As good as the church is- people are people. Visiting teachers and Home Teachers have their lives to live. My spouse has a chronic condition and the visiting teachers are good for leaving notes (hoping we have been able to enjoy the nice weather), a few pieces of candy and a copy of the monthly message. The home teachers have helped some with minor yard work or repairing a broken light switch. They obviously don't feel comfortable coming over or asking how they can help. The only real help you can get is through qualified paid professionals if family isn't available.
First of all it was your father and mother's responsibility to take care of themselves and establish funds for their old age. They failed to do that, now the children are in a position where they have to make up for their mistake. Your sibs want to retire and spend the rest of their lives serving missions. It's a nice way to see the world and gain praise and recognition from Ward members but a poor way to spend your time when your mother needs care. Caring for an aging parent is a mission as well, though certainly not a mission where you will see the world nor gain outsider praise. It is obvious your mother's other children do not place her in their priority list. They don't need to -- you stepped in and took over the entire process. Stop being walked on by your siblings - stand up for yourself and your mother. There are many great places your mother can live and have a wonderful life other than with you. I know the old adage of "don't put me in a home" still lives today. The "homes" of today can be wonderful places for your mom. Hold your head high girl and set the expectations with yourself and your sibs that mom is their responsibility too.
In our ward, we have a similar situation. There is a sign up sheet passed around each week in Relief Society where sisters can sign up to sit with an elderly sister while her care giver can have a break and enjoy some activities with her family. It seems to work quite well.
The plea in this article points out in stark reality the modern trend to wash our hands of the elderly and ailing. But the unanswered angst of the writer is her growing desperation and depression over feeling she has been abandoned by the people closest to her who should have equal interest and investment in the care of their mother, not to mention the apparent lack of love and concern for them both. Perhaps it's time to enlist the help of a third party to negotiate the shared responsibilities, since traditional filial and family bonds appear to be missing. This is not an uncommon problem, and maybe it's time to make it a legislative one.
Perhaps the brother who is planning on spending the rest of his life on missions could be reminded that family -- his own mother -- is a pretty big mission in life.
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