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Hello. My husband and now have my mother living with us. She is 84. I have 2 brothers that basically only stop in for an occasional visit. My older sister who is single, handles moms finances. She WANTS to be able to help more but my mom really doesn't want her around but to visit. They just seem to clash. Mom and I have always been close. Now we are even closer. She's used to me and we have a routine.
The problem is that my mother is now becoming rude to my sis. Snotty comments, mean looks etc. For years my mom would complain about my sister but wouldn't say anything directly to her for fear of hurting her feelings. Now she just blurts it out! Which I'm sure is normal. She's usually forgotten by the next day. But my sister hasn't. She loves my mother but is getting tired of her attitude. I'm stuck in the middle because I feel horrible for my sister but even after I've talked to my mom about it (at the time she is remorseful and embarrassed) but forgets quickly.
I'm at a loss. I seriously wish I could tell my sister to just come for an occasional visit with my mom. My mom seems to be able to handle that. But that would hurt her feelings. She wants to give me some relief and help with moms care. There is no way I could tell her the truth. My husband and I are going away for a weekend soon. I'm so worried about how my mom will treat my sister while we're gone!
Tonight was the last straw. I needed to take my mom to have an MRI. Late at night. My sister wanted to come with. Of course my mother wasn't thrilled. So anyway, we went. My mother was having trouble filling out the paperwork. I let her try so she didn't feel like a child. Just as I was about to offer my help, my sister took the clipboard from my mom and started filling it out. My mom didn't say a word. When we got her into a room I started helping her undress etc. my sister started to help too. It got a bit chaotic. But I didn't want to ask her to let me do it! My mom finally said "Linda can do it!"😳 I felt horrible. My sister got tears in her eyes and sat down. Anyway, we ended up not having the MRI because it was too painful for mom to lay on her back that long. By the time I got her redressed, got her oxygen back on, got her out to the car and back home, she was so upset she was starting to hyperventilate a little. She could hardly walk from the car to the house. (My sister was gone by this time.) I got mom in, got her comfortable, did our normal bedtime ritual etc. She finally calmed down and acted like herself again. Come to find out she was very stressed out because of my sister.
I'm at wits end. It gets old thinking about how worthless my brothers are. My mom pretty much would be happy if it was just myself, my hubby and her! Always. She doesn't care any more if her friends or my aunts want to visit! She's happy to be with us and her cats. All this and it's only been about a month and a half! And this is the easy part!🙀

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Also, this site doesn't allow you to edit errors such my last post was missing a period.
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Yes, I've experienced losing everything after I typed it
VERY FRUSTRATING!
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moecam. Thanks for the hug!😊 Sis retired from 911. She had to learn to block things out to the point that she is kind of cold about some things. She's not negative at all. That's me!lol Today we have a three hour trip to the other side of the state. Sis, mom and I. Time for a Xanax.🙀
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"This is killing her. I took her for a ride. It was SLOW going bringing her back to the house. Weak, shaky, blah blah. Then she had to take a trip hour nap. She said "This is nuts" "I can't even go for a ride." Then she said she was sorry for putting me thru this! Broke my heart." And she's killing you.
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Well, to begin with, my brothers have been no help and I'll leave it at that. Not even an offer. What I'm confused about is I'm not sure when I refused my sisters help! As a matter of fact, we just spent 3 days away. My sister stayed her with mom. My mom is the one uncomfortable when I'm gone. Today I spent three hours helping at her pre estate sale and it was very hard on my mom. This time my daughter stayed with her. She was very anxious and took a couple naps and asked my daughter often as to when I'd be home. I would LOVE to have my sister here on a regular basis but right now my moms well being, until she starts feeling better is much more important. I also want to add that after my mini vacation my sister told me that she had a whole different opinion on how exhausting it was. Just after 3 days!😳
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You do yourself a great disservice by rejecting your sister's help. You need to get over what issues you have with your sister and let her help. Being the only caretaker can lead to burnout - which I have experienced. Suicidal thoughts, shame, low self-esteem will be your reward for wanting to be the only one helping your mom. I don't really care about the issues with your sister, but it seems that you are trying to dominate her caregiving - not letting your sister help. Get over it and think what is best for both you and your mom - and not letting your sister help is not best for you.
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How about having the brothers help? Can't one of them stay with your mother?
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If it was my decision, I would just be honest with your sister...it isn't like you're stopping her from visiting all together. It is really not in your mother's best interest to have her so upset merely to protect your sister's feelings.
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It seems to me that your mom finds you easier to deal with - she may be leery of going to your sister's as a slough off & that she would have to stay there so maybe best for sis to stay at your place while you're gone also less upsetting for your mom - write out routine for sis to get the 'rhythm' of how your mom likes things - sounds like sis is too efficient for mom's liking & that can irk people [like someone I know]
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Omg. Somehow I just lost everything I had typed! I'm hoping I'm responding in the correct area!
I can't tell my sister the whole truth because she's still having a hard time losing my dad as they were very close. She's never married, had kids etc so my parents and the rest of us have been her life. It would kill her.
Yes my mom looked forward to the empty nest. She's kind of a recluse as in if she had company great but if she didn't, even better. She would never let a caregiver come in. I tolerably understand needing a break myself! We cared for my father in law for three months after my mother in law passed away. He was paralyzed on his left side. He died in our home. It was the most mentally and physically exhausting time of my life. But also I have gotten so used to our routine that I feel guilty leaving. It will all work out I know. Just trying to get over the "illness" that really isn't the main issue. Maybe after the MRI and visit to U of M well get some answers.
This is killing her. I took her for a ride. It was SLOW going bringing her back to the house. Weak, shaky, blah blah. Then she had to take a trip hour nap. She said "This is nuts" "I can't even go for a ride." Then she said she was sorry for putting me thru this! Broke my heart. Anyway, Llamalover, my is handling her financial affairs because my mom couldn't, I stink at it and she's very good at it. Not controlling. Anything we need she does. Sometimes mom will want to give us money so I take it and give it back to my sis because she's making sure we're doing ok too. Again, thank you for your help!
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I have to ask why your sister is handling your mother's financial affairs?
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How many of us only WISH we had an interested sister who wanted to help out with Mom? I would have moved heaven and I would have moved earth for both of them to get along if it meant I was getting help.
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Hey . kudos to both sis.
have sis be the treat bringer.
short drop by of moms favorite. little gifts. does she like flowers. something tasty something that remains.
yes prefill out paperwork. make sure mom is getting thiamine in her diet. helps with mental decline and aging.
easily attainable.
Tell sis the truth. It is the disease your mother is SECURE with mondane sameold same old.
The gifts might be stomped. dont give up.She will eventually ignore or accept. you are responding to your mother your emotuons are felt . You need help and put it point blank to your mother . you need help caring for your mother or you will be in the grave before she is. Either psychologically or otherwise.
instead of smoothing it over. non confrontationally
remind your mothet She is Your SiS helping you. because you need help. Put the help need on you.
If something happen to you then what.
A combative person in nursinghome not good sernerio.
Tell her point blank you need help and you trust your loving sister to do everything she can to help you care for their mother. sis is already doing her share.
mom may forget . but eventually even by defalt eventually she will come to terms.
if sis doesnt do anything but bring flowers fruit and wash dishes or something not in same room.
mom might have looked forward to being emptynester. cats are indpendant.selfreliant was that your mother?
coming doing something will ease your sisters need to help. dont know if her breathing may preclude shopping. this is something sis can do .
not busy work but needed put puts her presence there.
Other sis. tell mom quit getting herself in a huff you need help.and you dont have to count the china with sis helping mom is in loving hands.
dont anticipate sis visit errand drop.
will fill sis need and provide wider support bade you need. if mom falls you need sis.
moreso as disease process unless your putting her in nursinghome respite
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You need to take some respite from caregiving. Let your Mom and sister manage their own relationship. Focus on yourself a little to begin to build your own life after your Mom passes.
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I have a similar issue with the sister who is close enough to offer respite and willing to do so. In my experience, Mom does better with my sister when we're not both there. So ask your sister about the week-end when you come back. And encourage her to hear the remarks as the illness talking, not her mother. I realize there's enough history there to make that a little "iffy", but it has helped us a lot. We now have my sister as our primary respite, and they both seem to survive. Nonetheless, we also have to watch out because my sister can lapse into depression pretty easily if it gets too bad. The more I share with her the kinds of things I learn here and in other blogs, the more she is able to accept that it's the disease talking and it's the disease she's mad at, not the person. Hard distinction, but practicing that internal "story" helps.
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why can't you tell your sister the truth? Truth solves a lot of problems. Your mother's health is being affected by her being around, so just tell your sister at this point in time it would be better for her to limit her visits. You are there to care for your mother and whatever history your sister and your mother had was problematic at best, and you should respect your mother's wishes first. You are the caregiver caring for someone who cannot care for herself. Later as the dementia reaches another stage, she won't be so nasty, but for right now and forever reason, tell your sister her absence is required. You and your husband hire a professional caregiver if you are going to be gone or someone your mother can tolerate. Your sister will just have to understand.
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This is only the beginning of a very long journey and it would be great for You to have Your Sister on board as having to Care for Your Mom 24 / 7 day after day would be a very tough demand on You and Your Husband. I Cared for My own Mother at home for three years, and I was glad to be able as We were very close always, and Mam was a real pleasure to be with. Remember Your Mom will only be like this when You are around but when You and Your Husband go away on holidays Your older Sister and Your Mom will get on wonderfully well. Allow Sis to have more time with Her Mom, while You go off shopping for the day, or week end break. Finally fill out the forms for Your Mom in future as it is painful to see Her fail and become embarrassed.
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Slim, Mom might prefer a world of just you, your hubby, her and her cats. But you are in this for the long haul, right? And you absolutely will not survive with your sanity intact without regular respite. So somehow, someway you and hubby will have to be able to get away for weekends and vacations and date nights.

Would your mother be more comfortable with your sister or a hired aide? Can she afford an aide?

At some point you have to take practical realities into consideration. Sure, be as honest as you want with your sister, but I it sounds like your mother makes her preferences obvious, so what do you need to tell sister? Be honest with your mother. "We need to go away for a week. I know it can be a bit stressful with Sis here, but that is the best we can do."

It has only been a month-and-a-half. Good. Still plenty of time to establish routines and set boundaries. And one of the routines has to be respite for the caregivers.
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Thank you so much for the responses and ideas! Sunny and Pam, we are waiting to hear back from her doctor about sedation. Their office is a bit slow. I totally agree Sunny with the "telling the sister the truth" idea.😉 Sounds just like what my husband says. I'll work on that! Freqflyer, Mom has COPD. And of course back issues. Since my dad passed she's gotten worse with the memory. She has had every test under the sun and there is no cancer and whatever is in her lung hasn't gotten worse in the last six months. She is in oxygen and we check it frequently. BUT, she's very weak and her memory is shot. Two docs have said no signs of dementia and that her "issues" are from her sickness. She's down to 104lbs. They think that after her appointment at U of M, they may find out she needs a certain medication. She's eating well. The back is stopping her from wanting to exercise and do her "household" chores. Do until that gets better we are kind of at a standstill. I hope I'm typing this in the correct area!😳😁
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That's a good idea. MRI's are tough on anyone. I barely made it through mine with no meds. I can't believe that so many people are able to do that!
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For future MRI's or other procedures, please as the MD to prescribe a dose of valium an hour before the procedure. It might make her nicer to sis too.
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I'm not so sure why you are so scared of the truth and your sister. Being considerate and kind is fine, but when we as adult and mature children are caring for senior parents, sometimes, you have to be a little more pragmatic. It seems mom is telling the truth, but the daughters are just ignoring her.

I think I might just be honest about it. Mom's feelings are obvious, so sister should just accept it. Some people with decline are prone to allow certain people to help them with certain things. Go with mom's preference. If sister is in charge of the finances, explain that that's a very important role, she does it well and that's what she should be doing.

I guess I don't see the value in making mom uncomfortable, just because you don't want to hurt sister's feelings. I'd have to explain it to sister and say, sorry, but that's how mom is right now, so let's do it her way.
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Oh Slim, I feel so sorry for you and your sister. Here your sister wants to help but your Mom is putting up a wall not letting her help with hands-on care. It's good that your sister is doing the financial work so she is contributing to helping Mom.

Your profile says that your Mom has age related decline. I wonder if there is any memory issues sneaking up on her. Sometimes that can be a reason for Mom to favor one child to be her hands-on caregiver and not the others. Or less people around the more secure an elder would feel.

It will be interesting to see how the week-end goes, when you are away, and your sister is your Mom's primary care giver.

Keep us up-to-date with how it goes.
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