edwinmaki Asked July 2010

My mom lives with me and my sister lives in Canada. When they talk my sister put’s ideas in my mom’s head and they talking behind my back. How do I deal with this?

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SherriSab Jun 2011
Dear Angelstar 55, We ran into a situation similiar to this with mom. She complained so much that my husband, her son and POA was investigated for Elder abuse. She told everyone and anyone that we put her in a home and was stealing all her belongings. The people that listened to her didn't understand her condition and were not around her enough to realize just how bad the situation was. We had taken care of her everyday for 10 years, shopping, doctor appointments, vacations...she did everything with us. Everything was unsubstantiated but it did really hurt. We had her doctor bring in a psychiatrist and along with the Geriatric Assessment that was completed, she could not take care of herself and was a danger to others. They could also give us some explanation of what was in the future. The doctor wrote a note that indicated that she had to be in the facility that she kept.
Before placing mom in the home, I called all of my husbands brothers and her brother and sisters and told them what was going on. My husband who is the POA at that time indicated to them that this was necessary and if anyone wanted this job he would gladly hand everything over to them.
I would think that if your sisters are so against this arrangement, they will then take care of your parents when they come home. Your sister who stayed to unpack will move in and take care of them. Your mom will always want to go home and it will take a long time but eventually if she is like our mom, she will call her new home "home".
When our mom was first in the nursing home, she was having a really difficult time and the home requested that the family stay away. She could call us and at one point they asked us not to answer the calls until she had made the transistion. This was the most difficult thing for us because we were going in every day and then she was a real handful when we would leave.
It is amazing also how with our mom she didn't know what day it was, she didn't know what she did 10 minutes ago, she wouldn't take her meds or bathe or change her clothes for weeks but she could convince people she was fine. At that time she could pull that off for a couple hours but if you spent alot of time with her you could see. But no one ever spent that time with her but us.
Sometimes also people will say things that the parent takes to heart.
There was a volunteer at the nursing home that would tell Mom that she didn't belong there. She wasn't in a wheelchair or walker. I am sure that the volunteer didn't say this the way that mom took it.
I would also talk to the staff to see why they aren't getting the care. You are the POA, take the reigns. Get everything that you are paying for. Between my husband and I we are at the nursing home quite a bit just to make sure things are taken care of.
This situation is the best for a couple and people don't realize that in these facilities, there are activities which they need. You know they are eating right. And there are alot of health concerns that can pop up that you may not catch if they are at home. People die from hidden infections and God knows what else.
We have never had any trouble with the family after we offered them the job. Maybe this would help you. God bless Sherri
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angelstar55 Jun 2011
My father has dementia, I am the power of attny I just helped place both of my parents in an beautiful assistant living 2 bedroom home. My older sister stayed to help with some of the unpacking Now my mother despite all the medical advice wants to take my father and go home. My sisters are undermining all I have done to do what is best. My sister is still there and none of the facility care givers are dong the work because my mother is listening to my sister. She is not giving my mother good support. what can I do?
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SherriSab Jul 2010
My mother in law has had alzheimers for a long time. She would always play the boys against each other growing up to present day. My husband and I knew that the problems were getting worse because she spent her days with us and we did everything with her, holidays, vacations, shopping doctors visits for the past 12 yrs.
We had a geriatric assessment completed 7 years ago when we could see she was rapidly losing ground. We called in our County office of Aging who could provide services and she had a case manager who would come into the home and do assessments. People started realizing what her cognitive issues were and started taking advantage of her. But when she accused me of stealing money from her, the family realized that she was really having problems.
We called a family meeting and with doctor reports and assessments in hand my husband and I explained that it was time for a nursing home. My husband offered the job to the other siblings if they had any problems with what we were doing. They were fine with it. Her siblings call all the time to see how she is but her children don't and the nursing home says we are the only ones that come in.
Gram didn't see much of the rest of the family unless we had everyone over for Christmas or had a big family outing. But once she was in the home, it was aweful. We went to see her every day for a year but she never remembered us being there. She accused us and the nursing home of abusing her and she told anyone who would listen..She would call all my neighbors and tell them how aweful we are. But we never left her side. The siblings aren't close anymore. Financially it is killing us but no one ever asks how things are being paid or how we are buying diapers or whatever.
Sometimes also the parent can make really big things out of nothing. Gram's big thing was "Your brother doesn't think I need all this medicine" or
"So'n'so doesn't think I belong in here".
Well I would talk to the brothers and tell them the newest development and talk to the person who just may in passing would have said looking at the the worse of the worse dementia patients that she wasn't as bad as those ones but not really saying that she didn't belong there. Some of these patients see things or hear things on TV and think they are real.
And the stress is overwhelming. I have MS and that is the reason Gram isn't at home with us and I also have a son who had 30 operations to correct deformities and help him walk. When I was in the hospital or my son was in Phila. with surgery, she would go out walking and no one could find her.
I really think our family doesn't come around because they don't know how to handle it. We don't either but we still try and we will be there until the end...no matter what!
Try to remember the good days and just worry about making each day count because when everything is all over, there are good memories even in these days of sorrow. And this may be the reason, you were put on this earth...to make your loved ones life better. I always tell Gram when she gets upset because she doesn't remember things...you remember us...right...and that is all that matters. She does know that the others don't come to see her but when they do and I know about it I remind her that they have been in. And I tell my kids that we are the ones that are lucky when she regresses and tells us the stories of her childhood. All the ones that don't come around are missing all of that and I feel that I have been blessed to have her in my life. After all I don't see the diapers or the behaviors and I put all the hurt feelings aside because if it weren't for this woman I would not have my husband and without her help my son would not be walking and in his 3rd year of college....God Bless!
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toadballet1 Jul 2010
GHP: Good point about parents playing their children off one another .... happens to me all the time. But sib figured out a way to "tune Mom out."
I agree, communication is so important - and do it as calmly as possible (perhaps in a letter?) My sib has a bad habit of "blowing up" whenever he is asked to do anything he does not want to do. It just cuts off communication and, unfortunately, it leaves me to deal with everything. But I could never look the other way while Mom struggled to live on her own as he did.
Everyone thinks caregiving is just about tending to the needs of parents. Only until you are in these shoes do you realize how much more complex everything gets.
Good luck to you...
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castoff Jul 2010
Maybe have a talk with your sib and let them know their "free advice" is making a difficult job unbearable. The "I don't need your interferance to make my life more difficult" speech.
Your sib may think they are helping. You have to tell them they are not or they will not know.
Your parent may be playing you two against each other also. They need to be made aware of that.
We can't empathize with anothers pain unless we have been through it and each circumstance is unique. You need to communicate with them to let them know what is or is not really happening.
Unless there is true animosity between you and your sibling, let them know.
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toadballet1 Jul 2010
Tell your Mom flat out that what she is doing is disrespectful to you. What is it about parents treating their caregiving child with such disdain???? Do they ever think that the MIA sibling is the one who is neglectful?
I would not make any threats of moving her to Canada or your sibling coming down to get her unless you are willing to go through with it. Is your Mom able to live on her own in a senior apt. or assited living? That way, it is HER space and she can talk up a blue streak with the sib.
Geeeez....caregiving is hard enough without throwing toxic siblings into the mix!
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denise55 Jul 2010
This may sound even harsher, tell them you are bringing mom to them so you can look after yourself!! let them know how you have put your life to the side for her well being, and the sacrifices you are makiing financially and emotionally has stressed you where you now need a break. Watch how quick the negative comments stop, you may not even hear from your siblings for a while!!!
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LynnPO Jul 2010
This might sound harsh but cut off the international long distance from your phone plan so she can't call "up" there - you can keep calling cards in case YOU need to call. If sibling wants to put ideas in her head then let her/him do it at their expense.

Also - if possible, have a frank talk with your parent and site very specific examples of when sibling steered your mom wrong. Then ask mom why she listens to them.
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