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nmczub
Help

Hi, I have been the caregiver for my eldery mother since my father passed 3 years ago. I have an older brother who lives 1.5 hrs away from where my mother & I live. My brother choses not to be involved in my mother's care/support. He thinks that since I volunteered to do this its my responsibility. My mother is fairly independent but she does not drive or speak English. How do I ask my brother to be more involved? I'm very frustrated with his isolation and I know my mother would like to see him and the grandchildren more often.

Dear nmczub,

Dear nmczub,

I cared for my father who is now in a nursing home. I have a brother who had little involvement. I resented it. But I learned that he wasn't involved because he didn't know what to do and he didn't know what to do because I never asked him. I too thought he should be doing more but he wasn't a mind reader. It wasn't until I had a total meltdown and sobbed over the phone to him for half an hour that he got involved. He came into the picture, guns blazing, and took over all of my dad's insurance stuff and he volunteered to be the primary contact person for the nursing home. He issed a decree to any and all staff that they are NOT to ambush me every time I walk in the door with questions and comments. It got to where I despised going to visit my father because I always ended up in some meeting or another.

My suggestion to you is to ask your brother for specific things. Take into consideration that he's an hour and a half away and ask him something like, "Two weeks from Saturday would you mind coming into town and taking mom to _______ and ______ and ______?" Because he is out of town it isn't logical for him to come to help often but ask him as often as you think is reasonable. Also take into consideration his job and his family, if he has one. Make it as easy on him as possible to ensure future assistance.

Good luck!

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