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The Support Board of ElderHope, LLC
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Gloria

3/17/2001
10:34:51 Subject: My Siblings

Message:
Last February, my Mother moved from the city that she had lived in for most of her life, to live with me in another city in the same state, because my sister and two brothers would not take on the responsibility of caring for her. She lived in her own home, but my brothers lived within 5 minutes driving time, and my sister lived within 20 minutes driving time from her house. Even if they did not want to take her into their homes, they could have worked out some type of shedule between the three of them to check on her in the morning and evening, run errands for her, and visit her. She has been diagnosed with senile dementia, and required hospitalization several times over the previous 3 years, before moving in with me, because she had become dehydrated and her sodium and potassium levels had dropped dangerously low. This happened because she forgot to eat, and either took too little or too much of her blood pressure medication. Now she lives 60 miles from them,in my home, with my family, which still isn't a great distance from my brothers and sister. My one brother came to see her 1 time. My other brother has visited 3 times. My sister has visited 5 times. The only one who calls every week is my sister. Our Mom is 83 years old. I just don't understand how they can forget about her. Because of her dimentia, I don't think that this bothers her as much as it bothers me, but I find myself getting very angry with my three siblings. Has anyone encountered this same problem and found a way to get their siblings involved with an aging parent's life?


Laura

3/17/2001
22:53:00 RE: My Siblings

Message:
Gloria,

It is sad, but my brothers and sisters were the same way. My father would have loved them to visit him. My sister told me he had begged her to come visit and she wouldnt drive the 60 miles to see him. I loved my father deeply. He passed away at 91 yrs of age. He always had a smile on his face for me. He has been gone a year now. My husband passed away in November after a 3 1/2 yr battle with cancer. He just turned 51 two weeks before passing. I have to remind myself to breathe at times.

It makes you angry I know that your siblins don't help out. And I too tried to get them all involved but to no avail. Rotate weekends so dad would always have a visit from his kids that he loved so much. I have seven brothers and sisters living and three deceased. They will have to live with themselves. Probably, like mind, it won't bother them in the least. I loved Dad, he knew it and always counted on me to see him through. I did. I was his youngest. I am 46. I have lost two brothers, a sister, my mother, my father and now my husband. I have told my brothers and sisters that I love them but I do not call or see them anymore. Too much pain. Maybe one day. Just love them is the only advice I have for you. I have travelled the same road.


Gloria

3/19/2001
07:28:34 RE: My Siblings

Message:
Laura,

Your message just confirmed what I aleady knew: that you can't make others care and be unselfish,even when aging parents are involved. My relationsips with the brothers and sister will probably be like yours. I don't anticipate seeing them or talking to them much after our Mom is gone. I'm just happy that I have this time to spend with her. I pray that God may comfort you, considering all of the sorrow that you've had to endure.
Gloria


Barb

3/19/2001
10:55:42 RE: My Siblings

Message:
Gloria and Laura,
Thank you, both, for your messages and responses to the Support Board -
Both of you have gone through some very painful times, dealing and coping with family and loss. I think that the cooperation, understanding and support (or lack thereof) from family members can make all the difference in how we get through the really hard experiences in our lives. Sometimes, family members that were previously distant from each other can just "pull together" during a family crises and put aside their differences for a while to get through that time. However, in more instances, people tend to carry-over their differences from the past and really don't change much when times get tough. Or, they let one person in the family take over almost all of the responsibilities and only help out when absolutely necessary. OR, they let one person take over the responsibilities and then judge or criticize the way that primary caregiver is caring for the parent or other family member. I guess there's so much that goes on in a family system over the years, that pointing out the cause of the problem or ways to "fix" the lack of support, sometimes seems pointless. But, it IS important, like Laura noted, to take care of yourself during this time, and to protect your boundaries, to take whatever help you CAN get, to suggest to family members how they can help, and to let go of areas where you may never receive help. And, like you said, Gloria, you can't make others care . . . you can tell them how you feel or how they could help, but the responsibility is their's to respond. It's just sad that we can't be there for each other when one family member really needs help. . .
I'm very glad that you are able to have this time with your mother-- you will have memories that will be yours forever. Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging . . . have you contacted the Alzheimer's Association in your area to see about possible respite help from them or just giving you any information about caregiver support groups? You can reach your local Alzheimer's Association through our "Alzheimer's and Dementia" page. Also, has your mother already completed a living will and chosen a member of the family for Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care? (You can find information about advance directives on our "Ethics and Law" page).
Please take care, Gloria, and keep us posted on how you and your mother are coming along.
And, Laura, my heart goes out to you and your grief for the many close loved ones who have died. I can't imagine how hard this time must be for you, too. Please be gentle with yourself during this time and I pray that you have many good, caring supportive sources that are there for you -
Our thoughts and prayers will be with you, Gloria and Laura.


Gloria

3/19/2001
14:44:31 RE: My Siblings

Message:
Barb,

I've considered going to a support group, but I haven't acted on it yet. There is a caregiver support group at my church, so that will probably be the group that I try first, if I decide to join any group. At least my one brother and sister thank me for taking care of Mom, even if they don't help and seldom see her. And, yes, I am my Mom's Power of Attorney for legal and health issues. Both she and I took care of this last year, including drawing up a living will. Thank you so much for your caring response to both of us.
Gloria


reggie

3/23/2001
15:21:34 RE: My Siblings

Message:
I HAVE TWO BROTHERS THAT THINK THEIR IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY MOM. MY NEIGHBORS KNOW MORE ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON IN OUR HOUSE. ONE BROTHER LIVES IN ANOTHER STATE AND WE SEE HIM ONCE A YEAR WHEN I DRIVE THERE. THE OTHER BROTHER LIVES 5 MILES FROM THE HOUSE, DRIVES BY THE HOUSE ON HIS WAY TO WORK EVERYDAY BUT DOES NOT STOP IN. HE DID THE SAME WHEN MY DAD HAD CANCER. SHE HAS THREE GRANDCHILDREN WHO DON'T CALL "JUST TO SAY HI". THEN ALL I HEAR IS HOW GREAT MY BROTHER IS THAT LIVES HERE EVEN THOUGH I AM HERE EVERY DAY. I JUST WISH MY BROTHER WOULD COME OVER TO VISIT HER. EVERYONE SAYS I SHOULD PACK HER UP AND DELIVER HER TO HIM FOR A MONTH, BUT I CAN'T. THEY JUST DON'T HAVE THE TIME FOR AN OLD PERSON. HER GRANDCHILDREN COULD HAVE LEARNED ABOUT FAMILY HISTORY FROM HER BUT THAT IS JUST A MEMORY NOW THAT SHE CAN'T REMEMBER.


Gloria

3/25/2001
11:27:42 RE: My Siblings

Message:

Reggie,

It seems that your situation is also very similar to mine. I believe everyone makes time for what they feel is important. Obviously, your brothers and my brothers and sister do not feel that their Moms are that important in their lives, which is a
horrible shame. I guess that we should just be thankful that we are sharing the time that they have left with our Moms.

Gloria




Mike Davis

3/25/2001
12:45:14 RE: My Siblings

Message:
Your conversation has been so poignant in this thread. Each of your postings has been heartfelt and tender, even in the midst of the anger. This thread of conversation, more than any other, has encouraged us to change our support board to a different program that we hope will provide a venue for further conversations like yours. Thanks to each of you for participating in this discussion. This is what we wanted the board to be.











<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mike the Chap on 2002-01-14 02:32 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mike the Chap on 2002-01-14 02:33 ]</font>


Posted on 2001/4/17 14:09




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