I received a very critical email yesterday from one of my siblings.

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That does not help at all whatsoever with caregiving, but yet she has very strong opinions, and her email was almost hostile, and demanding certain things be done her way. I wrote a DRAFT email to her going into detail about how she shouldn't be so demanding, harsh, etc. and it took quite a bit of time on my part and I went into a lot of detail. I realized later what a waste of time that was, and toned it down to two basic sentences. I thought I didn't have the energy to get into a lot of crap with her and she was probably just blowing steam anyway. Anyway, with difficult siblings, or people in general, do you find it much easier to just to keep your reply short, and perhaps not bring up all the things that was written by the other person?


Whitney, I also tried to provide these people with what I thought they wanted -- lots of detail, explanations, and reasons. I noticed pertty quickly that this didn't satisfy them, and in fact, the faster I responded with answers and info, the faster they'd come back at me demanding more.
Now, everything is on a need-to-know basis. I no longer communicate with a neighbor of my mother at ALL, for ANY reason, because she's an annoying trouble-maker. And I haven't notified my non-involved brother of my mother's latest health situation, because it doesn't matter. If these people aren't helping, then they don't need to know any details or the reasons behind any of your decisions. Go ahead and be as short as you want! You don't have time for this.
If you have POA, you have no obligation to your siblings whatsover, with the exception of financial reporting requirements that may be necessary if your parents' estate is held in trust and your siblings are either successor trustees or beneficiaries of that trust. Otherwise, you tell them only what you want them to know or better yet, hopefully your parents mae their wishes known about what they wanted shared within the family, and you are required to honor those wishes. If you don't have POA, get it now or petition for guardianship now. You already should be on red-alert that this sibling is going to be a problem for you. I assume you are doing all the work. If your sibling continues to harrass you, cut them off. You cannot have that kind of distraction and keep your mind focused on caregiving. Block email, phones, texts, and just stop all communications. You are not likely to be losing someone you really want in your life, anyway, and you are better off simply ignoring them.
If you do feel that you need to respond to them, or if you know that your parent's wishes would be for your to keep them informed, do what you just did -- write it out, pare it down. Sit on it for a few days, and then revise it down again. Only provide basic info, do not go into detail at all. The more you write, the better the chances that it could be used against you. Short, sweet, nothing inflammatory, nothing accusatory, just the bare facts, with no editorializing whatsoever.
I have found sticking to bare facts will do one of 2 things: the sibling complaining will shut up. The others will be scared away by what you are having to contend with. When I sent messages that had even the slightest tinge of editorial comment, I got slammed back pretty hard by the lazy-good-for-nothings. When I kept it short and factual, it did the trick and I got the results I needed.
I have one sibling who helps and I communicate with her. She suggested to me the other day that I should cc my other siblings in on the e-mails to keep them up-to-date. When I did that my one sister came back with all sorts of orders and criticisms. Which is ironic cause she does nothing to help but has lots of advice on how I could be doing things better.

In the future I will not be communicating with her. Period. End of story.
I used to be the daughter in law from H*ll. My mil had open heart surgery and refused post surg rehab. Probably had developed dementia 10 years earlier than my entry into the family , and anesthesia worsened it. Two brothers in law wanted to honor mil's wish to die by starvation. I argued for a neuro eval, psych eval; my husband backed off because his mother had threatened to call APS on him when he told her she should probably stop smoking when she was dxed with copd.

I won't say I made demands, but I made strong suggestions for intervention, where my bill just wanted to let their mom die (which is what SHE wanted). Sometimes the person who appears to be throwing weight around is actually just wanting to be heard. Just a thought.
Well I don't know about Whitney but in my case my siblings have had numerous opportunities to be heard and to help etc.and if there was ever anything constructive offered in the way of advice I would definitely weigh the pros and cons and consider it since I do have my mothers best interest at heart.

But in my sisters case she just likes to be in charge and like I said if you aren't willing to help then in my opinion you have forfeited your right to give orders and criticize.
I too have a harsh controlling sister who is making the job of caregiving so much harder than it should be.
Recently I tried to talk with her. I told her how her behavior makes me feel. What I got back was a disgusted snort and a snippy lecture. So now I plan to just stay clear of her. I will be civil and text her updates of important information even though she does neither.

I guess what I am saying is I think your instincts to keep your reply short is wise. The less you say the better.
All of the answers were great! Just a follow-up, I decided not to send her any reply email at all, and I have heard nothing from her (which is good).
Whitney, sometimes no reply is the best answer of all.

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