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 (11)
Reply to CTTN55

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)
Reply to Countrymouse

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)
Reply to mollymoose

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 (7)
Reply to Kimber166

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)
Reply to worriedinCali

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 (7)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Takincare Oct 9, 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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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 (6)
Reply to DollyMe

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)
Reply to Geaton777

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.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

Hello dear friend. I have been caring for my elderly mother for 8 to 10 years now totally solo without help from my selfish brother and his equally selfish wife. My 35 year old son lives a block away from us and helps out on his lunch break 3 or 4 times a week. I have a caregiver 4 hours once or twice a week. Catholic charities is an excellent resource when you have limited funds. I understand you don't want to place her in a facility. Nor do I as there have been many terrible scary reports that have surfaced in my area about several nursing homes. I can't bear the thiught of a nurses aid slapping or abusing my mother. Although many folks on this site recommend sending your loved one to AL. If your mother can still walk and use bath room by herself then that's half the battle. I'm in awe that you are able to work full time and care for your mom. Does someone come in while you are working or do you work the night shift? I have the same situation as you do. I resented and like you hated my brother for not helping his mother. I asked him if she could visit for 1 week and he won't even do that!! He visits once a year and stays for 3 hours and is gone for another year. I attend an Emotions Anonymous group that teaches you to cope with unsolved circumstances. I have to do this every Tuesday to regain serenity and acceptance of my situation. Soon i will meet with others who are caring for a loved one. Hopefully sharing our stories will give me the will to keep going. Please don't allow yourself to burnout. I ended up in a mental behavior ward for 7 days. It's a growing epidemic according to my psych doctor. As others have have already stated and it's true that you can forget about your sisters helping you like you wish they would. I gave up on my brother and i feel more at peace within. So God bless you in whatever you decide to do.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to EssieMarie
NeedHelpWithMom Oct 9, 2019
What about using cameras if you are concerned about abuse? I know it’s a controversial topic. I am not opposed to caregivers, teachers or anyone being filmed if it can help deter abuse in children or the elderly.
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