My mother has pneumonia and thinks she wants hospice. She had pneumonia in September and says her body has changed, and she's done. She is 97. She doesn't know what hospice is all about. The first meeting is Friday. Her mental faculties have been sharp, but are waning due to lowering oxygen levels. Today my sister-in-law who lives out of state and hasn't actually been here to help in two years, picked a fight and was angry that I don't let her do anything. She has held a simmering belief that she would do a much better job than I do. I have taken care of mother for five years. Now I don't want to be in the same room with my sister in law, who, when I asked how she sees us all being with mother, said : we're all light and happy for your mom so she can go happy."
My expectation is that she will try to take over, make decisions, and undermine me which is what she has done in the past and I don't think I can take that during my mother's last days. My brother has told her what the limits are...she doesn't get to make decisions, she will not keep me from being with mom, and she is not to interfere. But that will only last while he is in the room. I have told her it is OK with me if she takes care of mom on the days I'm not here and that I know she wants to be a part of this. Right now, I'm not even sure mother wants hospice, but my sister-in-law absolutely insists it's what mother said she wanted, and she's afraid I am going to push mom to do something that she doesn't want. On the way home from the hospital today, my mother said it was hard to know what to do because she didn't know what it was all about. My job is to clarify and advocate for mother. I keep cautioning that mother may change her mind, but I'm mostly worried mom won't be able to understand without good oxygen levels. In September, she changed her mind about getting treatment for pneumonia, when she had previously had a POLST that said no treatment. She changed the POLST. And insisted on treatment. I'm willing to let mom go. I just don't want her panicked and scared because she is confused and doesn't know what to do. I tried to talk to my sister-in-law. I have included her in the caregiving when they were in town. It seems now I needn't have bothered, as she wanted to be in charge because she could do a better job. Yet, they weren't here, and came only when it was convenient.
I don't have anyone in my life to support me. My friends care, and all, but I'm single and don't have other family. The only caregiver groups are on days I'm at work. I also take care of my Aunt. I get the most support from her caregivers! Right now, I don't want to see my sister in law or be around her. I want to be alone with my mother and have there be time to talk. I suppose Hospice, if we go forward, will help with all this, but do you guys have any experience about how to deal with someone who is angry, and resentful and thinks it's OK to pick fights on a day when my mother decides to let go of life....I tried like the dickens to talk rationally and calmly and was rebuffed. She couldn't see my point of view no matter how I tried to open up and calm the water.