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Mom has been having falls. In fact, three just this past week. She is in her 80’s. Dad whom is also in his 80’s and my sister live at home with her 24/7. The catch is family is blaming me for the falls. With every fall, it is where were you? You are the paid caregiver. The thing is, falls aren’t happening on my watch (at least so far). They are happening before I come in, after I’ve gone for the day, overnight, or on my days off. I have begged all in the home and outside the home (siblings) to talk with those inside the home or to help and they all are siding with my sister on the blaming. I’ve talked with dad asking him to wait until I am there to watch mom while he enjoys himself still being active. Sister stays in her room majority of time. Dad swears when I am not there that the sibling that is living there sits with her, yet we get a fall. He says he doesn’t have to set around and wait on anyone. She has said she knew mom was up walking behind her one day but she still was going to her room until she heard the fall.


She was ordered a walker in the hospital but can’t be trusted alone on that thing. So I order a transport chair to use and still same day, we get a fall after I’m gone. So now I’m switching companies so that hopefully we can add on another worker. I have doctors trying to find out the cause of her weakness but so far they say - not being watched and they are getting frustrated. Mom is A ok with a bit of assistance, not a fussy/demanding person. Mom has not been diagnosed with dementia but has something going on which requires, well you know, someone with patience. So yesterday we had a blow up because the two living at home with her, like she was not there, was talking about how hard headed she is and when they tell her to stay put to stay put. She doesn’t do anything anyway so she should set on that sofa all day and if she had sit still as told the day before she would have not fell.


Yesterday really broke my heart. I thought of the guard rails in the bathroom, the alarm for the chair and bed. Thinking of turning off the home phone and getting the fall alert system and the phone where she can say call whomever. Considered calling state to see if they had people that could help with care or just to talk with family. But I don’t think any of this is going to help because of the attitudes of those living with her. I’m trying to do what is right and my little family from daughter to husband has been doing everything we can. But the other kicker is siblings think that also means taking care of sister – washing her clothes, bringing her meals, doing her hair. I don’t know!


I keep having thoughts of moving on, but the thought saddens me and saddens mom when I talk to her. At wits end!

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I also thought from reading here in the past that hospice can only be called in once a doctor deems you at end of life.
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It is toxic. Very toxic. And toxic family dynamics. Yes I would have quit and quit long ago. My time to step aside completely or at least only do two/three days was next month giving new company time to find a replacement.

To remove mom from their care, wouldn’t I need power of attorney or health care power of attorney?

My husband and I thought about asking mom to live with us. We’ve had this conversation. But our fear is that we would be in for probably a knock down drag out fight with dad, my sister, an older brother, and possibly others we don’t know about.

APS – was asked to do a visit I think a few weeks ago now.

Again, wouldn’t the process of not allowing her home involve some type of power of attorney? Whenever mom is in the hospital, she never leaves her side. However, I do remember the names of some social workers and may be able to get information.

I also considered sending moms health care providers a letter asking them to report any findings they find questionable to the authorities or even me?

But again, would I not need some type of power of attorney?
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Oh Answry, what a hard situation you are in! It would be hard enough or you, Dad & sis if working together for Mum's care needs but they are working against you! I can't 'get' your sister at all! Is it more than depression? Sounds toxic.

If this was a non-family paid care role - would you quit? You could walk away, right? But this is your Mum!

So I think the simplest way to look at it IMO;
Problem: Mum is not safe at home. Cause: the 2 adults living with her are incapable of caring for her needs (supervision, mediction etc). Fixes so far: daily care & but not 24 hour & still in danger really. To Solve Problem: remove Mum from their care.

Would you & Mum consider her coming to live with you? Maybe just until other arrangements are found? Ignore the other 2. If Mum is competent, she can decide who to live with.

It must be legal to just take Mum to your house to stay if she agrees? Anyone know??

If no to that scenario, can you use the next hospital admission start a process of NOT allowing her home as you have alerted their social worker (& others may know what depts to also notify) that there are SERIOUS safely concerns & danger, inc mentally ill sister.
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AnnReid, you were so right about dad. He is expecting me to mend bridges with my sister regardless of what she does or says. Telling me today God is watching me. How he does not see what sister is doing that is so bad. So I suggested we all sit down and talk. He refused and became very confrontational. I mean very.

Please, anyone that can answer this question.

I have mom setup for another provider (non-hospice) for now. But I worry they will send the new care provider for mom away. If this is attempted, would there be anything I or another can do?

I will search the forum tomorrow for similar questions. Just too upset right now.

Thanks in advance and thanks for the wisdom you've already provided.
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Mom has been switched over to another caregiver program. She now qualifies for more hours on her seven day schedule, they added on respite care, transport services, and she’ll receive extended nursing. I also got a call that they are going to re-admit her into pt and ot and bring in meals.

And best of all they are prepared to send in another worker so that I’ll work as few hours as possible. That way I can still get to be with my parents some.

The hospital discharged mom claiming the kidney failure is no longer active and was only considered active due to dehydration (that one day of sickness). I don’t know what to believe but she is doing ok – at least these past couple of days.

So so happy for mom and hope sister does not run interference.

The only thing I'm having trouble turning over is setting up the medicines.
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Answry,

My mother essentially “Fell” herself to death. It was like she had a death wish. As soon as you turned your head she’d face plant out of her chair while trying to get up. I won’t even go into the horrible details. I finally got her in a facility but she had more falls as her dementia worsened. It was no one’s fault. My mom was just one of those impossible situations. She would had to have been restrained which is no longer legal.

After reading some of this thread it seems to me that one way or the other your folks need to be in care. Your mom should probably be evaluated for hospice care.

As others have pointed out elders will fall. It’s no one’s fault. You and sis arguing about who is at fault is just wasted energy.
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Thanks everyone.

Mom was admitted to the hospital again. They are thinking kidney failure due to dehydration but are exploring all issues. While there, the social worker spoke with me and then my sister and I together. Soon as the social worker went to asking what help mom may need, she went "I'm not her caretaker and pointed to me." The worker asked if she lived with mom. She answered yes full time. The worker informed her that makes her at least part of the care team even if just a small part.

I just don't understand.
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answry- Go back and read what YOU said about how your dad interacts between you and your sister, and “helping” with your mom’s care. What he does is not help.

Ultimately, ALL of us have to decide sometimes whether to “fix” the whole mess OR take the best care of the person you are focusing on caring for. You are attempting too many tasks that are complicated for you by others.
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Another problem I have started documenting is the way I have meds setup are not remaining that way. For example, a night time med known to make you drowsy are moved to the am slot. Or a slot setup for the full week is all in one slot or missing. Meds that doctors have asked me to remove are placed back in the holder.

So I read on here that home-health nurses can oversee this part at a cost? Does anyone have any idea of the cost?
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The falls are grieving me sure. But the hostile work environment is grieving me more. Today sister is in the room I normally use for dad. Although he has moved into mother’s room since the falls to help with overnight. However, he still goes to his room to change etc.

So today I go into his room to get him setup for his appointment Monday. I find she had moved his clothes from where I normally put them. I can’t find anything. As soon as she comes out of her room she goes it is about to be some *$% now. So I asked her where was dad stuff. She goes, I am about to do something with this room and you better not touch anything. I asked her what she was doing with the room. Told me it was none of my *$% business and that since she pays rent for three rooms that room is also her room and she was just letting dad use.

Not only that when I was asked to make changes with mom room due to falls. She came and everything got shut down.
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answry, your family needs to know that one could have a room with a half dozen nurses/aides, and sure enough, an elder will fall. They can go down in a split second.

Even when my Dad was using a walker, he would fall within the walker. My Mom would fall using her cane. A dozen things could case the fall. A painful knee, varicose vein pain, mis-steps, tripping, misjudging, feeling dizzy, eye issues, etc. My Dad would tumble over when sitting in a chair bending over to tie his shoe.

Chair alarms? Only good if someone is right there in the room at the time the elder decides to stand up. Like I said, it can take only a split second to fall.

It sounds like your sister is very depressed if she is spending so much time in her room and with all that sleeping. She could be burnt out from helping the parents. Not everyone is geared up to be a caregiver, I know I wasn't.

Time for a family meeting to see what can be done. Your parents might do better in Independent Living if they can budget the cost.
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answry Apr 13, 2019
I don’t doubt that sister is having mental issues. I don’t doubt that sister is burnt out. However, she has never been in this thing alone because I have always contributed even before becoming paid. I just was not able to be there daily due to having a full time job. She was once the paid caregiver and then she asked me to take over. But I assure you she is not just sleeping. She keeps up much mess.
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Reading lablovers post reminded me of my Mom who suffered from Dementia. When she walked she always tended towards the left. I would keep pushing her back to the middle but she would end up heading towards the left. This would happen if she was walking or using a walker. I mentioned it to her neurologist. Tests found that she had lost her Peripheral vision in her left eye. Tests found there was no stroke that caused it. Probably just part of the Dementia or the hit on her head. This problem did cause falls because she didn't see the edge of a sidewalk, ect.
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answry Apr 12, 2019
When mom gets up, try to walk with or without a cane, she stumbles face first - like going forward - full speed ahead. Last week before the transport chair (you all were right - much easier than a wheelchair) came I told mom she was going to have dad and I laid out in the street trying to get her inside to see doctor. Even with helping her off the toilet I told her we were going to end up in the tub with her on top of me. The transport chair has even helped with that because I can slide it close after we do the cleanup. She was scheduled to see the neurologist this Monday but they cancelled us saying doc was going to be out that week. Now we have been bumped all the way down to June.
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Old people fall.

Some fall a LOT.

My mother falls a lot, and she has 24/7 live in care. She falls out of bed, in the bathroom, in the kitchen--she tried to maneuver w/o her walker and she shouldn't. I think we have all given up trying to do anything but the absolute basics to help her. She can't have throw rugs. She has grab bars all over the apartment, she has someone checking on her every few hours....but unless she had a service dog who would run get somebody when she falls--there's just only so much you can do.
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answry Apr 12, 2019
Midkid58 I know. What you said doesn't make me feel any better though lol.

What do you consider to be the absolute basics?
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My mom falls a lot too. When she lived with me, my siblings blamed me for every fall whether I happened to be home at the time or not. While they were looking to point the finger, I was trying to figure out WHY she was falling so much. She had cataracts in both eyes and, after having surgery on one, did not want to do it again. I thought it might affect her depth perception, so I talked her into doing it. It did help some. I insisted she use a cane, not because she was lame, but for balance. She started using it and got along fairly well, but still had some falls, a few when my siblings were there, so they got to see how it happened. When she moved into memory care, she complained because they wanted her to participate in daily exercises. We encouraged her, telling her if she didn't "use it, she'd lose it." She ambulated better but still had some falls. When her primary care doc retired, I switched her to mine, who is a big believer in PT, especially for older folks. The therapist comes to the memory care facility and works with mom and it really has helped immensely. We are transitioning mom to a walker now, and have had the therapist work with her to determine the correct type of walker for her to use, how to use it effectively and how to maneuver with it to use the bathroom, leave the facility for visits, shop, etc. Maybe your mom could benefit from PT.

As for your family, well, you don't choose family, you're stuck with what you've got. If your sister lives there but doesn't help your parents either financially or physically, you and your other siblings may want to insist she make other living arrangements. Also, you might want to rethink being her paid caregiver. Business dealings among family usually cause friction. Go back to being her daughter.
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answry Apr 12, 2019
Hi lablover64. Her pt ended this week and her ot services will end in another week. They have not been able to do much with her last week or this week because her pulse rate starts getting high even with mild exercise. It started with the last fall.

I am rethinking, I'm rethinking really hard.
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Do you depend on your salary as her caregiver? If not, I’d bow out.
If your family is critical of what you’re doing, they should certainly spend the money you’re receiving on someone who they think would serve them better.
Given the choice of hiring someone or continuing with your help, they may come to realize that with some adjustments, you’re their best choice.
If you are to continue as an “employee”, it’s time to sit whoever is in charge down and draw up a contract of specific tasks that you will perform. If performing as sister’s personal assistant in addition to tasks you do for mom, extra compensation should be spelled out.
Telling someone identified as a “fall risk” to “stay put” is ridiculous, and fighting about Mom’s conduct is ridiculous too.
However sad you feel about walking away from what you’re doing right now, you have to consider that if you have become their excuse for their lack of attention to Mom’s needs and problems, you may without knowing it be making matters worse.
Your father shouldn’t be counted upon to help AT ALL, and it sounds as though he is shaking things up among you, the live-in sister, and the rest of the brood, then stepping out of the picture.
Both of your parents could certainly benefit from a visit from some geriatric trained specialist, and after such a visit, recommendations for supportive care might be given that could help.
”Fall risks” happen, and they’re dangerous and very hard to prevent. Accusing family members of carelessness with fall management, ESPECIALLY IF THEY’RE NOT PRESENT WHEN THE FALL OCCURS, indicates that changes in Mom’s care plan are of MAJOR importance.
Don’t fight the dysfunction. Take care of yourself.
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answry Apr 12, 2019
Yes, without the salary as her caregiver, there is no way to continue providing the level of care that I do because they are an hour away one-way so I would have to find work. I also help them out with that pay. So if I move on, much will change for us all. But as of today I’ve spoken with APS and DOL so that I can receive hopefully unemployment while I seek employment elsewhere. APS says nothing they can do but speak with the family and then parents would have to make a decision. I can’t continue to work under hostile conditions.


[Your father shouldn’t be counted upon to help AT ALL, and it sounds as though he is shaking things up among you, the live-in sister, and the rest of the brood, then stepping out of the picture.]
I’m not sure I understand. Can you elaborate?


I will have to look for a geriatric specialist in our area. But that is the thing with my program their care has to be under one doctor but every time sister decide to take them she carry them to a completely different doctor. So even if I say I’ve found one (a geriatric specialist) on the left, she will hinder. I’ve even had her changed appointment dates to specialist when we are the ones doing the transport without telling us. In fact, when the other part of the team calls, she deletes the caller id and had one number disguised.


As of now I’m switching companies to hopefully get a second worker. A social worker from the company that is doing the pt/ot is coming out as well to evaluate for continued nursing services.
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with my sister where she can't care for herself or my mother and father. When I'm gone for the day, I make sure there is nothing left to be done except cook and the only thing I know for sure she does is serve a late breakfast. Often I will serve lunch and leave remaining food for her to serve later for dinner if need be only to find it un-served days later. Grocery meats I've brought at the first of the month have gone uncooked.

The only thing I see is her staying in her room sleeping most of the time. I come at different times of the day. So siblings say she is an elder herself (in her 50's) again an overheard conversation that whatever she says should go.

There's much more to this story where my sister hinders my caring for mom and makes it difficult.
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JoAnn29 Apr 12, 2019
I wish I was in my 50s again. I'm 69 and don't consider myself an elder 😊
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Tell everyone, you are not responsible for Mom or them when you are not there. There are two adults with Mom who need to watch her.

Is there something wrong with your sister that she cannot care for herself.
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answry Apr 12, 2019
It has been a while since I've visited the forum. So posting may be incorrect. But, I will be having a procedure requiring two days off after and I'm worried about leaving mom for that length of time. My current employer doesn't have additional staff to send while I am out. I thought of calling APS for advice.
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