I have taken care of both parents for 8 years 7 days a week while still holding down a full time job.

I stepped up and moved in with my parents for 2 years 7 days a week when my dad was ill.

Now my dad has died suddenly, and my mom is very ill. I told both sisters I would move in four days a week to help out but want to be able to go home 3 days a week (every other day).

One sister comes on weekends because she has to take care of her child. The other sister pretends to be constantly sick and goes into high drama to get out of the AGREEMENT.

I feel after all I have done, I should not have to do it alone again. I have told them exactly how I feel. They make excuses and call me a martyr. I feel like I am fighting not to be pushed around. They actually demanded I retire early which I will not do. Neither of them has full time jobs.

Both sisters resent doing more. I have not gone home in 13 days because of all their excuses. I have argued and discussed everything but it gets no place. I fear my sisters running away like they have done in the past. I can’t take it. The older sister acts like my boss and tries to micromanage me. I truly hate her. One day she called me at work to say she thought my mom was dying because she took an hour nap instead of 20 minutes.


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You probably came here to find out ways to make your sisters do their share. Our responses are probably going to surprise you (and maybe make you unhappy). Rather than making them do MORE, we (most of us?) are encouraging YOU to do LESS.

It's time to place your mother in a facility.

Did YOU decide that the three of you would have to take care of your mother? You can't make decisions for what OTHERS will do.
Helpful Answer (13)

I wonder if the possibility that neither you nor your sisters should be trying to do this important job for your mother has occurred to you?

You all three of you have other commitments and responsibilities and different capabilities. Focus on your mother's needs, consult her doctor and health care team about what resources and services might be found for her; and then you three daughters *supplement* that professional support by... being her daughters.

All of the drama and conflict is the result of trying to share a task that is probably too much for one person at a time anyway. Get help, and it should take most of the stress away.
Helpful Answer (9)

Why does mom need someone in home 7x24? Why does it have to be you or your sisters? I don't mean to be cruel - I went through that with my dad. Only it was my wonderful stepmom that nearly died after seven years of it - and I would relieve her on weekends. Full time job, family, home of  my own. It burns you out. He refused to have anyone else in and she would listen to him (tired of fighting) and he received substandard care from the two of use BECAUSE HE REALLY NEEDED A HIGHER LEVEL OF CARE THAN WE COULD PERFORM.

Your mom might need to be in a nursing home if she requires this much care.

Your sisters DO NOT have to provide any more care than they are willing to. If there is a gap - it is time for the professionals. Call mom's doctor. Call the Area Association on Aging for assessment and bring in caregivers WITH MOM's MONEY or have her placed.

You have expectations of yourself and your sisters that are clearly not sustainable - make changes of your choice now, before a change is forced on you (you get sick, your mom does, etc)

We kept my dad at home far too long.
Helpful Answer (8)

Oh boy, this is so familiar to so many on this site. I was you. I had my mom live with me for nearly 15 years in my home. My siblings did not help. I can empathize. It stinks doing everything alone! I am truly sorry that you are going through this struggle.

Please just hear me out. Not because I know everything. I certainly don’t. No one does. All I can tell you that I burned out. Everyone who has said to you that this is ‘more than a one person job’ has said a mouthful and more. It’s true and obviously you know it or wouldn’t be reaching out on this site.

Plus you have a full time job! Caregiving is a full time job and you work outside the home to support yourself on top of it! Wow!

Stop expecting or even asking for your siblings to all of a sudden show a ‘change of heart.’ You know they won’t. They are going to do what they are going to do. You have no influence on them. No one has the power to change others.

As long as you are in the middle of this you will be blinded by it. Take it from me when I tell you that I was blind, deaf and mute in my circumstances while trying to ‘do it all.’ Don’t believe me? Ask anyone on this site what a hot mess I was. They can tell you.

Sounds like your sibs are like mine, not only do they not help but criticize what we did, some nerve in my opinion. That is unmitigated gall, right?

Well, I reached a breaking point and if you keep going like this you will too. Unfortunately, my mom liked to pit us against each other which only complicated things. They saw her as a ‘sweet frail old lady.’ Yeah, of course they did. The only time they were in her life was for a hot meal or a check or money in their hands.

I was the one who did everything, did all of the heavy lifting and caught the brunt of it all. They are old fashioned and they felt that it was my place as the only daughter.

I couldn’t take anymore and told mom to stay with my brother until they can place her somewhere. I told my brother that if he felt he could do better than to bring her home with them. My gosh, it can become so ugly.

I detest conflict. All my life I wanted peace and harmony. It’s why I climbed up into my huge old live oak tree in my backyard as a kid and just watch the clouds go by and dream about being happy.

Well, now that I am free from my caregiving responsibilities I can finally see how blind I was, how trapped I was, etc. Oh others tried telling me. I guess I wasn’t ready to hear it. I felt I had to please everyone and I was so miserable doing it.

Please step away long enough to reflect and get a healthy perspective on your situation.

In the end it’s your choice and I respect whatever you choose but without help it is nearly impossible to do what is best for everyone.

I wanted the happy ending with my mom and sibs. Doesn’t happen in all situations. I’m in therapy and learning to accept what is beyond my control.

Best wishes for you. I truly mean that. I am in no way judging or criticizing you. It’s all about balance. Get the balance back in your life.

My wonderful therapist told me many times, “Take your power back!”
Helpful Answer (8)
Takincare Oct 2019
So true and as we all know very wise words from someone who has been all done all. Hope things are going well for you and that you are doing for you for a change. Take care of you, the rest will fall into place. Hope mom is driving your bro crazy, he deserves it 😚
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Both sisters resent doing more. You have not gone home in 13 days. You fear your sisters running away like they have done in the past. I can’t take it anymore. You truly hate your older sister. (These are YOUR words.)

Did you hate your sister before this caregiving role dominated your life? Or is it this situation that is tearing your relationship with your sisters apart? Who is taking care of your home if you haven’t been there in 13 days?

This is past a coping solution, it is more than what you can handle. There are decent nursing home facilities out there. Or, since your mom is very ill, does she qualify for an inpatient hospice facility?
Helpful Answer (7)

Place your mother in a facility, the time has come, anyone who requires 24/7 care is IMO beyond home care.

Your sisters are not going to step up to the plate, so forget about that.

Do what is best form you and your mother.
Helpful Answer (7)

The problem here isn’t 2 sisters ditching their responsibilities. Harsh as it sounds, it is no one’s responsibility to sacrifice their life so that their elder parent can remain home & not have to give up their lifestyle.

The problem here is that your mother needs more care than you 3 can collectively provide. It’s time to either a few full time caregivers or place your mom in a skilled nursing facility or possibly assisted living if she can still perform her ADLs and doesn’t really require skilled care. It’s not something most people actually want to do but it’s something many HAVE to do. Your mom requires a village now.
Helpful Answer (7)

I commend you for your loving concern for you mom (and your heroic efforts with both parents in the past). But I agree with Countrymouse below about stepping back and seeing that the current situation is beyond what your 2 sisters are willing to participate in. You can't make them and they probably agreed to it before they realized it was just getting more and more intense. Now they see what you don't see. Are they in the wrong for not being honest with you? Yes. Let that go. Consider that your mom will get better professional care in a reputable care facility. Please read the thousands of posts on this forum by well-meaning adult children with total caregiver burnout and what it's done to their lives. May you have clarity about what's really best for your mom, you and your family. Blessings!
Helpful Answer (5)

I think that the time for a village has come.

I don't believe that any person should remain in a home setting when they require 24/7 care. It is unrealistic for 1 person to do that. Shifts are required, because quite frankly, 1 person should not sacrifice their wellbeing to another for the rest of that person's life. It is an unfair expectation to place on anyone.

Call her doctor and get a needs assessment done, they may refer you for this, so tell them when you make the appointment what you are looking for.

Find a lovely facility that can meet her needs. Figure out the finances, get Medicaid application started if she doesn't have any money or assets. Then move her and start being her daughter again.

If your sister's squawk make it very clear that you are not able to do this any longer and they will need to step up and take over her care 100%. If they are unable to do that, then mom is being placed where her needs can be met.

I wouldn't want my children to give up their lives so I can stay at a location, because that's all a house is. I would want them to come visit me where we can have a nice visit because someone else is doing the work of keeping me safe, fed, clean and as entertained as I want to be.

I hope that you find a lovely place for your mom and you can find a path to mend the relationships between your sisters.
Helpful Answer (5)

I had two sisters who left me to cope, but they weren’t ‘ditching their responsibilities’ - they both lived a very long way away and simply couldn’t be there. The result is the same without the anger. You have been left with the decisions and the work, you must decide how to get the help that you and your mother need, for your sake as well as your mother’s. Go and look at some facilities yourself - don't assume it's impossible in your case, and don't rely on the sensational horror stories about problems.
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