When one child of an aging parent gets no help from a sibling, what can be done?

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I have a mom 88 years old she seems to have some of her mind at times she gets nasty. I live one town away I call her everyday, when she doesn't answer the phone I panic. My only sister lives in Canada and she says I take on to much. She doesn't understand and I'm getting burnt out. Please help.

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The only thing that worked for me was asking my sister for help in front of her husband. He entered the room when we were talking about dad and I continued the conversation....best mistake of my life! Now when I seriously need her help, I make sure that her husband is on the telephone or in the room. It seems silly but it worked for us.
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MY SISTER LIVES 20 MIN AWAY BUT DOES NOT OR WILL NOT HELP.
SHE IS RETIRED AND I STILL WORK BUT I AM STILL THE ONE WHO HAS TO LEAVE WORK.
SHE IS INTERESTED IN HER HEALTH RECORDS TO COMPARE WITH HER IN-LAWS HEALTH RECORDS AND HOW MUCH MONEY THERE WILL BE. I DO NOT ASK ANYMORE AND DO NOT EVEN WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH HER ANYMORE. WE WERE NOT INVITED FOR THE HOLIDAYS LAST YEAR AS WE ARE NOT NICE TO HER IN-LAWS WHO ARE COMFORTABLE. MY MOM IS ON SOME PUBLIC ASSISTANCE SO THERE IS NOT MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO. I GIVE MOM MONEY FROM EVERY PAYCHECK. YOU JUST HAVE TO GET ON WITH EVERYTHING. I AM SINGLE WITH NO CHILDREN AND SAVING AS I KNOW THERE WILL BE NO FAMILY HELP FOR ME IF I NEED IT.
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Unfortunately, from my own experience, I can tell you that the only person you can rely on is yourself. My narcissistic sister was never concerned with my mother or the effects of Alzheimer's on anyone but herself. After a struggle of nearly 4 1/2 years my mother succumbed to this terrible disease. My sister never sent even one penny towards helping me cover the costs associated with assisted living and nursing home costs. At my mother's funeral, she was overheard talking about how "much" she did for my mother! What a joke. When all is said and done you can rest easy knowing that you were there when no one else was for your loved one. Best wishes.
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In all honesty there is actually nothing to can do to force your sister into helping you, physically or financially. If a person feels no compunction to help her mother then there is no way legally for you to force her. It is the pits, I know it, I live it, but when it comes down to brass tacts if a child is unwilling or unable to help, they won't. Your sister has distance on her side as you are the closest child to Mom therefore you are the caretaker by default. My sister and I both live in the same house with my mother, but I am disabled and do not work, she does, therefore I have become the caretaker by default.

As a few people have said here, sometimes it is better not to expect any help at all and you will never be disappointed that your siblings are basically selfish and think only of themselves. I know that sounds harsh, but I changed the wording from what I really wanted to say and it's true.

If your Mom has any money or owns a home you need to see an Elder Care Attorney and see if she is still able to assign Power of Attorney over to you. If she has dementia that has gone too far she will not be able to give you POA as she is not mentally able. You do need to get her affairs in order for her and POA and Trust or will are MUST HAVES and you need to do it immediately. If Mom balks at giving you her POA just keep reminding her that it is not for use NOW but in the future when it MAY be needed....even though you may realize it is going to be needed sooner rather than later. Do not get yourself freaked out or you will be of no help to anyone and you need to be on the top of your game.

You need to have your Mom's mental capacity evaluated by a Neurologist to find out if she has dementia or Alzheimer's so you will know what you are going to be faced with down the road and perhaps there is a medication that can help her.

You will need to determine if she can continue to live alone in the town she lives in or move closer to you. Can she afford in home care or will she need to be placed in a facility to help her. If she cannot afford it then you may have to apply for Medicaid if she is eligible.

There is a lot to be done, but I believe you can do it and you can come back to this site and ask as many questions as you want and people are willing to help you by giving you information and agencies that can assist you.

I would still approach the subject with your sister of needing some financial assistance with Mom and her needs, however you would probably be better off always believing in your heart she will always say "NO," then you will never be disappointed, but you will have backup agencies that can help you if she is financially unable to pay.

This job is never easy for any of us, but we all seem to make it through!

God Bless You on this Journey!
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Another thing I want to mention is to consider what a blessing it can be to have an uninvolved sibling. I've read horror stories on this site of one child trying to take over and freezing the other child out, so that is one example of how horrible having "involved" siblings can be. I am currently experiencing my own horror in terms of watching my brother be disrespectful, emotionally abusive, inconsiderate, and rejecting toward my mother (which is all the worse because they were very close his whole life until a few years ago, so she keeps hoping he'll be nice and essentially going back for more abuse). So in many ways it can be a wonderful blessing to have siblings who just walk away. Silver lining, I guess. Ultimately I agree with assandache7 that it's all about doing what you believe to the right thing in terms of the burden you take on, such that you can live without regret in the future.
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corrections ...

your sister ISN'T near enough

evaluated and DIAGNOSED

so that YOU know what you're DEALING with
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In your profile, you say your moms problem is general age-related decline. But when I read "she seems to have some of her mind" and "at times gets nasty", I think dementia of some sort. Your sister is it near enough to see clearly what's going on with your mom like you can. But if it is dementia, it needs to be evaluated and diagnostic so that YOU I know what you're doing with and have some guidance about what to do. Go with her to her Dr and get the process started.
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I agree with assandache7, the children come out in true form during a crisis. I moved in with my mother and told them that if she becomes 24/7 that has to be dealt with and split.. She was 24/7 and I called a family meeting to talk about splitting weekends, I then became the bad guy and I got so tired of hearing I have this going on and that I quit talking to all of them because all I was hearing was their life was more important than mine. My mother recently had to be placed in a nursing home she is now requiring skilled nursing.. I don't have any guilt or regrets either.
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I feel the same way..It takes more energy to complain about siblings..They've made their choices and have to live with them. I on the other hand have made mine and will have no regrets.
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I have found it most helpful to acknowledge to my self the fact that I'm doing an exhausting job that is something that should be shared, but that won't be. Instead of trying to get my siblings to help, and then being disappointed that they won't, acknowledging that I'm on my own with my mother's care has, ironically, been helpful. So I don't have any "hard" suggestions for what you can do, or where there are resources, because I haven't found any that have worked for me/my mom, but my "soft" suggestion is that coming to terms with the fact that you are on your own can honestly be kind of helpful, in that you won't be disappointed all the time by your sibling's behavior.
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