Ask the Alzheimer’s Expert! Why Won’t My Brother Help?
Ask the Alzheimer’s Expert is brought to you each week by Elayne Forgie and the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center.
Question: My brother refuses to help me care for my mom! Why won’t he help me and what can I do?
Answer: It’s hard for caregivers when they don’t feel that they have the support they need from other family members. But it’s important to remember that sometimes it isn’t because our siblings don’t want to help, they often feel that they don’t have anything to contribute, or they’re just scared or living in denial.
The best place to start is with a real heart-to-heart conversation with your brother. If at all possible, have the conversation in person.
Have an open, honest conversation about what you moms needs are. Avoid using the word “I” and instead, focus on her and what she needs. Share with him some of the things she needs the most help with and how he might be able to give you a hand.
Maybe he isn’t the person to assist her with personal care, but could be a huge help if he could do the shopping or take care of some of the things around the house.
Even if is isn’t willing or able to give you all the help you’d like, be sure to accept what he is able to give right now, and let him know how much it’s appreciated.
Hopefully, in time, he will feel more comfortable in his new caregiving role and you will feel less alone.
The Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center’s geriatric care managers are also available to provide individual coaching sessions with you and your brother or help you both create an effective care plan for your mom.
Feel free to reach out to us anytime at 561-588-4545