Daughter, sister and now, caregiver | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Dear Emily,

I’m a single woman, 58 years old and living with my 82-year-old mother. I have a little business that barely supports me but my mother and I get by, thanks to my two brothers and a sister who give us generous financial support.

Though we are well provided for, we lead a very simple yet boring life.

Trouble began when our mother started to show signs of early dementia in her 70s. At 82, it is turning into Alzheimer’s.

I never fail to update my siblings about her mental deterioration, and I have noticed their indifference to it.  They just listen but they never comment at all!

In the beginning, I tried to understand them, considering how busy they are with their careers and their own families to take care of.

With their unwavering financial assistance, I know I shouldn’t complain, but I long for their emotional support as well. I crave for their company and that chance to have regular conversations with them, and talk about our mother’s situation.

Probably they think giving us money is enough.

It’s so obvious that I have been relegated to the role of our mother’s caregiver, but caring for an 82-year-old could be torture sometimes.

Am I just being selfish and demanding?


Of course you feel a bit lost, alone and used. You’re not a saint!

The nonchalant attitude of your siblings toward your mother is certainly because they trust you implicitly to take care of her.

At the same time, you’re lucky not to be worrying about bills and other expenses for the two of you. Surely they treat you like a hired caregiver but this is your mother we are talking about.

Your cash is good but…

If you feel truly abandoned by them in spirit, write a letter stating the facts of life as they are happening to you now.

Be very specific about the issues troubling you and clearly define their negligence.

Call a spade a shovel.

People, siblings included, believe money is enough to absolve them of more responsibility than what they’re already doing.

You have to open their minds and hearts to the reality of your mother’s situation, as well as yours.

Their money certainly is great. But without love and understanding, what they’re doing is just being generous contributors to a favorite neighborhood charity.

You’re more than that. Seems like empathy does not bode well with them.

E-mail the author at [email protected] or [email protected].

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