Follow
Share

My sister, lives with Mom who has ALZ. She is still ambulatory but forgetful and somewhat passive. Mom will often go back to bed because she is unsure what to do next. The problem I have is dealing with my sister who is very bossy when it comes for me to take care of Mom. My sister is insistent doing things her way. She is often condensing and talks down to me. We once had a great relationship but noticed that it is rapidly deteriorating. Any suggestions?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I have noticed that bossy kind of attitude with a few caregivers that I know. I think they get so focused and exhausted that they go into this kind of state. I don't think it's intentionally that way, but a result of having so much responsibility for long periods of time. I actually don't think it's healthy.

If she's too bossy while you are in her house, I'd just listen to her, smile and do it her way while she's looking. If it's in your home, I'd invite her to take some time off and take a drive, nap or shopping trip while you care for mom and do what I thought was best. I would keep in mind that she may have some helpful tips though. If she's telling you that mom can't chew certain foods well, I'd heed that info to avoid risk or if she's telling you that mom can't handle the cat, believe her and keep the cat away. If it's a safety or health issue, I'd try to see it her way.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

I took care of mom at home for 10 yrs. She's now in Hospice.
One thing about dementia/ Alzheimer's is routine. They can thrive very nicely in their very small world but not well at all when disruption. We want to treat them to lunch, or have a nice birthday party or a big family holiday party for them.. But it's really for family.
Anything that is changed is a huge deal from them. Throwing them a big birthday party is not fun for them . They are usually at an unfamiliar place with people they know they should know but can't remember who they are . This will also include family they don't see regularly. The caregiver can use a night away but it's not fun for someone to come in all happy and loud and talkative. To mom it was just a beehive of words that don't make sense, then they get really agitated and this agitatatiin lasts for days. The can't still do the things they could like working a puzzle, playing cards asking do you remember when questions. The don't and it just upsets them - for days.... the visit with 4-5 people with 2. Small children becomes ( after 3 or 4 days of trying desperately to figure out who you are , who all the others were and who the kids were and where you were) a " horrible crowd of people with at least 20 kids running around screaming and it was just aweful. So then the caregiver try's to tell them it was just your daughter and her kids and she tells her she's crazy so one little get together turns into a week long nightmare for the caregiver.
Best book ever Planet Alzheimer's . Get it.
You loved one has moved there. If you want to be with them you have to go there.. the caregiver lives there and let me tell you if you don't live there you are lucky. Listen to them if you are gonna be around because if you don't live there you have no clue. Cut her some slack cause the rules on that planet are not the same. ask what you can do for her and don't criticize any thing . Do it her way because she knows what's best for mom. Or you move to planet Alzheimer's for a few years and let her escape. There is no excepting for your mom.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

If your sister is the primary caregiver of your mom, then both are used to doing things a certain way and they have a routine. You come in, and want to do things a different way, and it will upset both your mom and your sister. Rather, ASK first how something is done, then take your lead from your sister and you will find both the relationship between you and her will improve, and your mother will be less stressed (having you two fighting over her care). This situation is not going to last forever, so make the best of a bad situation and don't let your "macho" man feelings get in the way of what is best for your mom.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Simon, from your post it sounds like you and your sister share in the care of your Mom, and that your Mom lives with your sister. How often do you go over to take care and how many hours?

Why I ask is that the caregiver who is around the person 24/7 has a better understanding of a person's Alzheimer's, thus certain things should be done a certain way to make it a routine for your Mom.

Your sister could be condescending because she is burning out from caring for your Mom, that is normal. Any way you could give her more time helping with Mom? Just a suggestion.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

First thank your sister for everything and often. She should respond in kind to you as well. This journey is so very very hard. It sounds like your mom is living with your sister. She has the very heavy load of primary caregiver. There is an old saying "Too many cooks in the kitchen." First it is your sister's house that has been invaded. Second this is NO walk through the park! This is HARD!!! It totally sounds like your bossy sister has reached critical mass. All of her boundaries have been violated. She is living, breathing, and thinking at warp speed. It is one thing to come into someone's house and help and be able to leave and get away from the work and the constant flight or fight response that your sister is living in every second of everyday. While your mom has ALZ these dieases progress every second of everyday. It is rentless. Your sister is on automatic. ALZ and the 26 other dementias and Parkensons are long term conditions. They are progressive. It is hard for people to understand that everyday they get worse and need more. A person becomes unable to do anything but react in a constant five alarm fire mode. She really needs an extended break. A cup of coffee with independent conversation. A movie with friends. She needs her life back. No offense is intended here but I can tell you from my experience I forgot how to live because all I did was work, work, and work. I reacted. I was so overwhelmed I could not even think anymore. These dieases are not anything like the TV commercials. These dieases take the person we knew and loved and cherished and leave the worse behind. Suffers of these dieases are hostile and ferral. They are not gentile seniors who just simply put on the mismatched pair of socks. I see so many posts about family members complaining about getting their patents or grandparents check because they are living in their homes and relatives think they are living it up. Please come take your sick relatives home with you and thier check because the price the primary caregiver is paying is too much. I did this all by myself and listened to my husband's family gaslight me. When they finally got him in their home because I had a stroke and hospitalised for exhaustion, they chemically resyrained him, shoved a catheter and escopy bag on him and kept him zoned out on morphine and ativan. And told everyone he was getting excellent care. They even had surgery done on him for bone spurs on his feet which for years he would not do. Yet he was bedridden when they had the surgery done. Somehow the care for our loved ones with these illnesses needs to be addressed and quickly. I was never able to find a workable solution. My husband passed in January 2016 and his cousin listed his marital status as divorced. We were still married. It is still a big mess. All I can say is talk to your sister and your sister needs to talk to you. Dementia patients need a controlled environment and routine. It is so hard to see your loved one that looks loved one but they are not there anymore. Their life is so compromised and the family members are taken hostage because we know them and love them and it makes no logical sense. The family members without these dieases are suffering perhaps even more but who really knows. Take a breath. Be still. Talk to each other and find the time to hold each other and cry. This diease has the family too. No one sees the caregivers. Only the illness. Please be progressive in speaking out for change for assistance with our seniors. One day we will be in the same place. Caregivers God Bless them...Have A Right To Life. As for me. I would never do this again. If I was diagnosed with Parkensons or dementia I would opt for voluntary euthanization rather than involuntary euthanization which is how most of these things end under the guise of Hospice. I believe in quality of life not quanity of life. And it should be the person's choice. I will keep all of you caregivers in my prayers. Change is so needed. I did learn how to live again but the costs to my health can not be paid. The damage is done. Grace and Peace.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

You sister HAS to do it her way because she has her own system that works for you and deviation from a very set schedule can be very upsetting because the person with Alzheimer's will not have some need met. The very moment the caregiver wakes up it all starts up again. Meal schedule, meds schedule, brushing teeth schedule, toileting schedule, bathing schedule, exercise schedule..you get the idea? Around the clock it is regimented because it HAS to be. You can help your sister by offering to help. Offer to babysit. Offer to help with the daily care. Listen to her and obey everything she says adhering to the schedule--because unless you care for someone around-the-clock seven days a week you will never understand our world. The stress and responsibility is around the clock and it does not end at night. Offer to help. If you don't want to do any of the work then do not visit you are just a nuisance.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I don't think it is a matter of doing things your sister's way as much as it is doing it the best way for your mom. If sis is the primary caregiver then she knows what works and what doesn't. i would put mom to bed and sis would come when she was almost asleep and lay beside her and talk about her day. Next morning i would hear mom was up all night, wonder why? Tried to explain that once mom is almost asleep just to lay there quietly, was told to stop telling her what to do and that she would do it her way. Holiday gatherings were a nightmare. Too loud and too many people. I suggested a different family come over 3 days, NOPE, no one would do it. Finally my mom just couldn't take it anymore and asked me to take her to bed. Every holiday after about an hour with all there, I would take mom to bed, if not, she would be so out of sorts for about 3 days that I felt it was just not worth it. I can't impress upon you enough how important a schedule and routine are for the alzeheimers patient. Please try to swallow your pride on this one and do it your sister"s way. Good luck
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Do you take care of Mom in your sister's house, or does Mom come to visit in your house? Does your sister hang around while you are doing the caregiving? How often and for how long does this occur?

If Sister hired a caregiver to help out she would feel responsible for telling her what to do, when, and how. You are not a hired caregiver, for heavens sakes, but the woman's daughter! Still, I can kind of understand Sister's "I'm in charge" attitude.

With a little more detail about the situation, I'm sure you will get more detailed responses.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I agree. Maybe you could just try to help her and do things her way. And try not to take it personally, and as long as your mother is being taken care of, that's all that matters. And don't fight in front of your Mom, it would upset her.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

All good answers above. Any change of routine is a catastrophic event for an Alz person.Very said.You can try being Cheerful and Stupid with your sister as the late Dr. Joy Browne suggested.Not trying to make a joke because this is a serious situation.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.