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She refuses to hire help! I have 3 teens with a chronic health issue. One has Autism and epilepsy and one has schizophrenia, and one has dyslexia for which I have to battle a school district over! and my husband has a mental illness and health issues. I have no help with my own family; and I was already streched thin when Mom had a stroke that left her paralyzed. I know this is EXTREMELY hard on my sister. I help just 7 hrs a week. other sibs help for an additional 15-20 hrs. weekly. I drive 40 mins to get to her house. I try to help when I can, but sometimes I cannot. This has been going on for 4 yrs now. I feel bad that I can't help more, and I think she is resentful and not understanding that sometimes I can't come on one of my days to help-but she REFUSES to hire help because having someone else in her house is an invasion of her privacy.
I am sleep deprived, exhausted, and am facing health issues due to the stress of my own situation. I am feeling guilty and upset because she does not seem to understand my situation. My other sibs are getting tired,too. We have tried to talk to her in regards to finding other solutions (ie:either hiring help or looking for a long term care facility, but she will not have a conversation about it.) What should I do?

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Does your sister have DPOA and MPOA for your mother? Does your mother live in your sisters home or her own? In light of the good work all of you you have done in taking care of your mom, the words confront and ultimatum seem harsh and certainly aren't going to create a healthy environment for your mom. You absolutely have the right to choose how and when and if you will continue to contribute. Does mom have funds for paid caretakers or a NH? Regardless, your sister needs help. She's already doing 85% of the hours and that's too much. All of you have to continue to work together. Perhaps sister thinks because she's making the larger sacrifice that she can call the shots and perhaps she can if she has the documents and if your mom is in sisters home. Hopefully you and your siblings can get your sister some time away so she can gain perspective and understand that you want your mother to have proper care but it needs to work for all of you. I'm sorry this is so hard. Give your sister a hug. Tell her you appreciate her but you can't support her decisions about not allowing outside help. As you said you are all tired.
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Seems to me this is the classic caregiver dilemma, everyone agrees to a course of action after a crisis but fail to take into consideration what the next step will be. This has morphed from a temporary stop gap to a permanent fixture, and I don't think it is working for anyone any more. Time for you all to sit down like intelligent adults, lay out what you all can and can't continue to do, and (hopefully) come to a consensus.
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Maybe one of the other sisters could take a turn with Mom in their home. Then difficult and controlling sis can come over and put her hours and days in caring for Mom.

Or, this totally devoted caregiving sister could visit Mom daily in a rehab/nursing home.
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Warriormom, I agree it would be a disservice to your Mom not to be able to have rehab for her stroke by professionals in-patient, or coming to the home.

It is your sister who denies Mom this needed treatment.

Since you are already in a war yourself, you are exempt from any duty with Mom and the war that sister is creating. I have heard of a family of sisters who regularly contributed each as possible to their mothers care so the mother could get the needed care in a professional setting.

Have that family meeting. Oh, and if you cannot contribute, that too is a no guilt situation.
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WarriorMom, let us know what was decided.... hiring help or going to a continuing care center. Keep us up-to-date.

Hope everything is a win-win for everyone involved.
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Thank you both for your answers. It really is difficult sometimes to see the forest for the trees!
I may have to take the leadership role here and along with my sibs confront my sister with an ultimatum. This situation is not good for all involved. Mom is 90 and confused sometimes, but I know she can sense the stress.
I really needed an objective ear(or eye).
Thanks again!
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Since you sister decided NOT to hire outside help or place Mom in a continuing care facility, then your sister has to take FULL responsibly for her decisions.

Actually your caregiving sister is doing a disservice to your Mom. How productive can Sis be if she herself is overwhelmed with doing the care? Everyone else, including many of us on the forum, can see the forest for the trees.... your Mom needs a higher level of SKILLED care. Either hired professional help or a continuing care facility.

What to do? Stop enabling the caregiving sister by going over to help. Use tough love. Talk to your other siblings and maybe among you all decide to start cutting your time helping out, I know it won't be easy. Then and maybe then that sister will realize she cannot be doing the work of 3 full-time caregivers every day.... something will need to give.

By the way, what does Mom think? She might be happier in a facility among her own peers, and being around nurses/aides who are skilled in taking care of stroke patients. I am sure your Mom can see and hear what is happening at home :(
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You can't change the fact that your sister refuses to hire help. But you shouldn't make this problem your problem.

You are allowing yourself to be controlled by FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) which your sister is using to manipulate you.

"No" is a complete sentence. You need to learn how to say no, not explain yourself, and take care of yourself and your family.

Your sister needs to hire help...but you will not be able to force her to do so. This is her problem, not yours.

I know what I have said is easy to say, but is extremely difficult to implement. But you must do it to save yourself...or you wont even be around to take care of your own family.

Angel
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