver for her. You are amazing, and don't forget that, either! Lol xo

Hi geedeeooo, Good luck with your sister! I really hope she can help in someway- for you, for your Mom and for her. If she has all of the problems mentioned in my last post- well, it will be hard for her and it may make things hard for you too so I would do what Jeannsgibbs said and find some outside source of help. I wish you all the best of luck!! Keep us posted!!! and Welcome to the forum!!!!!!

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