All suggestions are welcome!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
All suggestions are welcome!
3
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 8:59am
I was an only child til i was 10. My parents then had my brother and then when i was 11 they had my sister. My brother was a perfectly normal baby but my sister has Downs Syndrome. Out of both of them i love her the most and can honestly say i dont get along with my brother.

My father left us when i was 12. He was/is an alcoholic that was dishonorably discharged from the military because of his alcoholism and weight. The military told him he could stay but he would have to get help. He refused. Anyway he hasnt seen any of us except my mom (at court hearings) in the last 16 years. He hasnt made any effort to see us either. He never paid child support on time to my siblings and most of the time paid nothing.

Anyway here is the problem. My sister is 20 and functions on the level of a 4 year old on good days. My mother is getting up in years, has high blood pressure with elevated -i think it is C protein levels which means she could have a heart attack at any moment and other health problems. She is on medication but i worry about what will happen to my sister since my father has shown no interest in her in the last 20 years, my brother is self-centered and if he "babysits" her he pretty much is just there until my mother gets back. He does nothing for my sister at all. All my mothers relatives live out of state and she refuses to move there. Why you ask? They are controling and will take over every aspect of her life if she lived there. I live in Germany with my husband and although he adores my sister i dont feel that he should have the responsibility of taking care of her especially since we decided not to have kids. Also i dont think she could handle the 10 hour flight from the US to here without disrupting the whole plane.

Any Idea of what I can do? Ive talked to my mom about it but she tends to take Scarletts attitude "ill think about it tomorrow after all tomorrow is another day".

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2003
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 10:44am
If you can afford it maybe there is a home with others like her nearby. Otherwise if no one else cares enough,you may need to keep her with you and maybe hire someone,and see if your brother will help pay.I know this isn't either of your jobs,but your father is a deadbeat and she is your sister.~cherrysnaps~ www.yourwebsister.com
Avatar for cl_starrzz_n_moonzz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 1:48pm
This must be a heavy burden on your heart. It sounds like you dearly love your sister and want the best for her any way you can give it to her. Here is what I would do. I would make my mother talk to me about this issue. Yes tomorrow is another day but we may not get tomorrow to worry about things. I think she sounds like she doesn't want to think of the inevitable. Eventually your sister will need someone with her, your m om knows this I am sure just doesn't want to dwell on the bad things to come and go on the best she can. Although in the process she could leave things in limbo. I would talk things over with her no matter what, let her know you want her inout and what she would like to see done. Also I would talk to DH about how he feels about the issue. You didn't say if Germany is a permanent stay or just a few years. There are many options out there for sister. There are homes where they can live as a group and has some help from nurses and such to look in on them, but virtually independant living. If this is a no go for you I would check into places that deal with these types of situations. If your mom has always cared for her and she has no independant living then maybe she could take basic classes to help her? Also about the money situation I am sure you all could get state aid for her( it covers quite a bit) so you wouldn't have to foot the bill or "burden" your brother with this if he has no interest in it. Also even though you do not speak or have seen your father I think if the situation turns to where you have to make a decsion I think I would write him and let him know it is far past time to help pay for the long term care for your sister. If you feel like you don't him anywhere around I would leave him totally out of it and try the best to handle this. It is a big task but I amsure things will work out in some way or another. I know answers to hard problems seem to appear to me when I feel there is no help in sight. We are for ya!! Let us know if you ever get your mom to talk about this. Until then~~~~Michelle
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 2:01pm
DH and I have decided to stay in Germany. At first it was ok we'll move to Germany for 2 years and see how it goes. It went well and our financial situation here is better than it was in the US its getting pretty bad now though due to a pay cut DH has to take however we can probably still afford to take care of my sister.

I would love to find a home in the US for her but as i said she functions at a 4 year old level on good days. THat means she can get herself something to drink and drink out of a cup. She can feed herself. She can use the bathroom alone. She can walk. She cannot bathe herself or run a bath. She cant speak unless she has a talking board which has buttons she can push to tell people what she wants. She can dress herself but with difficulty. She cant write or read. She wont hold a pen or pencil or crayon. On top of the Downs she was without oxygen after she was born, a hospital mistake so she probably has some brain damage from that too but the doctors then said it was all the Downs.

As you can see its very frustrating. I talk to my mom on Sundays and Thursdays which are her days off. Im hoping to bring this up with her tomorrow night again and try not to let her change the topic.