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My mother has a rare degenerative neurological disease. As time has gone on, she's gotten much worse. She is unable to care for herself, unable to walk or go to the bathroom unassisted. Before things worsened, I offered twice for her to live with us, but she didn't want to leave her house, and thus the memories of my dad, which I respected. Instead, my sister moved in with her to help take care of her. Instead, she was mostly absentee, leaving her husband to do much of the work. Then, she kicked her husband out and they divorced. My mother has always said things like she never worried about me, but always worried about my sister. My sister has been living off of mothers income for more than a year. My pleas to put a caregiver agreement in place have gone unheeded, and my mother will not enact her POA (me). I fill in for my sister when she can't be there, I handle my moms bills, and I offer to pick things up from the store and take her to appointments when I can get time off of work. I have two young children and a full time job, and recently got into a very heated argument with my sister, after finally having enough of seeing just how much money my sister spends. Every time I try to intervene by havingelpers come to the house or to come clean it, my sister intercepts and not much ends up getting done. Thankfully now she allows nurses to come and we have a helper who comes, and my mom goes to a day program twice a week, but it's not enough and my sister doesn't want to get night help because of how expensive it is. Right now I'm in the process of seeing if we can restructure one finances to qualify her for community based Medicaid. The last time mom stayed with us, I was so saddened by how much worse she's gotten in such a short period of time. I did not sleep at all. I can't imagine what this its be like night after night for my sister. Yet my insistence on more caregivers is met with resistance. She takes it as an affront to her caregiving skills. She lies all the time, but my mother wants her there and will never let her go. My sister tells me I have no clue what goes on because she's there an I'm not. Frankly, I can't handle caring for mom on top of my family and my job, and I feel so resentful of my sister using that to make me feel guilty. It's working, because she's right, I don't know what goes on all the time. How on earth do you balance the needs of the elder with those of your own family?

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I admit that I don't pipe up as often as I should because it hurts my mother when I question my sister's motives. The fact of the matter is, her words never match her actions and I've caught her in countless lies. My mother used to complain to me about her until I finally told her to stop running to me to try to fix this--that was after my sister was fired from her job (but told me she quit because she wanted to take a hiatus and be around for mom more). She vacillates between telling me to back off and telling me she can't take it anymore and she needs help. So, I try to help, and she refuses the help I offer. Then she turns around and says I shouldn't have to ask what needs to be done, I should just walk in the house, know what to do and do it. This mostly applies to the fact that she doesn't clean and my mom is constantly living in a messy, smelly house. I've cleaned before only to realize my sister would bank on it and never keep it up. I've tried to hire cleaning services and she intervenes and cancels. I am damned if I do and damned if I don't.
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Sounds like you have responsibilities that your sister does not have. Her and her ex living there off of your mom doesn't sound healthy either.

What does your sister want? Does she want want you to quit working and abandon your children?
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It doesn't seem as though your sister actually wants you involved in your mother's care. Has she asked you for help? You say she uses your lack of involvement to make you feel guilty, but it seems like she's saying that since you're not involved, you shouldn't second-guess her actions/decisions as a caregiver. In other words, she's not blaming you for not contributing, she's asking you to back off and let her make the decisions since she's in the best position to know what's needed. Plenty of hands-on caregivers feel that way about uninvolved siblings who try to insert their influence without truly understanding the situation. If she's actually trying to make you feel guilty, you haven't said how she's doing that. Maybe that's not her intent. Sorry, I'm just not fitting the story together with what you've said so far.
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