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Help needed - at wits end re siblings with SN

(7 Posts)
BrokenFlipFlop Thu 17-Sep-09 23:29:03

Posted in Chat and meant to post here.

I have a db who has SN (if I were to be specific, I would be easily identified in RL). I live 150 miles from him and the rest of my family (I have 3 other brothers and a sister).

Since I was very young, db and I have always been very close and I've always felt that because of this bond we seem to share, I would play a big part in his future and may even end up caring for him as he got older. Anyway, I moved away from my home town and my family about 11 yrs ago (as I got married/new job) and have since felt an enormous sense of guilt at not being able to be as involved with db as I'd like.

My parents are elderley now and I've been informed this evening that my mother is on the verge of a breakdown due to on going complications with db living situation (he lives in a shared house and has a carer).

My father regularly mentions that I should move back closer to them and db. I feel like screaming at him that whilst I agree, I also feel as if I should have a life as well. I've battled for years with this and until very recently was prepared to move back and give up what I wanted in order to dedicate my time to db (my other siblings aren't great and as a family we aren't exactly close). I've had councelling for this as well.

I simply don't know what to do - I am at breaking point and for months have felt unable to live with the guilt I feel. I am torn between wanting to be nearer to him and thus help out more and wanting to have my own life. I have literally just accepted a new job (£10k increase in pay, great opportunity) but no one appeared to be pleased for me I believe because they realised it 'tied me' to this area.

I apologise that this is so long but I wondered if anyone has a similar situation with a sibling with SN?

ChiefFairyCakeMaker Thu 17-Sep-09 23:58:15

I work with adults with SN and their families so I sympathise with you, it's a difficult position to be in.

Are you able to help resolve any issues from a distance, eg. through phone calls, e-mails, letters to your DB's social worker, carer or shared home?

Another alternative to moving back home could be for your brother to move to a shared home near you so you can be more involved, but maybe he or your parents aren't ready for this. It could be a solution for the future though.

Have you found any discussion forums for adult siblings? A good support organisation is sibs ( they run workshops, which I have good experience of.

Good luck

BrokenFlipFlop Fri 18-Sep-09 00:01:32

Thank you so much, I'm finding this so hard and am ashamed to say that I'm writing this whilst crying my eyes out!

I am actually on the Sibs website now and have just emailed them. They sound fantastic.

I do telephone, visit etc. The social worker is beyond useless and there are many issues with the Care Home including mental abuse.

I'm going to look for some forums and also attmept to find more counselling.

I'm very grateful for your input though.

ChiefFairyCakeMaker Fri 18-Sep-09 00:18:53

You're welcome. You know you can put in a complaint about the care home to social services? You don't have to feel bad about it. It's a standard procedure and should be dealt with as a matter of course.

Are there any alternative places for him to live? You may get support from a relevant agency like Mencap, National Autistic Society, Down's Syndrome Association, etc.

Counselling sounds like a good idea to help with the feelings of guilt.


ChiefFairyCakeMaker Fri 18-Sep-09 00:26:42

Congratulations on getting your new job, by the way! You're right - you need to live your own life as well, otherwise you could just end up resenting your brother / parents / other siblings.


BrokenFlipFlop Fri 18-Sep-09 08:06:30

Thanks once again.

I am in the process of putting in a complaint about the Care Home. My parents were very reluctant to put in an offical complaint although to be fair, in the past we've had many meetings, put everything in writing etc. I would add that no one from SS or the Care Home has ever responded in writing to any of the letters. Our previous complaints have also resulted in db being treated badly as a result ie the Director has made direct reference to the fact we've complained and then had a go at him.

There aren't alternative places for him at the moment - funding is an issue (I understand that of course) but he also has very specific needs. We are looking in to it still though. The immediate alternative is that he moves home to my parents - something neither him or they really want.

I am going to try and go to GP today and ask for some help. I am just grateful for your 'ear'. I've never found anyone else who actually understands the situation.

ThingumyandBob Fri 18-Sep-09 10:23:45

Have posted on your chat thread....

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