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I’m the 24/7 caregiver for my 87 year old mother who has dementia. I pay for 10 hours of outside help. I have a sister who took her out for an hour on Thanksgiving and visited on her birthday. Mother’s Day will be her next visit and I’m dreading it already. She does nothing else to help me care for OUR mother. She even took a part time job to be unavailable 7 days a week and told me she can’t bring OUR mom to her home because she rents and mom might destroy something. OUR mother weighs 89 lbs and can only walk about 10 feet. I’ve been doing this for 7 months. I cried every day for the first 2. I haven’t been able to visit my grandchildren in Ohio or babysit my 2 other grandchildren nearby. I had just retired from my job as a nurse in a state prison when my stepdad had a stroke and passed away...I liked prison better. My mom pees in her shoes and blames my dog...I gave her a small trashcan for dirty tissues and she pooped in it. My dog and I just look at each other and shake our heads. I have gotten to the point where I am ok with this caregiver life but I can’t deal with how much I resent my sister. I don’t want her here. I don’t like her. I don’t want to be the bigger person. I’m doing what I feel is right for OUR mother and I can live with myself. I don’t have to make it easier for her to sleep at night.

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I'd like to point out that we all have choices. Your sister chooses to visit mom 3-4 times a year. You chose not to visit your grandchildren as much as you like. Whoa, that's not a choice, you say. Your alternatives for seeing the grands (or not) are staying with mom, hiring help in your home while you go, or hiring help at a facility who can handle her while you go. Those are choices even if you don't like the options.

The private caregivers do not work for out-of-town; I get that. But you chose to not try the facility for whatever reason. It's not killing people or there would not be any living there. It's just not optimal. But it's also not optimal for two people (you & mom) to cease to live full lives instead of just one...just your mom. I really encourage you to try respite service for two weeks and visit the grandkids. Mom will get over it and probably forget you left. Those days with grandbabies are short and will last the children 70 years. Blessings.
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Karinslife Mar 13, 2019
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Our lawyer told me I could meet at a restaurant for her awful children to visit but I found a facility that does respite and day care. I put my mother there when the others came to visit. I had been too traumatized by them and didn't want to see them and don't have to. Easy fix and it spends their inheritance.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 13, 2019
If that works, not a bad idea!
Mom still gets to see her children and since your relationship with your siblings isn’t harmonious then why should you have to spend time with them.

We don’t get to pick our family like we can our friends. Some who have family members that aren’t the nicest people choose to spend time with close friends. I don’t blame them.
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Karin, I’m so sorry you’re going through this virtually alone. It’s posts like this that sometimes make me appreciate being an only child. The responsibility all falls on me (and my wonderful DH) but at least I don’t have an all consuming urge to shoot a sibling. So I can only speak from an only child perspective, but if her presence is so upsetting to you that you’re already worried about a visit 2 months from now, I would definitely plan for Mom to be “unavailable” that day. Maybe a phone call to Mom would suffice to get sis off your back and be enough for her to check Mom off her to-do obligation list for that day.
But just out of curiosity, have you actually told sis that you could use some help? Help with some respite caregiving? Help financially with some more paid caregivers if she doesn’t want to personally get involved? Maybe she thinks since you are an retired nurse you are so competent that you don’t need any help? Have you tried guilt? Is she dense and needs a 2x4 to see what’s going on? Do you just grit your teeth and let this resentment fester? It’s really unhealthy and I hope you find a way to get through to her for all of your benefit.
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Isthisrealyreal Mar 11, 2019
Great advise rocketjcat.
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When I made the choice to be my mother's caregiver I knew from the start that it was all on me, not because my family were selfish or evil but because I knew that they were not the caregiver type. I imagine that your sister would be perfectly content to have your mother placed in an appropriate facility, if you were absent she may have even stepped up to make it happen. I know I'm going to be blasted for this, but IMO you don't get to hate your sister because she made a different choice, and it isn't appropriate to let your resentment and animosity come between your mother and her other daughter.
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wakankasha Mar 13, 2019
I wouldn't think you would get "blasted" for stating the way you see it.  After all, Karinslife said, "I would rather be in prison..." in her post.  That seems like a telling statement to me.
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Outside your home, where you have settled your mother for her safety and wellbeing, and at any time other than this particular day, you can say and do whatever you like about your sister whether in person or in effigy. That's between you and your sister.

But this here particular decision - should you let your sister visit your mother where your mother lives on Mother's Day - is ONLY about what's good for your mother. Will your mother enjoy seeing her other daughter, even if a only little bit, even if only in the moment? Unless it's a definite negative, for reasons which you haven't yet mentioned, then you must allow your sister to visit and if possible make her tolerably welcome. Or at least not put laxatives in her tea.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 12, 2019
Countrymouse,

I used to bring leftovers for lunch. Laxatives in her tea! Hahaha. Memories! I worked with a guy who always stole my lunch from the office lounge area in the fridge. I put my name in large bold print and he still stole it, so I put ex lax chocolate candy in it as a special treat for him! He NEVER, EVER stole my lunch again.
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I tend to agree with cwillie. I understand your resentment but would your mom enjoy a visit from her other daughter? Don't punish your mom for how you feel about your sister. Encouraging your sister to visit on Mother's Day is not a favor to your sister, it's for your mom.
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As soon as your sister arrives, grab your purse and car keys and head out. You might want to check in every little bit, just to make sure sister has not left your mom alone. Sister will either figure out she needs to help or will never visit again. Either way, you win. Also, check with you county/state Commission on Aging for help - respite help is available, please take advantage of it.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 13, 2019
Sounds good in theory but they leave. My brothers left mom alone.
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Karin,
I have 4 living siblings who have chose not to be a part of my parents life, since I moved them with me. I have a brother who has told my Mom he will be stopping by to see her on his way traveling through. I feel all kinds of ugly things about this, which I would never say to my Mom. She loves her children whether they love her back or not. So, she is excited about his visit. I am sick about it because now I just hope he actually shows up, its been years since she has seen him(his choice). I would like to say all kind of things to him, my human does not want him in my home. But, I would never not allow anyone to see my Mom, if she wants to see them. If we hold on to these resentful feelings it just promotes illness in us. While as a previous poster said, they do not feel guilty. So, allow your Mom her visit with her daughter. Unless your Mom doesn't want to see her. But either disappear for a while, or stay and be civil. But do not let resentment fester into bitterness and hatred. It is so not worth it.
May God bless. Hope you find peace.
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Pandabear Mar 14, 2019
Oh. Please let us know if he turns up. Stomach churning
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FWIW I'm going to mention the following that I read a few years ago (and not specifically directed at anyone here): "Harboring resentment is allowing a person you dislike to have rent-free space in your brain."
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Karin,

Just curious, does your sister know how you feel? Have you told her you miss your grandchildren and need support? If so, how does she respond?

I didn't go into this resenting my siblings. Before any of us knew there was a dementia issue they knew full well that our mother is a huge challenge to be around. They both made it clear they "couldn't do it" and since I was early retired (from nursing too) it just kind of fell on my lap. I really hated that the retirement we worked hard for got hijacked but I didn't blame them.

Then my mom got here, the dementia became obvious and that is when they really backed away. They know our mother is struggling, they know I am struggling. But I haven't heard from either one in four months.

Now I am resentful. Hurt mostly. I too miss my adult son who I have not been able to visit. Meanwhile their lives go on as normal. I wish I had sage advice here but I don't. I do have plenty of empathy.

Maybe tell your sister the truth? You are burned out. You need to see your kids and grandchildren. If she offers nothing then imo you are justified in not being around her if it's going to cause you ANY stress whatsoever. Don't be there when she visits your mom. Inform her you will have other plans.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I do get it. If you ever want to talk or vent feel free to message me.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 12, 2019
Piper, It’s so hard, Isn’t it? My brothers are useless! I do it all. Gets old!
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