Sister does not help out with our mother.

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First, I am glad I have found this website. I been feeling down because my sister does not help with the care of our mother. She lives in the same area as I do and my mother lives approx. 16 miles away from us. I have two brothers who lives in other cities, but, they come down and see our mother more often than my sister does. I take my mother to doctor's appointments and see about her other needs. My mother has emotional problems which all of us know she is someone that is hard to deal with, however, she is seeking help and is doing much better. I have retired after 39 years of Federal service, because I wanted to stay at home with my husband who has parkinson disease. So I am dealing with his needs and my mother. My sister say that my mother has hurt her, but, my mother has also hurt me, also. I understand that my mother has a emotional problem and I am taking her to seek help. I told my siblings it will be so much better if all of us will work together. I don't understand how my sister can turn her back on her mother. When my sister was going through marital problems we all was there too help her. My mother was there for fact when all all kids have problems she is there. I told my sister how I feel, but, she feels everyone else is her friend except her siblings and mother. I have gotten to the point when I talk to her it has to be about fun...not what's going on with the well being of out mother. How do I deal with the way I feel about my sister? I feel like she does not give a kitty about me, brothers or mother.


Your sister may be using the excuse that your mother hurt her, as a way not to help out. In other words, it gives her a reason not to help out. I think it is called "projecting" where someone puts the blame on someone else, instead of looking at themselves. She sounds very selfish. She sounds like my sister. My sister does not help me at all with my aging parents; she lives about 20 minutes away from them, and calls them about once every two months and visits about once every six months, and at Thanksgiving, (last Christmas she was away on a vacation). My sister's reason for not helping me is she says since she is married, and I am not that "the situation is totally different", (her words). She has two grown children in college and does not work, so she definitely has the time, but she feels she is "better" than me because she is married, and implies that being married is very time consuming. I could understand if she had small children at home, but her kids are away at college in another state. In addition, when I've asked her to help with doctor's appointments, she has said to me "Get a driver". Getting back to your situation, I would limit the amount of time that you talk with your sister, or maybe just speak with her if she calls you, and keep the conversation brief. If you and she keep in touch through email, you could tell her you only have time to check your email once a week or so. If she feels people are fazing her out, she may make more of an effort. Good Luck
Your sister is making her own decisions for her own reasons. Maybe if she could explain her reasons better you would understand them; maybe not. Yes, it would be better if you could all work together. It doesn't sound like that is going to happen. You seem to understand that you cannot control your sister's decisions.

Your question is about how to deal with the way you feel about your sister. It sounds to me like you are able to be very compassionate about your mother's shortcomings. You understand that she has emotional problems and you can forgive her for hurting you. Perhaps you need to extend that same compassion to your sister. She feels she has no friends within her family. That is sad.

Or perhaps you want to distance yourself somewhat from your sister, as you might with other people who don't share your values, and as she apparently doesn't have deep feelings for you.

However you decide to deal with your sister, you and your brothers need to figure out how much help your mother needs, how much of that your can each realistically provide, and what to do about any needs you can't meet. It is certainly important that you not neglect your husband's needs and your own health!
Thanks everyone who responded. It feels so good to know there are people out there that understands what I am going through. Good suggestions and I will follow your advice.

Welcome to I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble getting your sister to help with caregiving for your mom. Unfortunately, you are not alone. Many caregivers experience this with their family members. I hope you find the support and resources you are looking for here on our website.

Best of Luck,
Karie H. Team
Stateside I think all youcan do is let her know you need her help with your Mom and then limit you time seeing or talking to your sister-in most families most of the adult children do not help-they have their reasons for sure-some real some not-could you have a family meeting with all the sibs and talk about your options -maybe your sister would offer money to pay for someone to help or maybe it is time to think about placement-if your Mom has the funds maybe she could go into AL. If your sister goes to this meeting-I would not hold my breathe- maybe she could help in some small way like fixing a meal or two a week for your Mom or doing her food shopping or Mom's laundry -if she does anything she might be inclided to do even more. Call your office of the aging to see what resourses there are -they may have a support group for caregivers you could attend or maybe there is low cost adult day care available.

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