The Invisibles... what's the point anymore?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Linbrusco, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,585
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    #1 Linbrusco, Aug 30, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    Mum with AD is the oldest of 7. Mum was the glue that held all the family together, and were all quite close after their own parents died.... but now

    1 brother lives overseas, and phones Mum up every 6mths or so, and and at least made the effort to come over and visit 2 yrs ago, and is planning on coming again soon.
    1 brother who lived here just 20mns by car, and who moved overseas with his wife 2 yrs ago, who did not even phone or visit to say goodbye before they emigrated :mad:
    1 brother who is a functioning alcoholic, who rings every few months when drinking and has visited 4 times in 3 years... but lives just 20mns away also.
    1 sister who is a functioning alcoholic also who lives 10mns away, phones Mum very infrequently, says she " Wishes she could help" but has not visited personally for over 18mths.
    1 sister who lives 20mns away, whom Mum hasn't seen for 3mths, and phones infrequently.
    1 sister who phones every fortnight, and visits Mum & Dad every few months, and lives 20mns away also.

    So now we have the last 2 sisters in the list who are leaving tomorrow for Scotland for a month.
    We cannot tell Mum at all as it would make things intolerable with anxiety, repetition, and probably anger at being excluded. So we have come up with a story if we need to use it.

    The one sister that phones often, came to visit Mum and Dad just the other week, and phoned Mum yesterday before they leave tomorrow.

    The other sister promised to visit and hasn't.
    Don't know how you can plan a month long holiday, take a month off work, arrange to visit all your old friends back in Scotland, but can't take the time out to drive 20mns by car to see your own sister with Alzheimers before you go.

    As you all know a month in the dementia journey anything can happen.

    I have tried so hard to make the effort where Mum is concerned to keep in touch with her siblings, take her to visit or organise for them to visit... but really now I've had enough. It just adds to my list of "things to do" and the resulting stress isn't worth it.:mad:
     
  2. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,776
    Salford
    I can see where you're coming from Linbrusco.
    When I looked after my mum my 2 brothers (the 3rd one's buried not too far from you) made 3 visits between the 2 of them in nearly 3 years.
    Now it's my wife with AZ one of her 5 brothers and sisters has come to visit once in over 5 years 6 - 8 phone calls in all that time.
    That said none of us were really that close anyway, we might see them once or twice a year at most, not all families live in each other's pocket, we've only seen one of our 3 children in the past 6 months.
    If you weren't in someone's life in the first place then why the obligation to jump in when they get AZ.
    There is a mantra on here that "no one should be made to be a carer" and whilst that is true it's sometime not a consolation to the ones left picking up the pieces.
    It's an AZ dichotomy that I've never really come to terms with.
    K
     
  3. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    539
    Female
    Shropshire
    Linbrusco I think you answered your own question " the resulting stress isnt' worth it " They may all have been close in the past but it strikes me from what you say they are all getting on with their lives , sadly without considering your mum. It happens , you just get on as best you can supporting your mum and dad and don't try any more with her family as this just puts more pressure on you . Sad you think it seems hard on your mum that they are not there for her now but you are . Is a lonely world when dealing with dementia .
     
  4. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,585
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand

    Exactly right 1Mindy.
    I think I will just take a backwards step from it all.
    Except for the one Aunt that does keep in contact, the rest of them I needn't bother keeping them up to date or even talk to them on the phone on that rare occasion they do ring Mum.
     
  5. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    5,736
    North East Lincs
    This is where I have got to . If they ring I say hello and pass over the phone. If they haven't gathered by now all they will get is confabulation that's tough.
     
  6. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,585
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand

    Grey Lad I don't mean to laugh but I like it. :)

    Oh and by the way, the Aunt that was meant to visit before she left on holiday phoned Mum.
    I wasn't there, so no idea what Mum said.
     
  7. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    5,736
    North East Lincs
    Invisibles pop in when they can; see what they want to see and tell us how to go on. If they can't see through the red mist of confabulation that's up to them. Let them keep on the rose tinted spectacles and keep their distance. I wonder if they are afraid of catching dementia?
     
  8. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,899
    Female
    Scotland
    Sometimes big families work

    My Mum was the eldest of seven children too. She was housebound for 15 years although not with dementia. Her sisters and brothers were magnificent and made the job of looking after her that much better for my sister and myself. Now I know it is not a given that goodness is rewarded but as each of the siblings got older and sicker their families too stepped up to the plate.

    Her late brother's second wife is now supported by his nephews who are not related to her other than through marriage. They take her shopping and to appointments and as both are tradesmen they do any repairs in her house.

    Her sister who now has dementia lost both her sons but her granddaughters are constantly in attendance. I feel very proud of them all that from humble beginnings they have proven themselves such good people.
     
  9. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    My parents used to trail up regularly to Scotland for decades to keep in touch with family. Very few ever bothered to make the return trip.

    When my dad died unexpectedly, his younger brother was on the phone talking about coming down for the funeral. I was incensed, as would Dad have been. What was the point of making the effort once he's dead? The last thing I needed was relatives to 'entertain' at that time so I (politely :D) made it clear that he really needn't bother.

    And I'm glad to say he didn't.
     
  10. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    5,736
    North East Lincs
    Well done. :)
     
  11. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,899
    Female
    Scotland

    Yes, I can see how you felt. When Mums brother died in London aged 91 the rest of the remaining siblings were over 80 and did not go to the funeral. I think his children were disappointed but as he had joined the army at 17 and never returned to Scotland other than for funerals it was perhaps expected. There was no animosity and whenever anyone was passing through London they would visit and enjoy his company.

    Families are tricky aren't they? The dynamics are always changing with age, marriage, divorce and distance.
     

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