hopedaughter Asked March 2011

How do I deal with my sister and her constant barrage of complaints of what I'm doing or not doing for my Mom?

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My parents moved in with me 15 years ago. My Dad died a year a go from dementia, but my Mom is 88 and still going strong. My older sister lives out of state, but visits once a year, mainly to critize my care giving and to ensure that her name is on just about everything of worth that my Mom has. For some reason they always visit Mom's lawyer and the bank while she visits. Mom has always excused my sister's action by telling me that "she so grateful she doesn't have to worry about me" while she financially helps my sister or gives her whatever she wants. My sister and her family have more money than we'll ever have, and we financially supported my Mom and Dad and now my Mom. My sister has never helped financially or in any other way with the care of my parents. How do I deal with my sister and her constant barrage of complaints of what I'm doing or not doing for my Mom?!

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glmadams Mar 2011
Generally when one criticizes the care you are giving a parent or loved one, and they are doing nothing, they really envy you and what you are able to accomplish. The next time your sister starts up about the care you are providing for your Mom, say to her "You know perhaps it would be better if you become Mom's caregiver? followed by "When can we begin making plans and arrangements for her relocation?" Her criticisms will quickly change to accolades about the great caregiver you are. As Lilliput suggested, while your Mom can make indisputable decisions regarding her finances, property, etc., process the legal documentation securing your rights as a caregiver and child so you will not have to fight that battle later on. glmadams
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NancyH Mar 2011
Hopedaughter, you and your husband sit down and make out an expense report of how much money you have put into the care of your parents. Then send it to your sister, telling her that you'll be recouping those expenses when your mother dies. Maybe if she knows the money will be gone sooner then later, she'll get off your back. It basically comes down to her wanting money anyway. If it wasn't about that, she'd be pitching in with the care.
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dinak Mar 2011
I agree 100% with Selfishsiblings. Tell your sister to 'bug off' the next time she starts in on you or you hear through others that she is criticizing you. What's the worst she can do that she isn't already? Tell her to come around more often, take your mother into her own home, or to shut up. You are doing a great job, so know it and be proud.
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Yay Lilliput! She's right about everything now go do it! I have nothing left to add except that you should tell your sister to take a flying suck pill. It will feel really good when you do. Try it!!

I have a similar situation and I'm much better off having written off my two deadbeat siblings.

Peace out,

-SS
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lcs Mar 2011
Don't wait for your reward in heaven!! Take (make) the time now on earth to get things straightened out legally (as Lilliput suggested).If your sister's name is on everything, so should your name be there too. You are rightly feeling used and if you don't take steps to put a stop to it, this will eat away at you and you will only feel worse and worse. There is no reason why you and your husband should have been paying financially for your mom and dad when apparently there is money available to give to your sister. Do not continue to accept your sister's behaviour. Hang up on her if she phones to criticize and as Lilliput suggested, have your sister provide the so-called proper care of your mother so that you can take a holiday. If your mom is still "going strong" maybe you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with her and tell her how you are hurting. This talk about "being glad she doesn't have to worry about you" is totally unfair to you. She needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Has she always leaned on you but given in to your sister? Try to make your mom see the whole picture - hopefully your mom will want to be fair to both of her daughters. If not, it is best you know now so that you can make further decisions. Please stand up for yourself.
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michfla317 Mar 2011
I think Lilliput's answer was right on the money. I also think your sister tries to justify her lack of participation by criticizing whatever you do. She'll feel justified in sharing any inheritance because she'll be able to say "you didn't do it right." The good news is, your reward will be in Heaven. God Bless you for taking care of both of your parents!!
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Vernon Mar 2011
EXCELLENT lillipup! ! !

A Living Trust which does not deviate from assignments declared in the Will is absolutely essential in order to preserve 'justice' when the final separation of holdings occurs. That, because without lawsuits, you have a great deal to say about what happens.

I would add that rather than a Power of Attorney which is often limited by different operating standards each bank, insurance company - virtually every type of institution you can think of has - you should investigate instituting a 'Guardianship'.

Good luck... your sister sounds kind of like my siblings. No desire in the slightest to help, but fast to lay claim to everything they can - and I end up being the 'bad guy' throughout.

V
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toadballet1 Mar 2011
First, get her Power of Attorney and contact all financial institutions and inform them that they are not to release information without your consent. Also, monitor bank accounts. You can also put your Mom's money into a trust or a CD...that way "sticky" fingers cannot get into it. Take a look at her will etc. and make sure everything is as she wants it. If your attorney does not respect your/her wishes, get a new one.
When your sister comes to visit and criticizes, tell her that you would be glad to have her fill in for you for a week, while you go on vacation, so she can test out her theories of elder care. On the telephone, inform her that if her conversation turns to criticism that you will have to politely end the conversation. Then DO IT.
It is incredible that the people who criticize the most are the most far removed from caregiving. They are also the most ruthless about helping themselves to whatever they can get from their parents. If you look back in time, you will see that this is a longtime behavior that only gets worse over time.
Protect your Mom and her assets...she may need them down the road.
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