My sister is the live in caregiver for my 85-year-old mom and refuses to communicate with me. Can my sister keep me from my mom?

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What is her side of the story? People don't usually get all weird overnight. There has to have been an event(s) in the past that has caused this riff. I myself get a little "funny" when my brothers come to visit (once in a blue moon-or a purple moon for that matter). I think in my head how nice it must be to not have this ball and chain around their ankles and how they can just come in and say wow, mom looks great, great job sis, looks like you are handling things just fine...and so on. Then they get in their car, wave bye bye and go on vacations or even to the beach for the day with their families without the concern of caring for an elderly parent. They have jobs, with an income (income, what's that?). They actually get to sleep through the night. Offer to take your mother for 6 months and see how the relationship may change.
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Is it possible your sister resents the fact that she's the one taking care of your mom and not you? Could that be the reason she appears to be retaliating against you by not allowing you to see her?
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Who owns the house? Does your sister or your mother? My mother lives down the road from me. We moved my parents to live near us because my parents were no longer able to care for their home or themselves. Dad now in a nursing home. Anyway, my narcissistic, money grubbing sister has done nothing, not one thing to participate in their care. And when I had a break down from exhaustion, I asked for help from both siblings. They both said no, they had no time and no interest.Taking care of two elderly people is extremely difficult. I agreed to take my parents to live closer to me becasue I thought my siblings would help, even now and then. Nothing. I get NO help in anyway. I am responsible for their well being, their health, their finances, their housing, all the doctor appointments (they don't drive), meds, haircuts, groceries and more. I have my own family, raising teenagers and a business to run. Sooooo...back to your question. If my mother lived with me, I would not allow my selfish sister in my home. If she wanted to see my mother, I would drive my mother somewhere and they could visit OUTSIDE of my home. So it's not that I wouldn't allow my sister to see my mother, just not in my home. Sorry I sound so angry, but I am.

I wish you would fill me in on your story. it's always good to hear things from the other side of the story.

Good luck. -SS
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I have an extreme amount of resentment for family not helping with my parents. I'd probably be uncooperative about visits as well if my sister was interested. But, I haven't had to worry about that in years. Maybe your sister would just like a little help? Its tough to feel overwhelmed and put-upon, and disgusted and sick and tired... and then have your freshly showered sister drop in for tea and then leave the cup for you to wash. Maybe you could ask your sister what she needs and tell her what you're able to do, and maybe even tell her that you appreciate what she does. My brother pops in at my parents' house every so often and does yard work. He can't help me during the week, but the sight of trimmed trees, raked leaves and mowed grass makes me smile sometimes on a Monday. This past weekend, he did a pharmacy run for my mother so I didn't have to. I almost cried with gratitude. Maybe I've got your story all wrong, and my apologies if I do. I'm looking through my own warped lenses!
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Sparky, is there any person such as a friend or family member you could ask to mediate? You want someone to speak to your sister and explain that

a) you want to know that your mother is all right;
b) your mother has a right to contact with her daughter, and she, your sister, ought to facilitate that as part of her responsibilities.

And that's as far as I go. For the rest of it, you say your sister is determined to maintain total control of your mother in order to support herself. The other side of that coin is that when one cares full-time for a dementia sufferer one is necessarily prevented from supporting oneself. Try it some time. As a get rich quick scheme, believe me, it's a non-starter.
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Speaking from my experience, I have one sister who verbally & physically assaulted me without cause in the home my 95-year-old Dad & I share, then on her next visit 6 weeks later barged into a closed room where I was talking with Dad. When I backed up to move her through the door to close it for fear of another assaulted again, then called 911 for help, she had me arrested for harassment. They issued an Order of Protection as part of the process, and I'm slowly navigating through the court process to clear myself. I hope to eventually see her charged with perjury because of FALSE, unnecessary statements she swore to in her statement.

One of the lies she swore to is that I'm telling terrible lies about the family in my efforts to turn Dad against the family. This is the result of her son stealing $8,000 from his grandfather's locked metal box when he was a young teen/pre-teen, and finding instances of fraudulent activity committed by another sibling, one to whom she has a lifetime closeness, when that sibling held my Dad's POA. I now have fiduciary responsibility to Dad. That angers these two female siblings - the youngest in the family.

I have been here as sole/primary caregiver for almost two years now. Dad transferred the house to all seven of us years ago, so he is the "owner" with lifetime use, and our names are on the deed. Mom passed away about 16 months ago, with all her later days spent in this home and in my care.

Anyway, the Order of Protection necessitates my efforts to keep the first sister from visiting Dad here because I also live here. There have been efforts to get me out of the house, but they were unsuccessful as were the efforts to show Dad is not safe in my care.

Dad is still mobile, and is able to visit elsewhere with her. She insists on in home visits or she won't visit from out-of-state. Her expectation is to have maximum visitation time with Dad behind closed doors, time in which she has already coerced him to fill out a POA Revocation the day she had me arrested for harassment. He had no intention of executing it, admitting he filled it out to "calm her down". BTW, the night she assaulted me in my home, she had admitted her son's theft from Dad just hours before.

Sorry for the length of this. I write to indicate to others the severity of some situations where one sibling carries the responsibility for care (willingly), while others have the time & energy to critique yet fail to support or help.

Please consider what you may have done or are doing (or not) to aggravate the situation. Without more content, it is a challenge to understand the situation. It sounds like there is need for family mediation, with references possible through Office of the Aging in your area.
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pateacher, I see you never responded to these posts? Sorry if it was not what you wanted to hear. Sounds to me like everyone on this thread has a common issue of selfish siblings. It can destroy a family. I would say in destroyed ours except that my parents are very grateful for my help. So we are the new family. They recognize I'm the only one who stepped even though they will defend the other two to their death. I get that. I'm a parent too. My sister has "visited" three times in three years and done some horribly explicable things while here. I wish she would stay away and stop causing trouble. My brother, hasn't been here since 2010. The rest of the story, is everyone else's.
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No she can't. Your a grown up, not a kid that "isn't allowed to". Of course you can see your own Mom. How can she possibly be stopping you. Just go &see her. If you have to go as far as to take a police escort to her home, or where ever she is. I'd be damned if I would let ANYONE tell me I couldn't see my own mother. GOOD LUCK!!!!
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As I read all of the replies, tears began to well up in my eyes. I don't know if it's from seeing that so many others have similar experiences or it's just sad how our parents did all that they knew to do for their children only to suffer without the ability to defend themselves.

I had the same question recently, but never got a chance to ask it. Thanks pateacher for posting this question. I am not the only one going through this and I would like to share my experience although it is quite lengthy.

My mom is almost 88. In 2007, I realized that both siblings have full time jobs, so making sure that Mom took her med's, ate, went to appts, etc. was a challenge. I discussed some sort of home care with Mom. She has always been an active and independent person, so to have someone care for her wasn't what she thought she needed. Day after day when I visited Mom, I watched her struggle to keep her home clean, couldn't remember if she ate nor what she ate, become frustrated because she misplaced something that she said she would remember once she found it and go from a size 18 to a 12. I knew I had to convince Mom that she needed some help at home. She agreed to part-time home care. I'm fortunate that I could pay for it for her. Mom had someone to escort her to her appts, do laundry, grocery, hair salon, house clean & prepare meals. My Mom was comfortable in her familiar surroundings in her 1-bdrm apartment.

In 2008, I noticed that Mom was acting different. As the oldest of 2 siblings, I contacted my sister so together we could find out what was wrong with Mom; however my sister didn't feel anything was wrong with her. I knew that I needed a label so that I could understand what was happening to Mom. I scheduled an appt. with a geriatrician not the PCP. Mom was diagnosed with AZ & dementia & placed on meds immediately. Mom & I have always been close because I was an only child for over 7 years. Mom has depended on me throughout her life. Parents always know which child they can honestly feel will be there (come hell or high water). Mom had my name on her accounts for more than 30 years. I was Mom's DPOA from 2008-late 2009 and SS rep payee from Oct 15, 2009 to Oct 30, 2009. My sister visited Mom 2x weekly (if she was feeling up to it). One late Oct. 2009 day, Mom called the private aide to reschedule her work day because she had some "business" to take care of & didn't want her to work on her regular day. I had a gut feeling that something was about to happen. It turned out that my sister, her daughter & a trusted friend took Mom to the bank to remove my name from the accounts, SS to remove me as SS rep payee & remove me as one of the life insurance beneficiaries. My sister got Mom to sign a new POA and told me to revoke mine. I didn't do it. I still have my DPOA. SS decided that Mom was capable to be her own SS rep payee in NOv. 2009 but then decided that Mom needed an SS rep payee in Dec. 2009. My sister became the new SS rep payee. My sister place codes on everything (SS and banking).

Now with all these changes taking place for Mom, Mom continued to call me because she needed money from the bank. I tried explaining to Mom that she has signed everything over to my sister and she now is in charge of her money & etc. As this disease would have it, Mom doesn't remember going to the bank much less signing anything over. Each time she asked for something, I reminded her that she had to contact my sister. Mom said that she would but didn't follow through. I still purchased whatever Mom needed. In 2010, I was sent a stinging letter from my sister, accusing me of applying for Mom's SS check in Oct. 2009 but that she stopped it. My sister said that I was thinking only of myself and not what is best for Mom, being narcissistic, etc. In early 2011, I was served with a petition for an Order of Protection on my job. My sister wanted me to surrender my set of keys to Mom's apartment (I live 1 mile from Mom & work 4 blocks from her). My sister claimed that Mom feared for her safety but I was the only one driving Mom where she needed to go. Mom loved introducing me to everyone -- so where is the fear? The family court judge threw it out. One summer day, Mom & I attended a special ocassion. I'm always careful to escort Mom because I know she lacks excercise. My biggest fear was of Mom falling. Mom's new full time home attendant doesn't take her out for walks to strengthen her circulation. Mom gets home care for 8 hours 5 days a week. I ran into brick walls trying to find out if my sister's POA is legal since it was obtained 1 year after the AZ diagnosis. It seems no one wants to challenge these things. I felt that Mom needed longer home care days & hours. I couldn't get her care plan changed because "I don't have POA." A few hours after returning home, Mom slipped and fell. Fortunately Mom had the life alert, which called for medical assistance on her behalf. When I called Mom to say goodnight, I couldn't get through. I immediately went to her rescue. EMS & Police were already there. Those keys that I didn't surrender came in handy. My sister was nowhere to be found. However, I got blamed for Mom's fall because I took her out and Mom doesn't go out. I used to take her to the mall for exercise, to restaurants to make sure she ate and church for the socialization. I took Mom in with me to care for her. My sister called the police and had Mom removed from my home because she is in charge. She put Mom right back in her apartment when she shouldn't have been left alone.Then Mom had a 2nd fall 3 weeks later. This time I was away, the life alert didn't detect the fall. I learned of Mom's fall when I called her to let her know that I arrived at my destination safely. My sister wasn't available again. I had to troubleshoot another rescue from long distance. I was blamed for Mom's fall again because I leaned on a friend to rush over.

My sister took out another Order of Protection petition against me and again it was dismissed. Mom has been staying my sister, who lives 10 miles away, in a 1-bdrom apartment with a medium sized dog and adult grandchild since the summer to present. She also gave up Mom's apartment by Mom's signature
and put her furniture on the trash/gave some away. Once again, I came to Mom's rescue by keeping up the rent. Most of Mom's friends don't know where she is or what happened to her. My sister cut off everything. I am not allowed to visit my mother because my sister doesn't want me in her house. I have called and texted my sister asking to visit with mom in a neutral place. She doesn't not return phone calls or texts. She has instructed Mom's doctor's not to give me any information because I do not need to know anything. When I had POA, I never denied her any type of access to OUR mother. My sister and I haven't been on speaking terms since 2006, but our rift shouldn't involve
Mom. Mom wants this rift to heal before she passes. We've had several mediations (clergy, friends, Dept of Aging) all to no avail. She's made it clear that she doesn't want to work with me. Since this past winter, my daily phone calls to Mom go to the answering machine. We are now in Supreme court and hopefully a decision will be made on Mom's behalf. It's not the route of choice but there is little to choose from when it comes to our elderly. This should never happen in families, period!
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If your sister has a durable power of attorney for your mom, she is allowed to decide who your mom sees, but if she is a good care giver she would at least give your mom the decision on who she wants to see. We have durable power of attorney for my hubby's grandfather, but we would never say he could not see someone he wanted to. Last summer he did not want to see is brother, they have had problems in the past. We honored his decision and the brother called the police. The police would not let him in, so he called social services, that is when we found out it was our choice and the durable power of attorney gave it to us. but she is you mom and i would think there would be something you could dp.
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