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How do I get family to help?

Chris990

Registered User
Apr 25, 2017
4
Corby
I have been caring for my Mum who has Dementia for a couple of years now.
I moved back home when my father passed away. I have 2 brothers who will help with Mum when I ask for help. I would love them to offer to help without being asked but it is never forth coming.
Weekends and holiday periods are the worst - this weekend the only people I saw were Mum and her carers.
Does anyone else have experience of this and how did they deal with it.
I feel exhausted all of the time and have also been put on anti-depressants by my GP
 

Philbo

Registered User
Feb 28, 2017
772
Kent
Hi

It seems quite common (judging buy the number of similar posts) that those of us who are the predominant carers, are left to get on with it? If I am being charitable, I can understand that some folk find it very difficult to deal with their emotions when watching someone they know deteriorate. So staying away is one way of dealing with it!

In your situation, maybe you could either confront them about their lack of proactive help, or engineer a situation whereby you inform them you have to go away for xxx days and will need them to take over while you are gone? (Oh and we really need to make plans to accommodate similar situations in the future?")

My situation is not made any easier by having to cope with my wife's incontinence. You cannot really get others to look after her for any length of time and even going out for longer drives is getting harder, due to this. We have 2 grown up sons but I wouldn't expect them to look after her toileting needs.

Hope you are able to get more support soon.

Phil
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,893
London
Some people aren't proactive but will help when asked, which seems to be the case with your brothers. They will say "if you need me, let me know", and that's how they expect it to work. They don't understand how happy you would be about an unprompted offer of help, so the only way to deal with it is ask them for specified help like "can you drive Mum to the doctor's next Wednesday please?" Or make up a caring rota - whatever works.
 

Dave66

Registered User
Sep 13, 2014
78
Hi Chris990

Sadly, if they haven't offered by now, they're never going to, that's my experience any way. I don't even take any notice now when someone half heartily offers help, it's a token gesture for their own conscience, that's my view.

The best thing to do, is to tell them you need time off, you're doing your share and you need a break. It's not unreasonable of you to need time for yourself and if there is any sincerity in their words, then they will step up. If they don't, then you know where you stand with them and in a way, that will make life a bit easier for you going forward, you will know you're on your own and you'll be able to make alternative arrangements based on that knowledge.

First up, if you don't have a sitter service, get one sorted, as a carer you are entitled to time off. Have you had a Carers Assessment done? If not, get one done, you are entitled to one.

Good luck and I hope things improve for you.
 
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DAL

Registered User
Sep 9, 2016
39
I know what you mean. I live with my Dad who was diagnosed with mixed dementia last year and my five siblings offer no help.

Late last year my sister in law told me to stick Dad in respite should I need a break [emoji35] If I ask for help they say they will come and spend time with Dad etc but it rarely happens. To give them their due they all live 200 miles away but that's no excuse for not even calling Dad or I [emoji19]

You learn who you can rely on very quickly with this illness [emoji849]
 

snorkmaiden

Registered User
Mar 8, 2014
26
Surrey
I know what you mean. I live with my Dad who was diagnosed with mixed dementia last year and my five siblings offer no help.

Late last year my sister in law told me to stick Dad in respite should I need a break [emoji35] If I ask for help they say they will come and spend time with Dad etc but it rarely happens. To give them their due they all live 200 miles away but that's no excuse for not even calling Dad or I [emoji19]

You learn who you can rely on very quickly with this illness [emoji849]
Funnily (or sadly) enough, my Dads motto always was " Never expect anything from anyone and you'll never be disappointed" Painfull to recall now but he was correct x
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,069
Victoria, Australia
Hi Chris,

At least your siblings offer to help when you need it which is a starting point.

It just may be that they don't really understand the caring situation. My experience is a lot of men is that they just don't see things that can be right under their noses and perhaps they trust you to ask so that unless you speak up they think that everyone is fine.

Could you call a family meeting and lay it out on the line for them and ask for help on a regular basis. You might be nicely surprised by their reactions and a little more help might be more forthcoming.

Sometimes you have to explain things very clearly to get your message across. There may be an element of denial in their behaviour which for them makes it easier to deal with your mother's illness.