I watched my brother become so bothered and jealous of my sister as she became the person my parents depended on as they became more frail. Instead of supporting her, he would play on all of us, as well as my father for support against this sister. I, too, allowed myself to let him influence me as to the quality of care my sister was able to give.
Oh, how terribly wrong I was. My sister had two young children and two elderly parents to care for...my mother has Alzheimer's/dementia. What a load my sister had and how hard she worked!
Finally, I and others realized what had been going on and took measures to help our sister. Our brother retaliated with court battle after court battle. Threat after threat. I heard him threaten my sister and her husband's life. Was she able to get help from the court? No, my brother was very able to lie and manipulate to the point that he managed to discredit each of us who stood to help our sister and aunt.
What I have learned is how vicious siblings can be when there is either a need for control or there is some estate involved. I have also learned how difficult it is to prove when a sibling is threatening and harassing. I have learned, too late, the value of my sister's care and love for my parents. I have learned how much we as siblings need to support our sibling caretakers.
It is easy to sit on the outside and criticize and quite another to be doing the work and there is hardly ever any clear cut guidelines on decision-making. One just does the best they can. We need to have a support group of siblings of caregivers so we can all keep ourselves aware of the difficulties that our siblings go through and to remember that their job is a "Big one"
The best we can do when we see a problem, like their house getting down or something, is to jump in and do that job with their permission, instead of complaining about the job they do.
I have lived under these threats and it not only hurt my parents, my siblings, but my family, and all I came in contact with. There is something so inhuman about living in fear of someone in your family. We as siblings of caretakers should do all we can to help before we start to complain. Maybe our help is all it takes to keep our sibling going and ok. With our help maybe that what we complain about would be resolved.
My story is long but I learned too late this lesson in life. My mother, thanks to my brother, is now in a nursing home I would not put anyone. Her care there is so much worse than anything my sister did. How I wished I knew then what I know now. The best thing sometimes we can do for our parents is to love and support the sibling with love and gratitude.