Fed up with Family !!

I am currently living with my brother and sister-in-law taking care of my Mom with AD. This has been a temporary living arrangement as my Mom and I are scheduled to move into our own place in a few weeks. During the 10 months since we have been living here, my family has provided no support, no companionship, nothing except providing a roof over our head (and taking my Mom's money at that!). I am so disgusted with their behavior. They basically treat my Mom as though she didn't exist because she is unable to communicate. They don't even pretend (saying "good morning" for example even though she cant reply). Someone blogged previously that they wished their loved one had cancer not AD because people with cancer get attention. I have found that elderly suffering with AD are sometimes treated like lepers because they cant communicate normally. My family gives more attention to the family pets for crying out loud. Does anyone have this issue with family members?

After 10 months, I am majorly venting. Family has been useless to me with help with Mom. She may have AD but she is a human.

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chooch, I totally understand where you are coming from.
I have seen studies, and have experienced exactly what you are describing.
When there is a physically disabled family member, no matter how bad a physical disability as long as there remains some communication, the family or caretakers can work with that. There may be some level of stress, not saying that dealing with a physical disability is stress free, just that the situation can usually be worked with, and solutions found.
When there is a mental disability, the stress of the caretakers is proportional to the loss of communication.

When a person is dealing with a pet they do not expect communication the same way that is normal with another human being. So the person will say 'Good morning, Fido, ready for breakfast?' and get a happy dog grin and a wagging tail. That is communication.

When they do not even get that much response from a human being it is really hard on the caretaker.

I hope that when you move out with your mother that you will have some more support, that it will not be just you and your mother. That can be very hard on you, having to be the only caretaker, 24/7.

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Thanks for your reply, Macs_help but I am already the sole caretaker, 24/7. My family and extended family offer no help. They all just go about their own lives. At least my Mom and I are moving into a nice complex with opportunities for some other personal interaction.

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Chooch, This is such a great place to vent when you need to. Macs_help sure does offer some very good insight to why people seem to ignore your mom's needs and in doing so you are emotionally drained on many levels. I am so very happy that you are moving to a nice place with opportunities and hope that you can take advantage of those activities. It sounds like your mom is in the later stages of this dreadful disease and although that last stage can be extended by the quality of care; there might be a time that her care is more than you can deal with and perhaps where you are moving will allow your mom a progression move into a facility.
If you are dealing with selfish family that only want money from your mom; take some advice and if you are not already documenting all of your caregiving, please do that and I hope you are paying yourself now. It's important to put money into the caregivers hands for all that is done and needs to be done for people with AD as the caregiving is far more extensive than people with other fatal diagnosis and if that is all they want now - you will find yourself in a financial whirlwind when she passes. After knowing and doing and learning first-hand what my sister went through, her husband and daughter who lived at home, in my opinion, there isn't enough money in the world to help them through what they did physically and emotionally FOR our mom. I personally signed over a very small inheritance mom left me to my sister now that the estate is settled. Both my brother and I also signed off to allow her the money left in mom's state monitored bank account because VA benefits hit for 6 months at once; there was a little left when mom died and after the government pulled back 2 months of deposits then froze the account. After all was said and done, we thought my sister should have it, we all helped out and we each took care of mom at different stages and for different amount of times, but she had mom at her worst. So we did what was right. It doesn't sound like you have the support that my sister had and you are the one doing all the caregiving and at the worst stage. Document everything - if there is any money left and your brother and sister-in-law want to become part of an inheritance - take out what you are owed 1st, you are legally allowed to do so. Bless you for you kindness and love for your mother. You are in my thoughts, please let us know when you get moved and how that goes.

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I understand what you are going through. I personally come on here to vent also. It truly helps just to have someone that understands what you are dealing with listen. I hope that you get the help soon bless you

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Thanks to all for the kind words and encouragement. I thought I could rely on family's support but it has become evident they only want her money. I've threatened to sue to get a family mediator involved so money is involved ONLY in relation to the best of her care. unfortunately, it has come to this. Taking care of my Mom has zapped me physically, emotionally, financially and now this!!

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Does your mother have a will, a trust or something that says how her money is to be spent toward her care and how it is to be split after she dies?

Might be a good idea to see a lawyer who specializes in these matters, and clarify what is already in place, and what still needs to be done.

Do you have power of attorney for your mother's money matters? Health issues?
Does she have any sort of directives about her care when she can no longer make decisions?

While you and your mother still live with the rest of the family it is right that they get something, the equivalent of room and board. While they are not contributing any time, they are contributing a place to live, and that counts.

And laststage is absolutely right! Document all the time you are spending caring for your mom, and count it up at the very least at minimum wage. More, if you can find out what in home care givers are getting.

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I just read what Macs_help says here and I totally agree that you should perhaps seek the advice of an Elder Law attorney; I know from experience that most will offer a free consultation and can be very helpful. We paid $800 total for priceless help after a free consultation and it included a worksheet on caregiving and costs analysis.
Another question I would have is that; if you and your mom have been living with your brother and sister-in-law for over 6-months.... do they claim you as dependents? They are entitled to, although I don't know that it helps much but being that it is tax season, you might want to find this out unless you already know. Good Luck with everything, you are in my thoughts.

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chooch, I think that we all have experienced this form both family and friends. I just don't think that they want or don't know how to deal with this. Look at the link i am sending to the alz reading room. Maybe this will explain why they do it. I also reccommend that everyone look at the alz rhttp://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2009/04/are-alzheimers-caregivers-forg otten.htmloom. I have found it very imformative. Here is the link. Hope it help you understand family and friends.
http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2009/04/are-alzheimers-caregivers-forg otten.html

Bob

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