No one calls or visits.

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As the oldest of 5 girls, I am my mother's 24/7 caregiver. A job that, many here know, is not always easy. Mom is receiving in home physical therapy but has bee unable to stand with the walker for more than a minute right now. She is making progress and still has a sense of humor as she makes little jokes with the nurses and therapist who see her for roughly 30 minutes each visit a couple times a week. She took a little tumble about 6 weeks ago while walking from her bed to here chair and it left her scared to get out of bed. Therapy is progressing. Mom is 91. My question is this. My sisters all hate me. They are verbally abusive to me. To be honest I do not feel any love for or from any of them. I have always been the one to take care of mom. I am not complaining about caring for her. Mom depends on me and I am her comfort. What I have let my sisters know is that they all have excuses for not spending any time with mom. They spend no time with her and months go by without a call. They also say they do call but I don't answer the phone. A lie. They also say that I tell them not to come visit. A lie. Mom often asks "where is everybody" which breaks my heart. I always offer that everyone is working or busy with their grandkids etc. My niece, who was raised by my mother while her mother was sleeping all day, while being supported for years by our mother, is a compassionate soul. She helps a lot and I help her as much as I can. I really appreciate her. She sees how no one calls or visits and if not for her I would have no witness to the non caring ways of my sisters. It is not easy to have falsehoods levied at you while you are 24/7 caring for the mother they ignore. I do have POA and several months ago my mother signed her modest home over to me telling the lawyer, when asked, that she (me) can deal with them (my sisters). I have been taking care of putting house back in order. It was a mess. Dirty. Broken everything. I have POA for mom. Mom has the best of everything! I give her all the best care and am very attentive to her health and comfort. My sisters know I am upset with them. I sent a text telling them each what their constant excuses are. Some of their excuses are quite legitimate. I know people have their jobs and their lives to live but a couple hours a month for your own mother should not be something I need to be telling anyone they need to give her. I am 65. I am retired mostly due to asthma and chronic back issues. I am the one it makes most sense to look after mom. Four years ago I sat at dinner with my mom and promised her I would make sure she never goes in a nursing home. I told her I would look after her and I meant it then and now. I now have no interest in being around my sister (except one who is kind) because they are mentally abusive to me. I will no longer tolerate being screamed at and scolded by any of them. I seem to be their excuse for not visiting mom. I can certainly go have a visit with one of my multitude of dear friends while they visit mom. But no one calls or comes by. Nothing. One sister visits with me for 30 minutes and does not even hug or kiss or touch mom. She has not been here for four months except to drop of some pastries and run out as I was in the middle of washing and dressing mom for her ambulance ride to a doctor visit. No offer to help. Just dropped off the pastries and took off. She told everyone I pushed her out! No I was on a time constraint to have mom ready for a costly ambulance ride to and from a doctor visit! I would have loved an offer of help! Am I crazy. I just don't understand. I don't ask any of them for help. I gave up on that a couple years ago when I realized it would never happen. I am asking them for some show of care for mom. Doesn't mom deserve even an hour a month? Thank you for listening as I sit with my mom and a broken heart. Please don't suggest family counseling because it would subject me to their lies about me. I can't listen to it anymore.



The truth of this situation lies somewhere in the middle ground between what you think and what your sisters think. We get a lot of questions on here about "my sibling has PoA and won't let me see my mom". Perception is everything. We also get the " my siblings don't help and i hate them".

If you are comfortable with things proceeding as they are, that would be fine. But you're not. You see that mom hurts from not having contact with her other children. If you want that to change, you're going to have to be the one to change it. You ate the only person in this equation you can change.

Offer an olive branch. Send an email to all of your sisters and in a nonaccusatory way, ask how YOU can make it possible for them to visit Mom. Remember, no telling them that it's their duty or reminding them how hard you must work to care for mom. A REAL olive branch. For mom's sake.

I understand that you don't want to do family counseling. But some individual therapy for you might give you some insight as to how your behavior might be affecting the perceptions of others.
I hear you and appreciate your comments. I will try that. More than willing to be the olive branch. I definitely am looking at my responsibility in the matter. I know that I am, in part, part of this mess. The only reason I got POA is due to my knowing what bullies my sisters can be. They can be overly sensitive and will often hang up on me if they don't like what they hear and I try desperately to not be critical knowing that they are that way. It is like walking on eggshells! I just wish any one of them would come by and say hey let me sit with mom for a few hours and you go take a break. A girl can dream. Again, I appreciate your advice.
One thing I must ask is are the siblings showing up without notice? If so, you'll probably have to tell them so if you're not already because visits can often happen at the worst possible times, especially if you're the caregiver. It sounds to me like you're going to really have to stick the screws to them if they insist on coming by on announced if this happens to be the case. As for the abusiveness you're describing, you don't have to put up with it, and you can tell the offenders to leave or you're going to call the law, you're aging mom doesn't need the stress of people fighting. After hearing your description, I can clearly see that your mom is of sound enough mind to know who cares for her and who doesn't, so I don't blame her for transferring her assets to you in her will. Putting myself in her shoes, I would've done the same thing and transferred my house and all other assets to that one caregiver. In some situations this would be acceptable but not all situations are the same, situations vary, not all households are in the same situation. If you can handle it, see if your mom will accept you as a guardian, this will even give you power over everything in her last days and even over the funeral. If she has already made her final arrangements, don't overturned her wishes if you become her guardian. Make sure her final wishes are honored. As a guardian, you can work with your mom and see if she wants to have a funeral or an immediate disposition. You can also arrange with the funeral home that you don't want certain people visiting if you do decide on a funeral when she finally goes. If someone doesn't care about you when you're living, they shouldn't be at your funeral when you're gone because they don't belong there. This is our a friend of mine sees it because his mom is going to have an immediate burial when she's gone. If no one cared about her when she was living, she sure don't want those people at her funeral, and I don't blame her since she's just not going to have a funeral, and she'll be immediately buried.
While your mom is still in her right mind, you really need to have some serious discussions with her while you still can. You really need to help her get her ducks in a row before she can no longer make that decision. As her caregiver, this would be a very wise move on your part, especially knowing the rest of the siblings are being abusive or they just don't care. From your description, they have no one else to blame but themselves if they get nothing left to them later.
Scene: a busy caregiver is getting her mother dressed, washed and ready for a doctor's appointment. She is anxious not to be late for the appointment, which is important, and if they are late they will have to wait around until the doctor is free again. Her mother is very slow dressing these days, and always seems to take longer when they have to be somewhere!

Meanwhile, there is a knock at the door. When the caregiver goes to answer it, she is dismayed to see that her sister has - maybe without warning - picked that moment to turn up with a box of pastries as a treat. The thought may be nice, but there wasn't enough thought! - the timing is terrible, and anyone who'd been paying attention would know by now that you don't "just drop in" like this if you want to be considerate.

The caregiver thanks her sister for the pastries but is in a hurry to get back to her mother and finish getting her dressed, then they really do have to get going.

The sister is embarrassed by having got this wrong, but also hurt and disappointed that her spontaneous gesture isn't more warmly received. She goes off with her tail between her legs. When another sister, who was sceptical about the idea of the pastries to start with, asks her how the visit went, and hears that it wasn't a success, she says "I told you so."

Diamond, seeing this from the outside my heart bleeds for all of you. This is a horrible mess of hurt and misunderstanding. I think Babalou's ideas are just right. Please, especially for your mother and yourself, give your sisters a chance to get things right. You may have to go on doing that for some time, mind :(
I think that relying on them to remember to schedule visits to mom into their busy daily routine isn't working, so how about an invitation from you? Try having something like Sunday brunch or a coffee hour once a month, an open invite for whoever can come, no expectations beyond a brief visit. It may establish a pattern and open the door for further contact.
You are seeing my situation in a very true light. Thank you. I know what mom wants when she passes and would never go against her wishes. She was to be cremated and has said so to me when she was in the hospital and Thank God again in fron of many family members! When she told me this as I sat with her in hospital I was quite surprised. She had previously always said she wanted a viewing and traditional burial. When my sister arrived for a 10 minute visit at hospital, I mentioned to her in the outer hallway what mom had told me. My sister proceeded to tell every family member whose ear she had "who convinces their mother to be cremated while she is laying in her hospital bed"! Nothing could be further from the truth! Mom made that request to be entirely unsolicited! This is the way my sisters are constantly prtraying me to others! I was sick over it. So thank God once again she repeated it a week later at home in the presence of others. My Aunt & Uncle who are elderly and live in another state asked me if my sisters were helping with my mother's care and I said, without anger, that I had not seen or heard from any of them in over a month or more. They repeated this to a sister who then proceeded to be extremely angry with me! It was only the truth. Never even said it other than in direct truthful response to their question. This is the kind of treatment I have dealt with. They tell people I am crazy as a way to invalidate me. I am constantly being told by my best friend, who happens to be a nurse, to stop making excuses for them. I am the sort of person who too often apologizes to the abuser. Something I am now trying to correct. I sometimes apologize when I don't mean it just to get them to stop talking! In that way I am crazy. I am planning to visit the crematorium just within a mile from us to make arrangements for that time in advance. I can not bare a funeral to see everyone I have not heard from. I will give people opportunity to pay their respects but I will not be present for it. I am doing this now so I am not overwhelmed at the time of death. I am taking care of my own emotional needs finally. How selfish of me. I put a lot in God's hands. Sometimes it is best to be silent and just let Him do his works.
Church mouse I wish that were the truth! She dropped off pastries and took off because she really does not care. She has looked down on her family for years. She only does what will make her not look totally not interested! She was not hurt! She was relieved! She has been a selfish self absorbed bitch for years! She is the one who thinks nothing of screaming and belittling others in front of whoever! I am done with her. She has screamed and scolded me for the last time. No more. I wish she was hurt and embarrassed! She was relieved! She hasn't kissed or touched my Mother in years! We, her family, are an embarrassment and big inconvenience to her for years! Mom dies....she will be relieved and I will probably never see her again. See her a total off maybe 2-3 hours a year. Her saying I pushed her out door that day (I did not) just adds to her list of crap she can use to validate her nonsense! Sorry but I do appreciate what you offered but sadly my sister is a a selfish girl her whole life.
cwillie I have done that. I have invited people. Difficult because Mimi's in hospital bed in living room and can no longer use bedpan or commode. To be honest I don't have much strength left for entertaining anyone anymore. Mom gets upset if visitor sits in kitchen instead of living room and I am constantly aware of making sure they are sitting in living room with her. I am just too tired anymore and what with diaper changes etc it just not a brunch atmosphere. Thank you. I do invite sisters for coffee. One of them might show. Only one of the four. They all live within driving distance.
1rarefind they just don't show up! Sometimes with notice & sometimes not. My sister with the pastries that day I did not expect! When she told me through a text message as I sat in emergency room with mom that she would stop by on Thursday I replied that mom has a doctor appointment that day. So I was not expecting her! She showed just as I was getting everything together to wash and dress mom. I told her that and she quickly departed with no offer to help in any way. Just said I can be early for my meeting! I probably should have put her on the spot and asked for assistance but I knew she was relieved to get out the door. I had Mom and only Mom on my mind at the moment! Could not risk not having her ready when ambulance arrived.
You've gotten some really good advice and I am sorry. Many of us have an idea of how you feel. My brother is MIA even now that mom has passed and my dad asks why he doesn't come see him. Neither of us were or are close to my dad or even really liked him, but I love and care about him enough to ensure he's not abandoned and cared for the best I can. It's sad sometimes.

There may not be an answer to satisfy yours and your mom's heart, sorry to say. You're jumping through so many physical and emotional hoops, no wonder you're exhausted. If your sisters wanted to be there, they would, that's the bottom line in my mind. This may be far fetched, but for the one sister that will come, how about letting her host and invite the others and you leave for a while and go do something relaxing for that hour? Or is there someone else that is trustworthy to do it if not that sister? See if they will come if you're not there.

We can't be everything to everybody, just not possible. Either way, it sounds like you need some support and a much needed respite, whether mom or sisters or even you think you need or want it. It's imperative for your own mental health, trust us. And it'll allow you to have the stamina needed to see this through for your mom. I hope you all can work this out. Godspeed Diamond.

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