The Truth About Siblings and Caregiving

Caregivers and healthcare professionals know, “there’s always one.” In most families there is one sibling who shoulders most of the responsibility for caregiving. It doesn’t matter if you’re one of six or the only child. There’s always one.

Sometimes you become ‘the one’ because you are a natural leader or doer. Sometimes the role is yours because, admit it your bossy, and you don’t make lots of space for other siblings to help or have input. Sometimes your parents choose you and sometimes geography does. It doesn’t matter so much how you come to the role. What matters is how you handle it.

If you are ‘the one’ there are certain things you need to watch out for – besides burnout, of course. Beware these four traps: resentment, wishful thinking, indecision and indiscretion.

The four traps of caregiving with siblings

Resentment: It is easy to become resentful when you are ‘the one.’ “Where’s the help?” “Why is this on me?” “Why do they get a pass?” And of course, “This isn’t fair.” It’s not that your resentment isn’t justified – it very well could be. It’s just that negativity can eat you up. And when you are the caregiver, you need to take care of your self – mentally, physically, and emotionally.

When my parents were both hospitalized, I kept a spreadsheet of all the things I needed to do for them. There were 196 items on the list at one point. Plus I had my full-time job. Plus I had my kids. When one of my siblings would tell me they needed to take a break from our family crisis to buy groceries or do laundry it would make me crazy. I could feel the effect my resentment was having on me and I knew it was only going to make me sick or permanently damage relationships I wanted to preserve.

Unable at the time to seek the help of a professional therapist due to time and money constraints, I had to find a way to deal with my feelings. It was during my morning gratitude practice that I decided I’d rather be thankful that I was able to manage so much, than be resentful that I had to do so much. How lucky I was that I had the strength, stamina, resources and organizational skills to handle our family crisis. And who was I to expect everyone else would work the same way I did? We were all caring for our parents in our own best ways. This shift in how I thought about my responsibilities was huge for me. I was truly grateful for what I was able to do.

Wishful thinking: Even though I learned to be thankful for my role, my husband did not. “Why don’t you ask for help?” he’d say. “You have a family. Someone else needs to do that.” I understood where he was coming from, but I also knew he was practicing wishful thinking.

We all have different strengths and weaknesses. I am great at execution. I can manage logistics like nobody’s business. I have mad Google skills. Couple that with my assertiveness and I am often the best person to ask questions of oncologists, negotiate assisted living leases, lead meetings with the eldercare attorney. I do my research, prepare my questions, and ask for what I need.

I’m not so good when it comes to the emotional tasks or the soft skills. My sisters are much, much better in those areas than I am. So it would have been wishful thinking to ask them to take on some of my tasks and expect they would handle them the way I would. Better for me to ask them to step in where I wasn’t very good. “Hey can you call Mum? She needs someone to talk to.” Or, “Can you keep in touch with the relatives so I can deal with the doctors?”

Indecision: If you are ‘the one’ chances are you are, or will be, your parents’ power of attorney and healthcare proxy. If that is the case, you are in charge. Own it. It’s good practice to ask for input from your siblings, but know when to stop gathering opinions and take action. Your parents gave you the role because they trusted you. You need to trust yourself. If your siblings don’t like it, that is unfortunate. But, you are not caring for them.

One way to avoid indecision while also avoiding alienating family members is to take a high input low democracy approach. Get everyone’s’ feedback. Value it. Weigh it. And then make your best decision. Hopefully, your family will understand if your decision isn’t in line with their input. And if they don’t, just know you listened and acted to the best of your ability.

Indiscretion: As a caregiver, you will most likely spend plenty of time with your aging or ailing parent. And during those interactions you may be tired, stressed, and frustrated with your siblings. Don’t mention it! Find a friend, a spouse, an online support group to vent to. Do not unload on the person who requires care. They have enough to worry about and do not need the guilt, worry and stress that comes from knowing family rifts are forming.

About a week before my mother died, one of the last times she was awake, she took my hand, and said, “Promise me you will be good to your sisters.”

“Damnit, I was trying to avoid this moment,” I joked. “But of course I will Mum.” It was what she needed to hear.

And I meant it.

You might also like:

How To Talk To Your Siblings About Your Aging Parents

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188 comments on “The Truth About Siblings and Caregiving”

  1. Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com Reply

    Hi Liz! Just found you on the link for Women of Midlife on FB. The title of your post caught my eye because I think the majority of us in midlife face this issue if we have siblings. I know it came up with both my mom and dad. And while I was not the “primary” caregiver for either of them. (Dad took care of mom and then a friend took care of Dad) I was sort of the “lead” in many of the issues you address. In some ways I had it easier that many others, but there is always that dynamic with siblings. Two of us lived closer and two lived far away. The biggest challenge for me was that my older sister “exected” to be the lead but wasn’t really that good at it (IMHO) and my parents felt because she was older she should be the one in charge. So while I did most of it, I still had to let her feel like she was doing it. Fortunately it did work out because we love one another but it is seldom easy. Thanks for shedding light on this issue! I’m sure it is helping others. ~Kathy

    • admin Reply

      Thanks for your comments Kathy. These issues are universal – but they all play out differently based on the families.

      • Sadie Reply

        I’m glad. I read this article. I’m stuck with parents (they live with me). I have three siblings who don’t help at all to give them time. I get very angry when I see they have no attachments towards parents and busy in life with zero empathy. And always complaining on how I’m not doing enough.
        My mom had Breast cancer in 2019. My husband helped but none of the siblings helped her. I had to put my kids in-front of tv all the time so I can take care of her and take her to all appointment (she didn’t speak English). Plus I had to call the siblings to update them on everything (hence, taking more time away from my family). By 2021, I took all my phone numbers out as her point of contact and gave my Dads number without asking him so he takes complete care of her and not me. I was mentally exhausted and my kids were getting effected.

        I have my own husband and 3 kids.

        I’m always stressed I beg my sisters indirectly to have them over for a visit sometimes or even for one weekend a month but no one wants them over 🙁 since it’s work for them.

        Now, Its still so depressing since both my parents are in good health now but they just stay home all day 24/7. They have no friends and they go no where (we live close to beach in california…they don’t even go to beach)
        Me and my husband have no privacy. I think I have mild depression I’m never able to spend time with just my husband and kids alone at home.
        I hate talking to my siblings now.

        • Yves Reply

          I am in the position of trying to help my aging, housebound dad and also trying to support my sister who has had sepsis a year ago. She is the eldest, but has a radically different way of caregiving to myself, she herself needs to be needed and has taken every need over for him.. even the ones that he could have done himself, so now as a result he will do nothing for himself at all, wont wash, cook, clean his home. He does everything in bed, eats meals…everything. My sister enables this albeit well meaning, but all she does is moan how tired she is and can’t cope with him, so I feel like I am caregiver to both of them. A blind man could see that my dad need carers in to take care of personal needs, but she ignores me when I bring it up. I believe he would have a better quality of life if he was even in sheltered housing where he could socialise a bit. It is causing issues between my sister and I which I dont want, but I see no answer to it.

          • admin

            A very tough situation for you indeed. Keep in mind, she is choosing to tire herself out, and you can choose to let her.

        • Lisa Fell Reply

          Sadie

          I was in a very similar situation, and in the last 11 months both my parents died. Consider yourself lucky to have them with you

    • Mar Reply

      Your story is so much the same as I have experienced. I too have been in this predicament for 7 years . Now mom has passed 6 months ago I still cop the brunt of this task. What was supposed to be shared never happened what was supposed to be love between siblings towards care for our beloved parents never happened what was supposed to be kindness to each other never happened. However we can hold our heads high with love and honour towards caregiving to our parents. Being once a aged care nurse I saw this happen to many families I never ever expected it to happen to ours. You are the best soul loving compassionate caring and human never beat yourself up we do our best we hold them to the best we can ever do. God bless you and you will have your hearts memories hold them cherish them your world and your giving will never be forgotten in the loved ones whom you hold their hand through their journey of life.

      • Kyle Reply

        I cares for my father as he dies from cancer for 9 months. My brother did nothing, my mom wasn’t there for me. I’ve never felt so angry and alone. 2 months after he died another car ran into my dads old truck, on top of having cared for my dad alone now I’m injured and have headaches and neck pain daily. My mom and brother couldn’t care less.

          • Bernadette M. Nelson

            I carry tremendous anger and resentment toward family members who haven’t even called me during the past 3.5 yrs I relocated my mom w Alzheimers from her home to assisted living near me. It’s hard to believe people can be so self-centered. They all learned that behavior from my mom. I think they regard me as the invisible Cinderella. I need to find a way to dismiss their value in my mind. Fortunately my husband is a huge help to me.

          • Melissa

            I was Googling estranging from family as I am 24 working full time with 3 siblings that don’t help with palliative care with my mother. I then decided to google ‘siblings not helping with caring’ to find someone who is going through everything I am going through. I am exhausted, my mum relies on me mentally for support and then caring and doing everything physically whilst I have 2 siblings that claim they are tired when one visits once a month from London, and my brother eats the food I buy or make for him once a week. My other sibling has visited twice since Christmas.

            I feel like I hate them. They talk about me… I’m now short with them… I have told them how I feel and now they just avoid us even more. I’m hurt. Why has this all been left to me. I have always been the closest to my Mum but I can’t believe how little my other siblings seem to care about her welfare. I’m at a loss. I no longer see it getting better. I haven’t had a day off in 7 months at this point.

            I thought I was alone. I now know I’m not. I just feeling I’m sinking in grief and chores.

        • Laurie Gibbons Reply

          My sister hasn’t talked to me for 6 months after my mom died, she never went to see her, my husband and I did all the work. Paperwork finances was my husband. I was there for my mom 4 days a week at the nursing home. I don’t regret it for a minute. I have said awful things to her because I don’t understand how she could do this. The last time she sent the police to my house because she was worried about me. I was so upset u yelled and screamed at her. I understand why she did because I have depression and anxiety and take medication for it. She said she will never worry about me again and that was the last time she talked to me.

          • admin

            I am sorry it has come to this for you and your sister. All yu can do is apologize, follow through in your actions and forgive yourself. Your sister will come around if she wants to.

        • ACHR Reply

          I have been caring for my mum who is slowly succumbing to dementia. She is more confused every day. What hurts so much is that every 6 months one of two of my siblings call my mum and rages at her about all of her failings, her poor decisions in her life, many and most of them related to her choices that have to do with how much money they are getting in the will. She calls me crying, so hurt. She has trouble standing up for herself. I am so angry that two of her children do this to her with their hands out. The latest rage outburst at her was this morning, the morning after Thanksgiving. What kind of son does that to his mother?!

    • rmk Reply

      But each is responsible for their choices – if one sibling chooses to sink her entire life into caregiving – that’s a choice. there are always options. me of the choicest that is not yours is to dictate what others should do or go around playing a victim and resenting others who may actually have better and healthier boundaries. i learned no matter what i did or didn’t do, it was never enough for the one who wanted the role as martyr. but it’s always easier to see others shortcomings … right?

      • Katelynn Reply

        Choices made to be caretaker, not the only person who has responsibility towards parents. Usually the ones criticizing are the ones who do the absolute least. I think it’s better to just understand that people can make the choice to not help their parents. There are consequences to that choice as well. I just wish those who bug out, would just say it instead of creeping away sneakily.

        • Rose Braeunig Reply

          No let me tell you something I may not be true in wall but they are my family and she is taught me so much Dad my family has never taught me I love her that I m a c a m

      • Sherry Reply

        Yes, one can make choices not to help. Choices are all over the place. Jet ski for the kids vs electric bill for monetarily poor parents. Billy Bob’s ballgame vs sitting with a sick parent who could die any minute. A friend’s birthday party instead of being at the hospital for a parent’s life threatening surgery. No groceries in the house, Mom? Sorry, I have to get my hair done.
        These are a very small sample of the multitude of excuses I’ve heard people use, in and outside of my family. In what universe can anyone honestly believe that it’s ok for one person to have to do it all? If you have parents, you have responsibility. Yes, one can make the choice not to help. And yes, there are consequences to that choice. One of those consequences is that now, literally everyone knows who you are. I mean who you really are. No matter how handsome or pretty you are, or how much perfume you’ve always worn to disguise it, people can now smell the sewage.

        • admin Reply

          I agree every choice has a consequence. But I don’t agree we can always know who someone is by the choices they make. Maybe you were Billy Bob once and your parent never missed a game and that’s a family value. Maybe your childhood was painful – we just never know what happens inside another family.

          • Amanda Hart

            Im at the beginning stages of taking care of both my parents long term by myself. They were both very abusive to my sister and I growing up, we all have been estranged for years and reconnected and estranged again many times over. When my own daughter left home at 16 because she couldn’t stand me anymore I had to get serious help. Professional help. I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist for 6 years now, still go to weekly therapy, and my daughter still doesn’t want anything to do with me. I was always too loving, a total pushover, a total peace maker and that’s just my demeanor. But I did fail as a mother. Probably even worse than my parents failed us. Now my only daughter lives with my sister who I know loves my daughter very very much and has been an amazing parent to her in many ways except two…..love and forgiveness. I had to learn for many years my therapy wasn’t about reconciliation with my daughter, but finding the value in myself and forgiving myself so I could move on and continue life with hope and a future. Now that Im in that place both my parents are going down hill. Im not married, I lost my daughter, I really dont have the life most people my age do , but I chose to stop feeling sorry for myself, use my time of singleness to help my parents in every way that my sister may not be able to and ask God to help me continue working on myself so when the time comes both my parents are gone I can truly be at peace and hopefully continue my next journey in life somewhere new. My options are limitless. No one wants to die alone and I know without a doubt no matter what happens God has ALWAYS taken care of me and whether or not my daughter ever wants me in her life again I know I will still have people in my life who love me. I don’t blame anyone for their choices. People have to do what is best for them. Helping my parents helps me. And gives me experience to help others with estranged family. Life is hard. And gets harder as we age. God bless you all. Thankyou all for sharing.

          • admin

            Thank you for sharing. “Helping my parents helps me.” Yes, it is a beautiful thing when we can see what caregiving gives to us too. Hang in there!

          • Andrea Carr

            Amanda Hart, it sounds like you and I are in similar boats. I feel, except for my close friends, that I have NO ONE to support me. My daddy is almost 88 and except for depression after my mama passed 18 years ago, has been relatively in excellent health.
            Now, due to his feeling of not be useful in things he could do when he was younger, it has been a challenge. I have one older sister who only lives one hour away and she often forgets what she promises what to do, what to do, etc…because she’d rather party, party, party. (She’s 61, I’m 56) My friends are great, but they luckily are spending time with their grandchildren, still working from overspending for many years, etc… Both of my daughters, and between them I have 5 grandchildren and 1 more on the way that I never get to see since I left their Father after 25 years of marriage. About a year after separating, all of a sudden I became a horrible mother, wife, and “bad to drink”. A little more than a year prior to separation, my 17 year old, whom we’d never had any trouble with, met some guy, and she ran away. It broke my heart in half. They are now all up their Daddy’s and his new wife’s butt, and won’t even go and see my Daddy ! (their own “Pa”, who adored them; thought they hung the son and moon”. I know lots encounter this, but my plate is loaded and more than physical help, I need emotional support- and there is none for me. My sister is oblivious, thinks spending 2 hours with our Daddy on Sunday is being a good daughter; I beg to differ- use common sense and don’t ask what he needs? Just pick up a few items at the grocery store, grab some toilet paper, clean a bathroom, etc….. I’m at my wits end, and though I cry and am angry after leaving his house (after work) sometimes because I am afraid of losing him, though I know death is eminent to us all. He’s getting better and stronger, but that’s NOW…..no one knows what’s coming down the pipe, and while I’m anticipating it and trying to think ahead…my sister is off partying like a 16 year old.

      • Rhoda A. Myers-Whitt Reply

        Your sister did what had to be done and she should have been helped in any way possible. To say she did it to be a martyr is just to let yourself off the hook. All too often siblings end up estranged because the one who loves the parent/s enough to try to make them comfortable has not even emotional support from siblings whose “boundaries ” are defined to allow them to avoid giving up anything. But those siblings will almost always be quite willing to take the time remotely criticize and then show up at the house sale and later the funeral to get the things that did matter to them.
        The parent/s would be ashamed of many of these.

        • Talia Reply

          Well said Rhoda.
          I have 4 other siblings who live locally 10-15 minutes away but do nothing to support our father, our only living parent.
          They have never visited their father only speak to him on the phone. They have never bothered to contact me to see how I am. I just exist. The hurt and pain they have caused me is difficult to put into words.
          I am now estranged from all 4 siblings, have been for 4 years. How selfish and self-centred they are.
          I will never forgive them for as long as I live.

      • PJ Spinillo Reply

        Hi rmk:
        This is exactly what my brothers have said to me and it has cut me to the core. Please understand that your response implies the primary caregiver HAS good choices and that is not always the case. there are no Senior resources that do help, regardless of what you read. We are all alone with a huge responsibility and do not have anyone else to help and Its not a “healthy boundary” when it a moral and ethical choice that your parent should be cared for rather than warehoused alone in an institution, especially during a global pandemic. Through my time of caregiving for my parent, my sibling were still my sibling and my parent was still their parent and there ARE things others can do. Things like calling and asking “how are you doing, how is your husband” are you able to get a break? Can I help you by doing online banking, can I help you find ___________ (you name the resource). There is A LOT a non-present sibling CAN do to help and support and to refuse to do that is not a better and healthier way for anyone. Thanks for hearing me out.

        • Katherine Reply

          You said this perfectly. It describes my daily thoughts and observations regarding most of my large family; several siblings, my dad, and the adult grandchildren. It’s more than burn out that many caregivers experience. Its excruciating disillusionment about others. It’s a painful loss on top of a loss to realize that in fact most people, including those we consider “loved ones”, even those who have had dear, loving and kind parents, are very immature in their ability to consider the needs of others before themselves. I don’t mean to be political *crazy that this is a political issue, but it is the same realization that I came to when reading mass of opinions about people who favor abortions and those who don’t. The reality is that all around us are people who can and do end the lives of or have someone end the lives of children growing inside of them/or children whose lives they initiated (males). That is why there is really no such thing as a debate about abortion. Facts are facts are facts. Calling them something different to live with ourselves/others, doesn’t change the simple fact that a child was alive and growing and then is purposefully dismembered, poisoned, etc to stop life and growth. When actually watching the act that is reality. So too is the reality that there are humans who carry this out, and those who request it. In the same vein, people in mass abandon elderly parents everyday and would do it again and again and again in the face of arguments about duty and love and altruistic reward. It IS abandonment, it IS disregard, they ARE that self invested. The difficulty for those of us who have an intrinsic sense of duty, love and altruism is acknowledging the terror of realizing how few there are that seem to be like minded. So we argue with ourselves in frustration, trying to change the emptiness that is our siblings/other abandoners, into hope. It’s not there. As my angel brother/co caretaker with me to our angel mother put it as I grappled with this for the hundredth time, “they are not coming”, “they know and they are not coming”. Not for a phone call, not to ask how you are doing, or how she is, not to help with finances or support of any kind. In for a penny in for a pound. They fear that more than they are willing to care. The end. This is so continually traumatizing for me because my mother was so selfless and encouraging and giving. Haunting. So hard. Wish instead that they all simply didn’t exist. Lately, worse, I hope that they will end up taking care of a spouse with dementia and no one comes to help them.

      • Laura Farmer Reply

        It’s so easy to have this response when you benefit from a sibling shouldering the burden. Shame on you for making them feel like their stress and unhappiness is their choice, fault, decision. Some people have a different definition of gratitude for years of parental sacrifice. Shame on you for making us feel worse.

    • Elizabeth Butler-Henderson Reply

      I just lost my dad after taking care of him for two years actually more but the last eight weeks in care watching him die. My brother showed up the day he died and when we went back to the house proceeded to start going through the house saying he had to advocate for his kids to ensure they got their fair share because they got nothing from his wife’s family estate. He continued to do this even after the lawyer told us nothing can be divided until after probate. I’m now questioning whether I was wrong to be traumatized by watching him do this. Has anyone else run into this? He chose to only come for a week and the rest of the family has taken his side. I have been accused of playing the hero when I tried to explain that I just watched my dad for weeks dying and I am not ready to watch someone pick what they want. The last thing he was doing was taking pictures of the valuables which made me think he doesn’t trust they’ll all be there. I will never forgive him. I have lost my dad and all my family now because of his callous disregard for my feelings. Thought I knew my brothers.

      • admin Reply

        You aren’t wrong for feeling traumatized – your feelings are your feelings. We all handle death differently and your brother is not in tune at all to what you are going through. I am sorry for your loss.

      • Judi A Swarz Reply

        Equating caregiving with the differences of opinion on abortion is an extraordinarily poor correlation. I am my mother’s caregiver. I am also a proponent of the woman’s right to an abortion. One literally has nothing to do with the other.

        • C McC Reply

          You are absolutely correct. That the writer equated one thing with another was outrageously thoughtless. Plenty of pro-choice people are caring for family members. I am one of them.

        • Holly Reply

          Thank you for your response concerning the correlation between abortion and caregiving. I couldn’t believe that whoever it was that wrote that could make that stretch! Good Lord!

    • Andy Reply

      And then there the one sibling who never moved out of the house, never got a car, never learned to drive, never contributed a cent and has been sponging of the parents for more than 50 years and exploited them financially. That sibling gets my vote for the one who has to take care of them.

    • AJ Reply

      Hi I care for parents, as they live with me, I have other issues, I am the person who have to tc of my family too. There is issues my mum relates things that happen in my household to other siblings, as my DD will say things and these are all repeated. I am just trying to make peace. I have so much going on, rest of siblings stay at home, but will still try to drag me even making decisions or talking to carers, appointments to talking carer’s etc. I have personal issues that I am dealing with too, within my family. Even if an appointment is needed it will be on my day off. There kids are at school. I do not have anyone to open upto. It hurts, and knowing that all is repeated to others what takes place in my household is worse., she would do the same if she lived with the others too I reckon. Any suggestions, please.

    • Cee Reply

      I admit it, I am the sibling that doesn’t help. I figure, my sister was always the favorite who got everything, so she can do everything. No ugliness intended, it’s just what I believe is fair.

  2. Linda Hobden Reply

    I see this happening all the time with my mother in law being the one to look after her own mother and mother in law; my own mum was the one who did most for her own parents when they were alive; and now with my own mum I feel that both myself & my sister should help together – my sister & I don’t always see eye to eye and our personalities clash so That should be interesting! I’m the eldest but my sister is more bossy! LOL. Thanks for sharing !

    • admin Reply

      I’m the youngest and bossiest Linda! Don’t expect your sister to be anything than what she is. Our styles become more dominant under stress. Work to her strengths.

    • Laurie Gibbons Reply

      Help me, I have said nasty things to her and have apologized over and over again, she has deleted me from texting. Calling her and email.

  3. Tara Reed Reply

    I’m THAT ONE… thankfully the other two step up but I’m the closest, have the most flexible schedule and don’t have small children. I’ve seen things play out so much worse in other families… The best advice you gave was NOT TO COMPLAIN to the person needing care. It’s so important! Thank you for the article – glad I found you from Midlife Bloggers on FB. 🙂

      • Darren Reid Reply

        I am the youngest of 3 and my parents are both 91 and disabled and I am the one. I live close by and retired from the police last year with I’ll health problems.

        My older brother is local but has issues himself the other brother works overseas but has had lots of time to assist or give me a break but there is always a reason why he can’t.

        I feel very resentful towards my brothers as they should be helping me.

        Running out of space to hold this in and I can see things getting nasty.

        Never discuss this with or in front of my parents.

          • Patti

            My 4 siblings have decided not to help me with our father who has a debilitating degenerative disease. I’ve managed his medical care and all of his affairs for over 5 years. It consumes many hours of my time to include an average of 150 telephone calls per month plus 50+100 text messages and several emails. I manage a team of paid caregivers who help him daily plus I directly care for him every other evening after dinner. I work full time in an office as well. Dad pays me via a legally contracted care agreement and I pay taxes on the money received. His attorney developed the contract after my siblings insisted we use one instead of him gifting me. Dad agreed to use the contract to keep the family peace. Regardless that I document all of my care to Dad of which he reviews and signs, my siblings still say there is wrongdoing. I pay taxes on the money Dad pays me and I’ve offered to meet with them to review the records. I gave them a choice of attorney presence if they wanted. They refused to meet with me. My siblings also took their accusations that I am exploiting our father financially to the local elder protection agency who investigated me and reviewed Dads bank records. The result of the investigation was that I had done nothing wrong and Dad was deemed competent as well as safe in my care. Dad also realized that I am the person who he can rely on so he made me sole financial power of attorney. My sibling were furious and refused to accept the reality that I am the only family member helping Dad. Instead they continue to do what they can to sabotage or ignore any accomplishment by me of a job well done for Dad. When he is hospitalized, they try to interfere with my medical decision making for him. At Dads last hospital stay, the nurse manager quickly recognized when my sibling wrongly influenced a doctor therefore the hospital has put measures in place to protect Dad going forward. One of my siblings threatened the facility where Dad lives and the leadership there recognized in general that my siblings, who rarely visit Dad, are the problematic ones in the family. The fact that the entities that share in the care for Dad have recognized that my siblings create problems has helped me feel empowered and acknowledged however I must admit that the pain of my siblings cruelty and abandonment of both Dad and me will overshadow every time. I am admitting this here to you in an attempt to release the hold they have on me. I read the comment posted by another reader to avoid not going to the elderly parent about the sibling problems. I believe my Dad knows what is happening but in order to preserve himself, we don’t speak of it. My mother who is divorced from Dad recently broke down in tears over my siblings behavior toward Dad and me. I reminded her that we are not responsible for their behavior and she accepted it. I don’t think I’ll ever feel completely whole and happy while caring for Dad given their mistreatment by siblings however I think that I am a healthy person doing my best under sad circumstances.

          • admin

            Wow! You are doing an amazing job- not just the care, but also focusing on what matters most. It must hurt – a lot.But hopefully the feeling of showing up for your father in the way you have will overshadow the pain they have caused you. Thank you for sharing.

          • Katelynn

            Patti, you rock!!!!! Your Dad is so lucky/blessed to have you. Keep up your work. I am sorry the only thing your siblings don’t say to you is: THANK YOU FOR TAKING SUCH GREAT CARE OF OUR DAD!!! WE APPRECIATE IT.

  4. Kristina Reply

    This really brought me to tears. I am the middle child and single mother of 2 girls, one of which was diagnosed with a mental health disorder. My father just spent 3.5 weeks in the hospital and 8 of those days were in the ICU. I was everything for my mother during that time and now they depend on me for a great deal as he is disabled and in the early (rapidly progressing) stages of dementia. I am a FT employee and mompreneur, as well. I have an older married sibling with grown children and a younger adult brother with no spouse or children. The load, however, rests on my shoulders. I sold my home and moved closer to my parents, but the other two are in their own worlds…one choosing to live on the complete opposite coast. Every now and then I find comfort in knowing I am not alone and that all things will work out just as they are meant to.

    Thank you for this post!

  5. Chelsea McGraw Reply

    We shared the last five years of our mum’s care, but my sister was particularly gifted in the emotional and physical parts of her care. My brother and I let her know in many ways how grateful we were, but most importantly we dropped everything, at a moments notice, to support her and jump in to take over on a regular basis. We all did the best we could and got through it with compassion, humor and love.

    • admin Reply

      Humor is an underrated caregiving skill Chelsea. Thanks for your note. We all play a different role – and that’s okay.

    • Rebecca Reply

      How lovely that you were able to do that and express this about your sister. I have been taking care of my mother for two years; given up vacations (and lost money), worried to the point I’m going in to see in two weeks if my cancer has recurred from stress and have not even gotten a phone call to see how it’s going. They talk to my mother but not me. I’m just the person who opens the door and does the work. I’m nothing more to them. I call them out on these things sometimes but they can never admit they do anything wrong or apologize or try to do more. I’m just the witch who complains. No call in two years to see how it was going during her COVID, various hospitalizations, not a thank you or a how can I help. And I took her in when I was still grieving over my DH’s unexpected and traumatic death. I work full-time. When she’s gone, I’m so done with them. They had a chance to be decent and loving and they decided to still act like the pouting spoiled children who have a chip on their shoulder that they’ve always been. Nothing ever changes. You are who you are. I have tried to be nice but set reasonable boundaries. Instead, they want to come in my home when I’m not here (there is a history of stealing things from me and snooping around), ignore mask mandates during the height of a pandemic around a 90 year old (and they were unvaccinated) and threatened to call senior services on me about it when I was just trying to follow guidelines and do the right things. I want to run away screaming. It is a thankless job although I’m glad I can do it. I find myself sometimes getting angry and in front of my mom, which I don’t want to do because I wanted her time here and us together to be comforting and make us close with good memories but stress does horrible things to you when you have no support. My siblings, like always, think somehow I’m getting something they’re not. Yeah, I’m getting to change colostomy bags, lose vacation days, get insomnia, worry night and day, never leave the house for more than an hour at a time. All they do is have a nice visit (if they choose to do so, which is rarely). Neither of them offered to take her. Every day I try again to make this a good place for her to be but no one realizes the stress and difficulties involved. They tell me I have a victim or martyr complex as well. Well, I don’t know–my husband killed himself in front of me, I’ve had cancer, I have a horrible job that I have to keep in order to have the funds and keep a ranch home built for two incomes (and now there’s only one) to take care of my mom because she’s in a wheelchair and can’t do stairs. But I keep going. I guess asking for help and thinking my mother had three children, not one, makes me a martyr.

      • Jen Reply

        Oh, I have been in your shoes and honestly the situation hasn’t changed just my mindset. I have 4 siblings and my children 20 and 23 they are the youngest of 10 grandkids. Caregiving started when my youngest was in middle school and the relationship with my siblings became strained in the last 5 years. I can only tell you, it only improved when I changed my mind. I decided I’m the lucky one. When my mom leaves this world my memories will be more. They will comfort me longer, and be a gift that eases the pain. I try to remember having two children of my own, mom loves them unconditionally and to ease her hurt I will too. No matter what. My faith will make me strong and give me rest and peace.
        Wishing you the best

        • admin Reply

          “I can only tell you, it only improved when I changed my mind. I decided I’m the lucky one.” Love it!

  6. PC Lim Reply

    I’m the youngest among 3 siblings. My dad has been diagnose of stage 4 nose cancer. My eldest sister migrated to melbourne with her family and my eldest brother is living at my place after divorce. I have 2 boys the youngest is Autisctic. Im a working mom at the same time i need to care for my dad condition day to day with my mom help as well. Is very draining and exhausting for me. My bro lives with us but he simply dont bother to help us on any domestic housework. Today he was told to sleep at living hall as he snore too loud! It cause my dad unable to sleep well having insomia anf chest pain. He wasnt happy with it and went off. My sis only ask for updates on my dad via mom. Im so stressed up! Despite my dad went for radiotherapy or having any checkup they are no where in sight.

    • admin Reply

      I am sorry you are dealing with so much and with so little help. Focus on what absolutely must get done and the rest can wait. And I hope your siblings step up.

  7. Bonnie Reply

    I did it all for my elderly Dad off and on for years. Full-time in the end. When he passed, my sister questioned every decision I made. Instead of being there for each other, she stuck with her husband’s family and was her typical uppity self.
    She was upset that he left assets in my name, knowing full-well that I would share equally with her. I fully believe that if it were her husband’s family that was in need, she would be there with bells on her toes. More money over there on that side. This is after years of me hosting holiday meals and just basically trying to have a happy family. Inheritance rolled around and I was as fair as possible. There was not a whole lot to get. Sorry, but she can’t fatten it up at my expense. All you caregivers out there, do it because you love your parent. You cannot control others if they have a selfish agenda. I have never felt so alone in my life. While my Dad was alive, I just made peace with the fact that I doing all the work. Now that he’s gone, it seems just as hard because, well, he’s gone. A big loss in my eyes, indeed.

    • Melanie Reply

      I cried when I read your post. I do understand.I wish you comfort for your loss. Yes I love my mom. She has dementia, she does not know me. I go to the nursing home every other week for a few hours, I know its not much at all. My sister does not go ever. she says she can’t its too hard and she would want to bring mom home. She says she feels guilty and that everyone hates her because she’s sick too. Sister ends the conversation saying Thank you so much for going, your going to get a crown in heaven. This is stupid. I want her to check on momma, not guarantee me a crown. I am not sure how I feel towards my mom, I believe I do love her but its mostly sadness that I feel. My own children barely know her and do not feel inclined to go see her. I have (1) niece that goes up there. So I’m not doing everything, but I dread going sometimes.. I just don’t understand my sister and I did get angry and asked her “When can you go up there” she replied “I don’t know” and never went. I just can’t NOT go. I do feel better when I leave the nursing home , glad that I went. Did Mom enjoy our visit? Not sure. Really. My mom does not talk anymore. Only makes sounds. At times she crys, acts like I’m hurting her, even if I’m putting lotion on . I wash her hair every time I go, I pull the chin hairs out (or she’d look like an old man. I bring fresh flowers & throw out the old, clean &straighten the room & bathroom. I feed her if I’ve arrived at meal time and play music on my phone for her. the 60’s music she used to like to dance and sometimes she still bounces in her wheelchair and smiles.Then I bring her a chocolate drink, do her nails. I clean the closet. I bring bag of new socks. I bring clean clothes. Not always new ones because they walk off. I bring all my beauty aids for her in my bag, because blow dryers, shampoo, hair ties and perfume walks off. I read all these stories and feel uplifted. I am going to be thankful that I can manage to get up there and stop being resentful that sister don’t go. Its the most valuable lesson learned lately & I needed it. Thank you all.

    • Michelle Reply

      Hi Bonnie, Thank you for this comment. My sister is doing the same. I am looking after my dad on my own living in his house & my sister is too busy with her family. She wasnt very nice to me when my mum passed away so I am expecting worse if & when my dad passes. I do feel alone & I feel like banging my head against the wall but most importantly I am there for my dad & wouldnt have it any other way. He has looked after both me & my daughter through the years.

      • Shannon Reply

        It’s been 10 months for me looking after my dad. My mom was going to put him in hospice. I said no he’s not ready???! My mom & 2 sisters haven’t spoken to me since… I feel anger some days & I’m dealing with trauma from over 2 years ago nearly losing my life to breast implants. He’s maybe got another 3-6 months.
        It’s so hard some days 🙁
        3 meals a day etc.. running around getting everything. Almost 1 year.
        I miss my space ..etc…
        It’s very heartbreaking seeing my dad grieve over his marriage these past several months 🙁
        I hope we’ll be sane after this !!!!? 🙂

  8. Rene Reply

    My younger sister is good at and does a lot with my mom . When I offer to take my mother to app or take something off my sisters plate she says no.

  9. Kathy Reply

    I’m having a hard time because it happened unexpectedly that I became my fathers caregiver. He stayed with me half the year and was a snowbird the other half. But within months, he declined to the point where he can’t live alone. My siblings feel I should take full responsibility because I’m retired. This enrages me to no end. Because I don’t work full time now (I do babysit for extra $), it all falls on me? It’s astounding to me why it takes so much time to take care of his business (paperwork, banking, rides, errands, medical appointments, shopping, etc.) but it’s pretty time consuming. My siblings do help somewhat with rides and two of them are very helpful with many things. But the rest of them enrage me with their lack of concern for either dad or me. There’s no answer. They know how I feel and I ask for help. One did stop for a haircut, another did stop at the drugstore with dad to get the pneumonia vaccine. But I just asked for someone to take him to get his new glasses and got crickets.

    • admin Reply

      Can you try asking a different way? “Let me know who’s taking Dad for his glasses this week. I will be (fill in the blank.)

    • Lk Reply

      I have the same issues. I am retired my Mom is still in her house but do all of the apts, shopping, paperwork, cleaning, etc. When I ask for help from my sisters they say they work and have no time. Mom doesn’t drive anymore and uses a walker. If I ask for help get told off from them. I get no respect and do this for nothing nor do I except pmt. How do I get some help from them? I am stressed out.

      • Sharon Alexander Reply

        . I retired dad became ill was taking him to the doctor’s appts after dropped dad off at home. Will go to mom’s house help do her hair, clean up her bedroom.(she complained about my oldest brother not helping) my mother have 5 daughter
        She complained to me I am the oldest daughter…I had stayed the night two weeks, give allowance, go home late..to prepare for dad’s doctor appointments…my parents dont live together.

        Now that I’m dad caregiver at my house.
        The family call me bossy and mom told me you are taking on too much.
        My son stopped by and said mom you know what you are doing. I said, yes. Son said, “You love your dad”.

        I told my son your grandma is upset or disappointed cause I can no longer help her. Wash her hair, grocery shopping, sometimes cooking. .anything she ask I try my best to do. One sister said, mom dont care what you do for her she will always complain.

        I been home 6 year…I been there for both parents

        Mom said she understand the other children not helping me with dad
        I said, they dont have to help ….I don’t understand you the
        mother and I am the sister.
        They can call to see how I am doing if they dont want to help dad it okay.
        I should not said anything to mom, she is very upset with my dad for leaving and dating an other lady.

        I wont complain God gives me the strength and guides me….I always had problem with the family.

        My said, I am not bossy just a caring and living person…you understand.

        I was a caregiver for my daughter went to heaven at 38yrs. old.

        I am my dad caregiver, he was not happy…went to nursing when he had radiation for the throat cancer.
        Now, lung cancer, bone cancer cannot live alone ,someone must be with dad 7days 24hrs.

        I my be dad caregiver I am learning that people will be people you can’t change them…only be YOU!
        I feel great about taking care of dad…(Hospice/end of life)

        Only God knows the day and time. So I will roll up my sleeve and continue on this life Journey.

        You cry, you talk to friends…dont tell but so much, you pray…God will bring you through if you belueve and have faith…..I am stronger now that I texted this message..you smile, stay healthy…take care of your body…..you can make get through…always love yourself and let your light shine

        • admin Reply

          Words to live and care by, “always love yourself and let your light shine.” Thank you and take care.

  10. Sue Farmery Reply

    I had full time live in care of my mother,who had dementiait, it certainly wasn’t how I expected to spend my early retirement. I had one morning and one Afternoon a week when siblings came to visit. Those hours off were cherished, I go out for a coffee, go and check my own flat or sometimes just had an uninterrupted nap. But the times siblings cried off with very little notice had me in tears. Why their doctors appointments had to be on the one morning they should have mum. So what if they were asked to pick up the grand children from school. I had gone through a night of our mother screaming and raving, the only thing getting me through was the thought of three hours to myself the next day. But an 8 am phone call of “I have a bad head today so I can’t come this week” had me i tears. I even screamed at my sister once, I’m bloody exhusted you get here by 9.30 or Mum will be on her own I’m going out, resulted in her irate husband calling me selfish! After two year I put Mum in a nursing home, sold the family home to fund it and picked up my life. Neither sister was happy, by the time mum died all but £25000 had been spent on Mum’s care. One sibling even accused me of losing her inheritance!.

  11. overwhlemed Reply

    Unfortunately, two of the four siblings in my family are incompetent and cause trouble rather than help.

    My one sister is psychotic, and adds to the burden. My one (well) sister and I had to take care of her while my father had cancer after a severe psychotic event that involved the police, $20,000 in damage in a day, and a hospitalization. My father died while she was in her 11th month in a psych rehab facility that took me 3 months to find.

    My brother lives in a cabin in the mountains and hasn’t worked in the ten years since he’s been released from a prison 12 ,00 miles away. He has temper explosions, and is angry all the time. He also does nothing to help (at least he hasn’t been arrested – trying to deal with embassies and a foreign prison is unbelievably difficult).

    This leaves my well sister and I to take care of my mother, who lives 2 hours away, has Alzheimers, lives alone, and resists help. I’m still trying to finalize my father’s estate,. which even included finding a bag of gold coins a few weeks ago that I sold for $9,000.

    All of this has made it hard for me to work for the past 2.5 years. Both my sister and I are burned out., having taken care of a sick sister, sick father and now ailing mother in that time.

    Those of you siblings who are competent and not helping, please jump in – your other siblings are suffering. Please forget your excuses …

  12. overwhlemed Reply

    PS: yes, both my sister and I have neglected kids because of all the family caregiving. I’m a single father and my kids’ mother abandoned them after our youngest daughter died.

  13. Jody L. Both Reply

    JodyB868801 13 minutes ago
    I have been caring for my disabled 83 year old mother for 3 years now, but I have lived in the house with her for 48 years, we were raised and I raised my children while living in the apartment that was built when my grandmother asked our family to move in after my grandfather died. When my grandmother died in a home, my mother turned to me and asked me to promise her that I wouldn’t let anyone put her in a home. She wanted to stay at home, that was in 1995. I told her I would, so in 1998, she wrote up a paper with her husband as a premarital agreement. The paper was signed and witnessed by a lawyer. The agreement stated that whichever of her children stayed in the house and cared for either her or her husband would be entitled to half the inheritance of the house, I don’t care about that, however, I just lost my mother 7 days ago. What I am being faced with is the sister and brother who let us down in my moms time of need, and never really had the time to come and see her, let alone help me to care for her, no matter how much we begged them to. They have been waiting to rid themselves of me, not even giving me a chance to adjust to my mother’s death, my brother pulled me aside and told me that now since they got my mother taken care of, I needed to get out of the house cause they are selling it. Can I clean and gather my mother’s things up? I couldn’t believe he was talking about the house, which is paid for, no mortgage, and I just let him talk. I chalked it up to shock. The next day, I couldn’t get out of bed, I just cried and cried, but my sister and brother banged on the door, they had to get clothes to bury my mother in.. I could barely function, and they are out like it’s a grand event they are getting ready for. At the dinner after the funeral, as I was leaving with my son, who also lives in the house, my moms friend stops me to tell me to get the house cleaned and ready, she is coming on Saturday with a For Sale sign to put out. I almost lost it, what is going on. Who doesn’t allow for time to grieve the loss of their mother, especially when it’s thier mother too, and jumps to selling a home out from under her sister, without any idea of where me and my son will live. It’s a good time to be homeless is what was said, as it’s getting warmer out. What recourse do I have, and I don’t know if that premarital agreement will do me any good, my sisters and brother may not remember that it even exists. My mother made me lock it up after it was all signed.

    • admin Reply

      Jody, I am so sorry for your loss and for what you are going through now. I am not an attorney and cannot offer legal advice but I would recommend you consult one. Perhaps try the lawyer who drafted the premarital agreement. HOping things work out and you can take the time you need to grieve and care for yourself and your son.

      • advice Reply

        One of the best pieces of advice from friends, was to consult a lawyer. For between 0 and $250 they can tell you your rights. Make several notarized copies of that paper and take the original and a copy to a lawyer. Let them tell you your rights. My guess is that you do not have to go along with the siblings. It is contested. Do not move out!!!!!!! You have rights. You lessen them if you move out. When the realtor comes do not let them in. When the realtor leave take the for sale sign down. The realtor is just a person for hire. The lawyer visit will tell you all about your rights and you will then feel more in control of your situation. They cannot just ride rough shod over you and your feelings.

  14. Veronica Reply

    I feel ya….I’m sorry I had to laugh at the cricket comment, I get that from one of my siblings every time I’ve asked for help. Her excuse. “I have plans”. Too bad she can’t include our mother in her plans.

    • admin Reply

      Sooo frustrating. But you have to laugh otherwise you’d cry, or sceam, all the time.

  15. Feeling guilty Reply

    A NOTE OF SUNSHINE

    My mother always prayed daily, her prayers have been answered in having a sweet personality. Recently she broke her leg and as a very old person it has not healed; she is facing another surgery.

    I am feeling a bit guilty because I cannot work and also take care of her full time. Turned over her care to another sibling in another state, who is overjoyed to have her. There are many siblings who want to spend one on one time with her. This sibling thought he would never get the time with her. Flew her out this morning. I have taken care of her for a decade. She was happy and able to drive and see her friends until this incident. Her friends are angry with me.

    When ever I called my other siblings for help they drove from different states to help me with mother through this or that surgery. They held her hand and did the lions share of her care. At the present time, some of them are mad that the sibling who lives farthest away is now getting a chance to have her stay with them for a few years. She will be facing another extensive surgery and he is happy to see her through it. They are mad because she is now several states away and they cannot visit her as easily. My mother is happy and sad. Sad to leave her home and friends, happy to reconnect with her son, who had the least amount of one on one time with her growing up. I try to placate the sisters that did not get picked, they are hurt. So, this is a story of siblings fighting to have a mother that is wheelchair bound on a walker facing another surgery. I Just wanted the world to know that prayer goes a long way to making a tough situation better. My mother’s prayer’s have been answered. We all love her and fight over her. After ten years of taking care of her, I do feel guilty sending her to another sibling when the care has gotten really tough. On the other hand with many sibling who are fighting for her presence, why can’t I fell good about sending her to one who stays home and has the time, desire, need, and money. Anyway, I thought writing about this would make me feel better and display a different scenario. One where mothers siblings, and her children all want her to come live with them. She is a wonderful loving kind person and has little money, but the love…..

    • admin Reply

      I am sorry you are dealing with this. You should never feel guilty for earning a living. We are all doing the best we can.

  16. Stressed out Reply

    Reading all these comments makes me feel a little bit better. Last year in 2018 my mother was diagnosed with dementia and primary Progressive aphasia. This led to us three siblings getting together to get her house sold because my brother offered for her to come live with him and his family. She could no longer drive and we thought it would be best for her to live in that scenario since he was offering. Mind you he does have two young children and a wife. After about 5 to 6 months of her living there we decided it wasn’t working out for her or them. Very stressful because my sister-in-law was doing most of the work for my mom… Doctor appointments, errands, paying the bills, finding ways to keep her busy. So we decided to move her down closer to where I am into an assisted living facility. Right now I think this is the best place she can be but of course they cannot meet all of her needs. Since I live the closest to her I have to take her on errands or two doctors appointments and visit her because my other two siblings do not live locally. I also have two young children and a husband. Our eldest sister who is 11 + years older than me and my brother and has grown kids of her own decided it was best for her and her family to relocate two states away. That was about three to four months ago. I have not heard anything from her in four months. She calls my mom maybe once a month but my mom’s communication skills are going. Her Aphasia makes it hard for her to remember things and find her words. I honestly don’t know what’s going through my sister’s head by not calling me to find out how my mom is doing. Mind you in the past we have all had Family dysfunction here and there. I believe that she’s a narcissist to some extent also so maybe it’s better to just keep on not talking. I can feel the resentment kicking in because I’m over here doing the majority of the work and there’s been 0 contacts from her asking how I am doing or how my mom is doing overall. My brother and sister-in-law have been a source of moral support and even came down a few weeks ago to see my mom and call her on a regular basis. I just can’t bring myself to call my sister because I really don’t want to have to resolve issues with her while I have so much going on with mom. Also my husband has a multiple myeloma diagnosis from two years ago so she knows I’m caregiving for my mom while my husband has cancer… Although it is only stage one and he is able to work. I just don’t get it though. Where is the empathy?

    • admin Reply

      I thin k you are smart not to risk delving into old issues with your sister. You can’t change her and you don’t need any extra drama. Focus on who and how you want to be.

  17. Anna Reply

    I will never be a caregiver for anyone again! No one helped me out of 5 siblings, my older brother ask me not to come back because he had an 18 year old girl that wanted to be paid, my other brother and his girlfriend said they wanted to take care of him- but one weekend I had the flu and they did not bother to step in during my one week of being sick, my sister 50 yrs old said she couldn’t do that, and my other brother just didn’t offer, oh and one more brother said in so many words- he wasn’t killing himself doing that!.. This is how it went down; in the end I was accused of stealing- which I didn’t, in between my dad coming home- after about 3 times driving 2 hours to take care of my dad- my mother became very hateful to me, it was Thanksgiving and not a one of my siblings came to visit my dad while I was there, my mother told me in the end not to come back it made my siblings mad when I came there, I was totally banned from even coming back to the house I grew up in- it has been a decade now, I was told by my mother I was disinherited and taken out of her will, I was threatened by them shooting into the phone, my name is still being slandered by anyone that ask about me, I called my mother and told her I was diagnosed with cancer stage 3 and was told that they did not care if I died- I was laughed at and mocked because I had cancer- they just left me to die, at the same time my sister in law had cancer and no one even told me she had it or when she died because they didn’t want me there, my own sister caused trouble and I had to leave the hospital when they did euthansia on my dad, and I also took care of my mom when she came down with pneumonia, should I go on??..Also I studied not just CNA, but I studied Nursing at a community college and worked in hospitals and nursing homes…What the heck?? All I can say is ‘not a one of them had better ever ask me to be there for them when their time comes!… If I caregive for anyone else, it will be for someone outside my x-family…..And by the way, I never asked for any money to take care of my dad but yet my older brother wanted to pay an 18 yr old with no experience to take care of my dad..My mother and siblings spend every chance they get to destroy my name, and for what? I did everything just perfect. It was hard for me to come each time to take care of my dad, but I made him a promise I would see it thru and I did. My dad was euthanized on June 2, 2019… I am still trying to get over his death to this day… I was treated so horrible by my own family… I am through with all of them and anyone that judges my by their lies! And I know my dad noticed how they were doing me. Why could they couldn’t just let him die happy?

  18. Violet Garay Reply

    Thank you for the post, my biggest challange has been time management and lack of privacy. At times it leaves me feeling sad. I have a few friends that are very supportive and I tend to talked/vent to, they lift me up when I feel overwhelmed. One of my biggest has been feeling guilty for not being able to do more at times. I’m also a full time employee, so I find myself balancing job responsibilities, moms errands and taking care of me. I moved in with my mom to help. It’s been a struggle at times I feel very unappreciated. I’ve had to make adaptations to my life. But still feel guilty when I need to pull away from home to just get away for me time. Glad to see I am not alone.

  19. Kim Reply

    I am “the one” as well. I only have one sibling. He is older and lived closer to our parents, but I was the one they chose to be POA. I have been dealing with resentment towards my brother for years due to the fact I was handling everything (while working full-time) and he felt stressed. During our Mom’s recent health crisis. I spent time with my brother in the hospital waiting on advice from doctors. It was then I realized how I was clearly more capable of being “the one”. I now do not hold (as much) resentment because I am trying to be grateful for the opportunity to give back to Mom.

  20. A. Reply

    Thanks. Reading these made me realize that when I got away from being my parent’s full-time care giver with zero help from my sibling for five years, and there for all medical issues for 30 yrs with zero help, and then being accused of being a thief and worse, that there is no going back. My sibling got control of everything. Now he has to give up his life to take care of dying parent. My parent just called to ask me to come daily for several hours for pay. I refused.

  21. Paul Reply

    I now know most people , particularly siblings, are inately selfish . I’m the youngest of four. I had to look after my dying father, and now 17 years later I’m the one caring for my frail, home bound and dying mother. Siblings don’t help, they do nothing… they can’t even be bothered cooking a meal to help out with the tiresome workload. You get no thanks, zip, nothing.
    It is rubbish to say.. “oh put up with it, maintain relationships”… what a croc. People on the whole are truly lothsome and selfish, and the worst of the worst are siblings. Full stop.

    • Kim Reply

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m the youngest of 6. I’m caring for my 94 year old mother. She moved in with my husband and myself a year ago. I’m the only one out of all the siblings that works. I might add my husband and I also take care of her home that she still owns and her yard. Not one offer to spend an hour with her. Very few phone calls to ask how she is. One sibling lives less than 2 block away. Yes the same neighborhood. Another lives 10 minutes away. And the rest all within a 1/2 a mile. I keep saying when my mom passes, I’m done with the whole “FAMILY”. I’m burned out, angry, sad, depressed, tired, angry and any other feeling you can have. I want my old life back

  22. robin doherty Reply

    I have cared for my mom, (89 now with moderate dementia), for 19 years since my dad died, 2 of my siblings agreed to take mom for 2 months a year, my older brother took mom every year for 2 months, missing one year due to damage of his house from a hurricane, my older sister took her once maybe twice for 2 weeks until after she retired and bought a house in Florida, she has taken her for 2 months for the last 3 years. Both live in Florida and are retired, so one eventually took her for 2 months then the other did. I cared for my mom mostly 10 months a year except for the last 3 which was 8 months straight. This year mom went down to Florida on Jan 1, and was supposed to return home May 6th. However due to the pandemic the airline cancelled her flight, I live in NY which is the hotbed of the country. My older sibling called and said he wanted to bring mom home the first day the airline started flying to NYC, I asked/insisted that the wait until the smaller airport near me opened, (both siblings are retired, however my husband and I still work, me part time), the reasons for returning her were, the first one he said was they were expected to have a busy hurricane season and he didn’t want her down there, I asked don’t you get at least a 7 day warning?, then he said my sister couldn’t do it anymore since she can not walk, (only along the beach), (I walk with a limp and a cane), then he said he hadn’t seen his daughter since the end of December, I haven’t seen my since September, well after an argument and me hanging up the phone he sent me an email saying how childish I was to hang up…at the end of the email he said he would fly up with mom, “no need to see you”. well a few days later I got another email saying he and my sister would be driving up to NY with mom in an RV in the next two weeks. I do feel safer that she not be on a plane, but am so hurt by the way they are rushing to get “rid” of her. I know it is not easy, but to put her well being at such a risk and making up poor excuses to defend their decisions instead of just being honest is more than I can take. Going to be a long time before we speak again, Mom can’t travel anymore so no more Florida and the care rests souly on my shoulders for the rest of her life.

  23. Morgan Baylor Reply

    I took care of my siblings since I was 10 years old. Atleast my twin brothers – My mom had me when she was 17 and she’s always been young and most of the time irresponsible. She’s always out and Partying while I took care of my brothers . We were always close but her going out problem has made me resentful to her . She treats me like a maid , telling me to Make her room comfortable for her and her Company. I got tired of being treated like a Robot . She uses things that make me happy to try and control me . For Example ; my Boyfriend was having home problems – She offered to let him live with us. He lived with me for about 3months – and it helped a lot with the weight of taking care of my brothers … He helped me do everything that involves taking care of them . For these 3months we’ve adjusted to her being gone and now when she tries to come home she wants to be rude and controlling . It’s Unfair for her to try and restrict or rule when she is barely in the house ! So Everytime I speak up she yells and Swings at me – she’s hit me multiple times for speaking up about her going out problem. My Boyfriend has been my HERO if it wasn’t for him .. so much would go down. He’s been there to block the hitting, He’s been there for every mental break down when so couldn’t take it anymore, He’s been there to save me from myself when I got suicidal . So now that I stand up to her she says “Your boyfriend can Really go home.” He has done more for her kids than she had … I couldn’t take the control or trying to manipulate me or trying to revoke something because I spoke my mind. This time I broke down I let out all my pain ! And she closed the door when I was hurting ! I kicked and I cried and I yelled and My boyfriend did everything to calm me down . I moved out and Into my Grandma’s I’ve been crying everyday since I left.. I miss my brothers a lot even though it was a weight taking care of them most of my life … I miss them Everyday . My boyfriend can’t live with me anymore due to my Grandmas Rules … I wish people understood how close we were and how much we handled together . I feel lonely … I don’t get to wake up to him everyday anymore .. I’m depressed.. I can’t call my brothers because I blocked my moms number since she kept texting me negative things . I literally Haven’t been okay . I don’t wanna go back to my mother … I just feel Very Lonely and Depressed .

    • admin Reply

      I am sorry you are dealing with so much. No one deserves to be hit-ever. Here is the number for the abuse hotline: 1-800-799-7233. You deserve support. And here is the number for the suicide hotline should the depression lead to suicidal thoughts again: 1-800-273-8255. I hope you get the support and care you deserve.

  24. Karen Jimenez Reply

    Thank you for this! I’m the daughter-in-law of a fiesty 91 year old and my husband has been her caretaker long before we met 7.5 years ago. Like most families, there is a complicated family dynamic. But, out of all her children, she trusts my husband the most because she knows he wants what is best for her. My issue is less about the caretaking (which is stressful enough while working full time) but more of the opinions of what family members including grandchildren think we SHOULD be doing. Yet, the most time they spend with her is a 4 hour visit every few months. They never see the reality of it. I really appreciated your advice about trusting what we are doing and if they don’t like it, too bad, we aren’t taking care of them.

  25. Nicole Reply

    My mother has been ill for years. I took care of her mother (my grandmother) so my mother could have a good quality of life. I have 2 other siblings, one is 20 min away and the other 2 hours away, neither one ever help me out even when I asked. My grandmother passed away , and I am taking care of my mother with no help yet again. They always have excuses. When I have asked for help they become dismissive, they ignore that I have asked for help, they have also become nasty to me. I am the oldest, I have back issues, a full time job, and my own family. The disappointment in my siblings is effecting my physical and mental state. I don’t know what to do. I feel emotionally devastated and it is consuming me. What do I do????

  26. Pam Reply

    I don’t know how to fight this scenario… I have one sibling, we both live fairly close to parents. I am unmarried with no children. My sister is married with a couple of teenagers. I work a very full-time rather stressful job, my sister does not work. For some reason, I am always the one my parents turn to for help. They seem to resist giving chores to my sister. I visit with them regularly, she does not. Anytime I raise the issue of her maybe helping out more or getting down right frustrated with her lack of help, I am made to feel like I’m complaining. Often they use the excuse of her having a family so doesn’t have time.
    They always call me first to help them with anything. It’s exhausting and so unfair but I don’t have any way to talk to them about it. It isn’t that she won’t help, but it’s like you have to call and she has to fit it into her schedule and that could be weeks away as she’s very involved in kids activities and taking courses etc. It came to a head this weekend when I pretty much threw groceries at my mother after doing a big groceries while feeling totally exhausted and having bad period lol. Not good! And only reason I visit regularly is of course because I want to see them but if I don’t visit they call non stop. So I started going over once a week just to deal with any little issues and a visit that they could rely on and save all their issues for that one day. It saved my sanity. After my grocery throwing incident I said I will start doing online shopping for them and pick up after work and my sister can start doing the big in store shopping. When either of them is ill and needs to go to hospital, it’s always me that goes, that gets the call. I’ve had my own health issues through all of this as well. I just don’t understand why they put sooo much of it on my shoulders. It’s a responsibility I’m capable of and of course I want to help them but I am so independent, I’d be taking taxis and ordering online myself so I find it difficult to understand the incredible dependency. Help.

    • admin Reply

      Ultimately, your parents and your sister are making choices – who to call, when to help. You have the same opportunity – you get to choose when and how you will help. It’s not easy, but every choice comes with a consequence. What will happen if you are not avaialble? Your parents will have to make another choice. How can you choose to be the caring daughter you are without becoming a stressed out, overworked person?

  27. Jacque Reply

    Moma was diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer and was gone within 6 weeks. My older sister couldn’t deal with it. She only came once. I remember the last night Moma was home before she went to hospice, crying and asking me if my sister was coming. And I said “No Moma. She’s too scared”. And Moma patted my check and smiled at me and said “Its ok honey. I’ve known her longer than you have”. It was the last time my mother ever spoke to me. It took me a long time but I finally figured out that if she could forgive my sister, I had to. And a couple of years later, my sister said “I know how hard what you did for Moma was. I will always be thankful because it was something I just couldn’t face.” Asking her to do what I did would have been like asking me to be taller. (I’m 4’11”). That was really all I needed to hear. So, if you are the sibling who didn’t go – tell the one who did thank you.

  28. Rosemarie Reply

    We care for my father in law at our home which is half way across the country from my husbands 4 siblings. Dad asked to live with us 2 and a half years ago, even though 4 of his kids live in NY. My husband and I both work, although I own my business and have been able to work from home and I’ve gotten done part time help with Dad. My dilemma is this…. my husband is really overwhelmed and stressed. He is frustrated that when he suggested to his siblings that maybe we could share this responsibility that they chose to say that Dad needs to be in a facility. My father in law doesn’t require tremendous care and he’s very quiet however he just likes being taken care of and having company. My husband feels stifelled and feels he just can’t just come home and relax by hiMyself. He is growing more frustrated with me because he thinks I do too much for my father in law and he doesn’t feel it is fair that his sisters aren’t stepping up to the plate to care for his dad it even his brothers. If we could all do a few months the burden wouldn’t be so bad. It won’t be easy for Dad and he might be unhappy at others homes Uti isn’t it right that they ( his siblings) should try. Dad had gone back for 5 weeks last summer and they said he was miserable and didn’t talk much. We work hard to involve Dad and include him, sometimes he’s not happy but I really think if the other siblings could just take the time to try new things it wouldn’t be so miserable. Dad enjoys listening to Music and trying to remember singers names, watching g old movies etc. aim worried about my marriage, my husband is getting resentful and I dont like this about him. Plus I know it’s not healthy for him. My husband and I-work together to take care of Dad. I do most of the “women” stuff and the Dr visits etc. Dad prefers to be with his son and is always looking for him. I try to sit and watch tv with him so my husband can watch what he wAnts I. Another room for a break. My husband always says without me he would not be caring for his Dad. He feels his siblings are being selfish and he won’t even talk with them cause he doesn’t want to hear their excuses. I don’t either but it’s time for us to get a break. We would use respite but with this pandemic , facility care is not an option. I’m going to call my brother and sister in-laws and tell them I’m concerned about their brother and our marriage and pray that they will figure out how Dad can be cared for back east and give us a break without hurting Dads feelings and they need to make him feel wanted. Sorry for my venting but it felt good to write it down. Pray for me tomorrow!

  29. Kathy Reply

    Oh my goodness! All of these stories are so sad. It really hits home. I’m the youngest sibling of five and had to quit my job and move in with my mom to take care of her. I have been with her for two years. I left my home in Arizona and moved into my childhood home with my Mother. My husband is living in our home in Arizona with his Father who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. We try to travel back and forth to see one another but have not had a vacation or spent time alone with one another for these last two years. We each have siblings that want nothing to do with the care of these aging parents but I can assure you they will be there when the time comes to collect their inheritance. The laughable thing is my mom put a brother back East as Power of Attorney and Trustee. Therefore he has full control of the funds and makes me answer for every dime. Where are they all when I need help with the everyday tasks. They don’t even call or write other than to send pictures of themselves and they’re grandchildren on vacation. Sadly, my mom asks me to step aside so she can see their photos more clearly!! I’m laughing while really crying inside. When will I have my life back??? I turn 60 in three days?

  30. Keely Reply

    Some of what you write is in a more perfect world. The truth is…many of us do not have that sibling that even remotely helps out with any form of caregiving…whether it be the planning and negotiating or the soft emotional help. Let’s face it much of our world is made up of, and fostered to be, all about oneself… a selfish society for sure. I have been riddled with resentment towards my two siblings. It is true…this has been so beyond unhealthy for me and I have gotten better and better and just forcing myself to realize that it just “is what it is”. I mean I don’t even get a call asking how things are. I cannot remember my 50’s, yet my siblings lives have moved on. When I have tried to take to them about how incredibly burnt out I am…I get all sorts of crazy responses. The truth is…there just are individuals in this world that are not empathetic, are not caring, do not have the ability to put others before themselves….unfortunately two of those individuals happen to be my siblings. It is a constant battle to work on my mental health and keeping the extreme resentment at bay!!!

  31. Chrissy Reply

    I’m the youngest of five kids in CT, USA.
    I’ve been caring for my mom since I was about 25 when my father passed. I’m 49 now and my mom passed
    last year right after her 86th bday. I cared for her for TWENTY YEARS ALONE.
    My mom got worse, got thyroid cancer, was bed ridden, had pain EVER WHERE and my siblings all live
    close by. I changed diapers, made sure she didn’t get bed sores, took her to every appointment. I was the ONLY ONE
    at the hospital back in 2012 when my mom had cancer surgery; my siblings came “later” when she could’ve died because they either went to work, we’re in Jamaica or had things to do”.
    They have lie after lie, excuse after excuse and they all wanted her in a home and I PROMISED her I will
    keep her home.
    Meanwhile, I was working full time, caring for her, then she got worse and I went to part time work and took her
    for radiation treatments……..THEY TOLD HER TO TAKE A BUS!!!!
    I was also diagnosed with BREAST CANCER 3 years ago and had over 13 PAINFUL biopsies, a double mastectomy, a full
    hysterectomy, it spread into my lymph nodes, I’m left with heart damage from the chemo with other side effects and I STILL WENT TO WORK AND TOOK. ARE OF MY MOM, and the house and everything else.
    I have a hearing tomorrow because the HYENAS are fighting the inheritance because my mom KNEW and FELT
    my LOVE for her. I kept my promise and kept her home and took care of her. She left me the house and money.
    I was going to give them some but not after this.
    I got her her last rights, I have masses said for her, I CRY and struggle with PTSD and sometimes suicide. I’M the one who gave her her medicine, washed her, put diapers on her and made sure she was at peace and got EVERYTHING she needed. I’m the one who has memories of her choking on her medicine when I had to give it to her by syringe
    because she couldn’t swallow and lost ALL her teeth due to the radiation treatments. I’m the one who several times
    had to pick her up off the floor or watch her get put in an ambulance and I’m the one who watched her get carried
    out of OUR HOME in a body bag.
    I’m NOT SELFISH, but WHERE WERE THEY????? Now, they’re like “crows on a crime scene” seeing what they can get.
    I even let them take fine china, fur coats, shearling silver, DIAMOND jewelry and more.
    They don’t think I deserve the house and the money because I devoted TWENTY YEARS of my life to making my
    mom my EVERYTHING!!!!!!
    I asked them, “when you go to work every day and get a paycheck at the end of the week, who keeps the check”?
    They said “I do”….. I said EXACTLY! I got up all those years and took care of her but somehow YOU’RE entitled to money
    FOR DOING NOTHING.
    If it weren’t for me, THERE WOULD BE NO MONEY TO FIGHT OVER!!!!!!!! Do they know how much a home cost or a private nurse????

    I pray my hearing goes in my favor tomorrow.

    Some people are just greedy, selfish, cold hearted and disgusting!!!!K
    I WANT TO FOR and everyone who’s paying attentionG THEM……………AND I WANT To FORGET THEM!!!!!

    • admin Reply

      I am sorry you are dealing with so much. Please, if you feel suicidal, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. 800-273-8255

  32. Megha Reply

    I’m so happy I came across this page! I’m the second youngest of 4 and although I’m only 19 and my parents are still pretty young, I feel like I’m the “one”. My dad works hard every single day and has some health problems. My mom also has arthritis and she’s been struggling as she can’t even walk to a park. I always try to lower their stress and be there for them as much as possible, but what I just don’t understand is what the hell is wrong with my siblings? Why don’t they care as much as me? I’ve always been very empathetic and sometimes it’s too much. I always want to do everything for my parents and take care of them, run little errands and whatever else they need. They’re honestly the best mom & dad they have spoiled each and every one of us, but somehow my siblings still don’t see that. They take everything for granted and don’t bother helping in the house or anything. No one cleans. No one does the groceries. No one cooks or does the dishes. It’s mostly just my mom that takes care of that but I clean often. I always have a break down cuz I wish my siblings would care!! Why am I the only one? My parents deserve so much better. It hurts me so bad that they don’t feel loved and cared from all their children.

    • admin Reply

      I’m glad you found us too. Try to focus on the positive: the love you have to give, and not on the love others are not giving. Controol what you can control.

  33. Eleanor Gaccetta Reply

    There is a common assumption among many people that caregiving is an exhausting and stressful job. Even though there is a bit of truthfulness in such assumption, in reality, caregiving is not just entirely exhausting and stressful. More often than not, caregiving can also be fun and fulfilling. Yes, there are days when caregivers would experience fatigue, but there are also days when they would feel satisfied and cheerful about their job. Especially when the care recipient is a loved one, caregiving can be a life-affirming experience.

    • admin Reply

      Yes. You will also find articles here about the caregiver’s gain: the upside of caregiving.

  34. Carol Reply

    I’m a caregiver to both my parents nearly 90. They live independently but I’m there on a daily basis to help with cleaning, cooking, meds etc. I have siblings. Because my dad ‘pays’ me some for my time, they clearly think this is my job. It would be nice to hear from them once in a while. It’s a tough job and they have no clue. One sibling has come to stay in my house while I took a break. Then my house gets treated like an air bnb with her out of town kids staying. Thanks for your article. We do our best and soldier on.

  35. Sher Reply

    I have been looking after one parent for twenty some years and the other for about fifteen years. I have had to look after them with hardly any help, though siblings live nearby. They were out traveling, going to concerts, etc. It has been exhausting and I have done without a social life, lost friends, etc. So now I have been told that I have cancer and these siblings have suddenly came forward to help out a bit and let me know just how WONDERFUl they are as they are REALLY TRYING to HELP me…. after twenty years. I told them about the cost of caregiving to me and the impact on my life – and the lack of response from them just reinforced the idea that they really don’t care. There doesn’t seem to be any conscience or guilt, or any concern really for my life. It’s almost like I should be grateful that they are doing anything at all. My poor parent is scared about what this means for their care because I did such a good job caring for them. We never thought about the possibility that the parent would outlive the child. Do not throw your life away. It’s all well and good for other members to tell you ‘ oh you should NEVER put parents in nursing home.’ So then WHY are they not helping? I knew I had a selfish family but it is astounding to me that you could value a sibling so little as to only think of them as hired help. If the table had been turned, I could have never treated someone like this. I read that about 39 percent of caregivers die before the one they are looking after – the stress and family drama alone is enough to do you in….

  36. Blanca Reply

    How do I ask potentially to my siblings to help out with my 99 year old dad
    I feel burned out

    • admin Reply

      It may require a series of conversations. If the arrangement was that you would care for your Dad then it’s time to renegotiate. Acknoweldge that you had an agreement but let your siblings know it needs too be revisited. If there was no agreement, then maybe you don’t ask. You let them know what you will and will not do.

  37. Karen Krowzack Reply

    I am geographically in the role, plus I’m a childless widow. My main ask of my out of state siblings is to periodically check in with me, to see not only how my 86 and 91 year old parents are doing, but to send me an encouraging text/email/call with their support. This is hard work. It’s always me letting them know the latest news, after a while, I don’t even bother giving them updates, since they rarely ask for any

    • admin Reply

      You need to take care of your parents and you. Anything else, like updating opthers, is gravy.

      • Marilyn McCleery Reply

        Feeling like the only one thinking of my parent, by my own ch poor ice but feel frustrated no one else helps. I reach out but get nothing or told you only get what you own?? Why expect more? You ate you don’t argue or complain! I’m not! Just feel sensitive I care& my family leave it alone! I be left msg to my twin sister, no answer back, it’s all about then no one ekse

  38. Mar Reply

    This is an incredible article but when does being the only care giver turn into abuse? I’ve been “the one” since I was literally 14 by getting things done and reminding parents of their responsibilities and scheduling things and over time this has turned into habit for family members. people just ask me to get things done for them saying they can’t but really they don’t want to challenge themselves or put the times, I’m talking simple things such as phone calls.. I have an older brother and even though I’ve been the person in the family who helps the elderly the most my brother gets away with a lot because my culture is very in favor of males. Of course I didn’t feel any resentments or problems when I was younger but I’m now in my 20s, I weirdly have a lot of problems to deal with, I recently had a horrifying health scare and even though family was aware I’m emotionally going through hell they still relied on me to do all these tasks that my brother would totally be able to handle and help with. I eventually cracked and told them that this is not fair and I can’t handle so many things emotionally and they now don’t speak to me because they believed it should be my honor to want to help them… I’m confused.

    • admin Reply

      Your family members are making choices – to rely only on you. You get to make a choice how to respond. It stinks that they stopped speaking to you – that has to hurt. Still you have the right to prioritize your needs and health as much as theirs.

  39. Marykate Reply

    My mother had dementia and she has been living with me and my husband for almost 9 years. I have a corporate level career so my husband retired early to be her caregiver. I have two sisters both live out of state, one is in denial, the other does what she can but she has limited income to fly back and forth. My mother’s memory is gotten to the point that she couldn’t remember what she had for dinner, let alone that she just finished it 5 minutes ago. With COVID, we stopped having a paid caregiver come to the house twice a week to provide some respite for my husband. And to add to that, I was let go of my job and being the breadwinner it has caused some financial hardship. My husband, bless him, has become angry at my sisters for the lack of assistance they are providing, even coming to watch mom so we can take a vacation, as it has been almost 9 years that we have been able to get away. They haven’t come to visit their own mother in years and mom is hard of hearing so phones calls or FaceTime just doesn’t work. My husband is 13 years older than I and I would like to spend some quality time with him. My sisters just don’t understand what we do each day to make mom’s life comfortable. I was going to send them an email telling them that if they want to see their mom before she completely forgets them, then now is the time. My husband says that I shouldn’t have to tell them, they should know and come. Thanks for listening.

    • admin Reply

      I am sorry about your job and stress. There are no “shoulds” in caregiving. If we want our siblings to help, we have to be direct. You have too much to manage to spend your energy on why your siblings are acting the way they act or whether they should behave differently. Tell them about your mother’s memory – you will feel better as a person for giving them them heads up and opportunity. And tell, don’t ask, that you are taking a vacation and you all need to come up with a respite plan. Hang in there!

    • Donelikedinner Reply

      Dear friend, when I told my sister that I was taking a holiday after three years without one, my sister responded by booking herself a holiday for the same time period. She lives out of town, and takes short holidays every month or so, with holidays out of country several times a year. She knew how much this meant to my family, and she did it anyways. Selfish is as selfish does.

      Your husband is right. Drop the rope! Let them figure it out, or not. you are not their conscience. They will have to live with their own choices. Playing happy families doesn’t work. They are what they are. That is their choice. They live their way. Fine. Let them.

  40. maria Reply

    good post thanks. looking after a parent brings out some interesting behaviours. its taken me 2.5 years to trawl my way through it (I am “the one” due to geography) and now I do realise my job is to be “the best I can be” with my mum and with myself and those others I am responsible to/for. I think it is perfectly OK to keep troublesome/mean siblings at arms length because for ME, their behavior isn’t healthy, and yes, I do think neglect by other siblings of the caregiver sibling can be classed as abuse. So I’m now committed to getting better at being “the best me” I can AND that includes keeping myself safe and healthy by keeping one-on-ones with the neglectful siblings to zero (totally OK with them in a group environment). I’m also not necessarily in agreement about not talking to the parent. My mum and I have an understanding that we do our best work together when we are the most honest with each other – if I don’t say anything when she mentions a sibling thats behaving badly, she picks up on it and the lack of acknowledgement by me is frankly worse that just honestly discussing it. Doesn’t mean its open season on my siblings – I do reassure mum that I’m not out to change anything and that they do love her and she should have whatever relationship she wants with them and I will only be happy for her – just that its better if I tell her what my actual situation is so we can have clear air between us as we do this incredible work together e.g. they never thank me and have actively said they won’t support me but they tell mum they think I’m doing a great job! I agree with mum that I do do an outstanding job (always makes us laugh) but that they aren’t supportive of me in my role for her. Mum always agrees she would rather know this as its the truth and of course it affects me. It does take the power away from their unhealthy impact on me and it sets my relationship with mum to a healthier, strong place. I think it matters to our relationship, mum and me, because of the highly personal work we do together and looking after an aged parent is highly personal work I think we can all agree! Also one last thing to share – with covid rules changing my siblings could fly in to see mum – yay i am exhausted so I actually messaged them told them what a great job I was doing and that I was tired and deserved a break and I would be going away while they were here. Go me! it was very empowering and I loved my week away. Then last night I organised a meal out with everybody and when one of my siblings avoided thanking me directly for clearing out and selling mums home I said “yes it was a massive amount of work and I did it on your behalf”. Same sister said “mum has such an amazing vital spirit coming out of her” (she’s 92) I said “yes, mum and I have done a massive amount of work together over the past year since she nearly died and thats the result of it, isn’t it amazing”. My point is “be your best self” and rather than rely on outside validation for what you do, honour and respect yourself by validating it TO them! I am going to practice this and get much better at it – its gonna save me.

  41. Donelikedinner Reply

    I am in my 12th year of parental caregiving. One parent has died and the other is at the end of life now.

    Summary of sibling experiences during this journey with two parents: lies, gaslighting, malice, more lies, false accusations, narcissistic abuse, abdication of responsibility. Not a journey I chose. People show you who they are with their actions. I believe them. Done!

  42. Steven Reply

    Thank You !!!
    I needed this I was going crazy and didn’t know why ? Being a care giver is something your siblings don’t see or understand ! Between the making the coffee to start the day of the week that never ends ? My father died years ago and my mother is 83 years of age there are many day’s I wish I could be like them Buy a stove or something and pick up the phone when I want too ! I’m often reminded of the years I left to be around my children 5 Year’s is short compared to my siblings ! Like damn near their whole life !!! It’s hard to hear about their problem’s from my Mother when I know they are happy about the situation , knowing I’m here to deal with her !!! Just thank You I feel a lot better 😌!

  43. Carol Reply

    I have taken care of my dad for 13 years and my mom for 8 till she died of Alzheimers, as their primary and only caregiver. I have asked my family to give me a break sometimes and I get a lot of excuses and lip service, but absolutely no one has given me time to take care of me or my own health or even take a 2-3 day vacation in all those years…while they go and do as they please and go wherever they want. I gave up begging long ago! I burned out long ago, don’t see friends anymore and basically have no life but taking care of my 90 year old dad….I know nothing will change, but it feels good to vent at least! Thanks for listening!

  44. ROB Reply

    I understand and feel the same pain and anxiety. I am the youngest of 3 sons and I am 61 years old. My 2 older siblings visit from time to time. I am with mother 7 days a week from 10 to 12 hours a week and she is almost 97 years old. She is extremely ungrateful and emotionally abusive to me as she has been to me most of my life. She suffers from dementia and I do all of her care. She has horrible hygiene and I dread my life day to day. Fortunately I live a few doors away. My oldest brother visits a few times a year and my middle brother visits monthly and sometimes twice a month. However it kills me that I get a 90 minute break about once a month. My career is over – I have gained 50 pounds in 2 years – Eroding my savings and after raising my daughter on my own for 14 years I have no life yet again. My siblings do live a distance in the next state about 90 minutes away. In fact after mom was in the hospital I slept on a chair next to her bed for 2 months. I feel helpless drained and unhealthy. I dont want mom to pass yet almost daily I find myself thinking that if she never woke up I would be better off. I dont mind at all helping her but I just dont understand why between the 2 siblings I cant at least have one full day a month to myself. I appreciate this quick escape as I am writing this post

    • Carol Reply

      Rob, yes, we are in very similar situations. My brother lives about 90 m. away in another state also. I don’t wish my dad gone, but I do wish the nightmare of NO life was over!😢

  45. David Reply

    I REALLY NEED HELP!! My dad just passed June 29th and for months I was helping him ,with his med his feeding tube his dr appts.etc. At the end when he was no longer able to get out of bed or breath without a machine and oxygen I was the one who administered all his med via crushing the 20 odd pills up and flushing his feeding tube putting the meds in his tube flushing again and cleaning and replacing it along with his liquid diet and ,his breathing treatments and his incotinisce Every 2 to 6 hours I had to give him one thing or another and I thankfully wrote down each time I had administered mess what his vitals were and what he wanted.However it became more difficult as my disabled, over opinionated,and ungrateful spoiled mother was now my job to take care of taking over for dad who made all her meals took her out anywherw/time she wanted and basically did whatever she wished just to not listen to her bitch and complain and make up unrealistic occurrences regarding anything from money to not getting fed,to people being in the house and her stuff was missing and blaming us. I had had some good talks with my dad and he had made me promise to take care of her until she passed and NOT PUT her in a home,but I am almost at wits end here! She argues with me as bout everything complains about all I do accuses me of stealing from her and criticizes my looks daily she never is appreciative never th as nks me only says I do nothing when I alone feed her her dog clean the house water the gardens grocery shop for her and she has even called the sheriff’s on me quite often stating I’m not feeding her or she is intimidated or I have stolen this or that etc. She is not only confined to her wheelchair but has early dementia what can I do

    • admin Reply

      I am sorry for your loss and sorry for all you are dealing with. Talk to your mother’s primary care about dementia resources and she if she or he can help you get some support. Check out tteepasnow.com for some great info on dealing with dementia – and specifically difficult behaviors. Dementia is progressive and perhaps your father was too ill to comprehend how much care and support your mother needs know and will need later and how much care and support you need – in different ways. But only you can decide if you can renegotiate your deal with him.

  46. Jeremy Anderson Thompson Reply

    I would like right now for my mom to stop talking to me permanently and stop knocking on my door. And to stop saying my name. And to stop telling me where she’s going. Stay out of my room. Return my bankcard to me and then never come near my room anymore.

  47. ubiqitusniverse Reply

    Having worked with advocacy superstars in elder care sector, i learned about falling preventative caregiving tactics, organizing docs for legal dispute communications and teaching/learning about emergency decision making and power struggles. My mothers family raised kids with a pride in loving our elders and a sense of urgency about really clarifying the desires of our aging members to be sure we respected them. There is a beautiful truth to the gift you are giving your parents. If your siblings are judgemental or try to make your work out to be a byproduct of your failures or availability, you just remember:
    Support groups are only a half hour and can be remotely.
    You have to give yourself permission to assert boundaries in a respectful way. You do not have to engage with someone who is not listening. If you want to communicate about important matters that relate to your investments in your folks by way of time money, energy and attentive care, it may be best communicated as a daily log book which will carry with it the weight of truth should anyone find it tempting to dismiss your investment. If you are in a position where you are setting yourself up for a fall financially, do not undervalue your time. Assert your need for a long term goal of security and reassurance so that you will be lowering your stress level and minimizing resentment. If you are in a position where your younger sibling is in home caregiving and was previously unemployed or struggling, understand that the services being carried out are not undertaken by an individual who is undeserving of compensation. No adult living with parents and taking care of them is any less valuable an asset to the parents and your family because they had a bad go at it in the professional world. We often forget that the coping mechanisms people use are directly linked to their childhood development, and just as nobody is a failure because of trauma, suffering or pain, nobody is capable of giving relief, moments of compassion, and company in a hard situation better than someone who has faced poverty, hardship and felt less than. Take an opportunity to embrace the sibling who has struggled and is now helping. It is not a free ride to live with aging parents who are experiencing mental problems or physical limitations to a degree that requires assistance. That daily grind takes resolve, heart and a strong desire to help. That is not the kind of person deserving of judgements. The kind of dynamic you could allow to grow out of a dismissal of prior conflicts and competitiveness would surely improve the quality of life for all involved. Also recognize if you are caregiving and your older/younger/farther siblings arent around but have dismissive attitudes toward your contribution, they often dont get a fraction of the reality. Parents want to be together. They want to be positive..talk about other subjects, and will downplay their own needs. This is another gift you give them. They dont have to have a bulletin board with their embarrassing bodily issues and the work you do surrounding that is what keeps the healthy environment alive. Take a meditation on zoom or do yoga or tai chi or play music from their time. Find a way to connect with a counselor or locate an area agency on aging and read When I am an old lady i shall wear purple”. Godspeed.

  48. Karen Reply

    I am sad for my mom. I am the”one” and have 2 siblings that are void of any support or care for my mother. I stopped myself from feeling resentful and trying to understand why. It just is what is is but I am stuck feeling sad for her that 2 of her children seem not to care. She is a wonderful mother and of course doesn’t deserve this but the older I get I understand more and more that things happen to people that they don’t deserve. I do my best focuses of what I can do for her and hope that helps both her and me.

  49. Karen Reply

    I am sad for my mom. I am the ”one” and have 2 siblings that are void of any support or care for my mother. I stopped myself from feeling resentful and trying to understand why. It just is what it is, but I am stuck feeling sad that 2 of her children seem not to care. She is a wonderful mother and of course doesn’t deserve this but the older I get I understand more and more that things happen to people that they don’t deserve. I do my best to focus on what I can do for her and hope that helps both her and me. Thank you to everyone who shared previous posts. It helped me during this restless night.

  50. Jane Kelly Reply

    I always lived at my house, caring for my grandmother, and later my Father, through alcoholism and cancer. Towards the end I cared for my Father for 6 years. Three years before he died my sister moved in because she was pregnant and need financial support ( she said she wanted to be with Dad for his last years). Now I’m stuck, taking my sisters children to school and picking them up everyday ; feeding everyone; buying and collecting groceries; essentially caring for her. I want a day off! Is this normal? Does anybody else do this? I really don’t want this responsibility but feel she cannot do it on her own. She has my house, so I’ve nowhere to go to avoid this. What would you do?

    • admin Reply

      Wow- you are, and have been, handling so much. Only you can decide what t do – and if you trust yourself you will know what is right. Keep in mind, your sister has made choices and tyou get to make choices too. So far you have chosen to care for her and her family. But her choices don’t have to dictate yours. If you want to keep helping her , do it. If you want to find a middle ground or different path – I am confident you will do that – – aim for equal amounts of courage and compassion.

  51. CHARLENE AMY HENNEN Reply

    Hello, I am the oldest of 3. One sister and one brother. My mom had me promise many times when I was little to never put her in a home. Fast forward to moms retirement age. She asks me if I want to be her power of attorney and medical stuff. I having 6 children at the time say oh hell no i can’t imagine any more responsibility right now. Besides my sisters a nurse and should be fair with what you want. So I relinquished my eldest stuff. Fast forward again to now. I’m fifty and all baby’s are grown and gone. My sister refuses to give me my mom and puts her in a assisted living until they deem they cannot manage her dementia and I finally get the chance to get her here. I work steady hard everyday to take care of her and we were doing great. Them out of the blue one day after a month or 2 my sister (who lives out of state mind you) sends her daughters to my home to move my mother into my nieces home who has 2 baby’s. One 1 yr old and 1 3 month old to also care for. No warning no explanation just rips her away and my mom was so upset as was I. My niece basically needs my mom’s income to survive is what I figured out so my sister gave her my mom. I’m seething with anger.

  52. Deb Reply

    I also have a mother with Alzehimers that I care for however as long as my mother gets what she wants it’s bearable but the moment I take 5 minutes for myself my mum’s attitude changes to nastiness towards me, I also cared for my dad for 9 years who had vascular dementia but once again no help from my 5 siblings, or should I say they ring mum to say hi every now and again I guess that helps with the guilt who nos..I to am tired and exhausted.
    I also help my daughter care for her 2 children.
    I really have seen how self centred families can be..I could seriously write a book on caregivers from dementia parents to mental health partners..

    • admin Reply

      I am sorry you are dealing with so much on your own. Try to think about what caregiving gives you vs. what it takes from you. Would you rather be you or your siblings?

  53. Eve Reply

    I have mixed feelings on how I should handle my relationship with my siblings moving forward. On one hand I have my brother who I may talk to twice a year. On the other I have my sister who I talk to every couple of days. I
    can be direct with my brother, but we don’t talk often. He is very straightforward about his opinions. I respect that. He is raising his kids on his own and doesn’t have time to help out with mom and pop. I thought I had a great relationship with my sister. Over the phone there was a lot of verbal support on both ends. My parents had to be moved from their home and I live in the same state, and generally more involved with their needs. Initially, both lived with me for 7 months. They wanted their own place so they were moved a few minutes away from me. This move was done with the help of my sister. Mom and pop both have had serious health scares recently. They have lived in their home two and a half years. Consequently, I have been the one to help them with everything. I do it because I want to. It makes me feel great and I want no regrets. I do my best not to impose myself on them and asks them what they would like help with,etc. Over the phone my siblings have stated that they appreciate all I do. Over the last few months I felt as there was a lack of sincerity from my sister. Primarily, she had gone through a divorce and numerous other things. I never once ever was or have been resentful. However, after both my parents have had health issues and my sister coming down, I feel let down. It is clear that she had her own motives and resentments toward both my parents and myself. I asked if she did and never did receive a reply. However, her treatment and total lack of respect toward me with attacking texts have dumbfounded me. At first, Ididn’t know what to think. Now I realize she had issues she needed to resolve on how to help with my parents and what her role is. But, in the process she has lost a good friend and person to lean on. I am generally a very giving person. But, to protect myself I am avoiding conversing with her unless it specifically is related to my parents health issues and their needs. I feel like I have been emotionally steam rolled over. I never felt this way before she came. Mind you, she doesn’t live here, wants to take over decisions without including our parents opinions or mine. I am hurt and over it. I wouldn’t take this treatment from anyone. I will not take it from her, either. I have been the go to for holidays, etc. No more. It’s all so unnecessary and sad.

    • admin Reply

      It is sad and I am sorry it is happening. My two cents: conduct yourself in a way so as not to further the rift between the two of you so that if she changes her approach to your relationship, you will be able to repair it.

  54. Jeremy Thompson Reply

    I would like right now for my mom to stop talking to me and to stay out of my room and stop saying about bugs that don’t exist.

  55. J Reply

    I think it is quite easy for someone to claim another is playing the martyr or victim when you are not there in person to say ‘no’ face to face with a parent, to say ‘no’ I won’t help, no I won’t pick up my parent in the middle of the night from the hospital when the nurse or social services is calling, etc. I have every right to feel resentment that my parents chose to move close to me and my family, and to dump all of their issues on me. My husband and I were supposed to quit our jobs, move our children, to get away from my parents? And yes, one of my siblings had the audacity to suggest this. Apparently it was my fault my parents chose this, according to her.

    Yes, I appreciate anything my siblings do and did to help. I’m sure they felt at times that I thought what they did was not enough. I did understand they didn’t live as close as I did, but yes, most times what my siblings did was not enough. It was nowhere equal to what myself and my family did, or what we sacrificed, but it didn’t go un-noticed or under-appreciated by me. I’m not trying to be mean or ungrateful, it is simply the reality. Their help was a temporary reprieve. It was all done on their schedules, but life and emergencies don’t happen on someone else’s schedule. I do resent the loss of money my husband and I gave up using our sick and vacation days, and especially mourn the loss of time with my children. I simply don’t understand all the advice to just accept your role and not have expectations of others to help. Neither my parents nor the rest of us could pay for help. I made my parents apply for what little help we could get for them. I get that you can’t force others to help. I am still dealing with siblings over the estate that expect me to deal with things for our parents’ home. My attempts at nicely and firmly letting my siblings know what I will and will not do are met with attitude and downright threats to not do anything with the estate. I chose not to be executor when my parents asked me to, because I simply could not handle doing anything more. I just want my part, and absolutely deserve it, though all I did over the past 20+ years was because I cared. The estate won’t be a lot, but it will help. I live in a rural area, and have to occasionally work with hospital social workers, medical providers, etc. I also felt pressure not to be seen as an uncaring daughter saying no to helping my own parents, even when it was causing me high stress, having to work more to keep caught up, etc. Neither of my siblings had to contend with that. I have dealt with so many life and death situations with my parents on top of other issues. I watched them both die slowly of cancer. One sibling didn’t come to either memorial.

    Please help your siblings who are doing the work you choose not to do. Thank God and your sibling(s), who are doing for your parents what you have the option to say no to, and please have some understanding and kindness in your heart when that sibling says they are done, and respect their decision.

    I am glad I was there for my parents, especially my dad. He was a great person. My step-mother was selfish, and treated my father and everyone else poorly in private. Most days I am just done. I don’t really care about the estate, except to recoup our financial losses. Glad I found this site. It’s so sad that so many of us have such similar stories. The selfishness of others never ceases to amaze me. I just want my life back!

  56. Jeremy Thompson Reply

    My mom keeps talking to me and I would like her no longer to be anymore right now and to stay out of my room. And she’s still going on about stupid bugs that don’t exist I would like her to quit with this bug nonsense right now.

  57. Danika Reply

    At a young age I was the only grandchild to take care of my grandmother and spend a lot of time with her. We’re also the one’s who do for and spend a lot of time with my mother now even through its a travel but still less for my siblings. We’re moving a short ways over for my husband’s work and the hope was my mother would come with us because I want to care for her and in my gut I feel it will mainly fall to me. I feel this way because I prioritize her were my siblings have not in the past compared to their spouses parents. Yet they are trying to get her to move near my sibling, who even she said didn’t prioritize her like the in-laws; but she’s a “pleaser” I guess you can say, loves her grandkids, and the area. My gut is screaming that when she gets to the point of needing even more care it will still fall to me so would be best for her to just come with us. However I want her to do what she wants, but feel she is being influenced. I know my siblings are good people but can be more selfish and pushovers for their spouses wishes, even through my mother is ALWAYS putting them first! I can’t mention it to her because she doesn’t like to think of aging or her medical issues which will all get worst. Should I mention it to them or just bite my tongue? If discuss, how do I go about it without pointing out their previous decisions that have concerned me?

  58. Ellie West Reply

    I cared for my Stepfather for around 3 years before he passed away recently. My advice would be, try not to go it alone, you will never be hailed a hero in these situations. My error was that I thought I would only ever be popping to the shops to pick him up a newspaper two or three times a week, or a bit of light shopping. Instead it turned into endless Hospital and Dr’s Appointments, cleaning, cooking, washing, Gardening, there were many times I felt out of my depth

    I have 2 sisters and 1 brother all older than me. One sister had the “I live 300 miles away” get out of Jail Free card, another sister “My Job is so busy and demanding” The brother just kept out of things (Hardly helpful) We have never been particularly close, but right now I cannot bear to speak to any of them. The reason for this is the small amount of money my Step father left, and how people show their true colours at times like this. I have been accused of everything from theft to fraud, when in reality I had tried to protect his account after finding out thousands of pounds had been taken over a number of years. (Most of which mysteriously vanished) I knew who had taken the money and opened online Banking Accounts, but the fact that they were my blood stopped me taking the matter further, and as I finally managed to gain control, at his request, they crawled out of the woodwork with their greedy grasping hands stretched out, and then proceeded to strip the contents of his rented house of anything of value without a word to me.

    The fallout has been horrendous and continues to be, so please take heed and don’t be another me!

  59. Anna Reply

    It’s even worse when the elderly parent ranks their children from highest to lowest importance AND has per-conceived ideas of gender roles by expecting the girl(s) to look after them.

  60. Geri Soto Soto Reply

    I need your help. Any suggestions on how to reach out to ask siblings to pick one weekend a month to care for my elderly father. We have 5 of us all together. That’s all we are asking. I am printing a calendar 3 months out. I just need to know what to include in the email. Thank You.

  61. Kevin Vidal Reply

    This was a very strong analysis of being “The One”. I was “The One”, and shared the same personality and organizational skills as you have. I was really the best one to organize the mess of my mother’s situation. No one was willing to leave their lives in other cities for her. I was.

    But, my situation had a different dynamic and I want to point it out because others may share a similar scenario.

    I was the youngest child, my father died before 1 year of age, and I became the most successful as an adult. My mother made it known to my siblings that I was her “favorite”. She demanded that I care for her. They all walked out on me and her.

    The point is that sometimes siblings can really be much more sinister than you’d ever expected. Often, it is related to resentments that go back to childhood. They surface in the caregiving situation as though you are all competing.

    My mother insisted and from that point forward it was ugly. This was my reality and perhaps for others. Historical resentments and ugliness among siblings, especially in large families, surfaces when the matriarch or patriarch, requires care. In my case, it related back to when my father died, and as an infant, my mother gave me all the attention.

    I loved this post. I will save it.
    Blessings
    Kevy Michaels

  62. Rodney Mcmillan Reply

    Compared to to some in your comments, at least my siblings call on a regular basis but I am the youngest and chosen Caregiver threw the process of alimination. I try not to be bitter, instead becoming prepared and having a Wonderful wife that never complained, at least not about my Dad. He lives with my family and I try to incorporate his strengths into my family which makes him feel as comfortable as possible even though he knows how much he needs us in his time of need. I can’t get back the time I spend on him but when he thanks us I know it’s sincere. I just ask God to keep giving me the strength and sanity as he gets older.

  63. APanel Reply

    I have enormous resentment toward my siblings over the care of my parents. I can barely stand to look at them at holiday functions. They all live within spitting distance of my parents yet I am the primary caregiver for my parents. Sometimes sibs stop in once a week to hang out, eat the food, let their dogs run around then they go home. I moved back in with my parents over 10 years ago. I needed help then gradually they needed help. This is now a full time job. 24/7 care. Every medical condition you can imagine exists in our situation. Help bathrooming, showering, cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc., is done by me. My siblings have never uttered the words “thank you” or any sentiment even close to that. I am invisible, taken for granted and, as far as I can tell, what my death would represent to my sibs is they’d have to figure out who’d take care of my parents. I feel I mean nothing to them. I am an employee of this family only without any pay. And it is expected. I feel like I’m going insane that I’m the only one who sees how I’m being taken advantage of. If I ever mention that I need help, it’s met with anger and some derision. This is stealing my life and my will to live. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I dream of running far, far away from my family. They’re selfish, narcissistic and toxic human beings.

    • admin Reply

      I am sorry you are experiencing this. What if you took a break and told them, not asked, that they needed a plan for your parents. Would they step up if you weren’t there temporarily?

      • APanel Reply

        About twice a year I go to visit friends out of state. I put together a schedule of hired caregivers and my siblings fill in when they can. Maybe nights or during the day sometime. I have been told I should be the one paying for the hired caregivers because I’m the one who wants to get away for a few days. Without fail, and this is not an exaggeration, every trip has involved a huge family fight. It starts with someone complaining that my parents should already be in a home somewhere and it escalates from there.

        I have asked, in all sincerity, what if I were gone tomorrow? How would they get the care my parents need? To the person, put them in a nursing home. No hesitation. Two of these sibs are retired and could actually help out more if they had an ounce of decency. One is working and has kids yet he is the only one who regularly stops here once a week.

        I’m at my wits end and am really really struggling to figure out what the hell I’m doing in this life besides being my family’s employee. I love my parents but I NEVER expected to be the one that ensured their safety and survival in their senior years…especially at the cost of my own.

  64. S Reply

    I am the oldest of three sisters and my sisters don’t always consult me about our parents. They live closer to our parents and they decide together what they think should be done for our parents. The other night my sisters called 911 and the police came to take our mother to the hospital. Our mother has a condition where she believes she has bugs living on her head and she was putting insecticide on her head. Had I been included in the conversation, I would not have called 911. This was the second time my mother was in hospital for her condition. The time before she voluntarily went to hospital. She was prescribed an anti-psychotic but she stopped taking the drug. Now this second time she was discharged within a day and she was not considered by the hospital to be suicidal or a danger to herself in spite of her putting insecticide on her head. Our mother is furious with all of us even though I had nothing to do with this and I do not condone having anyone committed until you’ve exhausted every other option. I think my parents need a social worker involved and occasional home care visits but because I was not involved last time, I have trouble speaking with hospital staff or doctors. My parents appear to be handling everything well when professionals visit them because they are able to cook, clean, get groceries, do laundry and their house is in good shape. I find my sisters don’t always listen to our parents and everything seems to be more about my sisters feeling safe – putting our mom is hospital versus talking to her and finding a gentler way to help her. My parents favour my sisters so I suppose I will end up being the marginalized sister. I will do what I can to help our parents from a distance. I don’t think the sibling who steps up is always the one who has the parents’ best interest at heart. I find my sisters tend to steamroll me out of the way and they take advantage of the fact that I live farther away. I’ve been told my sisters are just on the border of elder abuse because it is illegal in our province to force medical care on the elderly. I wish we were more of a united front but I don’t see that happening.

    • admin Reply

      Many adult children do prioritize trying to keep things safe over their parents’ autonomy. The balancing at for siblings when one lives at a distance is to understand the pressures of and impact for the nearby siblings with the wise observations and opinions of the distanced sibling.

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