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Many of us have problems with our siblings in regard to caring for our parents. In most families it is usually one adult child that takes on the responsibility for caring for a parent. The other sibling (s) is (are) simply not capable or don't want any part of it.

To top it off they usually direct the one who is caregiving, make them wrong for their decisions and choices. Some may even threaten legal action in terms of financial estate of their parents. Many of us have similar issues surrounding our siblings....share your experiences so that others may learn, heal and grow. What are your experiences?
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I consider myself a Christian and believe in forgiveness, but I find myself extremely angry at my brother. My Mom has Alzheimer's and she fell and broke her hip in July 1997. I contacted my brother, who lives out of state, to let him know. We spoke several times until Mom was to be released from the Rehab Hospital. He told me he would call me to find out what the doctor's recommendation was for Mom's future care, but to this date, he has never called to inquire about Mom, his Mom too.

Through the family grapevine, I heard he got remarried and they had a child. He did mail me a birth announcement, but never inquired about Mom. Needless to say, I never acknowledged the announcement. I feel so much resentment and anger. Now I need to place Mom in a nursing home, and I feel so guilty and feel like I have so many decisions to make, that the mere mention of my brother makes my blood boil.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? How do I handle my feelings



Unfortunately, what you are experiencing with your brother is not uncommon for caregivers. Most of us have a story to brother simply can't cope with any family problems. Although he is a dentist and his wife is a nurse they were not there for mom and I when we were caregiving my father. The only reason he came up to see dad was because he would want his children to do the same for him when it is his time

It seems that there is always one child who faces and handles the challenge and role of caregiver on their own. We are the ones that can do it best or God wouldn't have given us the challenge ...and it is also a gift as well, because tremendous healing takes place for the caregiver and the one they are caring for.

There are some wonderful support groups and chat rooms for Alzheimers in particular online. If you need some info on them, please email me at and I will help you to find some of the areas.

Also, although it is difficult to place our parent in a home, it is often necessary so that we can be freed to be even better in our role. There comes a point when you can no longer provide the proper care and you must learn to let go... Perhaps you can get some counseling offline as well to help you adjust through this period of time as well.

Let me know how I can support you.

In Love & Light,

I'm new to this site and when I read your letter it really hit home. I care for both my parents and have a sibling that lives out of state and does not participate except to offer suggestions on how I could do things better. While I accepted my role several years back, I do admit the ongoing care is draining me. I just didn't have energy to carry the anger against my sister any longer and decided to minimize my contact with her. I know this was the right decision for me. Given the energy it takes to provide the support and care needed by our parents, we need all of our resources to do our best for them and ourselves.


Hi Terry - I goofed... hit enter before typing message. Regarding your brother... sounds like he is related to my sister. I just placed Mom in an ALF (she is 91 - has Alzheimer's) and has lived with me for the past 6 years...but only diagnosed 9 months ago. In these 6 years my brother has taken my mother for as much as 6 weeks perhaps twice a year, which was helpful, but always at his convenience, never ours. My older sister has offered NO help, but lots of criticism.... forget your brother.

Live your life and do for your parent what you can. It is easy to offer suggestions, criticize etc. but harder to be the caregiver facing the daily problems. All I can say is, as long as when you put your head down each night knowing that you have done all you can.... the rest will fall into place. I'm not saying it is easy and the anger is a natural feeling - but I'm learning it takes energy I don't have so I am just trying to ignore the ignorance of a know-it-all but do-nothing personally.



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 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.


Dear Linda

Your story is of such great value to other caregivers who are in similar situations with their siblings. I am grateful for your post....perhaps we can create a chat or listserv for siblings of main caregivers a little bit down the road.

The growth you have experienced, the forgiveness and love you now have for your sister is so powerful...I know your sharing will help many. Hopefully your post will start an ongoing thread that others might respond to as well.

I was wondering if you would be able to find another nursing home that would benefit your mother more at this that the courts might approve of.

Blessings to you.


Thank you all! I hadn't had a chance to read your replies until today and I cried when I read them. Thank you. I very much needed to hear what you had to say. You're absolutely right to not dwell on negative thoughts about my brother. I have enough with dealing with my guilt in placing my parent into a nursing home even though I know it's the right decision. Moving day is May 1st. Pray for me because I know it's going to be hard. God bless all of you that replied.


Hello Terry,

Although, I have not had to deal with the issues of placing a parent into a nursing home, I almost did. It was horrible for me to even research the homes when my mother was critically ill last year. The guilt is something I think we all go through and you will need to feel it until you get passed it..

From others who have shared about their experiences, it usually is for the best. Their loved one generally receives proper loving care and the adult child still gets to supervise and be responsible in the loving way they chose to. It also gives you the opportunity to begin to sort out your own life once create a semblance of are in my thoughts and prayers. If you care to place your mother's name in the healing circle...I would be very happy to do so.

Please let me know. Your mom is truly blessed to have a loving daughter as yourself caring for her. Blessings to you in all you are doing.


I am caring for my mother who is 79 years old. She is a hypochondriac, she does have some medical problems but she brings a lot of it on herself by sitting here all day and thinking up something that could be wrong with her. I have three sisters, granted they live out of state but since I have been taking care of mom & dad (he died in July 1998) since around 1993, not one of them have offered to come out here and relieve me for a few days, when I have asked them to they just can't work it into their lives. I have taken over all of mom's bills as my dad left her nothing. This includes her house payment plus every thing else. I have asked them to pay to have someone stay with her when she has been released from the hospital for one thing or another, they have informed me that they will only pay a fourth of that charges.

This house is still in mom's name, I tried to assume the VA loan, so it would be in my name, mom would not hear of that, so I am making the payments, do not get any tax benefit, do not get it reported on my credit report. Yes I do live in this house, only because Mom needs someone with her. There is a lot more but will not bore you at this time. When some thing does happen to Mom I will never see or talk to anyone of my sisters again. I don't want to have anything to do with them ever again. I just became an only child. Thanks for listening



I am so sorry you are having to go through the challenges set before you on your own. It is a devastating feeling when siblings abandon you, and also when you have difficulties with your mom as well. I would suggest that you get some counseling or advice in ways that you can approach your mother and communicate appropriately to her your needs, the expenses you have taken on, etc. By coming from strength, you may be able to show her the importance of helping you out as you are caring for her.

It is a difficult road to travel, but have faith that you will be guided to answers and situations that will benefit you as well.

Blessings to you. Gail


I hope that you are doing better with the situation regarding your brother. While I have not had to put a parent into a home, I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it is. I was temporarily faced with the prospect of having to do so, but fortunately, my mom healed and is doing well.

I am sure your mom is grateful, even if she is unable to express herself, for the soul knows more then we understand.

Blessings to you. Gail

Subject: RE: HOW DO YOU
Email: jb9922


Dear Gail,

Thank you for the kind words. I am in Counseling, in order to be able to deal with Mother and all the problems concerning her. I am going to FL this month for two weeks to be with my sons. Not one of my sisters have made the effort to come out here to stay with Mother. I have not seen my sons for two and a half years, so I am going. The sisters have known since March that I was going in June so this is not just a last minute thing. After I come back from FL there will be some changes made. If I like it in FL I will be moving there. I will give Mother the choice of going with me into an assisted living place, going to live with one of her other daughters, or staying here in an assisted living place. If I don't like in in FL I will stay here in this area, but will get out from under that house and all that is costing me. Will give Mother the choice of living with me where I choose to live or an assisted living place.

Anyway after all of this with my three sisters and their lack of caring about anyone except themselves, I have just become an only child. When anything does happen to Mom I will never see or speak to them again.

Thanks Judy

Dear Judy

I was so happy to hear that you are in counseling. I think that you have created some important options for yourself along with how you will present them to your mother. I hope that your visit with your sons in Fla. is fruitful and enjoyable....I am always here at the boards.....Your sharing your situation on the boards is a wonderful support for others who may be in the same type of situation.

Just remember, that while you feel as if you are the only child...your reaching out is creating an extended family to support you in your time of need. God Bless You in all that you are doing.


Hi Judy,

I guess like Gail says, there's usually one child that assumes the responsibility of caring for their parents. If you have read the previous posts, you know that I have a brother who has not bothered to call and inquire how his mother is. He has no earthly idea that she is now in a nursing home, & I truly believe that he does not care nor does he want to know! Placing Mom in a nursing home was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I go and see her every day, and even if she's asleep when I go, I see her and kiss her and I see for myself that she's all right and I can come home feeling at peace. I have pretty much realized that he will never be around especially when Mom passes away, so like you, I feel like I am an only child. I will always be there for my Mom, and know that I did everything I possibly could for her, and God knows that, and I can live with myself knowing that. Keep in touch. If you ever need to talk, you can e-mail me directly at RTVEL38AB@WEBTV.NET.


Hi everybody!

You are not going to believe what I did. I decided, after giving it a lot of thought, that I wanted to let go of this anger & resentment towards my brother (see my previous posts). I wrote him a letter last week to let him know that Mom is now in the advanced stages of Alzheimers and is now in a nursing home. Lo and behold, he called me and says he's sorry and that he is going to make plans to come and see Mom. I guess I'm a little skeptical, but have to wait and see if it happens. I'm not completely over my feelings, but feel good that I contacted him. We spoke for well over an hour and I brought him up to date on Mom's condition. I will let you know what happens. Keep me in your prayers.


My mother is also a hypochondriac! Judy, your story is very close to my heart. I have 5 brothers some with wives some not. Only one helps at all. I used to resent them all, even the one who comes around 'at his convenience', but now am just grateful he comes to see her at all. I gave up the hate and resentment a while ago. They will have their guilt to live with for not seeing and doing for their mother. You can stand up tall and be proud that you did what you could for her.

Some of us have compassion and love, and some only care about their own selves. I too lived in my mothers house, and this past year the brother who only visits at his convenience persuaded her to turn it over to my husband and myself for all we have done for her. The others now have no say when she is gone.

Good will come to you for doing good and loving your mother enough to care for her.


Margaret, I have a brother too, however he cares nothing about our mom! The only time he comes or calls is when he needs money. After years of being angry and not understanding why, I have learned that the why is not important. What is important is that we are making our parents happy and doing the best that we can, and that we are doing what is good for us. It is your brothers loss. My mom has the beginning stages of Alzheimer's and my sons are able to see her every day if the can ( she lives with us and the" boys" are 18 & 20) my brother and his family who live less than 10 minutes away haven't seen her since last May! She nearly died in Dec. and they didn't bother to come to see her. Just know that you are a terrific person, and that you are reaping the benefits of helping your parents, whether your mom knows it or not!
Email: Just 337


I also have a problem with my brother. I live 2 hours away from our parents -- he lives only 20 minutes and works a mere 10 minutes away. Yet, he only comes by in a crisis (only a BIG crisis) or if he needs something from dad. He wrote mom off a long time ago. Mom has Parkinson's and is very seldom lucid. Every so often I see mom inside. Sometimes she'll look at me and smile, squeeze my daughter's hand. It happens maybe once or twice a visit, sometimes not at all. My brother refuses to believe any of mom is left. It breaks dad's heart. He does not know my brother feels this way and I will not tell him. It does my dad good to see me concerned over mom and visiting mom, even though I doubt she knows I'm there. I just can't make my brother understand. Just do it for dad!
Hi my name is Joan and I have been taking care of my Mom and Dad since April,
1991. My father had a stroke and he was paralized. He needed someone to
be with
him partly for his personal care and also because my Mother was rather
angry and
became somewhat abusive toward him. I have two brothers. One lives near
here and
one lives out of town. I have had very little help with their care. At
first I was angry all
of the time, but I finally decided that I would just drive myself crazy
with the anger and
since my parents had enough money, we would just put them in a retirment
and hire people around the clock to help with Dad and be a buffer between
the two of
them. I have to admit I still get angry when my brother from out of town
comes and
spends maybe a half day with Mom and the rest of the time at a movie or out
on my other
brother\'s boat, or when the brother that is here, brings Mother a plant
for Mother\'s Day
and sneaks it over at 7:00AM knowing full well she will be asleep. I have
come a long
ways though and I have been in counseling which helped me a lot. Dad is
gone now
and Mom is 90. She is still quite difficult to deal with, but I try to
take care of myself and
most of the time it works.

Hello Joan
Welcome aboard....I am sure it eases the anger somewhat to see that you are not alone when it comes to your is so painful and we hold so much anger inside. It unfortunately doesn't serve us one bit...

Unfortunately I have said it before and I must say it again....some of us are cut out to be the caregivers and some are not. It is a gift no matter how difficult and the rewards of growth and healing cannot be described totally when you are going through it.

You certainly have had your hands full for almost a decade and I am in awe that you are doing so well. I am glad you have been able to get counseloring to assist you throughout this time.

Ninety years old, your mom is, and I bet she can still push your buttons...their generation is so strong and so very different from where we are coming from.

I'd like to invite you to subscribe to the newsletter and attend the chats on line at
the E.C. SITE.... you can share with others and receive nurturing care and support from many others.

By the way, at least your brother brings your mother a plant...mine doesn't even
make a phone call or send a card on Mother's Day.

Blessings to you in all you are doing.
Love & Light,
In reading some of the responses on this board has really made me feel better about how I have chosen to care for my mother. I have been called every name in the book, I
have encountered arguments that the soul purpose of was for me to anger some one, so that they would leave in a huff, therefore, eliminating any possibility of help from the offended one.

My sibling disappeared out of my mothers life quicker and more flawless than Houdini
ever could have done! I find it ironic that everyone is so busy or working so hard that
they can't find the time to show a little love for their Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother or Aunt; all of which my mother is to one or more of my siblings. At first, I went through anger, madness, depression
and many other phases of adjustments. Of all, the most trying time was when my mother was admitted to the hospital with a slight temperature and ended up nine days later diagnosed as terminal by the attending doctor, who made the diagnosis only to Cover His A--!

They tried as hard as they could to make the diagnosis come to pass, by allowing her to
go without food, water or medication by placing her on the surgery list. Only the doctors scheduled to do the surgery forgot about the scheduled surgery? The delay,in essence, rendered her ineligible for
surgery due to the fact that she was so frail, ill and malnourished. They sent my mother home with hospice to die, without any medication, instructions or compassion.

I, like my mother am very strong willed, therefore I refused their diagnosis. I sought help elsewhere and hit pay dirt!

The short of this is the fact that my mother didn't die. That has been a year and a half ago. She has amazed all concerned. I no longer want any help from any of my siblings, because they are more harm than help, and I don't need the extra drama.

I'm doing well, even though I don't have a social life, but I'm happy that my mother is alive and living with me rather than a nursing home.

Everyday that I wake up and see her smile one more time for me, I consider that another
blessing for me. The doctors say that I'm only imagining that she responds in any manner to a degree of acknowledgement for my deeds, but I know better! I know, that she knows she's in a safe and loving place, and that's all that matter's to me!!!!!!

Well, folks, what I thought was impossible happened. My brother did in fact come from CA. and visited me after two long years. He stayed for one week.

He went with me to take Mom to the Dr. My Mom is forgetting how to swallow her food and is hoarding it in her mouth and then spits it out.

The Dr. ordered that her food be pureed so we'll see how she does with that. We visited with her at the nursing home several times.

I know he was very nervous about seeing me but I think he was relieved to be back in the
family again. He also saw his son and family who he had not seen for 2 yrs. Even though he promised to stay in touch from now on, I am still somewhat skeptical, but we'll see what happens.

But I feel such relief and I don't feel this deep anger towards him. At least I know I've done what I could to patch up this relationship and can live with myself and not feel a knot in my stomach like I did every time I thought of him. We actually
had a very pleasant visit! Pleasant!!!!

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers especially now that my Mom is in the late stages and say a prayer for her too! I will keep posting and let you know how things are coming along.

I will keep all of you in my prayers

Hello Carol
I know what you are going thru...have a feeling your brother might be the older one of both of this true? Somehow, as caregivers, when we are thrown into the role of caring for a parent...all the old family patterns creep us and haunt us...They never really left.

For me I had been so successful in my own life that the old patterns didn't have an opportunity to surface. However, once I was in the role of caring for my father...and helping and caring for mom as well....all the old poop surfaced as if they never had left since I was a teenager.

The options I looked at were expressing my feelings and needs to my parents, helping them to see the old patterns...It wasn't easy but I did. My brother treated me as if I was a child....

I was the only one dealing with everything as it came along. Somewhere deep inside myself, I knew I was doing an incredible job as a caregiver. I decided that while my parents or brother my never really acknowledged me, I knew in my heart I was doing incredible work. This was what I needed for myself to sustain me to carry on.

After a while, both my parents were able to see the unconditional love that I
offered, the assistance and the wisdom.

Their attitudes began to shift and after a lot more conscious work....they were able to express their love and gratitude to me.
I believe I can safely say at this point..I knew what I had to do and did it with out any expectation. Once i let go of the expectations, things fell in place with more ease and less effort...Hope this helps you.

The Empowering Caregivers Chat on AOL on Thurs at 8PM EST offers wonderful support from others who are in the same situation as you are in... this is the link:
<A HREF="aol://2719:3-691-Mutual%20Support%20Room">MUTUAL SUPPORT ROOM</A>.

Chats are also offered from the Empowering Caregivers Site....Come visit us...and you can also subscribe to the free EMPOWERING CAREGIVERS NEWSLETTER here at the site.

Blessings to you.

Many of us have similar issues surrounding our siblings....share your experiences so that others may learn, heal and grow. What are your experiences? [/B]

I basically wrote my brother off about 6 years ago, as I was no longer able to tolerate his behavior (or lack of it). You can choose your friends but not your family and I reached a point where I knew I would not tolerate actions like his from a friend, so why should I tolerate them from a family member. The decision at least stopped me from being angry, upset and hurt.

I called him a month ago to take Mom shopping because I could not...she had called my son a thief and I knew I could not go near her. The result was that Mom accused him and his wife of stealing from her and said they planned to kidnap her and take the money from the home care insurance plan for taking care of her. He washed his hands (not the first time) and I stepped in again. Mom cancelled the policy.

Bottom line is that the only way I can maintain my sanity with regard to my brother is to stay at a distance. It's a shame...but again, you cannot choose your family and I know I am not alone.

Good luck with whatever decision you make for your own sanity!

I am the youngest of seven children. I was my Dad's caregiver for 3 years until his death. And most of the time I felt like a only child. Oh, they would come see him every so offend, of course there were times he would asked me if he had made one of them mad because he had not seen whoever for about a month. Some of them would make me so mad, when they would come up, if I said I'm taking him to the doctor or calling the EMT'S...and Dad happen to say he didn't want to go. They would tell me to do as he wished. I would tell them my job (which I receive no money) was to see he stayed healthy and alive. I would then sit down with Dad, in front of them, and tell him what the possible out come would be if he did not do as I said. He had congestive heart failure and emphysema.
Plus they would go on vacations or business trips and leave me phone number, in case something happened. Maybe, just maybe, I got away once a year for a couple of days. When he would have to stay in the hospital it was up to me to call the other 6 and let them know and some of them would say, "Let me know if I need to come" or "Let me know when he goes home". Can you tell I'm still having some feelings of disgust with some of my siblings? Well, its water over the dam and I would do it all over again for my Dad, who I miss very much!!
Hello Jeri,


Welcome! I hope that each new day brings more love, peace and healing to you on your journey.

Your letter reminds me of my brother and so many other sibling stories that other caregivers have shared with me...

They simply can not deal with the ideas surrounding death. It's like they their attitude is call me when they have passed and we'll pay our respects and collect the money..It is a cruel thing to say... unfortunately, the truth is that they just cannot cope or be a part of the healing process which many undergo with their loved ones in their final months and days and moments. The truth is that it is their loss and not ours.

I hope that your pain and anger dissipate daily...holding it in doesn't serve you. work on releasing it so that you are free, knowing that your dad knew how much you loved and cared for him...Blessings to you.

I have already posted once on this topic but I just need to tell you what is going on now. I am the caregiver, now, of a 90 year old lady. Concerning my sisters, I'll share the lastest news and stories of what happened "today" with Mrs. Bill. Do I get emotional support from them?..noooo! All they say is "she needs to be in a nursing home" "We can't understand why, after taking care of Dad, you would do this again, its too much for you". "She is not even kin to us". I don't have to do this but I want to and at least this time I am getting paid. The other night Mrs. Bill couldn't sleep so I got on the bed with her and we hmmmed and sang gospel songs together and she got relaxed and fell asleep. If by any chance my sisters ever read this...HEAR with our Dad and the same with Mrs. Bill..she is a foot step away from the throne of God and if I can make the journey an easy and peaceful be it. If ya'll can't understand this, I'm sorry. You really don't know what you are missing, to listening to an elderly person pray to God everynight and how its feels to hear her shakey voice sing "Amazing Grace".

Thanks for letting me vent this here..
(((((((((((( Jeri )))))))))))))))

Hi Jeri
I am sending Hugs to you. You are doing a fantastic and I am sure Mrs. Bill Knows it.

It does not matter what your siblings think and say. All that matters is what is in your heart. Yes, I do believe that Mrs. Bill is reaching the throne of God but I also believe that you are also reaching the thrown of God in your caring for Mrs. Bill.

God Bless You

Love & Peace
Joan C
Hi gals
Ya'lls message brought tears to my eyes. Thank you!!! Last week Mrs. Bill got up in the middle of the night, without calling me, and fell and broke her right wrist..yes, she is right handed. So I have enter a new level of care for her. Bless her heart!! She is doing great!! I have to change the dressing around the pins in her arm everyday. When the in-home-nurses came to show me how, I thought to myself..please don't faint. But I'm proud to say I did great!!! So I guess the good Lord thinks I have very wide Wonder what tomorrow will bring and with the grace of God..I will make it!!
Hi Jeri,

You are marvelous. God has Blessed you in so many ways. Mrs. Bill knows how lucky she is to have you. I bet it is written all over her face every time she sees you. I also bet your heart jumps for joy with the expression that her inner being sends to your inner being.

I am so very sorry she broke her wrist and I will be praying for her and you.

Love & Peace
Joan C

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