I am posting this email from Krisite.
I am a new subscriber of the Empowering Caregivers website. I have looked over the site and think I might find it useful. My dilema is that the messages that I see posted don't seem to fit where I am at the moment. Maybe I am too angry to be as poetic as the others seem.
My husband and I live in an adjacent duplex with my mother, father and invalid brother. We have cared for them for nearly three years now. Dad is a stroke victim, paralized on one side and unable to talk well, my brother is total care and has been since the age of 19 - he is 47, and Mom's health is poor. We have the assistance of local DHS programs that send an aide to bathe my brother and get him into his living room chair 5 mornings a week. Putting him to bed every night and bathing him on weekends falls to us. Mom doesn't drive and it is increasingly difficult for her to get around due to a fractured disc in her lower back. We take her to the grocery store weekly, clean her house and run what ever errands they may need including haircuts, ice cream runs, etc.
Here is my problem. Mom & Dad have planned for their funerals, but there are no plans, no provisions, no ideas communicated about their wishes and/or needs from now until then, nor is there any willingness on their part to talk about the future, theirs or my brother's. We have tried to talk until we are blue in the face. The response is "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it". I say, "We are nearing the far side of the bridge and there is someone on the other side with a match". My mother simply "can't hear us". If my Mother were to die today, either my husband or I would need to quit work to see to the needs of the other two as they need constant care and supervision. Even if we were to find a facility that was able to care for them, it would take more time than we can afford. We are financially unable to do this. My mother refuses to admit my brother into a nursing facility even though her ability to care for him is very poor and her quality of life would improve (as well as ours). We are tied to this situation with its serious communication problems about the future. Both my husband and I are overwhelmed, overworked and at our wits end. It is beginning to affect our marriage. We want to find a way to have a life of our own (we've ben married less than two years) as well as see that they are comfortable and cared for.
All of our friends tell us that we are enablers and are enabling my mother to not deal with the inevitable. Maybe true.....
I think there may be a question embedded in this message somewhere. Can you offer us any advice?