Elderly Mom living with mentally-ill grown daughter.

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I have an 84 yr. old mother. After my dad passed last year she made a new will. Informed me that my mentally ill sister who is 40 will inherit her home and take care of her. My sister is bi-polar and former drug addict, and has been in jail due to a psychotic episode with the authorities. She is on disability. She cannot handle finances. I live in a different state. My only way of communication is by phone, or drive 9 hours up to check on them. My sister has forbidden me to come visit or stay at my mother's home. Every time I call, send gifts etc., I am told not to bother, not to do anything to help. They have every thing under control. I sent a nice Easter cake and was yelled at over the phone not to do that ever again. They don't want anything from me. Every time I try to do something nice. I get slapped in the face. Yes, my mother is grieving for a 60 year old marriage. But, she doesn't have to take it out on me. My husband says to keep calling just turn the other cheek. She doesn't act that way with my husband. I want to discuss her bad behavior, but I know she will not co-operate. Maybe I will just let my husband do the calling and check on her. It is too painful to be slapped in the face each week. My concern is not so much the bad behavior, but the type of care my sister will end up giving my mother when my mother needs it most. Or will my mother be the caregiver to a psychotic mentally ill person whom she can't handle? Will I be contacted in a timely manner when things go south? Do I just wait until matters get worse? I have expressed my concerns to my mother, but she believes strongly that she is in control, and my sister is cured. She is sure that my sister can be the ultimate care giver.

5 Comments

I would call the local area agency on aging and ask them how to get a social worker to visit to assess. Make sure the AAA office has your contact information. Call mom's doctor and alert him/her to what is going on. You might consider calling the local police and talk to the community policing officer.
Thanks so much, but I will be in so much trouble with Mom if I do this. I understand it is the safest thing to do.
Maybe it is best not to anticipate the future out loud to your mother and sister. It may be the cause of the bad feelings. You can form your own contingency plan if things do go south and you need to help. It will be much easier to help in the future if they are on your side and not working against you. I would say to keep a sunny outlook to them and watch for signs that things are not good. Then you can suggest ways to help. You live in a different state, so it would be difficult for you to do hands-on helping. If things are working right now between your mother and sister, just let them ride.
Ruby, please listen to what you just said. "I will be in so much trouble with Mom..." Either you're a functional adult, worried about your fragile mother and mentally ill sister, or you're a child, afraid to get in trouble.

If you are really worried about the situation, you put on your big girl panties and seek help for your family. If mom yells, you pay it no mind because it's like the ranting of a two year old.
Love your comments, and I will take charge. I'm stopping the little girl attitude, and becoming a responsible caring adult for my elderly Mother. No more hurt feelings.

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