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Family Won't Help with Mom? 6 Strategies to Reduce the Drama

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Chances are you spend a good deal of your life planning for the future. You plan your career path. You plan for retirement. But you may never have planned on becoming a family caregiver.

If you’re like many children of senior parents, you became a caregiver in small increments, over the course of time. Maybe it began by providing transportation after Dad gave up the car keys or by making phone calls to the insurance company to straighten out a health claim. As time went on, those favors likely became more frequent and you found yourself providing more and more care until you realized you were spending a significant portion of your free time taking care of Mom and Dad—perhaps much more time than your siblings spent pitching in.

Few people become family caregivers by sitting down with the whole family and creating a plan that covers the who, what, when, where and how of caregiving.

Unfortunately, this lack of planning can lead to family drama and sibling resentment. In discussions within the Caregiver Stress Facebook community, caregivers frequently express frustration over their inability to get other family members to help with Mom or Dad’s care. They often say they feel they became the primary caregiver by default and now shoulder the burden alone.

If you count yourself in that group—or if you want to avoid the sibling squabbles that can arise over family caregiving—take heart. It is possible, to a certain extent, to begin the caregiving conversation over again. These six tips can help you step back from any existing family drama over caregiving and create a plan to help you all move forward in harmony.

1. Start planning well in advance, if possible

It is never too late (or too early) to start the conversation. Even if you are well into the caregiving journey, you can access planning aids to help you move forward with more help from your siblings.

The 50/50 Rule® program, developed by Home Instead Senior Care®, offers resources for developing senior care plans that involve all of the aging family member’s children. Try to have your first conversations on this subject when the eldest sibling turns 40 years old, and continue to talk about how to share the caregiving before your parent even needs it. This way, no one sibling will “back in to” the caregiving role without the support of other family members.

2. Look at the big picture

For some families, the caregiving conversation begins with details: “I can’t possibly help take care of Mom because all of my kids are enrolled in extracurricular activities,” or “I live five hours away, and I’m not sacrificing my vacation time to fly in and take care of Dad.”

Instead of starting the caregiving conversation by diving into the details of everyone’s life, try taking a step back to look at the bigger picture. What types of support does your loved one need right now? What types of care will he or she require in the future? Once you have identified your loved one’s needs, then you can begin a conversation that gets into the details of which sibling can provide which types of support.

3. Take the emotions out of the conversation as much as possible

Siblings share an intimate personal history that sometimes includes baggage: hard feelings, old hurts. Try to set these emotions aside and deal matter-of-factly with your parent’s needs in the moment—and going forward. Keep the focus on achieving goals, not on your family dynamics. When you approach the topic of shared caregiving from a perspective of “here’s what Mom and Dad need, now how can we all provide it?”, the conversation may go more smoothly.

If you find it impossible to have these conversations without tempers flaring, consider hiring a mediator. These professionals can help bring everyone to a resolution without the hurt feelings that may accompany a do-it-yourself approach.

4. Match caregiving tasks with each person’s talents and abilities

Your older brother may balk at helping with caregiving if he is expected to bathe and toilet your mother. Your petite younger sister may not be willing to wrestle Dad’s walker into the car in order to drive him to appointments. Instead of insisting each sibling provide the same types of care, try to match tasks with each person’s abilities and interests. Perhaps your sister who lives far away would be willing to pay Mom’s bills and deal with other financial issues. Or maybe your brother who lives nearby would be happy to take Dad to his doctor appointments. There are many ways to divvy up the caregiving pie.

5. Accept that one person may always provide a disproportionate amount of care

You can’t force your siblings to help. That’s a simple truth. And even when you do get family members to commit to help with caregiving, you still may find you provide a disproportionate amount of that care. Try to come to terms with the fact that this is normal in most family caregiving situations. Acceptance may be easier in the long run than constantly feeling resentful.

If you feel undervalued for the amount of care you provide, try investigating ways to get paid for family caregiving. According to AARP, there are a number of methods that allow your parent to compensate you for the help you provide, including direct payment and tapping a long-term care insurance policy. Even if your loved one can’t afford to pay you much, sometimes receiving a token payment can help you feel valued.

6. Take care of your own emotional needs

High stress, isolation and depression are real dangers of caregiving, especially if you add in family conflict over caregiving issues. Although it can be hard to find time for self-care, be sure to make your own needs a priority. Even five minutes alone in the fresh air, or half an hour with a good book, can help you feel refreshed and recharged. If possible, hire a professional caregiver occasionally so you can get some time to focus on yourself.

How have you “shared the care” with your family members? Leave a comment below!

Last revised: January 5, 2016

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. December 21, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Posted by Gail

    I am trying to just do my best with a situation I am not in control of. Mom's ikd, she needs help. My siblings choose not to help. I choose to help. God is judge not me or mom or siblings .. he can sort it all out.. I am too busy helping right now. When mom's gone I know I will be glad I did what I could. I love my siblings. I just don't have a whole lot of respect for them anymore. Lucky for them mom changed all our diapers and didn't get too busy to care..


  2. December 10, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Posted by KMonster

    I guess the post assumes everyone has siblings :/


  3. November 30, 2018 at 11:58 pm | Posted by Paul

    I have been reading all these situations where primary caregivers are searching for reasons why other family members don't care enough to help. I am sitting and sleeping in a nursing home right now beside my 90 yr old mother with dementia and congestive heart failure and was told 2 mo's ago she had 2 weeks to live. So I flew in from Florida and have spent every day and nite by her side sleeping in my clothes in a recliner while other family members enjoy their lives. I am building up resentment inside and know in my heart when this is all over I plan to distance myself from them from here on out. I don't believe the reading of experts that we all look at things different and we need to point out to them how we feel. They can't be that stupid not to realize it's their responsibility too. Hang in there caregivers, payday is not always on Friday. God help us all...PDT


    • February 1, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Posted by Terra

      this whole article seems to be by someone who never had to sit in that recliner, for days and years on end. (going on 7 years for me) I too will not be speaking to my 'sister' when all of this is over. It'll have been the saddest, toughest, decade of my life. Peace on you.


  4. November 28, 2018 at 9:05 pm | Posted by April Seigfried

    I have an older brother who into drug addict and live 700 miles away. I don't like his conniver wife and I have an older sister who live just 10 minutes from home and all I asked for her caring for mom one weekend a month. My mom live with me and my daughter and I are caregiver to mom and hurt me so much when mom doesn't remember what she did that same day when most of everything disappeared or ruined and even ;ost mails! My siblings are selfish and an idiots! I will tell them that when mom goes.


  5. November 13, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Posted by Worn Out

    Take care of yourself. Boy have I heard that a lot. But what do you do when Dad collapses? (after 6 months, he died). He'd been covering for Mom, whose memory is worse than we thought. One brother is disconnected, lives 2000 miles away in a remote cabin, hasn't worked in the 10 years since he was released from prison and is furious most of the time. He now has PTSD and has a long history of substance abuse. And then one sister goes off her medicine, becomes psychotic, and my one competent sibling and I do our best to keep her out of jail and from moving into my parents' house. I haven't been able to work. My father left scraps of paper everywhere, and I've been piecing it together (I brought 25 boxes, plus garbage bags of paper home, and found money so my mother could live, as well as over 30 credit cards, insurance policies and countless other documents going back to the 1980's and 1990's, some of which I needed to determine a stock basis). It's been emergency and triage mode since my sister became psychotic 2 years ago. Lots of luck planning ahead or getting help from my family members. I just want to stay away from them.


  6. November 3, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Posted by DuRee Stewart

    How do I begin? I am the DIL and wife of the oldest of three brothers To a MIL (mother in law) that has Alzheimer’s/dementia. Moderate stage. The middle son and his wife have been meth addicts for years. After a breaking and entering charge this brother spent two months in jail. He is now a convicted felon out of jail and lives in a trailer in a neighborhood very close to my MIL. He was a banker in his fifties and his wife a teacher in her forties when they lost their home and practically everything they owned to drugs. They have a strained relationship with everyone, including their children and grandchildren. Before moving into the trailer, while waiting to go to trial on the breaking and entering charge; they moved in with my MIL and her boyfriend, whom she had lived with for about 15 years. She is 83 and he is 84. While living there, the boyfriend confided to my husband that his mother was essentially having to wait on them hand and foot. He said all they did was sleep, steal his cigarettes and fight. He said their room smelled awful. He said the brother stayed up all night, slept all day and was reported loitering in the neighborhood. He told my husband he wanted them out of his house but my MIL had threatened to leave him if he didn’t help them. He had paid $5000 for my brother in laws defense at my MILs insistence. He had lent my brother in laws kids about $6000.Through friends, we had heard my brother in law was also abusive to my MIL during this time and had even hit her. After the boyfriend asked my husband for help, we contacted the elder abuse authorities and the boyfriends family for support. We had conversations with them about the situation; they were onboard with any decision we would make and my husband and I made the decision to get a guardianship over my MIL; in an effort to protect her and her boyfriend from being preyed upon by the brother in law, his wife and kids and because in our state there is no common law marriage so when it came time to place my MIL in an Alzheimer’s care facility, someone would have the legal recourse to do so. We discussed all this with the youngest brother who has his plate full with two kids still in school and he was totally on board. During the course of this journey; we had discovered that my MIL had lost her entire nest egg, some 700,000 to you know who! During all this, my husband was getting calls from the bank saying my MIL was trying to cash fictitious checks and from the investor telling him his mom was trying to take money out of her Edward Jones account that barely has 30,000 left in it. Both places were aware that something was not right with her because she seemed disoriented and they were concerned that someone was coaxing her. We are from a small town where everybody knows everybody. So we proceeded to hire a lawyer. Now.... after papers were served there has been a 360 degree turnaround, the boyfriend has now decided that the middle drug addict brother is a great guy, back to his old self, done his time etc etc and called to ask us on speaker phone with all present “what are we trying to do to my husbands mother?”!!. So, we called the boyfriends family looking for support and they had a different opinion all of a sudden as well.. The boyfriend had told his children that he was taking care of her and he would decide when she needed to go to a facility. Seeing that this was a big concern for them initially, their lack of concern for him doing this now, is highly suspect. In the meantime my MIL is loosing weight, making irrational decisions, still drives, not sleeping and her boyfriend (caretaker) is 84 years old. He simply does not want to be alone. He even made the comment to one of his kids he guessed he’d “ just have to get a dog” when she went to a facility. Him wanting her there with him has nothing to do with what’s best for my MIL. It’s about him not wanting to be alone and his kids not wanting the responsibility of taking care of him. They all live out of state. The drug addict son and his family are milking her social security monthly and that is their motive to “ wipe her ass if needed” according to what he had told the youngest brother he was willing to do to keep her “ out of a facility”. The youngest brother bought into the middle brothers lied and now wants all three to sit down and talk about their mom and her care. My husband refuses to sit down with the middle brither as he is a lying, manipulative preditor that we highly suspect took her lifelong savings over the course of a few years and can’t be trusted as he has proven over the course of 30 years. We were willing to step up and pay a lawyer to do the right thing by my MIL but now we have halted the guardianship as we would be fighting both brothers, her boyfriend and his family to get her the help she needs. Talk about selfish, self serving people? Sometimes you just have to walk away. We live three hours away and both the other brothers live close enough to care for her needs. It’s time they stepped up. All I can say is Karma will get them all.


  7. September 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Posted by Susan

    It is so overwhelming to be the one with the responsibility of one (dad), and knowing two more (mom and stepdad) are coming. Stepmom dies several years ago, and from lack of planning for old age, my father had to come live with us. My parents divorced when we were barely adults, and dad moved about 2 hrs away. Once that happened, we spent some time at his house but after he remarried, we didnt spend alot of time because they were either busy with her older adult kids and grandkids or whatever, or us being narcissistic your adults were also “too busy”. We both married in our mid 20s and I moved 3000 miles away to the opposit coast. Dad never came to visit me, but I came to visit my parents, both being in different towns 2-4 hrs apart, I made it a point to see both, because I love them. Now My brother lives 4 hrs away with his wife. Both of them work in order to maintain their standard of high living, while I had to close my business 7 yrs ago in order to take care of my father. My husband also has a very good figure income as my brother, but is supporting me by staying in the town where all the elders are. My biggest issue is that my brother expects me to BRING my dad to him to visit. My dad is 85, very frail, has vascular disease and cannot make a 5 hr road trip without consequences, usually weakness, falls, confusion etc. My brother does NOT think this is an issue, whether he doesnt believe me or whatever. So in asking him to take time off and come stay with dad so my husband and I can do a little reconnecting ALONE, he has now proceeded to tell me, after 7 yrs caring for him mind you, that he has no intention of helping out, more or less, he is holding a grudge from 40 yrs ago when dad would not come and see his kids baseball games. REaLLY!!! Then he says after making very little deal over sons early heart issues, that we were not THERE for him...really? We were never privvy to when this happened as we are not privvy to anything that happens in his family until it is about to happen or after the fact. So I am done! His children have received gifts and cards and nothing but love from me. With the responsibility I have with all the elders, never a visit, a call, an email, nothing. Because I cannot have the out of the house active life of family, friends and travel, as much as they have, I am not worth apparently. I am so sick of it. It is freaking pathetic that no one will give us a break. It has caused me to be bitter towards all of them and just not care what any of them think, feel, etc. We get invited to littles bday parties out of duty, not because they want us there. We have “felt” the love, or lack there of, when we do spend time together. Like an imposition for us to be there after driving 5 hrs, paying for a hotel, dealing with fall out from elders afterwards etc. I cannot do that. I am no spring chicken. I am health compromised myself. They all have said ....oh call your church maybe someone can stay with him. REaLLY??? lol. I dont even get to GO to church. And pops is not going to have someone else here other than family if we want to get away, and that include bro thats it. And he do snt even trust him totally, but for us, would agree to allow him to come. (well gee thanks dad). Anyway, just a vent, but I gave up on bro. He did pass thru taking his daughter home some weeks ago, stayed an hour or so then went on. It was very awkward after our long telephone conversation a week prior regarding how he had no respect for our father because he “left” when he was 18 and wouldnt bail him out of jail when he got arrested at 19 for a dui. REaLLY?..omg just so selfish! I am over it. Guess I just had to vent it. There is no way that relationship will ever work out till pops is on his deathbed, then he will come looking for his share, which ironically, my dad has split between the two of us when he is gone. It wont be much. We have laid out more than his share on his care out of our own pockets, so F you brother after you get your money, you will be dead to me,


  8. August 15, 2018 at 7:57 am | Posted by Tammy

    I'm the youngest of 8. My mom will be 89 yrs old.She has heart failure and barely can brother and sister decided I would be the caregiver.Instead of complaining are arguing I just thought of my mom and did it.I left my home last year and left my husband.He's visits us twice a week and he works fulltime and takes care of his dad.He's a Saint. I ask my brothers and sisters for help several times but just fricken excuses , so I stop asking.I have a sister that lives in same city and is wealthy and doesn't work but she's to busy flying here and there.She calls my mom like once a month and says I'm going to Colorado are I'm going dancing.It makes my stomach turn.I wont tell my mother negative stuff about them, why? She already knows .my brother lives 2 hours away and is retired I ask him last year if he could fix the bath tub.he said ok and never came of my sisters has cancer and she's been over more then the others but she's to ill to help. A few years ago I died at the hospital a few times and I been disable because of heart disease and my whole spine is deterated.I sleep in the living room next to my mom and at night I hear her crying in pain. I get up and rub her legs and hip and give her pain pills. then I lay back down and cry and ask God to take away her pain and give it to me, sometimes I think he did cause I'm in so much pain.I make her breakfast and we watch soap operas and then I bathe her and its so hard cause I can't get her in the tub sometimes, even though she has a chair.onetime I was in so much back pain when I got her out of the tub she fell I couldn't hold her up.that guilt made me sick.Now I don't think I am the Best care giver and I can't stand my brothers and sisters they are dead to me. I don't even think they have a soul.but they will have their judgment day. Thursday mom and I have doctors appointments. I pray that she will get better and I pray God gives me the strength to help her.and I pray for all the eldery and caregivers.I know God is good and he has a plan for us all, He puts us where we belong.I am Bless that I can still take care of my Wonderful Mom. God Bless U all!


    • August 26, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Posted by Chris

      Tammy, please let me know how to contact you, if you'd like.... Chris


    • September 7, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Posted by Jen

      Oh my gosh! I'm the youngest of 5 and getting my sibs to help is a pain! I hope all is well!


    • October 24, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Posted by Maryanne Nawojchik

      You sound like a saint to me. Please give yourself a big pat On the back. I have a 90 year old Mom who has a caregiver but sometimes I resent the extra time I do give her over my Sister. I realize I have nothing to complain about after reading your story. God bless you!


  9. July 1, 2018 at 11:23 am | Posted by John

    I'm the one out of of 4 brothers who makes the least amount of money and my mom who is 84 this July thinks I'm a bank while my oldest brother makes $70,000 a year, my next oldest makes around the same and my younger brother makes $15.00 an hr. I've said something to all of them and it goes in one ear and out the other. They don't care. My mom drains me and I just cannot live a day without her begging for money. I make $10.55 an hour. She doesn't make enough money from SS to make it. Expects me to pay her bills, etc. Relentlessly. And it's been this way for years. I just can't make them or her understand that I just can't do it anymore. I have no freedom and I can't live. It's not fair.


    • July 29, 2018 at 8:49 am | Posted by Louise Pool

      No it's not fair, I'm right there with you. I wish there was a way to REALLY GET YOUR POINT ACROSS!! I have tried many ways, from subtle hints, to the direct approach and heartfelt conversations, to COMPLETELY FLIPPING OUT on them!! Nothing, NOTHING seems to phase them. At the very least, they will appease me but then never follow through. The way we need to look at it is... As unappreciated of a "job" a caregiver is... what we are doing IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. Our parents loved us and cared for us and we should do our best to honor them by reciprocating that to them. Have faith in Karma and know we'll have our day, as well as our siblings will. Hang in there and stay strong!!


    • September 7, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Posted by Jen

      Hugs :(


  10. May 15, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Posted by Astrid

    Most of my siblings are more than 50 miles away & can understand the travel & stress of traffic. However, our parent is terminal and I asked for an initial meeting regarding their care (siblings only) which was recommended by a Nun at the hospital our parent recently stayed & thought it was a pretty good idea The responses were split in half. The sad truth is these in-laws/siblings are concerned with one thing only, what's it going to cost them? These are individuals who never concerned themselves with where our parent would spend a holiday, birthday (no invitation ever extended), definitely no financial/respite offered from these individuals. Luckily, I have a wonderful support system provided by a Hospice Agency. I am provided with 4 hours respite M-F. Queen Elizabeth says "Don't complain, Don't explain" I am applying this to myself regarding certain siblings. Not trying to be a martyr, just want to keep my sanity & keep the anger and resentment well at bay. Many blessings to all the care givers.


  11. April 11, 2018 at 10:34 am | Posted by Karen

    I agree, the world would be better if this article wasn't needed, and for hard-headed stubborn family it is not reality. I am the youngest of 5 with an 86 year old mother who loves with her boyfriend. Neither of them drive. I live 45 minutes away, have 2 children in high school, work full time with required Saturday overtime every other week. My oldest brother (and POA) lives over 2 hours away from Mom, and handles paperwork, and comes down about once every 3 weeks or so. I have a sister who is not involved whatsoever and lives 5 minutes from Mom. I have a brother who lives 15 minutes from Mom and not involved. I have one last brother who though can't stand any of us, is wonderful when it comes to Mom, and his wife helps as well. He shops for Mom every other weekend, and his wife bathes Mom and washes her hair. Mom will not let anyone else do this. He and his wife are amazing when it comes to our mother. His willingness to step up is a blessing. He works 5-6 days a week as well as I do. Mom also will not ask anyone else but he and I to help with shopping. He goes one weekend, and I go the next. 2 of the other 3 kids do absolutely nothing. Mom insists on keeping her own place. She has become extremely demanding, and even asked if someone else could take my kids for haircuts while I take care of her. I replied, why can't one of your other children take you to the store then? She got mad and hung up. She tells me that my one sibling "went back to work part time." Yeah, well I never stopped working FULL TIME WITH OVERTIME and raising kids..ALL of my siblings children are out of the nest. I am becoming resentful not only 2 of my other siblings, but of Mom as well. I wish I enjoyed going to her home, but I do not even stay because she and her boyfriend are incredibly heavy smokers..even with her on oxygen. It was a priveledge to take care of my grandmother. I have guilt that I resent caring for Mom, and this is simply maintenance care. I asked Mom last night to contact one sibling for this coming weekend, and she got MAD!!! She even called my eldest brother and told him I don't want to help anymore. This is not true. I just think it's time she asked more of us to step up and pitch in. BUT, this isn't what SHE wants. It doesn't matter that I have to work Saturday. She wants me there Friday night when I get off work at 6pm. She told me to be there by 6:30. I told her IF I make it it will not be before 7. She said "I will see you by 6:30." I said "No you will not." I know that I have a responsibility to help care for Mom. I have less and less desire to do it though when she refuses to even TRY to be fair. Ok..Vent session over.


  12. March 6, 2018 at 10:59 am | Posted by Sam Obrart

    Hi, I just finished reading a very interesting article on the Caregivers Stress blog on tips to reduce family drama when it comes to elderly care and felt compelled to send you a message to share how helpful it has been with my research for an upcoming article we’re planning at SuperCarers. Thanks for all the helpful insights and please let me know about any upcoming articles you have. Kind regards, Sam


  13. February 9, 2018 at 10:48 am | Posted by jack kennedy

    This article and it's suggestions sounds great but it isn't reality. When you're dealing with selfish, narcissistic people. You can have the kind of parents that if you were a serial killer would support you and they won't lift a finger, however when the parent is gone, they arrive on the scene for the reading of the will. The reality is in many cases the brunt of the caregiving falls on one adult child. And often because the caregiver was "burnt" by a sibling or siblings who never helped, once the parent is gone that's the end of their relationship. Sad but true. This article is written by one of these "experts" or never actually did caregiving. Sounds great, but it's not the real world.


    • March 2, 2018 at 9:39 am | Posted by dr kelly

      The article has great suggestions and warns people of how others will respond. So true, usually only one person is the caregiver and often not the "favorite" child. Use the loved one's money to hire help as much as possible. Assisted living is sometimes an option (VA benefits can help with this), chore provider pay if person is on Medicaid, etc. Nursing homes (good ones) are a lot of fun with tons of activities and attention if appropriate. Read about caregiver burnout to prevent and/treat it. Love and blessings to all of the angels out there helping loved ones.


    • June 11, 2018 at 9:35 am | Posted by Brenda

      I share with you because I am going through the same thing right now. It is very emotional. I gave up a lot to first help my father with my ailing mother. With my dad I wasn't sure if I should stay or not but I felt bad because he would be all alone. I have one sibling who lives 12 hours away and now we are not on speaking terms because he doesn't care to help me. When I have health issues myself and it comes to the will, he is greedy and has my dad wrapped around his finger. They both make feel like an outsider just because I am not his daughter by blood. But I still worry about leaving while my sibling doesn't seem to bother him make all kind of plans to do with his life.


    • July 29, 2018 at 8:22 am | Posted by Louise Pool

      I agree wholeheartedly with you jack kennedy... I am my mothers primary caregiver. I quit my job and myself and my fiancee moved in with mom about 19 months ago. I was and still am VERY DIRECT in asking for help with moms care. The first 10 months were tough enough trying to get help from my 2 older siblings, (yes, I am the baby!) when mom was still very independent, just experiencing cognitive issues from dehydration and a UTI. Then a stay at a rehabilitation facility 10 months ago, she broke her hip (May I add, she was there for ONLY 4 hours). Now the responsibilities for her care are OVERWHELMINGLY. I have reached out to them NUMEROUS times. My sister (the eldest) recently retired, but ALL her time is consumed with her grandchildren and in-laws. That's correct, her IN-LAWS!! My brother is still working, but he has been great in helping out when my fiancee is working (he travels out of state several months out of the year) by just dropping by or picking up things at the grocery store or pharmacy and pays for the items himself. My sister wouldn't even pay for a package of socks I asked her to pick up once. I had to make out a check for $6.58. She IS and HAS been the one "so concerned " with moms finances. There is a great deal of animosity between my siblings, this going back years when our dad was ill from Alzheimer's and it started over a STUPID piece of property owned by our parents. I have been stuck in the middle and have tried very hard not to make anyone mad, because I NEED THE HELP, as little as it is. My brother, he will come through for me, most times. My sister on the other hand, tells me she's going to be more involved and where is she? Not here helping out!! If she does come to stay with mom so I can get out to do errands or have some "me" time... SHE SETS A TIME LIMIT on when I must return!! Really??!! So now, I am feel animosity towards her. Shortly after I moved in with mom I discovered my sister, at moms request, cancelled the Long Term Care Insurance about 9 months prior to when it really could have been beneficial with moms situation. Instead of reassuring mom that it was a good investment to have, considering she has Macular Degeneration, like my brother and I had been doing for years. I have bit my tongue and held back from saying what I REALLY would like to tell my sister, just to keep the peace. However, that time will come and you are correct, there will no longer be any sort of relationship with my sister One last comment to the "experts" out there. Possibly it's our locale, but I AM FED UP OF HEARING ABOUT HOW MUCH OUTSIDE HELP IS AVAILABLE FOR CAREGIVERS!! I have YET to find anything REMOTELY CONSIDERED helpful for our situation. As I see it, it's all a big money thing, doing absolutely nothing with the quality of care OR the wellbeing of the loved ones that are in need. My philosophy... if they can't do, at the very least, as well as me, a woman who never had any children to care for and is as inexperienced at Home Health Care as they come... THEN THEY CERTAINLY ARE NOT GOING TO BE ALLOWED TO CARE FOR MY MOM!! Sorry for rambling... but thank you for the opportunity!!


      • August 30, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Posted by mk

        I'm so sorry for your situation, Louise. I agree - the article is unrealistic. When you're in the trenches of this work, and siblings give every excuse not to help, it can be soooo overwhelming! Know that when it's over, you're the one that will feel comforted and will be blessed with love for what you've contributed. But, please take care of yourself, first! I'm going through a similar situation right now - though not as extreme. Take care!


    • September 19, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Posted by Tammy Finley

      Your so right!


    • October 20, 2018 at 8:45 am | Posted by Lisa

      Oh yeah, dealing with a sociopath narc sibling. She’s hated me since the day I was born, physically and emotionally abused me my entire life. Mom has health issues and the devil moves her in under the guise that she shouldn’t live alone in her older age. Had her sell our house, was in all three of our names, and moved her and step dad(only father we knew) in. Mom was hospitalized and she was abusing step dad, who passed while mom was hospitalized. I’m sure she has a hand in it, I’d bet money on it. She wanted mom logging there to pay her mortgage! Charged mom $1000 a month rent until, ready for this one, when our aunt died, she took the CD my aunt left for me, considerable amount of money. Yes I know this is a felony, but mom will get sick if I have her arrested. She works part time, smokes pot and drinks and is a nightmare. Two of her three sons don’t even speak to her. I work 10 + hours a day, in sales, which is a tough job as it is. I’m so stressed out My body feels like it’s been hit by a truck. She is so selfish she doesn’t even do simple things for my mother. Mom has enabled her and she would stick up for her if she killed me, I’m certain. I’m so depressed over this, I don’t know how much more I can take, or why


  14. January 21, 2018 at 10:10 pm | Posted by Help

    My dad passed away a couple months ago. My moms health has declined after a fall. I am married with a teenage daughter. No one will help me with mkm but my siblimgs has no problems telli g me what needs to be done or when she is in the hospital taking over like they are the ones that has been her caregiver. I am not well and have severe health issues but they are always worse off t gen me. After i told them i have even thought of ending my life because of all the stress and sick ess and havng no help with my mom they just say well they have alot on them too. Neither one of them have chuldren at home only me. What do i do?


    • January 22, 2018 at 11:17 am | Posted by Home Instead

      Hello, and we are sorry to hear about the passing of your father. Caring for a family member can be a lot for siblings and you shouldn't feel guilty leaning on outside help if your siblings aren't offering the help you need. Consider checking out our resource, The 50/50 Rule, that provides tips to solve family conflict and foster adult sibling communication: You can also check out your local Area Agency on Aging for senior care resources. And, just as important is your health and well being. The suicide hotline,1-800-273-8255, is available to you 24/7. We hope you find some of those resources helpful - wishing you the best!


  15. September 29, 2017 at 12:08 am | Posted by Nina

    My mother moved in with my husband and I about 6 months ago. It has been taken a toll on me. I have 2 brothers and 2 sister and I am the youngest. Non of my siblings are helping me financially or emotionally with my mom. Since she had moved in, I have been overwhelmed and extremely stress. Not to mention my work life has more demand and cannot get my siblings to help me. and financially. I have a lot of resentment for them and I don’t know what to do. My relationship with my husband is going downhill because I’m always stress. I have to do extra work so I can take care of my mom but I don’t think I can do anymore. My mother also plays the martyr and makes me feel guilty at all times. I’m not sure why I’m the only one that has to feel that way when my other siblings are living their life and I now have to be the only caretaker because they know I can do it. She thinks that I don’t care and that I’m trying to kick her out when in fact I’m only asking her to tell her other children to help. I cannot win for losing. I Hate the situation that I’m in and always feeling resentful towards family and guilt from her. I’m lost and lonely and I never used to be that person. The stress is killing me slowly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


    • October 19, 2017 at 10:53 pm | Posted by Vicki Jackson

      My mom moved in with me after the final hip surgery last spring, the big one. Fortunately, she had workman's comp and insurance help for home care. Even with this, problems arise. Her immediate needs were very custodial: cleaning her after all bodily functions, dressing her, lifting her, feeding her...basically, keeping her alive and restoring her health after it had declined in rehab from limited attention, poor food, and her depression. My siblings were counter productive. One, refused because he claimed he could simply not handle it and, to his defense, he had a son on drugs with problems who had moved back home. The other, was living in Denver. She did assist with emails to various key player in the bureaucracy of Mom's care. Ultimately, however, Mom's need to be helped fell to me. I had witnessed her decline for years. Even when I lived 15 miles away, I was her go-to person for appointments, both doctors and personal. Since she and I had always lived in adjacent neighborhoods, we saw a great deal of each other, as did my children, these over forty years. Mom was my friend and mom. I had been through hard divorces and she had been there for me. She had been through life with an alcoholic spouse, and his abandonment. I was there for her. It seemed natural that I would take Mom in during her final years. After eight years after a divorce, some family fallout over my living with Mom in her house to help, I moved into my own house. Even while looking for it, I always considered the space that would house us both were that time to come. Well, it did. I was hurt and angry at her when she did come. seven months prior I had left because I refused to live with my addicted nephew who Mom took in against my pleas. Rather than understanding as to my value to Mom, my siblings made me the villain. This disregard hurt, too. With some time to heal from this debacle, and some counseling; I still took mom in when my nephew crashed and burned and Mom was left abandoned in her house alone with no one to care for her and pending hip surgery. My house is suited to her needs. She has her own bedroom, on the same level as the kitchen, living area and bathroom. I installed a landline for her so she could contact friends and family. The insurance company pays for a caregiver and they had a ramp installed behind my house. With regular meals, love and PT, Mom has recovered and is much stronger. She walks with a walker and takes care of her basic bathroom needs, and dressing with limited help. Most days are harmonious. But her emotions are delicate. She still talks of going home to her townhouse, but this is an impossibility. She cannot manage her own care givers nor a house, nor can she be left alone. She realized her dependency and gets depressed. I am a single woman of 65, retired with grown children who live in two different states. Mom is my family and I benefit from her company and love; however, there are times when I long for my space. I think above all else, it is this lack of privacy that I miss and i stress over it. We both know that assisted living is out of her reach and that she must accept life with me or pay out of pocket about $6,000 a month. I also envisioned that we could have some fun. That expectation is soured by her depression, low ambition, lack of sight and diminished mobility. I get it, but sometimes I am depressed being around a person who is always a downer. It is paramount for me to exercise three times a week and to take daily walks. . As they say, use it or lose it. I see that Mom would have likely been more mobil had she taken better care of herself. I also try to eat better. This is hard because her eating habits require lots of dairy and fat. I cook balanced meals and consider myself a gourmet, but she is a country girl and eats plainly. I tend to share her meals and my weight has increased by 10 pounds since she moved in. Thus the need for exercise. Everyday is a challenge, but as we settle in to a routine and try to find some common interests, like book club, some stress is diminished. I try to make her laugh. This is all new territory to me as well. I am totally imperfect, but I also pray and turn it over to God. Just know that you are not alone. Siblings may be the least likely to understand or validate you. Folks like me out there in the universe, caring day-in-and-out for an elder parent get your guild and frustration. Give yourself some credit.


    • March 22, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Posted by Barb

      Hi Nina, I'm sorry you are going through this with your family, I wish I could say the right things and change your situation. But, I can't. I just went through the same thing, I'll be praying for you. Looking back I wish I had found a support group. Hugs!!!


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