Unfortunately, more times than not, siblings do not share equal responsibility for caregiving for our parents with dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of physical distance: they want to help, but they are too far away.
However, that is generally not the reason.
Parent-child relationships are complicated from the get-go and each child makes a conscious decision whether to maintain a close relationship or not with his or her parents as an adult (usually as soon as he or she leaves home). These are heart decisions.
For siblings, much of whatever the tenor of their relationships were growing up extends into their relationships as adults.
However, one of the complicating factors is real and imagined grudges and resentments (known or unknown) by siblings, often from perceived wrongs that occurred all along the way of their lives, that are nurtured and grow into full-blown anger and disconnection from each other and from the family.
This happens disproportionately more often than it doesn’t, but if caregivers find themselves in the rare position of having supportive and engaged and grateful siblings, then they should count their blessings.