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I am the oldest of 4 sisters and I have taken care of our mother in her home for 10 years. She has multiple health issues, including dementia, diabetes, incontinence, seizure disorder, heart valve replacement, and strokes. Her safety awareness is absolutely zero and since she is stubborn, she goes ahead and gets up from her wheelchair to walk around without letting me know. Sometimes she falls and 3 years ago broke her hip. I have rails up all around the house for her to grab onto just in case. Recently mom went into the hospital due to stroke-like symptoms and now is in a rehab facility. My youngest sister called two mornings ago and said "there is absolutely no reason why mom should EVER fall", and she said that I should be sitting next to mom every minute of the day that she is awake, and use a baby monitor at night in case mom should get up to use her commode (I have it next to her bed). I am blown away by that phone call. I am stunned. She sees mom about 2x a year and has flatly refused to take care of her for even an afternoon or overnight, so that I may get some time off, because "she has to work". I could go on and on, but I really need some ideas as to how to respond to her idea of perfect caregiving.

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Roberta ur doing a great job taking care of ur mom. We are the caretakers chosen by who ever or what ever you believe in. For some reason as soon as we do the caretaking for our mother or father siblings just want to go after us as much as they can. I have been taking care of my 93 year old mother full time 24/7 for the past year now. She suffered from a stroke. I have begged, pleaded and also offered money to siblings just to help out and I get nothing but the name calling. I have been called every name in the book and the only thing I see is no help from them and never will. There are 2 sisters and 2 brothers that could help but won't.
I haven't had one day off for a year now so I decided to hire a live in that will care for my mom while I can catch up on 1 years worth of things that have been ignored. They said they would watch my mom at my moms house but not mine which they change their mind hourly. That won't happen. I stopped believing in my family that we are family cause I soon found out were not. Family does not do this to each other. Make one person the sacrificial lamb. I would not do that to anyone else because that's not who I am. So I woke up and seen the real picture and that was step out of my families box and hire help and stop wasting my precious time on them. Your a great person doing what u r doing and don't waste any more time focusing on what they r telling u what ur not doing.
God bless you
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Wow truly feel your pain when siblings chose not to bother themselves with helping. Leaving the complete burden on my husband's and my shoulders. My MIL is prone to falling and before we explained to my FIL that each time he contacts 911 they must log it and after so many times by law they must report it to APS (Adult Protect Services). He was trying to call us each time she fell but we aren't right next door and couldn't always be there immediately. So that's when he's get exasperated and tell us that if we can't be there then he'd call 911. Well APS has been contacted by the EMS and hospitals because they are doing their job. Not because we want to lose control over helping them. Because she is diabetic, has renal failure, neuropathy in her legs and can barely do much of anything we have gotten a caretaker in their home to assist with most everything. But no there still is no way that anybody can sit all day near their mother to make sure that they do not fall. Do you have bed rails on her bed to help? Yes it's sad with what happens to the majority of us as we reach our twilight years but nobody can handle everything ALL of the time. We all need a break! I wish you luck with resolving things and making your sister understand better. My prayers are with you.
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I feel your pain....I also suffer from sibling stupidity....my siblings expect me to drive Mom 7 1/2 hours to where they are. Do you realize what it takes to get Mom ready for a trip, pack, pack the car and then drive 7 1/2 hours and reverse what I did to get ready..THEN I have to grocery shop and cook for the "guests". It is truly amazing BUT I do it out of love and honor. What keeps me grounded is my faith in God. We can do all things through Christ....pray for strength, wisdom and revelation knowledge and know that you will be blessed!!
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I am filled with gratitude to you all, for taking the time and reaching out to me and our friends here on AgingCare. You make me smile and even cry with hope and relief and joy. Wish we could all get together for a week on a tropical island and just enjoy each other's company in person. What FUN that would be!
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Send these responses to your "oh so wise" younger sister tell her to walk in your shoes for a week. And then tell her to write to me. I will be happy to reply to her.
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RobertaCapeCod ~ I am truly sorry to hear that. I have heard sooooo many stories of elderly falling in nursing homes as of late, it's heartbreaking. A person can't and shouldn't simply take the stance of, "Well, old people fall..." I think the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction in terms of Nursing Homes / Rehab Centers not being able to use short-term, comfortable, padded restraints (unlike the more unsuitable products from the dark ages). As far as bed alarms, I have seen first-hand how many a time one will ring and ring and ring before a nurse appears in the room. Here is a quote from Wikipedia: "Although medical restraints, used properly, can help prevent injury, they can also be dangerous. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimated in 1992 that at least 100 deaths occur annually in the U.S. from their improper use in nursing homes, hospitals and private homes." ... While that may sound a bit scary, let's put that into perspective... 100 deaths a year divided by 50 states = 2 per state, per year. That isn't much, when you consider just how many nursing homes, hospitals and private homes that are in each state!! How many FALLS in EVERY NURSING HOME have there been because of the nursing home ban on restraints, and how many have DIED as a result of those falls? I am willing to bet you that there have been many, many, MANY, and I will bet you that that number FAR exceeds the number that have died from being restrained improperly. There is more than meets the eye to this story, folks!
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Honey, I feel for you! My brother lives out of town and has only recently realized that I'm not makin' this stuff up! Bless your heart! You are doing a good job. And if sis is not happy with the care you are giving to mom, then you could offer to drive mom to her house and let her do it. I had to offer this to my brother a few months back. I didn't say it in a mean voice. I just politely asked if he wanted to find all new Doctor's and a place for mom to stay, etc, etc, etc. he quickly said he didn't think about it from that point of view. I will keep your family in my prayers. And keep up the good work! God's blessings.
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UPDATE: well Mom fell at the rehab center last evening and got herself a really big bump and bruise on her forehead but she is ok. They had 2 alarms on her and still they were not able to prevent her fall, which goes to prove our point, doesn't it? The facility is discharging her this coming Saturday. Thanks to everyone here I feel 100% better about the job I'm doing and now I am not afraid of backlash from my sister. Still need to work out some respite but one step at a time. Thank you all and sending lots of love and positive energy out to ech and every one of you in your own situations.
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happyjack ~ Best thing to do would be to consult your doctor. Laws may vary by state. There are also quite a few different types of belts / restraints. You want to make sure that you're getting the right one for the job which will be the least dangerous. ...Again, discuss w/doctor.
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Roberta:

Look you are doing the best you can taking care of your mother for a decade. If your sister has not stepped up finanically or physically to care for your mother in 10 yrs it isn't likely it will happen soon. I would tell her you don't need her critical opinions or comments and if she wants someone by your mother's side all night, she can feel free to hire and pay for a home health aide for 7 nights a week. That would be several thousand dollars a month. I doubt if she will go there but if she would, welcome the help. :)

Elizabeth
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I am pretty much am in the same situation but i only have 1 sister. my mom has been with me for 9 years and my sister does the same i just ignore her we do not talk at all she does not call or see my mother. we communicate through my daughter-in-law.. my mom had a fall and was in rehab for 2 mths. she did go see her there but only when i was'nt there. You need to tell her if she thinks she can do a better job please take over if not I don't care for your input.It is not easy I do everything myself my children are older and have young children of their on. I just recently found a local business run by husband and wife who have employees that are thouroughly checked. Also a retired nurse to come in when I have someplace to go. I plan on at least 2 8 hr. days a month to leave and not worry. I am home and don't work my husband does not understand why I'm so exhausted or in abad mood when he gets home. No one does unless you are in this situation. My last child just moved out and now my mother needs taken care of. I would'nt mind if I had a lettle support from my husband. I am only 50 got married when I was seventeen this could be the end of it. As far as your sister or anybody else telling you what to do, don't listen.I don't allow my sister to come to my house because she is home and no one to take care of but herself, so if she can't spend a litlle time with her mother she is not welcome! good luck to you
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I have to agree with everyone above. Sisters can be mean and hurtful. My experience, I believe it is to help them feel better about themselves. I hope it works for them and they feel Great about themselves. You will have that feeling and it will be genuine because you do really care and you have tried and you have done your best.
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You are doing the best that you can do under the circumstances. Stop seeking support from your siblings. They will not be there for you, so just accept it and go on doing what you feel you must do for your mother. Seek all the help from friends, neighbors, other caregivers, ( such as this site), and of course medical help. Help is out there; you just have to find it. I'd be interested to know what meds your mother is taking and how often. Any night-time sedation? When will she leave Rehab? You seem to be focused on the ciriticism from your siblings more than on the arrangement that you could have in your home to suppement your caregiving. After Re-hab, you should have the Visiting Nurses come into do BP testing, general health analysis, and O T.
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In regards to restraints......can one get an order from the doctor as they do in hospitals/care facilities?
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On numerous occasions in my life, I have been quite happy and content that I am an "only!" After reading these posts, I am having one of those occasions! Thanks! My heart goes out to you all!
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I agree with the guilt trip. That is the first thing I thought of when reading Darcy's letter. They just lash out at the one person they should be supporting and thanking for all of their time. Missing out on your own life is a big concern with younger caregivers. I hope you can get some relief soon. Hugs
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It just amazes me how we all seem to have problems with sibs. I live with my mother 24/7 but my sibs -who visit every other week for a few hours - think that they know it all. Truthfully I have gotten a little numb to it over the last year. At first I was trying to be the "perfect" daughter and caregiver to my Mother but found that I was getting pretty depressed. Now I just do the best I can and let the comments go in one ear and out the other. I know that this is not a permanent situation. It just really helped me when I decided that I was not going to "fix" my Mothers old age and the family was being unrealistic. They are just filled with guilt - but you know what - that is their problem. I worked as a nurse with the elderly and know that even in hospitals with 24 hour care - old people still fall!! I just hope that when the time comes you will feel satisfied with the job that you have done and the other family members can just figure out their guilt their own way.
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After my mother was the victim of family elder abuse, I developed a nonprofit elder abuse prevention agency. I hear your story every day. You are living the same family nightmare many people go through when caring for an aged parent. You are not alone.

Nothing you say to your sister is going to sink in to her brain. She is free and clear of the responsibility of caring for Mom and she plans to stay that way. Part of her ranting at you is guilt she will never admit to. And part of her rant is distrust of you because if she was in your situation, she would be securing her "inheritance." So she thinks you are doing the same thing.

The next step in this common scenario that you are living through is that your sister, or one of your other siblings not directly involved with Mom's care ,will come down on you with accusations of stealing and undue influence. One of them is going to come to visit, and while your back is turned, this person will have Mom sign a power-of-attorney. Mom's mail will be diverted, her checking account changed, and you may even find a new mortgage on her house if she has one.

You need to consult an attorney to learn how to cover yourself against allegations of elder abuse and protect any assets your mother has left. If you cannot afford an attorney, your local legal aid nonprofit may be able to assist you. You also need to find a caregiver resource center in your area. Some centers are able to provide respite care while you attend caregiver support groups. The people in these groups will be able to assist you in surviving the time you have left with Mom. Good luck.
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Myself and my parents had similar issues when it came to my brother. I'm 24 right now, he's six years older.
Anyway, when we first starting taking care of my grandmother, she has severe alzhiemer's and parkingson's diease, my brother would constantly call to make sure that we were 'doing our jobs right'.
Now we live in Michigan, he lives in Washington state. Obviously he was not coming to visit very often.
About two years ago this had reached a breaking point between my parents and himself, with him threatening to call APS on us because grandma had a bruise on her head from a fall.
This was also right at Christmas time, so it was one of those rare times when he actually was in the house.
The ending result was that after this huge fight we left instructions on how to care for grandma, our daily routine with her, and then packed up and went away for a couple of days to a local motel leaving my brother and his partner to care for Grandma. They insisted that they could of course do it better at the start and didn't understand why three people were having so many issues with watching her.

The ending of the story is that by the end of a mere 48 hour period my brother was begging us to come back. Since then we have had no issues with threats or judgement from him.
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You might try saying to your sister "I'm sorry you feel that way. I know that I'm doing the very best I can. If you feel someone else could do better feel free to find and hire that person." If she persists about saying you SHOULD be able to do it better....just reiterate "Again I'm sorry you feel that way. I'm not willing to listen to your complaints anymore so I 'm going to hang up now (if on the phone) or walk away (if in person) ."
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I would cut her out. Next time she calls and starts ranting, hang up. She has nothing of value to add. It's just thoughtless words. Cut her off and know that you are making the investment and until she puts as much skin in the game as you have, she's nothing, nada, zip. Get rid of her until she helps in some meaningful way. She's just bullying you and you do not need it. You owe her NOTHING. And get rid of any kind of sense of politeness or fairness to her; she hasn't earned it. Be strong and steel your backbone, you need to feel better and have some self-worth. Then get on with your day.
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P.S... (and might not be widely known)... "A physicians' order must be in place before a restraint is used".
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You might consult an attorney regarding the house, which is now in your name, in case your sister makes an effort to 'claim' her inheritance or any other material of financial items she may claim you received because of undue influence on your mother. Next time she threatens 'intervention' or a call to APS, call her bluff and suggest she do so. However, have friends & visiting nurses, doctors, etc ready to attest to the quality care you have and are giving your mother. Sorry you have such a mean-spirited sibling to deal with.
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Darcy123 ~ They are illegal in nursing homes and if "improperly used" from what I have read. Can you provide a link saying in which states they are illegal? I have not been able to find anything. Where I live, they are OK for use in a private home.
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I have spent many hours on the phone talking to my brother who only lives 2 1/2 hrs away. He listens, never offering any solutions or help. Then I don't hear from him for weeks. He tells me how he and his second wife go here and there enjoying themselves. Also how they've helped the neighbor across the street and brought food to her. It's almost unbelievable. Our father is 97 and showing many signs of dimentia. I could go on and on about all the stuff that goes on but it would just be too long. It's difficult enough coping with all of it but then not to have support/help from immediate family is very hurtful. I'm a responsible person and will continue to do what I know is right under the circumstances. I have found that doing what I enjoy helps me. Things creative like painting, knitting etc. I was thinking the other day that I haven't had a good laugh, from the belly, in a long time. I now, accept invitations and sometimes even force myself to go to be with
happy people. It really works and gives me a lift. We have to find what makes us happy under the circumstances.
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Sorry, I meant to say 4 months not years.
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Before using any kind of restraints check your laws. They are illegal in most places!! Only SAFETY belts like a 'seat belt' that the PERSON can remove themselves is permitted in most cases to prevent accidental falling 'out' of the chair.... anything else that they can not remove themselves is considered restraining and if it is considered illegal where you live you could get into BIG trouble for it....
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My younger sister took care of my mom after her stroke for a year. My sister was exhausted and would call and tell me about it as I went on with my life and my family. I called and tried to comfort as much as I could. I begged my mom to come live with me to no avail. Finally my mom agreed to live with me. She has been with me for four years and I can't express how difficult it is to care for my mom. I have no life. She just wants to sleep. I am so deeply sorry for not stepping up when my sister was crying for help. My mom is now going back to my sister because we live in high altitude and she can't seem to get acclamated here. She has COPD and it is very difficult for her to breath. I have told my sister that I will come out and stay with my mom for weeks at a time so she can get some rest. You just don't know what it's like until you've walked in the caregivers shoes. Maybe your sister should take care of your mom for a month and then I'm sure she would back you up with what you do. Be strong. I know it is hard and I too can't tell you it will get better. Get support where you can and take care of yourself for without your health you are no good to anyone else. Hugs and prayers.
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Your youngest sister lashes out because, subconsciously, she knows SHE should be doing more; it's purely a defense mechanism. Don't pay her any mind.
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... and that is the short version... I could go on and on about the horrible things she says about me to other family members. I think they feel guilty about NOT doing anything and make themselves feel better by criticizing us. This is not new and we are not the first to go through it. Unfortunately this is a fairly common experience. We just do the best we can in a situation that NO ONE ELSE GETS unless they have lived through it themselves. :( We do our best. What else can we do. I get it from both my sisters, but the one is FAR worse! I answer to God. He is my witness and defender. As long as I am ok with that.... I try to ignore what I can.
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