Nothing to feel guilty about. You did some time, now sister willing to do some. Be glad, VERY glad, you have a family member stepping up to the plate. If you did it solo, think about how hard it was and offer and olive branch to assist sis a little more than she did for you. The more you can both share this task, the longer you will both be able to contribute to mom's care. Never turn down any help - it tends to be offered on very limited basis in most situations. Don't be critical of how sis does things - her and mom will find their way. Let - it - go. Just be there to offer support as needed.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to my2cents


Please don’t feel guilty about how you feel. It is hard to be a caregiver to our elderly parent. I am sure that you want the very best for your mom.

If you are exhausted and your sister is willing to help, why don’t you allow her to step in to help. Or better still, you could consider placing your mom in a facility and you and your sister can be her advocates.

Do you have a good relationship with your sister? Is she criticizing your care? Many of us have gone through situations where we were criticized by others. Allow her to see how difficult it is to become the primary caregiver.

Can you give us a few more details about your situation? Your profile says that your mom has dementia and other issues. Maybe she requires more care than you can give her. Do you have any outside help? Have you contacted Council on Aging or a social worker to help plan for your mom’s future? That would be a good place to start. Best wishes to you and your family.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Hey. Linda,
Good advice above.

What's giving you trouble exactly? I find it helpful to be exact with myself about things that bother me or make me uncomfortable, esp giving over control of a situation- any situation.
You are worrying about the change? That's ok. It's natural, imo. When you can get to the root of your fears, you'll be better able to assess them and make decisions about what you can let go and what you can't. You're burned out and you need peace of mind too. Where is that balance for you?

Also know that nobody will do things the way you do. We have to accept this and pick our battles, the fewer the better.

You are blessed to have a willing assist here. I have brotherly support and supportive hubby and sons and friends. Most, however, can't physically help out and the physical burden falls on me alone. There is no room and no need for guilt when you need to care for yourself. Please don't feel guilty about this transition.
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Reply to babziellia

If you are to the point of burnout, then you realize that things have to change. And if that change is having your sister now take over moms care then so be it. Be grateful that you actually have a sibling that is willing to step up and help, as there are a lot of folks on here that would give anything if their sibling would offer to help.
Guilt is for those who have done something wrong, and you my dear have done nothing wrong. You did your very best to care for your mom. Anyone that has done caregiving for any length of time can tell you that it takes its toll on you sooner or later.
I would just be there for your sister to support her, as she will soon enough discover what you did, that being a caregiver is much harder than it looks. And it will most likely come to the point where you and your sister will have to place mom in the appropriate facility for her own safety and wellbeing, and then you both can get back to just being her daughters. I wish you the very best.
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Reply to funkygrandma59

Why do you feel it's all up to you? Let your sister share in the responsibility of your mom's care. You are lucky you have a sister to help. I have a 92 year old mother who resides in a retirement home but still expects a lot from me. I don't mind doing things for and with my mother but I also have put boundaries in place. I visit her 3 times a week (she would like me to visit every day!) and we talk on the phone every day. My mother is in a very nice retirement home and is well looked after by very caring staff. I am widowed but I have many hobbies and friends that I enjoy. If you don't accept help your burnout will only get worse. Don't be a martyr. Accept help and start enjoying life again!
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Reply to Impossible

Please learn to let go. I did it all for a few years with rare help from my 2 siblings and eventually I not only was burned out, I was resentful. As your mom ages, her needs increase and the more you do - the more it becomes the new normal. Eventually you become a shell of yourself and all your outside interests and relationships will suffer. If your sister is willing to help, TAKE IT. Alternate days or weeks - but DO IT! Let her do things her way, you do things your way - as long as your Mom is cared for - you will never regret your decision to share the load.
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Reply to NYCmama

How would you feel if your sister refused to help? You’d be angry because total care would be on you alone. But your sister wants to share the responsibility of caring for your mother. She is her mother too. You should be very thankful.
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Reply to Susanonlyone
lilandrews Aug 1, 2021
I have 2 sisters, one refuses to help at all (she has a life), the other one helps when she can...and if I ask far enough in advance. My brother helps when it is convenient for his wife to let him help. Please take advantage of this opportunity. I would love it.
One sister & I share the caring of my 85yo mom two months at a time. We live 100 miles apart, so it gives each of us a break for a bit. We have doubles of everything.

My mom is a fairly good sport although I imagine, eventually, she will get tired of this setup.

My 3rd sister & two brothers can not, or will not, physically care for my mom.

We tried 6, then 1, and finally settled on 2 month stints at a time.

At the end of 2 months, it is incredibly liberating to not be a caretaker. That's when my husband & I can relax & enjoy one another. I know my sister will take good care of my mom (we talk all the time).
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Reply to Madridjones

First of all, get rid of the guilt. Caring for a parent with dementia is extremely tough. I cared for my mother for almost 10 years with no help from my siblings. If your sister is willing and would not cause harm to your mother, then allow her to care for her mother also. It should be a shared responsibility and will prevent burnout for all involved with caretaking. Take care of yourself while taking care of your mom. I didn't and wish that I would have taken better care of myself. Your family will be in my prayers.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Unbreakable

Thankyou for these comments they were helpful. I have been looking after my mother for 10 years since my fathers death she is 94 and has cancer, for last year and half it has been just me and her as all services were cancelled because of pandemic. My mother has always been difficult and the dementia has increased in last 6 months, making her more difficult and uncooperative, had talked to sister and brothers a number of times that I could not keep on without help, no real help. Finally a new assessment of capability was scheduled but told by different people not much was likely to happen because our nursing home system is a mess, she has been in list for over 3 years. As long as I was living near by they would not deem her a priority. I broke down a couple of days before meeting went to a friends and my sister and her daughter who works in the field took the meeting she is moved up on nursing home list because I am not in the picture probably within 6 months. So now my sister and brothers are coming up to do the care which is great but cannot help but feel that if they had offered to do this sooner I would have appreciated it more. So grateful but angry with them and system that let me down and now is excluding me from decisions know in my head it is time to let go but finding it hard to walk away but relieved at same time.
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Reply to Linda1949

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