1. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    I have one brother and four step siblings. My folks moved to my town three years ago to be closer to me and my husband. A year ago my Mom was diagnosed with Alz and is now in the advanced stage. I go over to their house, which is down the street, every day and am there within 5 minutes any time they call. My frustration is that none of my siblings give them the time of day. They call only once a month and rarely come to see them even though it is within a days drive. I have changed my life to be apart of my folks lives as they approach the end of their life and just can't understand how the other siblings can be so negletful. My brother just cancelled a trip to see Mom and it will be months before he can come. I understand but they just took an expensive vacation so I am very miffed over it. If anyone can shed some light on this that I'm just not seeing I would appreciate it. :mad:
  2. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    Hi rummy,

    I'm sure it must be frustrating for you not having much support from your siblings and I'm not about to start defending them (or perhaps I am!) but everyone copes with the effects of this disease in their own way. Some people just close off and concentrate on their own lives because they simply cannot cope with it.

    When I visit my Dad it is usually for about an hour and, most times, my Mum is also there so we talk away while Dad often seems content just listening and the time goes quite quickly. The other day I went to see Dad for a rare 2 hour visit while Mum took a deserved afternoon off. I lost track of the number of times we sat on a different chair in the garden for five or ten minutes before he'd say "I can't sit here all day, best be getting back" and off we'd go for another jolly walk around! I have untold admiration for my Mum who spends every afternoon with him.

    By far the worst part of any visit, however, are those sudden moments of realisation - of clearly 'seeing' my Dad as he is now in the grip of this disease. That's when I can understand some people's reluctance to want to spend time with a relation who is slowly losing themselves to AD. It hurts so much to see it. Is it possible that your brother just can't bear to see it either?

    I do still want to visit but that is a personal impelling urge and I can appreciate how much easier it could be to stay away in some ways. I'm sorry if this sounds unkind.

    All the best,
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Rummy

    well it is a fairly common fact that the members of a family who do little or nothing when their relative needs it - they leave it to the one who has the compassion it takes - they are generally there pretty quickly when the Will is read.

    They then complain like mad if the one who has done the work of caring has been given any recognition of that.

    There's a large element of 'out of sight, out of mind'.

    Hi Hazel - there's a huge difference between being able to "appreciate how much easier it could be to stay away in some ways", and staying away. You visit. QED. Now that will be, I'm sure, a combination of caring for both your parents. But you do it.

    Of course we all know we could just leave them to whatever fate awaits them and get on with our lives, after all, they aren't going to get any better, are they? That is what makes it that much extra hurt for us, because we stick with them.

    There must be a difference in people...

    Ah yes, now I understand... it is called


    Some have it, some don't, and while THAT may appear unkind, it is my personal belief.
  4. thompsonsom

    thompsonsom Registered User

    Jul 4, 2004
    Hi Rummy

    I understand how frustrated you feel about other siblings not visiting. My mother in law lives with us but out of her other 6 offspring only 2 visit on a weekly basis, the rest can go months without visiting. It gets me mad that they don't even bother to telephone to see how shes doing. One sister in law never even mentioned her name when i was speaking to her in the supermarket, its as if they have already written her off as dead. We have a caravan which we take m/in/law to every weekend and she really enjoys it there but one brother had the cheek to say to her when he last visited after months away, oh i don't know when i will see you again as you are never here on the weekend. The ones who don't visit quite often blame us for their reasons for not visiting just to ease their guilty consciences. Luckily m/in/law doesn't bother. Had to laugh at a family gathering back in march when m/in/law introduced the 1 son who visits every week as being her son and naming him and her youngest daughter said how come she remembers you and not the rest of us to which i replied, because he visits thats why.
    I do think sometimes that when we get angry and frustrated it is sometimes a form of envy that they can just walk away from the responsibilities whereas we are bound by our love of the person for whom we care.

  5. storm

    storm Registered User

    Aug 10, 2004
    Hi Rummy,I totally agree with Jan she could be talking about our family it is just the same,mum in law lives with us she as 6 more sons one phones once a week but she only sees one them for avery short visit once a week the rest dont bother. Yet when she had a fall 2yrs ago and was admitted to hospital they were falling over them selves to get there firstthen complaining that we didnt let them know soon enough! They make me spit how can you not visit or phone your own mum ? Bruce is right the vultures will be out for the funeral. I dont usally let them get to me i must be having a weak moment. storm
  6. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    THANK YOU all for your invaluable insight. It truly does help to know that others are feeling the same things that I am. I can't imagine what kind of life my parents would be having if I didn't live close to them. Perhaps I do have a hidden envy because I've taken on the responsibility and they are free of the challenges I face daily. But a bigger part of it is that it breaks my heart for my Mom because she would so love to see her son. I hope in her dimentia she will not realize how long it has been.
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    West Sussex
    Dear Rummy, thinking of you. Just remember, you are the one that is there when those little special moments of recognition and joy happen, they can never be to order, but are worth their weight in gold. Lotsaluv, She. XX
  8. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    I appreciate that love is a huge factor in whether to visit or not visit and I understand the frustration everyone feels when others just don't bother until there is something in it for them. I'm sure that lots of people do not visit because they are uncaring, unthinking or just plain lazy. (If mental illness of all types were more widely understood, perhaps this might not be so prevelant?? :( )

    I just wanted to point out that there are some who find visiting too painful. For instance, my children who are busy with their own young families, (although they do lots to help out in other ways), want to remember their Grandad as he was (hey, don't we all) and I respect their view even if it may not be a popular one! :)

    P.S. As an aside, on my visit to Dad yesterday we learnt that he'd managed to raid the store cupboard and drank from a bottle of whiskey (one of the left-over fete prizes). Apparantly he slept very well that night!
  9. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    I'm happy to report that I am over my angainst and frustration. I just donot have the energy to dwell on the things I have no control over. Best to put that into more positive things. "Daughter" my folks have their happy hour every day, just wine now but I figure that nothing is going to make much difference now and they should do the things they really enjoy ! Thanks for your reply.
  10. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    TP is about having a place to vent to people who are in the same boat. No one can understand as well as someone who's there with you.

    As for your siblings, I think they will regret it when your parents go. You won't and as Sheila says, you will have had those special moments of recognition and joy. They won't have a thing. They will always regret it in their hearts, even if they never admit it. Pity but we all make our own choices.

    Take care & hug your mother.

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