How can I get my sister to help out with my mom?

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This is the deal. My mom has been on a slippery slope for the last few years walking problems and dementia. She currently lives in a facility, but within month she should be home permanently. My sister does not want anything to with my mom unless it some special occasion such as birthdays, holidays etc. It makes me mad that she leaves it all on me and my dad. I can only do so much and dad heath is good but he is getting up in age, so he has less energy. I wish she would just visit her once in a while and spend some time with her like I do. I try to find different fun things for me and mom to do to keep her happy Going movies and doing crafts. I am only one person and I can only do so much. I have other things going on in my life. I feel guilty when I don’t visit her for days on end, no more than 5. I would feel better if someone visits her. I can picture a big argument happening whenever my mom dies.

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jakewright14 - boy are we in the same shoes. We cleaned out her house before my Mother-In-Law moved in with us. It was hard for her to see two trucks take things to the local humanitarian center for resale.

My Sister-in-law only comes for wonderful memories - only about 1-2 hours a week. Brother-in-law shows up 3 days after we tell him "she" wants to see him. I, too, will never understand them. Are they trying to drive me crazy?

I've had my ups and downs with Mom but all in all - I wish they would help. I need more sleep and time to myself. My husband is trying but he's not fully understanding the situation.

I guess I need to treasure this time and appreciate the promise my husband did to his father. I know he'll be taking care of me if need be.
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Your sister in law sounds like my sister in many ways except she already took most of the family pictures and my parents have no idea how she did it. she just takes what she wants and my parents are still alive..,,now that's just plain sick lol!
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I was almost in the same boat while I had my mom living with me for 5 years. I am one of 6 kids. Only 2 of my sisters would visit a cuouple times a year for a week or so and they were a big help. My 2 brothers each came once in that time. One came when my mom develope sepsis and the doctor advised me to call the family. Then he said it was a wasted trip cause she pulled through. This same brother blames me for him not being able to see her at the hospice center before she died because I wouldn't pick him up from the airport. I was so exhausted from the week she spent in the hospital before that and finding out her breast cancer had moved to a lung and she had maybe 2 weeks to live, that I did not want to make the 3 hour round trip to the airport. I told him he could stay here at my house, but I just couldn't go to the airport.......told him to rent a car like he did before. Well......he didn't have a credit card, so he couldn't rent a car, so it was my fault he couldn't come............I will never forget that one!!
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I was in the same boat, but just with my mother-in-law. Her daughter did next to nothing and only visited when it was convenient for her. When I finally confronted her, all she did was scream and yell at me. She never stepped up to do her duty for HER mother. When I told her I was no longer able to do it all, that was when she decided to have her mother placed in a nursing home rather then just help out. We no longer talk. The other son was just as bad as the daughter. We were left to clean out the house as well. The daughter came up and took what she felt was worth money and left everything else for us to deal with, even left the old family pictures. I will never understand people?
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Thank A MemoryMatters...been there did it all with an open heart and mind, to no avail. Fortunately we are able to financially provide all that Mother and I need.

To me holding onto anger and resentment means you are allowing someone to camp free in your brain. Life is too short to worry about coulda, woulda and shoulda....they've got their own set of problems! Don't let anything steal your joy!
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jdfamilyinc & littletonway Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your feelings and sentiments. We can make it with each others help.
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As a professional, working with family caregivers, this is a situation that arises all the time. It seems that no matter how close a family once were, when the issue of caring for a loved one comes about, the "wheels come off" so to speak.
Here are some suggestions I give my families; first, take a step back, and take a deep breath. You are feeling the burden of being the primary caregiver for your family member and that is influencing your perception of the situation. And yes, it may be as bad as you think it is, but try to see if it is the stress you feel influencing you. Second, call for a family meeting. INSIST that whoever you want to help with the situation meet with you, but remember that old saying, "You catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar". As much as it may take to control your feelings towards them and your anger, you will accomplish nothing if you are confrontational. Meet with them at a nuetral site if possible. A coffee shop maybe. This will help everyone be on their best behavior. Next, write down notes. This will help you organize your thoughts and present them in a logical manner especially if you tend to get emotional.
Tell them, "here is what I do" and then ask SPECIFICALLY for the help you need. Say "I need you to help with Mom every other weekend." Sometimes I find that caregivers "assume" that when they say they need help that others can read their minds as to what exactly they need. If your other family members agree to help, slot them in. "OK, so starting next weekend, I can expect you at 9am and I will be leaving the house and returning at 7pm".

Now comes the hard part...if they refuse to commit. As hard as it may be, try not to get emotional. At least now you know where you stand and MOVE ON. Nothing you can do will change anything. Look for other resources in the community to help. If financial considerations are an issue, call your church and see if they can set up "friendly visits" even just to give you a chance to have a peaceful cup of coffee. Call your local Dept on Aging. Maybe they can set up caregiving services on a sliding scale, or even provide you with free services. If finances are not a problem, remember, it's Mom and/or Dad's money. They earned it, it should be spent on being sure that they receive the best care available to them. If possible, enroll them is an Adult Day Program so they have socialization and you get a break. If they can not get out of the house, get home care in. Just keep detailed records so that when the time comes, you can show where the money went.

In extreme cases, you may want to hire a professional advocate or case manager to act as a "go between".

Most importantly, once you know where you stand, as I said before, move on. It will not do you any good to hold on to the anger and resentment. To do that will prevent you from seeking the help you need and seeing other options. (Someone once told me to remember "YAHOO" as in: You Always Have Other Options) If you hold on to the anger you will come to resent the very person/persons you chose to help because you love them. That will not do anyone any good.

In tthe end, after the dust settles, you will be able to look in the mirror and smile, knowing you did the best you could and you were a wonderful caregiver.
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Yes you are right! Caregiving needs to be addressed to the public, and there should be more exposure on this subject. But some siblings unfortunately put blinders on and could care less. For now. My sibling keeps telling me to get MORE help so I dont have to do so much, she blames me for being "stupid" for doing so much when there is help out there. My parents want their children by their side, not strangers but they are willing to accept the help now because they see it is getting difficult for me now, as my life is busier than ever. I still help them a great deal, and still get called stupid. I keep saying to myself, in the long run I will be at peace knowing I did all I could for them, because they took care of me. Funny thing is, they did much more for my sister as she was always so needy. Now the true daughter is coming out and my parents are very hurt. Sad.
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I've tried having conversations with the sisters, but they are so still tied to the idea of Mother being their "Mommy" that nothing gets accomplished once the tears and poor me attitudes start. Emails do nothing but cause me stress because there is no response unless I push and push. Even after talking to professionals and I know all the pyscho reasons they can't help....it still hurts like heck.

What is scary is despite the fact they are unable or unwilling to do anything...they are very mean spirited about me having help or leaving the house. We pay fully for the help and whatever else Mom needs other than her meds. Of course, Mom thinks these 2 are just the best ting since slice bread..taking time from their busy lives to visit her.

I think a TV special on caregiving would be quite the eye opener for lots of people in America. As we are an aging population, it is a subject that really needs to be addressed by all families before the need arises.
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I too do 100% of the caregiving for both my mother and father. I get excuses from the whole immediate family besides my sister which by the way I only have one sister. Its gotten to the point where we cant even have a conversation about my parents because we start arguing, I see red everytime I see her. I have given up, and now I just do the best I can, and go there as much as I can as I work also. I have a home health aide come 2 times a week, a nurse checks on my dad once a week. Social Services is helping me with a lifeline alert, more days for a home health aide to come as this is all so costly. My parents do pay for meals on wheels 3 times a week. That helps my mother so she doesnt have to cook so much. I do their laundry once a wk. Just do the best you can, but take care of yourself, I know the guilt feelings you have, the resentment too. Its also very sad to know how family could be in these times when you need them the most. I guess what goes around comes around eventually. Take care!
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