Help, my 80 soon to be 81 year old mother does nothing but watch tv. She has a bad leg but is able to shower, change her diaper and do a little cooking. My older sister is 60, I’m 58 we all live together and it’s very depressing since I can’t get my mother to do anything. Unfortunately my sister drinks a 6 pack of beer every night and hides in her room. She works day shift 4 days a week I work nights so someone is usually with her. I have a 3 year old granddaughter and my daughter is expecting again. The only thing my mother loves to do is see her great granddaughter and I always take my mother when I visit. I’m getting upset because my mother can do so much, like walk to the pool it’s about 500 feet, but she chooses to do nothing and is getting weaker. I have no idea how I’m going to handle her when the new grand baby comes, she will expect me to take her and I can’t handle anymore it’s been 5 years living with her. I stay busy do yoga work, and I don’t drink so it’s hard to see my sister drink every night and she gets verbally aggressive telling my mother “I hope you die” and other things. My sister has been with us 2 years I tried to get her out of our house but she stated she can’t afford it, but it is better with her here so she can help. My mother has suffered from depression her whole life and is on an antidepressant. Please if anyone has any ideas please let me know.

My mother has very little interest in things as well. It feels like it can't be good for a person to have so little stimulation and no outside interests. And so dependent on such a very small circle of people, for everything.

Now, you have another big issue with your sister. DOES not sound like an appropriate situation for you or your mom to have to deal with. I agree that some tough love is in order and she needs to move on.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to againx100

Yikes, you are neck-deep in dysfunction but I think you know the answers to your own questions, you just don't want to carry out what it will take to better your situation and bring peace into your lives.

1) your sister needs to go and fly on her own. You can't cure her alcoholism. She needs tough love and you need to set boundaries. If she won't go voluntarily you can do a legal eviction. You will be very unpopular until she's out. If she doesn't leave voluntarily after the 30-day eviction notice, you can then call the police and they can remove her. This will feel awful at the time but will be freeing later. In the future, your sister may thank you for not being her enabler.

2) Consider transitioning your mom into a care community (like independent senior living). You can't make her be someone she isn't. If she's just a boat anchor in your home and life moving her doesn't mean you don't love her. It just means you recognize your limits and need to focus on caring for you before your mental, emotional and physical health is destroyed. You cannot be caregiver to people who are unwilling to help themselves.

If your mom doesn't have the financial means you can get her into a nice place and then help her apply for Medicaid. She will get the same quality of care as the other residents, only she will be in a shared room. She won't like it at first, but she may benefit from the social and heightened medical community. It helped my MIL who wouldn't get out of bed, not even for meals. Now she's done a 180.

I'm betting these are not the answers you wanted but I'm also betting others will post similar suggestions, as they understand dysfunction when they see it. Wishing you clarity and courage as you move onward and upward.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Geaton777
margaret55 Aug 17, 2019
You are so right! My family would be so upset if I got rid of my sister, every one just says that’s just how Joan is, meaning my sister. No one wants to deal with her . But I will kick her out if I hear more threats, I’m going get my mother in a adult day care Monday.Your advice was so true I thank you so much .
I’ve had the experience that after a long while on antidepressants, they are no longer effective. A visit to her doctor may show the need for a change in medication.

Since you work, your sister apparently has an issue with alcohol and it sounds like she is verbally abusive to your mother, Mom may feel safer just quietly sitting and watching television. That way she may feel she isn’t a bother and doesn’t incur your sister’s wrath.

It may be convenient to have your sister there at night, but she may be intimidating your mother. Are you certain she is not being physically abusive to Mom as well? Alcohol can lower inhibitions. If your sister is impaired each night, how much could she actually do if Mom needs help? If she’s passed out or unable to function, would she know to call 911 if there was a medical emergency?

If Mom is fairly capable of handling her Activities of Daily Living, maybe consider a Senior Center or an Adult Day Care. Or, even Assisted Living. Having an actual place to go out of the house each day may help with her mood.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Ahmijoy
margaret55 Aug 17, 2019
Thank you that’s the best advice ever. You’re right I probably won’t get my sister out, my whole family would be upset. If she gets more abusive with my mother I will.

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