So angry for neglect of mother from sister who is so close in proximity!

Started by

I am a young mother, & I want to go out with my children!( btw-son has Aspergers,daughter has Tuberous Sclerosis) They need to have a somewhat normal childhood! Want to take them to Schlitterbaum/Moody Gardens etc. But I am afraid to leave my elderly mom at home for fear she may not eat, or fall etc... so we either do not go or I usually will take mom because I know shell love it but its really difficult to places with an elderly w/walker, and a child with aspergers then my daughter who has to pee alot or has pain or drs, say to watch her for seizures! I need my older sister who is btw 53 to help me but she is self absorbed and always makes excuses.our dad just passed away and I would think that she'd be wanting to be closer to our mom especially now. I dont really like my sister that much rt now! i love her because blood says I have to. But how can she ignore mom and make her cry because of it, thats just mean and selfish. I can barely SOMETIMES as a favor to me get her to pick up moms medicines from Walgreens. I need to vent quite often as this helps me to cope! thanks!


Maybe you could look into a program that helps you by having someone stay with your mom for a few hours a day so you can have time for you kids or yourself. I don't know what state you are in but it would be worth looking into. Something of a daycare for the elderly. you are a good daughter, mom and don't let anyone make you think differently. You are spreading yourself too thin and that isn't good for you, your mom or your kids. Make sure you take time for your family too. Good luck and this site seems very good for support for the family, just talking to others helps.
What a wonderful daughter and mother you are! You are trying to take care of everybody in sight, aren't you? That is awesome.

I wonder if there are some ways you could continue to provide great care, but with a little less stress.

First of all, what are your mother's impairments that make it unsafe for her to be left alone for a day? You are worried that she will fall. Does she have a history of falling? Does she have MS or PD or some chronic condition that increases her risks? Does she use a walker? A wheelchair? The elderly fall. Some are at greater risk than others, and we certainly want to minimize the risk, but we cannot eliminate it. Even residents of nursing homes fall. Mom may fall if you are at home with her, if she is on an outing with you, or if she is home alone.

Do everything you can to minimize fall risk factors. Remove scatter rugs. Arrange furniture to make good clear paths. Make sure Mom has supportive shoes. See that she has a walker or cane or whatever devices have been recommended for her, and encourage her to use them. And consider a medical alert system -- the "I've fallen and I can't get up" button!

You worry that Mom might not eat if you are not there to remind her? Could you remind her via cell phone? When you stop for a meal with your kids, call and remind her of the meal waiting in the fridge for her.

You haven't said much about your mother's age, health, impairments, etc. so maybe I'm off base here, but first I would take a good hard look at whether she really needs you hovering over her all day every day, or whether she could be a little more independent if she has the right support.

Then, look into ways to get some help for all the caring you do. Yes, it would be ideal if Sister would stay with Mom while you go on some outings, or go with you on outings to help. But for whatever reason the ideal is not happening. Vent away! I don't blame you for being angry. But make your plans without counting on SIster.

I'm glad to hear that you sometimes include Mother on your outings. That is awesome for her and for her grandchildren. But, whew!, very demanding and challenging for you. Can you hire someone to go along and help out? My husband has dementia and mobility issues and it can be challenging to take him places. We recently went on a domestic cruise and one of our daughters accompanied us. Oh My Goodness! That made a HUGE difference in reducing the stress level. We now have a hired personal care assistant. It is so much easier to take my husband to lunch when she is along, I certainly don't mind paying for an extra lunch. I wish I'd brought along help on outings all along. Don't make my mistake of waiting too long!

Sometimes it will be good to bring Mother with you. Sometimes you need time with just your kids. Either way, you deserve some help. Sister won't provide it? Hire someone else to provide it.

By the way, is Mother on Medicaid and/or an Elderly Waiver program? That can provide financial assistance for some of the things I've mntioned, like a medical alert system, a helath aid or personal care attendant. If you haven't looked into what Moher is eligible for yet, I suggest you do that soon.

You're doing great!

My father has dementia and is no longer speaking to me or my brother because he thought we were controlling his life. My mom died 5 years ago and I cared for her until she took her last breath. I am married and moved back into my parents' home, alone, to make sure my parents were ok. My brother was going through a divorce so he couldn't really be around. After my mom died, we noticed my dad's dementia getting worse. I sacrificed a lot for him, neglecting my husband, home, and work. The bad part is that he wanted me to. When my mom was sick with cancer she always told me to do things for myself first. She was right!! It's ok to care for someone but you can't stop living. If your mother is too ill to be independent, either get the right supports for her or hire a personal support worker for a few hours each day. Do you live with mom? If so, you may feel guilty for leaving her alone. If you canN speak to your sister about hiring a support worker daily. We had one for my dad from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The worker was great and it allowed me to focus on my career and visit on weekends. However, this wasn't good enough for my father so he cut us out of his life. Now he is being taken advantage of by a female who promises to take care of him in exchange for a house. Trust me. It's not worth killing yourself for. Do what you can but go on with your life. Your sister probably doesn't feel she has to do anything because you do everything. Or she may be busy or not agree that your mother needs the amount of care that you are expecting. Make a list of to do's and divide it for each of you, or hire someone to really assess her needs and then hire a caregiver if necessary and split the costs with your sister or use your mother's finances to pay for it. But you can't control what your sister does. You should be enjoying this time with your mom. Look for the proper supports.
My dear, I can so relate. Let me tell you my story...My 86 year old mom was living by herself since my dad died 22 years ago. I live 40 miles away from mom and have a sister that lives within 18 blocks of my mother. Since dad passed, I spent every Sunday with mom, mowing her lawn, doing laundry, cleaning, shopping, you name it. My sister and her two now grown adult children that live so close to mom did nothing. In fact, they would visit mom on holidays only.
Mom fell and had a heart attack in her home 9 months ago, and now mom is living with my husband and I. One would think my sister and her children would at least call my mom periodically? Nope, sis calls every 2nd or 3rd day; the grandchildren do nothing. In the meantime, I work a full time job and am out of the house 13 hours every week day.
Here is what you need to do - I contacted my neighbors and asked if they would come over for a few hours every couple of days to sit with mom. I reached out to a local adult day care, (I call it the Senior Center) and now have mom going there a few days a week. The bottom line is you cannot make your family help you; even though you feel they should feel the same responsibility you do. You have to reach out to other areas of support.
You are doing the right thing for your mom, and I truly know the anger you feel. Forget the anger, move forward, and know that you are the better person!
I have learned the lesson that so many of us have; you can't make a sibling help or love you...they are who they are for whatever reason. Not only was a grieving my mom's alzheimers disease but I was also grieving the sister that wouldn't talk to me or mom...these people are cruel and heartless and none of us will be able to change that...while it isn't easy you do have to plod along and move forward; you are doing that anyway I am sure. Good Luck
Although our situations differ, I can relate with just wanting to go out and do fun things, but you feel tied down. I used to be very active - hiking and exploring the countryside - all the time, but feel like I can't leave my mom alone for too long lest she falls or needs something.

Like others have suggested, try looking for an adult daycare in your area. My local hospital has signs all of the place advertising for adult daycare, so maybe that's a place you can check. I'm sure someone there is bound to know or can redirect you to someone else who might know.

I applaud you for juggling so much at once. Not everyone is cut out for it, but you certainly are (and your sister is certainly not!). You're a wonderful person for helping everyone out so much. Whether or not your sister ever comes around to helping out, just know that her lack of support only makes you look twice as good, twice as kind and patient.
I had my mom all signed up for adult day care! Their programs are wonderful. So wonderful that I would love to work for the one near my home.

If there is doubt about leaving a LO at home alone, I wouldn't do it. You don't want to come home to a disaster. It's so hard.
I haven't had a chance to read all the replies to your post yet, but I will when I get a chance. This is the first time I have ever written a reply, but I had to let you know there is someone else out here who feels exactly as you do.... it's ME! I am a 43 yr old woman who left everything behind so I could care for my mom. My dad passed away a little over a year ago and it has changed all of our lives tremendously. Wait, let me take that back..... It has changed my life and my mother's tremendously. My "pretty perfect" sister lives 5 minutes from us and we never see her. I have come to the point where I don't care if I see her or what she has to say about me anymore. My mom, on the other hand, I do care about and it breaks my heart to see her cry over it. One thing you said sticks out in my mind because it's just as I feel these days :

"she is self absorbed and always makes excuses.our dad just passed away and I would think that she'd be wanting to be closer to our mom especially now. I dont really like my sister that much rt now! i love her because blood says I have to. "

My sister lives in a glass house. Spends all her time keeping up with the Jones's and polishing her pergo floors and getting botox. She & her husband have money and they are very good at saving, smart about investing etc. Do you think she would give a dime to my mother? Hell no. She is right there to map out every financial mistake my mother or myself has made though. She checks in probably 3 x's a month and it's usually out of obligation. It burns me up!! She puts me down for not having a ft job, but this property, my mother and all the little things that go with care taking is a FULL TIME job. I have no life anymore. I feel trapped here. I love my mom and I will always be here for her, but it's emotionally draining me. I am really resentful towards my sister if I think about it long enough. Especially when I am here cleaning up crap off the toilet seats and my sister is out buying a new Coach purse and sipping wine spritzers. Hang in there girl! I hope things get easier for you and your situation. Much love always~
Much of this sounds like my non involved sister who has abandoned my mother.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support