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Children exploiting their elderly mum

A reader fears her selfish brothers are taking advantage of their mother .

QUESTION:

Ever since my father died, almost 15 years ago, my two younger brothers have been taking advantage of my elderly mother.

I do everything for mum but I am 60, mentally and physically tired.

I feel like walking away and leaving mum in the hands of her selfish children.

The older brother runs a business rent-free from the empty block attached to mum’s house. Mum cooks him lunch, runs errands, serves customers and takes his business calls on her home phone. He does not pay her or take her out for a Christmas thank you, just goes on holidays while she keeps the business going.

He had a falling out with the younger brother who then stole the shed from the block and also mum’s house deeds, will and other papers.

I’ve tried asking mum if this is all she wants to do with her life and she says yes.

ANSWER:

The panel wondered if you are most concerned because the tasks you perform for your mother are too much for you, or that you feel unappreciated and hurt that she concentrates more on her sons.

It seems unreasonable your brother fails to pay his mother in some way. But he does provide her with responsibilities, probably giving her a feeling of being worthwhile and capable. She is unwilling to change this.

We suggest you discuss the situation with your brothers. They may be willing to relieve you of some of the burden. But is that what you really want? Looking after your mother keeps you close to her, and even if she doesn’t give you due acknowledgement for this you know you are important to her.

If your younger brother has taken items without her consent legal advice could be sought, but the decision to do so remains with your mother.

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Relationships Australia (SA) appoints panels of general practitioners, medical specialists, lawyers, therapeutic and financial counsellors to discuss each letter before the appropriate professional answers it.

  • @NTVorg Great initiative support help seeking.