I live 15 hours away from my mother who lives in her home. Sister moved in with her in the summer to care for her as she is completely immobile (since Sept 2016), needs help with everything (cannot stand, bear weight). Sister insists on keeping her at home, as this is what mom wants. I have visited but been warned that I cannot bring up certain topics (nursing home, dietary control in setting of poorly controlled diabetes). Their house is falling down, kitchen sink plumbing doesn't work (washing dishes in bathroom sink). They won't allow anyone in to fix these things; I have offered for years and I would pay the bill. My sister transfers my mom and I am so afraid that sis or mom (or both) will fall and get hurt. I am grateful for my sister who has cared for her but it is now taking a huge toll on both of them but they are so co-dependent on one another (and my mother might have some early dementia) that they are really a force to be reckoned with. Our family has never discussed anything difficult, we have just worked quietly through things on our own. Mom and sis think that things will just work out on their own. I am a professional with a very busy job and a family of my own. I had visited three times over the last year and stayed in her house, spent a lot of money on a lovely beachside vacation, mostly so my sister would have some respite (mom came too and so this was also a ton of work for my sister who is the only one my mom trusts to physically transfer her). My sister drops hints through texting me that she 'needs a break', 'needs to get away', 'needs some help' and complains that I 'used to come and visit'. My mom and I got into argument on vacation about her mobility and mom felt attacked by me; I was just trying to give my perspective. We find it difficult to 'agree to disagree' rather it is always perceived as a personal attack on one's character. Now my sister thinks I 'egged her on' purposefully (and says I admitted this to her) to make my mom mad and she states this 'has upset us both'. I know they criticize both my other sister and I and find fault in what we do and I fear this is just making their relationship even more dysfunctional.
I want to visit my mother because I don't want to be 'the sister that never visits' but I am so sad for the situation and feel so helpless when I see my sister needs help but can't get it for herself; she is waiting for my mom to ask for something different and this will never happen. My sister has no life, only works full time AND is the personal attendant for everything my mother needs (another full time job). Mom criticizes her if she stays out a little late (she's 42!) and then implies she is a burden to my sister. Things are a mess in the house and it is so hard to sit down without wanting to clean when I am there but there is no place to put anything. They are both hoarders; my sister buys things they cannot afford and they get piled higher and higher. She herself is in such a bad financial position (I have offered to pay for legal counseling-three times!-she has never taken me up on offer!). I fear for my sister's well-being and sanity (she's 10 years younger than me and has a lot of life ahead of her).
So perhaps other siblings that choose not to visit their elderly parents are in my situation. It might appear selfish on the one hand or perhaps we have tried to help where we can and we keep getting rejected?! I know they have it far more difficult than I do but I think there comes a time where you have to be realistic and care for yourself also. Are there others who have had this experience? And any advice about me going for a visit? I don't want them to dissect everything I say and do when all I want to do is just go to support. It is breaking my heart and I am grieving. I feel horrible when I don't want to go visit.