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Merry Christmas All:

I sent out Christmas presents to all my siblings, my mother and my only aunt. I haven't heard from any of them. But, I tried to call my aunt tonight. She is in her 80's and when I tried to call her I got the message that this number has been disconnected.

My mother never allowed us a relationship with her. So, this year, I tried to send her some holiday cheer and she is gone! She would never move out of the house voluntarily - after all - she was in my grandparent's home.

Where is she? I am worried! What should I do? I guess I will go by her house tomorrow and if she is not there, talk to the neighbors. Maybe I can find her...

Wish me Luck, Glenda

[This message has been edited by glenderella (edited 12-25-2005).]
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i can relate... for it was only a few months ago, my aunt passed and no one phoned to tell me she was sick or that she had passed...

Check with neighbors although they might not know if she was placed into a home... the only other suggestion would be to check with the local coronoers office of place that would have a record of death certificates at this time...

another part of me wants to say, call your mother or siblings.. but they might not know anything at this point in time either.

please keep us posted...

Dear Gail:

I know how much that hurt you not to be told about your aunt. I am surprised that this forum isn't used more. Communication is a big family issue...

Well, the good news is that my aunt is not dead! The bad news is that she broke her leg in November and is in a rest home right now. So, I imagine that she will be back at home sometime after the new year.

However, it does cause some concern. Obviously her bills aren't getting paid as her phone has been cut off... Oh well, with the way our family communicates with each other, no phone is necessary (lol)...

Love from Glenda
Hello Glenda,

I have already shared with you how happy I am that you found your aunt...

yes the communications forum could be used for about 60% of the postings, I believe.. but people place them where they see fit..

it is a wonderful place to post family dynamics , sibling rivalry.. family meetings... the whole works...

A phone chain is a very good suggestion, if family members are communicating. In order for it to be effective, you need someone to answer your calls.

Mark, you are very fortunate that you have a closely knit family. Many of us on this board are not as lucky. Oftentimes, it seems when one family member takes on the role of caregiver to a parent, the remaining siblings tend to go into "ignore" mode.

I recall when I was preparing to move my mom into my home, one of my sisters (I have two) repeatedly told me "we are in this together." Yet, when mom did move in, and I tried to call her just to have someone to listen to my rants, to vent to, to lean on, she was never available. I don't ever remember feeling as alone as I did for the year that I cared for my mom.

For those of you that are caring for your parents and have siblings that support you and/or are taking part in their care, consider yourselves very fortunate. Caring for a parent alone is a very, very lonely and sad road to travel.

[This message has been edited by MIMI427 (edited 01-06-2006).]
Hi Mark and Mimi:

Thank you both for your input! I think a phone chain is a good idea for the elderly to have because it is hard for them to get to the phone on a walker... I also was thinking that maybe my aunt needs a medic alert button in the future. She lives alone with very little contact with anyone. It was lucky that she was outside on the front porch when she broke her leg!

And Mimi, you are so right in what you say!!! I have one sister (dearest) in town right now from out-of-state and she waltzes in to see Dad with no comprehension of what things are like now... On top of it all, she brings a friend along, has friends calling the house and dropping by. Luckily, she will be gone on Sunday! Worse than being no help, she tries to cause trouble for me whenever possible - sibling rivary at it's best!

So, I have been working on my boundaries and trying my hardest not to create more family rifts... Thank goodness for therapy! (And thanks, Mimi, for letting me get that out!!!)

Hugs from Glenda
Hi Glenda,
I too was in therapy while caring for my mom. I was an emotional wreck at times...actually, it seemed like most of the time!
I do remember the therapist telling me that it is very common for old sibling rivalry to surface once again while caregiving, so what we have experienced is not unusual...not that it makes it any easier on us...
One of the things that bothered me the most during my caregiving time was that my sisters just didn't "get it". It didn't matter what I said to them, or how I would try to explain, they just didn't get it. I felt so alone and resentful that they continued to have a life when I felt that I gave mine up. Now, my sister is caring for my mom. It's been three months, and I believe she is now beginning to understand what I was feeling. When mom first moved in with her, I tried to warn her of what would be coming, but she wanted no part of it. She felt she had a real grip on it, and what happened to me was not going to happen to her. Well, here we are, three month's later and I can see the signs. No, I don't say anything; I realize I cannot. This is her journey and she needs to experience it. I guess what I tried to do was to protect her, I have a tendency to do that, just the nurturer in me I suppose. But I now know that I cannot. When I first told my therapist that my sister was taking my mom, she warned me that I needed to let go, that it would be very difficult for me. She's right, it is difficult. I feel that I could help my sister because I was there..."been there, done that"...but she doesn't want to hear it, so I keep my mouth shut, and just hope for the best. Instead, I try to help my sister in ways that I did not get help, by making myself available when she calls and just wants to vent, and picking up my mom whenever I can... no matter how you slice it, the caregiving role is very very difficult. My best to you Glenda,
Warm regards,

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