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I need to share this background info w/you.


15 years ago, my mother and my siblings (there are four of us) had a meeting about her coming years and how she should spend them. 2 of the children voted she needed to begin getting ready to move in w/1 of us while the oldest 2 asked my mom what she wanted and she said she wanted to live independently. So, she lived independently. My mom had been living independently until Dec. ’18, at which time, she had a fall and since then she has been hospitalized about 6x in ‘19. Her ailments are arthritis and lumbar stenosis. Her arthritis flares up according to the weather. Her ‘19 hospitalizations were due to having a severe case of sciatica. Prior to the sciatica, she broke her right rib and instead of her children (who live in the same state as she does) offering her to take her home w/them until it healed, they simply took her home w/out no nighttime help. While I was not there, my prediction is she was having difficulty moving around and getting in/out of bed, which aggravated her lumbar stenosis. Following her sciatica, she went to stay w/my younger sister who although my mom lived with her wasn’t really caring for her and she would buy her fast foods while I (from long-distance) was sending lists of foods she needed for her arthritis. The fast foods cause my mom to get eColi and sepsis so she had to spent 2 months in the hospital. For every time my mom was hospitalized, I would travel to her state and stay anywhere from 10 days to a month. While I was at the hospital with her all 6 times, I would say I saw my siblings maybe 3-4 times and never saw my oldest sister. During her last hospital stay, my 3 siblings called me and said they were placing my mom in a nursing home but she did NOT want to go. I couldn’t bring her back 2 my home as she had 21 days remaining for the antibiotics, which were being administered via a pic. So, my niece who my mom raised because my sister was too busy gallivanting in her youth took my mom in but she wasn’t as truthful as she should have been of her living situation. Not knowing her dire financial situation, my mom stayed with her as long as she could with COVID now being present and as soon as some things opened she was able 2 move but not that far from where my niece lives (I can (literally) throw a rock at her window with no effort). In fact, she walks her dog every day (2xs) and passes in front of my mom’s front window.


So, I’ve been here with my mom for the past 4 mths and it’s getting very difficult 2 continue at this pace w/out any help from anyone (mind you - we are having problems getting a consistent care provider to come in daily to help her and assist w/light household chores).


I’ve asked my mom to call her children to assist but she is hurt on how things transpired during her illnesses and hospitalizations. I see her heart is broken as she held my brother at such high regard and he is no where to be found. They all used my mom and now that she is in need of care - no one but me is here. My brother has a 5 bedroom, 4 bath home...he and his wife are empty nesters. My youngest sister also has a home and her and her husband are empty nesters while my oldest sister is raising her grandchildren because her daughters are not responsible enough to care for them, themselves.


I’ve offered and offered and offered 2 take my mom back home with me but I live up N and she lives in the SW where temps reach to 114 degrees in the summer and she’s comfortable with that due to her arthritis.


So, how do I approach my siblings? Do I keep talking w/my mom and tell her it’s up to her to do it? Do I just force her to go up N w/me but what about her mental wellness and arthritis if I do that?


Seriously, I don’t want to contact them. I’m angry of how they haven’t even attempted to seek out how my mom is! They’ve abandoned her! They all have my number, they know where she lives, why not call the police for a well check...but have they?...NO!

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“career driven; healthy, happy; still wanting to do more with my life.”

The above won’t happen if you take Mom into your home. I wonder if maybe your siblings feel they have been there for Mom and its time you were. If Mom is 88 then you all are either in your 60s or close. Seniors too. I understand where they are coming from. I was the oldest child, a girl and I lived in the same town as my parents. One brother 8 hrs away the other 30 min. They were not involved in my parents lives as much as they could have been even after Dad died. But, I never said anything because they are grown men.  
If you don’t have POA and Mom’s competent then I would have her assign you. If there is a POA and Moms competent she can revoke it and assign you. I would not be a caregiver without it. Since Mom wants to stay were she is, I would talk her into a nice AL. All her physical needs will be met. All her children will need to do is visit. Maybe get her something she wants or needs. Maybe they will be more willing when the don’t need to do the caring or make the decisions.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Thisis4mlm Sep 23, 2020
I should have expressed that currently my three sibling are residing in the same state as my mom is. The only sibling that has been in the same state as my mom for the longest is my younger sister. The other two siblings and myself have lived away from some time and they have returned back to where my mom lives but not me. My brother really didn’t care for my mom - that interaction was given to his wife while he built his career. I am my mom’s POA and perhaps that is why the older siblings are upset about it. I wouldn’t know why they would be upset...it’s not like my mom is rolling in money. Assisting living is money and that is one thing that my mom doesn’t have to sustain herself in this type of facility. Life would be so much easier if ALL her children would participate in her care now that she is 88 but that doesn’t seem like that will happen :(
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As others have already pointed out "independence" can be costly, but it if she is able to hire appropriate help then it could still be possible if you

-get her a pendant alert system so she can summon help if needed
-hire a housekeeper for household chores and a caregiver for personal care, you can't expect one person to be both
-arrange for grocery delivery and/or meals on wheels
-it isn't clear to me why she has had so many falls, if she wishes to remain somewhat independent then perhaps an occupational therapist needs to assess her and the home to help her eliminate some of the hazards, she may also benefit from some physical therapy
-consider a geriatric care manager who can help you manage her care from afar and act as a mediator with the rest of the family
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Reply to cwillie
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Contact the Area Agency on Aging. They are a wealth of information and resources to get mom the help she needs. They will also do an assessment to help determine the level of care that she needs.

Stop expecting your sibs to do anything. Living in the same state really has nothing to do with their ability or willingness to provide care for mom. Mom needs 24/7 care and she is not going to get it in her home unless she can hire a caregiver, independently.

Good luck.
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Reply to gladimhere
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If your siblings haven’t helped by now, they aren’t going to.

It’s terribly frustrating and difficult to care for someone alone. Many of us have done this too.

I hope that you are able to find a viable solution soon. Have you checked into Council on Aging in your area for help? They will help bathe mom, prepare light meals and clean her room. They will also sit with her so you can rest or run errands.

Was your father a veteran? It may be possible for you to get financial assistance to pay for care. Did he serve during war time?

Best of luck to you.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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"Living Independently" means taking care of yourself and hiring care when you can no longer do that.

Living Independently does not mean demanding that your children move in with you.

Mom seems to want it both ways. Her demands are the issue here, not your siblings.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Thisis4mlm Sep 23, 2020
You are right - my mom wants it both ways and her demands are at issue here BUT my siblings are the issue as well - we as children should be there for our parents when they get elderly - no matter what!!

Children of elderly parents can share the responsibility equally...parent’s take care of the kids when they are young and growing up and children should be caring for their parents when they get old!

I’m not understanding how people think it’s not our responsibility to collectively care for our elderly???
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Your mom wanted to remain independent. Why is she now upset that she is getting what she wanted? This is the very situation that your family meeting was addressing. I know for a fact that hospital visitations have been difficult, so hopefully she isn't upset about something no one had any control over.

If she needs help, she needs to ask her children or hire it.

I would not be looking for a CNA to clean, you need to hire a housekeeper, you will pay more, but they will show up and clean.

If this was my family I would be asking for another meeting and find out what everyone is able to help with or if they even can or will help and start looking for a facility for mom. It is totally unfair for you or her to expect anyone to give up their entire lives to support her "independence ".
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Thisis4mlm Sep 23, 2020
Really? I don’t expect anyone to “give up their entire lives to support her ‘independence.’” When we had our family meeting 15+ years ago, my younger sister and I voted for my mom to live with one of her children...it was the older two siblings that voted for her to live independently! Now, not one of the three that live in her state are no where to be found to assist in just visiting my mom...I have already arranged someone to come in and help her with light housework...

Aren’t children suppose to check up and visit their parents when they get into their senior years??? Aren’t ALL the children of a parent suppose to share this responsibility??? Three months each as there are four of us, would be ideal but it seems like the three who aren’t in the picture are just selfish individuals...
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You cannot change anyone. I think you have long experience to show for that. I think if Mom doesn't want to move, and you surely don't want to move your own entire life, that Mom will need to go into placement now. No matter what her diet is the arthritis will get worse and worse, as will the back problems. There will be more falls if she is on her own, and being without 24 hour care now sounds impossible.
You might text your family and ask if any of them have any other ideas before you begin to seek placement for Mom. Remind them how long you have been doing this care, and let them know you must return to your own life now, and Mom doesn't wish to relocate with you, and is not safe alone any more. You may ask them if they would like to meet with you and discuss. But do know that the more adamant you are about what they each "should" do with their own lives, the more the hairs on the nape of their necks will rise, and it will likely end only with more upset.
I know you want their help. But it sounds to me as though you will not be getting any help from them. And even promises may not work out well, as has been the case in the past.
I am so sorry. You are having to carry all this on your own. I hope you will know you have done what you can, all that you are able, and Mom now needs more care than any one person, or even many working in chaos, can do. Please take care, hope you will update us.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Thisis4mlm Sep 23, 2020
Thank you AlvaDeer for your response! Your words gave me hope that all will work out... :)
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I'm guessing Mom hasn't set up power of attorney, a trust, will, or advance medical directive. If she had, ONE of you would be making these decisions with your mother, not all of you.

I suggest you all sit down together with Mom and a trust and estate attorney and get her life straightened out. Then the battling will be less because she'll have assigned one of you to help with her medical issues and another (or perhaps the same) one to handle her finances.
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Thisis4mlm Sep 23, 2020
I am POA for my mom. My mom doesn’t have anything that would require a trust, or estate attorney. Nonetheless, a POA should not preclude siblings to assist in caring for their elderly parent...
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Chewing out your siblings via long distance is the quickest way to shut down any communication.
I refer specifically to the part of your post that says:

"Following her sciatica, she went to stay w/my younger sister who although my mom lived with her wasn’t really caring for her and she would buy her fast foods while I (from long-distance) was sending lists of foods she needed for her arthritis. The fast foods cause my mom to get eColi and sepsis so she had to spent 2 months in the hospital."

Forgive me, I'm the sibling taking care of my mother. Did you ever TALK to your younger sister and ask how she, your sis, was doing taking care of mom? Or did you just send "helpful" lists to her, in essence telling her what a craptastic job she was doing as a caregiver? I don't know how willing any of your siblings would be to talk about taking care of mom with you after that...

You talk about taking mom home with you. Well. that's a great idea, in theory. But how able will you be to take on her caregiving? You say you have trouble finding consistent help now. Do you expect that will change where you live? Can she be left alone for any extended length of time, like say when you're working? Or are you seriously considering retiring to take on the responsibility. If your sibs won't help mom when she is, in essence, right in their backyard, how willing do you thing they will be, once your inevitable burnout happens, to come and give you a break so you can enjoy your own children and grandchildren?

Someone way smarter than me said on a post on this board that caregiving has to be an agreement that works for all parties. Once it doesn't do that, it's time to seek alternative arrangements. I'm sorry that you might have to make these arrangements on your own, but sometimes that is the hand we're dealt. But if you want to get some help from siblings, I would strongly recommend that you try to re-open the lines of communication with them by turning down the vitriol and try talking and listening honestly about their feelings about your mom's situation. What's happened in the past is in the past, and you can't rewind to try and change it. The only thing you can do is go forward from here.

I wish you good luck!
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Reply to notgoodenough
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Thisis4mlm Sep 23, 2020
Thank you for posting but no thank you as it was not helpful for the situation at hand...
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~What does your MOTHER want to do?
~You can't force your siblings to take care of your mother; they have to want to do that.
~If they see YOU are doing it, that let's THEM off the hook rather nicely.
~You can't force your siblings to feed your mother foods that YOU think will help her arthritis. I myself have bad arthritis and stenosis of my cervical and lumbar spine. NOTHING has helped me except for getting a new hip, and now having another new one down the road.
~If your mother agrees, you may as well move her in with you in the north which can't be 14,000 miles away........? Or, look into Assisted Living Facilities in your area or her area if she requires a lot of help with ADLs.

I am an only child, so I have nobody to help me with either of my aged parents. My dad passed in 2015 but my mother is going strong at almost 94. She lives in a Memory Care ALF and I'd have it no other way. There is where she gets a team of 24/7 care givers at her beck and call. A doctor comes in weekly, and so on and so forth. It's truly the best bet for BOTH of us.

Wishing you the best of luck with a tough situation. It's never easy being the only one in charge of elderly parents.
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Thisis4mlm Sep 23, 2020
Thank you for your kinds words...
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Your siblings are not the problem here, it is your mom. You have seen how much work this is yet you still offer to take her into your home. That is wonderful...but your mom refuses. You can't make your siblings take this on. Again you see how much work this is and it is not fair to expect them to give up their lives to do this. If you are willing ...great...but don't expect others to make the same choices you would. And don't condemn them either.

As I see it your mom has two choices. Go home with you or find an assisted living facility in her area. All the family drama you described means nothing. Does not matter someone has a big enough home to take her in. Not everyone can be a hands on caregiver. It is not your place to decide how your siblings spend their time. Mom needs to be responsible for mom. You mom wants to be independent but if it requires the entire family to pitch in, that is not independence, it is just the illusion of independence. She will not like her options but who here among us has gotten everything we wanted in life. If she is truly no longer independent these are her only two choices.
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notgoodenough Sep 15, 2020
" It is not your place to decide how your siblings spend their time."

Truer words have never been spoken. I have to keep telling myself this every day or else I might end up hating one of my sisters, and I really don't want to go down that road...
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