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My older sister lives at home with my dad, 91, and deals with most aspects of his care. Carers call in 4 times a day to assist with continence and going to and getting up from bed. I am there a few days a week to help with everything. This would be a whole lot easier were it not for the unpredictable nature of my sister. She had a history of drink and anger, and while now she behaves better, I am always on edge around her. She tends to make it difficult for me to leave the house, and makes drama about little things. Her and dad have never got on great. I have frequently been stuck in the middle of their arguments, both trying to get me to side with them. It was the same for my mum, and then she died. I try to keep myself sane, and have a husband, partner and stepson to go home to. But on the days I am there, I come home feeling tired and depressed and just want to go to bed. Sometimes my husband takes over for me. At the moment, my sister and dad are isolating as she had been in contact with someone who tested positive for covid. Today I dropped groceries into the porch, and spoke to my dad through the window. Dad gets little tantrums sometimes, as he has had minor strokes. It never lasts very long, and the best thing to do is remain calm and listen, he is always remorseful afterwards. I know its easier for me as I'm not there all the time, but my sister is a very reactive person anyway. This had happened today and the two of them were at loggerheads when I called. Both were trying to get me onside in front of each other, they were both calling each other names, like children. I tried to mediate in the short time I was there, but I had to leave as the cold air was blowing through the window and I didn't want my dad to get cold. My sister says she has called the psychiatric doctor to come and assess dad tomorrow. But I believe that my sister is also to blame for her reactions, and her speech was slurred so I know she has had a few drinks. I am feeling very sad and helpless, and I know I would feel this even if I was able to go into the house, in ways it might be worse as left to their own devices they will probably sort it out. But I am concerned for my dad, as I feel like my sister is also blaming him for her own stuff. Is it elder abuse? I have had to report her in the past for angry behaviour towards my dad. I am also concerned for myself in dealing with all this. Thanks for reading, sorry so long.

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Does the arguing bother Dad? My Dad loved to argue, he even instigated it. Is there some cognitive decline? I think its your sister that needs to learn to walk away. I look at this as she wouldn't even be there if it wasn't for losing her job. And, I think you have done what u can to with extra help. I assuming the aides are doing the heavy work. She is not bathing him? Or dressing him? So his care is making meals and doing some cleaning, laundry etc? She would be doing these things for herself. Can Dad be left alone? Does she really need to be in the same room all the time?

Sister is going to need to figure out how she is going to deal with Dad. And you need to tell her not to involve u in their arguments. At his age he isn't going to change she needs to. Hopefully she can find a job soon and move out. The situation is not good for either of them.
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So, your sister who lives with your dad after a difficult surgery and caregives 24/7 drinks and is unpredictable and said mean things while you have a husband, stepkid and other responsibilities, correct?

Lol, do you understand the pressure your sister is under? I do and I was drove to drink everyday to numb it all. I was also called names such as being manipulative, etc, etc. I doubt your sister could have said the same things I did, I was brutal.

My suggestion is to give up your responsibilities in your life and walk a few days in her shoes. Maybe then, you will be less judgemental and place your father.
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Barrito42 Jan 4, 2021
Thank you Stacy. Its interesting to hear this from another perspective. Clearly you have had a negative experience with your siblings and I'm sorry to hear it.
I give my sister plenty of respite and an ear to vent. At the moment I'm not able to enter the house due to covid, which I understand intensifies everything.
However, I don't think there's ever an excuse for abusive behaviour, towards anyone.
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You won't change them. Nothing there will change. So you have to understand that it is on you to change it for you. That means when the arguments start you leave. Make that clear to them going in. It is called "training". And it is for you, by you and of you.
I suspect she and your Dad have this habitual thing going just as they did when your Mom was also alive. I suspect it has never been different and may never be different. The alcoholism is worrisome, in that this could cause actual harm, but again it is nothing you can do anything about. You can merely ask your father if he would rather be in a nursing home, or home with you sis. I suspect he will choose the later.
Step back more, and more quickly when you run into the same old same old. Let them know that you will do so. Say "Bye. See you when you are ready to behave yourselves" and leave.
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Barrito42 Jan 4, 2021
Thank you. I have asked my father this before and he says he prefers to stay put. I will try take your advice, although my guilty conscience tells me to grin and bear it.
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It is a volatile situation to have some one providing care for a parent with whom they do not get along, add alcohol and a bad situation gets worse.

Why is your sister living with Dad?

How long has it been since she had a couple weeks of respite?

What other options are there for his care?

What other options are there for her living arrangements?
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Barrito42 Jan 4, 2021
Thank you. My sister lives there because she lost her job and couldn't pay rent. It's a situation that has been thrust upon her and I get that it is difficult. The last respite was Saturday when I was there for the day. I am there several times a week for those purposes. I would happily move in if she wanted time away but at the moment no one can go anywhere due to restrictions. She doesn't have money to move out. We are going to pay for extra hours from the homecare organisation but this is taking a while organise as they are short on staff.
Any suggestions you have, I would welcome.
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