Problems With My Brother

Biggest Challenge: My brother does not help out at all with our parents. I have tried different approaches such as giving him a list of things that need to be done for them to just keeping him informed when that did not work. Now he is angry and he and his wife wanted to come talk with me and I declined due to the fact it would be two against one.  It is not about us it is about our parents.  All he does is make one excuse after another for why he can't do something and that he wishes he could help more. We both live within two miles of our parents.

--Adele

Response from DM:

Dear Adele:

Having your brother so close, yet for whatever his reasons, not having him be available, can be hard to understand. Sometimes a different approach can help. If he and his wife cannot make the time to help out, then maybe he can part with some money so that you can hire someone to do the extra things that are needed for your parents. If you get no response to that avenue, then a third party, whom you all respect, may be able to mediate a more fair arrangement. Something has to change in the equation or else you will burn out, or your parents will not get the attention that they need, or you will become so full of negativity toward your brother and his wife that your relationship will be damaged beyond repair. I have found that not all people in a family have the same level of dedication and devotion or have the ability to use their time and resources most efficiently. As a caregiver, you must take care of yourself as well as your parents.

Most sincerely,

Dr. Marion

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