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Old 02-22-2013, 02:50 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by cabanafrau View Post
But the bottom line is it is her home. She's not denying him an opportunity to see his father, merely setting up terms which work for her, whatever her reasons may be, good or bad.

OP's brother is only interested in things working his way. Wife seems to want things to work her way from what we've been told. Her home. She is the only one doing the caretaking. Her rules.
Her home her rules? We are taking about the guy's very ill father. It doesn't seem like the time to be playing that card.
I can understand why the brother doesn't want to come take the father out. From what the op has described, it sounds like that would be a very stressful way to see him (for both father and son). She is being spiteful and playing games.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:02 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by sunshinehighway View Post
Her home her rules? We are taking about the guy's very ill father. It doesn't seem like the time to be playing that card.
I can understand why the brother doesn't want to come take the father out. From what the op has described, it sounds like that would be a very stressful way to see him (for both father and son). She is being spiteful and playing games.
Yes, but you are missing the point.

Whether she is spiteful, depressed, overworked with care giving, hates the world, has 2 left feet and a sore thumb.....

If brother wants to see his father he has to go and get his dad.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:13 PM   #48
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Yes, but you are missing the point.

Whether she is spiteful, depressed, overworked with care giving, hates the world, has 2 left feet and a sore thumb.....

If brother wants to see his father he has to go and get his dad.
My guess is if he tried the mother would just come up with an excuse why he couldn't.

I actually think its ridiculous that posters are telling the op she and the brother need to just go help the mother whether she asks or not. I've seen so many threads here where women are told if the want their husbands to help around the hose, they need to ask. Husbands are not mind readers but in this case people are getting on the op and her brother for not reading the mother's mind and knowing what help she needs.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:12 PM   #49
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My guess is if he tried the mother would just come up with an excuse why he couldn't.

I actually think its ridiculous that posters are telling the op she and the brother need to just go help the mother whether she asks or not. I've seen so many threads here where women are told if the want their husbands to help around the hose, they need to ask. Husbands are not mind readers but in this case people are getting on the op and her brother for not reading the mother's mind and knowing what help she needs.
Probably.

People in this thread are upset that they are not helping out their father. They are caregivers, I am also care giving multiple people at the moment. It is tough.

This is a way the brother could help out. He refuses. Does not make people warm and fuzzy toward OP and the brother. It is just how it is.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:42 PM   #50
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I actually think its ridiculous that posters are telling the op she and the brother need to just go help the mother whether she asks or not. I've seen so many threads here where women are told if the want their husbands to help around the hose, they need to ask. Husbands are not mind readers but in this case people are getting on the op and her brother for not reading the mother's mind and knowing what help she needs.
First of all, there is a HUGE difference between taking care of someone at the end of their life and working out chores with your partner.

When you're taking care of someone who needs a lot of care and assistance, you lose the ability to ask. I was actually stopped by someone who hasn't made an effort to talk to me in at least a year the other day taking out the trash who asked how she was doing. I briefly explained that she's been going downhill since November and she chastised be and said that's when I should call people and ask for help. I was polite, but I really wanted to tell her off.

It's so easy to tell someone to ask for help when the help they need is incredibly varied and difficult to provide.

I don't think anyone is ever prepared to call someone and say "Could you please sit with my loved one and possibly change their diaper if they need it while I'm gone?" Unless someone has specifically said what they're willing to do, it's difficult to call anyone at midnight when your loved one is having difficulties and YOU need a break from it. You just do what you've been doing - take a moment, collect yourself, and keep taking care of your loved one. You cry/breakdown when they're sound asleep and you move on.

Moreover, you're so accustomed to doing everything yourself (and having an endless list of things that need to be done) you don't even know where to begin to tell someone how they can help you if they ask. When someone asks me, I'm at a loss for words. How do I know what they're willing to do? Do they mean some dusting and other light cleaning or will they scrub my tub and toilet for me? Or do they just want to figure a way to throw some money at the problem?

People disappear when someone begins to show signs of their illness. The people who used to hang out with your loved one will disappear and those who used to spend time with you will disappear. They won't all vanish, of course, but little by little your social circle gets smaller and smaller. By the time you are changing diapers and praying that tomorrow won't be the day your loved one stops recognizing you, your social circle is quite diminished from it once was. When you factor this in, you become even more reluctant to be honest with someone when they ask what they can do to help. You don't want them disappearing too because they think you were asking too much of them and didn't want to just be honest about it because you've already got so much to deal with.

Now, regardless of whether the OP's mom was an awesome parent or not, the truth is mom has control of the situation as the kids aren't involved in dad's care so brother needs to go by whatever mom says. Not to mention that by saying he needs to take him for the weekend, she IS telling him what she needs. If seeing his dad before he's in a casket isn't worth taking care of him for a weekend (2-3 days), then I guess he won't be seeing his dad until he's in a casket. I think that I and others are focused on this because it's really not a huge sacrifice of time and self to make for someone who is dying. It hasn't gotten to the point where she's denied him once he's agreed to do that.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:55 PM   #51
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First of all, there is a HUGE difference between taking care of someone at the end of their life and working out chores with your partner.

When you're taking care of someone who needs a lot of care and assistance, you lose the ability to ask. I was actually stopped by someone who hasn't made an effort to talk to me in at least a year the other day taking out the trash who asked how she was doing. I briefly explained that she's been going downhill since November and she chastised be and said that's when I should call people and ask for help. I was polite, but I really wanted to tell her off.

It's so easy to tell someone to ask for help when the help they need is incredibly varied and difficult to provide.

I don't think anyone is ever prepared to call someone and say "Could you please sit with my loved one and possibly change their diaper if they need it while I'm gone?" Unless someone has specifically said what they're willing to do, it's difficult to call anyone at midnight when your loved one is having difficulties and YOU need a break from it. You just do what you've been doing - take a moment, collect yourself, and keep taking care of your loved one. You cry/breakdown when they're sound asleep and you move on.

Moreover, you're so accustomed to doing everything yourself (and having an endless list of things that need to be done) you don't even know where to begin to tell someone how they can help you if they ask. When someone asks me, I'm at a loss for words. How do I know what they're willing to do? Do they mean some dusting and other light cleaning or will they scrub my tub and toilet for me? Or do they just want to figure a way to throw some money at the problem?

People disappear when someone begins to show signs of their illness. The people who used to hang out with your loved one will disappear and those who used to spend time with you will disappear. They won't all vanish, of course, but little by little your social circle gets smaller and smaller. By the time you are changing diapers and praying that tomorrow won't be the day your loved one stops recognizing you, your social circle is quite diminished from it once was. When you factor this in, you become even more reluctant to be honest with someone when they ask what they can do to help. You don't want them disappearing too because they think you were asking too much of them and didn't want to just be honest about it because you've already got so much to deal with.

Now, regardless of whether the OP's mom was an awesome parent or not, the truth is mom has control of the situation as the kids aren't involved in dad's care so brother needs to go by whatever mom says. Not to mention that by saying he needs to take him for the weekend, she IS telling him what she needs. If seeing his dad before he's in a casket isn't worth taking care of him for a weekend (2-3 days), then I guess he won't be seeing his dad until he's in a casket. I think that I and others are focused on this because it's really not a huge sacrifice of time and self to make for someone who is dying. It hasn't gotten to the point where she's denied him once he's agreed to do that.
I don't need to be told what taking care of a dying loved one is like. Like so many others, I know from experience. Its not an excuse to keep that person from his children. Actually I find it offensive that you would assume you need to explain something so personal and emotional to someone when you have no idea what their experience is.

Last edited by sunshinehighway; 02-22-2013 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:38 PM   #52
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Hey guys. Please remember to be courteous to each other when responding on this or any other thread on the DIS.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:44 PM   #53
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This sounds a bit like me and my parents, but my parents divorced when I was 15. I had a father that was self absorbed and didn't make much of an effort to be a part of his 7 kids' lives (kids from two marriages). I went for two years before his death of not seeing him, not because I didn't want to, but because he was 1200 miles away and it wasn't convenient for me to get to him (job, dh's job, 4 kids, distance). I feel horrible that I have no idea what he looked like when he died . I feel horrible that nobody but his *****y 4th wife was there with him the days before he died. So don't let any unresolved stuff hang in the air if you want to clear it.

Anyway, just saying if you are close by, don't waste an opportunity to be a good daughter, even if he was a crappy father. Don't put yourself out, but put yourself into the situation as much as you feel you can or need to for your own mental health. I think your brother should just show up with some takeout food as a treat to your parents. If he is too much of a woose to just show up and say hello, then there is not much you can do for him . Let your mom play the martyr if she wants to, that's her perogative.
I'm very sorry for your unresolved feelings with your dad. It must be hard.

But I honestly find it surprising that you're upset that his &$%^# 4th wife was the only one w/ him when he passed. Didn't he choose this person to be his wife? Didn't he choose to not be very involved with his children? I'm truly stumped why you're upset.

You say he was self-absorbed and was hardly there for his 7 children (that's a lot of children to have when you don't really want to be a father), but yet you feel so badly about you not being there for him.

I think you're upset deep down for the father you never had, not for the father you couldn't see for the last 2 years of his life. There were many, many years before those last 2 years to see him and for him to see you... if efforts weren't made then, why should it be so important to be made only at the end?

I don't mean to pick on your post, but I'd hate for it to make the OP to feel like if she doesn't do more now for her dad, she's somehow at fault and should feel bad.

Of course you have your right to your feelings, and no one can say anyone else is right or wrong in how they feel, but you're feeling guilty for something you truly shouldn't.

OP - your parents sound like they didn't make the basic relationship with you that every child wants with their parents (and god, you'd hope every parent wants with their child) . That is on them, not on you. Do whatever you feel you need to, and I honestly hope for you that you don't feel guilty for anything.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:48 PM   #54
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So sorry that your going through this.

I took care of my father at the end of his life. Basically i felt like i needed to protect him. He had old friends come to visit and i would make excuses. I basically did not want them to see him the way he was. I didn't think that he really wanted them to see him that way either.

If your step siblings made not effort to see him or have much of a relationship with your father that is probably why your mother is not making any effort. Why should she now so they can relieve their guilt?

It is a very difficult time.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:01 PM   #55
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OPP, excuse the fact that I have not read all the responses, because some of it is bickering.

1st for everyone: People with dementia do not do well outside of their familiar environment. It increases their anxiety and increases their symptoms. I don't know where the OPs father is on the dementia timeline, but this is just a fact.

OP: It sounds to me like you and your siblings had a difficult childhood. It sounds like you have emotionally distanced yourselves in an effort to protect yourself psychologically. Totally understandable given the circumstances. For whatever reason, your brother now feels the need to have some sort of closure or relationship with your father. Probably because he realizes that your father is coming to the end of his life. Maybe there are some regrets, maybe he remembers the good times, whatever reason, it doesn't matter.

Your mother is being unfair to suggest the only way that he can see his father is to take him somewhere. There is some unresolved issue between you mother and your brother, even if it's only in her head. It's wrong of her to use your father as a pawn.

I can see why your brother wouldn't want to just go pick him up, considering that he has dementia and is not comfortable being "out," and being that your brother doesn't really have a close relationship with your father he may not know what do do if your father becomes agitated or anxious. I, honestly, think it would be a more comfortable visit for both on your dad's home turf.

If I were your brother I would start with the "when is a good time?" tactic. If that doesn't work I would just go over when he knows your mother isn't home.

If I were you, I would bow out of the middle of this fight.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:20 PM   #56
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Her home her rules? We are taking about the guy's very ill father. It doesn't seem like the time to be playing that card.
I can understand why the brother doesn't want to come take the father out. From what the op has described, it sounds like that would be a very stressful way to see him (for both father and son). She is being spiteful and playing games.
This is how I'm feeling right now. I think she's mad and holding a grudge. They aren't her children (in fact they are close to the same age since my dad married 20 year younger woman) and she has no moral obligations to them because honestly when my dad dies she will probably never hear from them again. She's mad at me because I'm trying to help my brother so she looks at me like a traitor. She is annoyed that I keep bringing up the fact they are my blood family. Whether she likes it or not its true.

It also doesn't help that I have to talk to my brother about my crazy *** mom. How embarrassing.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:33 PM   #57
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OPP, excuse the fact that I have not read all the responses, because some of it is bickering.

1st for everyone: People with dementia do not do well outside of their familiar environment. It increases their anxiety and increases their symptoms. I don't know where the OPs father is on the dementia timeline, but this is just a fact.

OP: It sounds to me like you and your siblings had a difficult childhood. It sounds like you have emotionally distanced yourselves in an effort to protect yourself psychologically. Totally understandable given the circumstances. For whatever reason, your brother now feels the need to have some sort of closure or relationship with your father. Probably because he realizes that your father is coming to the end of his life. Maybe there are some regrets, maybe he remembers the good times, whatever reason, it doesn't matter.

Your mother is being unfair to suggest the only way that he can see his father is to take him somewhere. There is some unresolved issue between you mother and your brother, even if it's only in her head. It's wrong of her to use your father as a pawn.

I can see why your brother wouldn't want to just go pick him up, considering that he has dementia and is not comfortable being "out," and being that your brother doesn't really have a close relationship with your father he may not know what do do if your father becomes agitated or anxious. I, honestly, think it would be a more comfortable visit for both on your dad's home turf.

If I were your brother I would start with the "when is a good time?" tactic. If that doesn't work I would just go over when he knows your mother isn't home.

If I were you, I would bow out of the middle of this fight.
Agreed. It's just so hard to see my mom being so hateful. My brother may not help but he's always been a good guy. I need to back away. I tried.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:49 PM   #58
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OPP, excuse the fact that I have not read all the responses, because some of it is bickering.

1st for everyone: People with dementia do not do well outside of their familiar environment. It increases their anxiety and increases their symptoms. I don't know where the OPs father is on the dementia timeline, but this is just a fact.

OP: It sounds to me like you and your siblings had a difficult childhood. It sounds like you have emotionally distanced yourselves in an effort to protect yourself psychologically. Totally understandable given the circumstances. For whatever reason, your brother now feels the need to have some sort of closure or relationship with your father. Probably because he realizes that your father is coming to the end of his life. Maybe there are some regrets, maybe he remembers the good times, whatever reason, it doesn't matter.

Your mother is being unfair to suggest the only way that he can see his father is to take him somewhere. There is some unresolved issue between you mother and your brother, even if it's only in her head. It's wrong of her to use your father as a pawn.

I can see why your brother wouldn't want to just go pick him up, considering that he has dementia and is not comfortable being "out," and being that your brother doesn't really have a close relationship with your father he may not know what do do if your father becomes agitated or anxious. I, honestly, think it would be a more comfortable visit for both on your dad's home turf.

If I were your brother I would start with the "when is a good time?" tactic. If that doesn't work I would just go over when he knows your mother isn't home.

If I were you, I would bow out of the middle of this fight.
Well explained. I find it really hard to fathom how people think it's acceptable for the step-mom to tell her stepchildren the only way they can see their dad is if they come and get him and take him away. I'm guessing many of the people saying that have never had to take someone they don't know well with dementia out of their comfort zone.

Dad and son aren't close enough to be in a caregiver relationship at this point. Maybe if she let him visit, it could grow into that. At this point, he's not allowed to see him so Dad probably doesn't even recognize him as familiar.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:09 AM   #59
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Not for anything but somewhere in the thread the OP posted that Dad is alone while Mom works full time and goes to the casino or whatever occasionally.

It's not like Mom is at his bedside every waking moment. Now I realize that one of them has to work and since Dad is probably unable to, that falls to Mom.

So either Dad isn't as ill as everyone here is assuming he is, or Mom is taking a pretty big risk every day, unless she has arranged for someone else to stay with Dad.

So maybe brother should call Mom's bluff and say "OK, I'll take Dad on such-and-such weekend" and see what happens. Maybe Dad would enjoy it. Maybe he wouldn't. But it would brother the basis for what to do moving forward. If Dad enjoye dit he coudl do it again. If Dad didn't enjoy he would then have the ability to say to Mom "We tried that remember, and it didn't work out. So we have to figure out a different way for me to spend time with Dad".
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:27 AM   #60
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This is how I'm feeling right now. I think she's mad and holding a grudge. They aren't her children (in fact they are close to the same age since my dad married 20 year younger woman) and she has no moral obligations to them because honestly when my dad dies she will probably never hear from them again. She's mad at me because I'm trying to help my brother so she looks at me like a traitor. She is annoyed that I keep bringing up the fact they are my blood family. Whether she likes it or not its true.

It also doesn't help that I have to talk to my brother about my crazy *** mom. How embarrassing.
You have to stop being the go between. It actually mucks things up.

It is better for you to tell your brother that HE has to resolve this issue with the step mom.

Time to bow out of the situation.

Just keep repeating to your brother that he needs to go along with the rules that the stepmom has in place.

I do understand how difficult it is however he has to try. Perhaps the dad will freak out and perhaps not.

If anything, it would be a good assessment of whether this man should be home alone.

That is probably what is disturbing me the most with your story.
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