Keeping Your Siblings Updated and The Perils it Brings

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The Siblings

The Siblings

Every time my mother has a change in her status I feel responsible to update my 7 siblings about her condition. The first comment from each when I told them her memory was getting bad was “Everyone forgets things” like I didn’t already know that.  Another comment is “I am so busy” , which means ‘everything else I am doing including surfing the internet is more important’.

And still another comment is “I spoke to her on the phone last week and she sounded fine”. All of these comments make it alright for them to stay away and not help because if she is OK then she doesn’t need help. If they bothered to visit for a couple of hours they would see that she is no longer fine.

When I attempt to explain what the doctor’s tell me and what the doctor’s recommend I am given a lecture on the proper treatment they discovered surfing the web. They add that the doctor’s do not know what they are talking about even though she is going to a geriatric specialist who only treats the elderly. And then they phone our mother and tell her not to do what the doctor said based on their 5 minutes of web surfing.

All I wish is for them to help and relieve me for a few hours so that I can have a break. If they would commit to some sort of schedule it would even be better. Then I could also schedule some free time to meet up with friends for dinner. A schedule is also better for my mom so that she knows what to expect. Surprises are not always good for her.

I believe that I am making a mistake by being proactive with her status updates as it seems to create more of a divide between them and our mother.  If they are interested then I will answer their questions but trying to have them help in her caretaking by keeping them aware of her condition has not worked. Often is has made it more difficult to give her the care she needs because of their objections to her doctor’s recommendations.

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