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First time posting. Hi everyone! I currently work full time and live on the West Coast w/my bf, and my mother lives on the East Coast with my younger sister, who has a family of 4. My mother has multiple chronic conditions (CHF, DM2..), and recently had a major heart attack, thus her care has become more complex, with added new medications, home health nursing care, and more frequent doctor's visits. I am a nurse too, so I have taken up the medical aspect of her care. I have tried my best to coordinate my mother's care, with dr's appointments, with transportation, keep her home health nurses aware of her symptoms, try to keep track of her daily blood sugars and weights and medication regime, and try to make sure she can eat healthy meals, since at this time she doesn't drive.
However, the big problem right now, is that she has always had a strained relationship with my little sister, and this new development has only made it more strained, with the extra care she has been receiving and needing. She is independent with her ADL's, no memory problems, but still, a lot.
Thus I have had to become the mediator and communicator between them both and my sister brings her frustrations with my mother to me (since she has 3 children living in the house with my mother on top of it & her and her husband work full time), and wants immediate solutions, which unfortunately, I cannot give at this particular time.
Any resources that would be helpful for this problem? Or Suggestions? I have seen in research that family meetings may be a good route... Thanks!

Your sister has too much on her plate.  Your "help" is no where need what  your sister is doing, and may be regarded as micromanaging.  Long distance medical care is an oxymoron.  NO, a family meeting is not helpful.  YOur mom needs to be moved to a facility.
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Reply to FloridaDD
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Mom needs more care than sis can provide. At the top of sis's priority list is her responsibility to her family. Sounds like time to move mom to the appropriate facility.
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Reply to gladimhere
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If sis and mom have a strained relationship....why o why are they living together??? There is nothing you can do that will ease your sister's burden. Mom needs to be in assisted living.
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I am curious how you keep track daily of her BP, blood sugars, weight and her food?

Are you having your sister do all the hands on work so you have this information? Are you telling your sister what food she has to prepare for mom or have you hired a home chef to prepare these healthy meals?

I just can't imagine how your sister has managed to deal with you and mom. Your mom needs to grow up and get her own home. Your sister needs you to facilitate that, not give her more work so you can be in charge of her medical care. Which is false and I promise you that your sister would disagree that it is very helpful. Your mom is capable of arranging transportation and doctors appointments, she needs to do for herself. She is to young to be sucking the life out of your sister.

Find mom a suitable place to live and tell your sister that you are moving mom. That is the only family meeting that should be called.
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Lymie61 Aug 4, 2020
my Brother and I interchangeably keep track of BS, weight, water and food intake as well as medication from afar. Mom isn’t able to do BP with the machine on her own but her BS tester automatically uploads readings to an app on her phone which then shares the info with the apps on our phones and her scale also reports to an app over her internet and we use several methods for checking in and communicating with her throughout the day, Echo Show, her phone and a security camera over her medicine table as well as a dispenser that can be filled 2weeks at a time. So far we haven’t had to have someone physically there on a daily basis so it can work. I even oversaw Moms day to day needs from AZ for a couple weeks while my brother was away at training and I was helping my dad and his wife after surgery. Works for us.
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With all due respect, a family meeting is only useful if your family is on the same page with regards to moving your mom to another place. I’m a caregiver to both parents in their nearly 90s and they still live independently. I will never move my parents in with me. I have siblings, some nearby and some further and we’ve had family meetings. IMHO family meetings are useless when only one person is doing the care.
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AlvaDeer Aug 4, 2020
I agree with you. My personal thought was that perhaps the Sister is not comfortable bringing forth to her older sister, a nurse, that she simply cannot do this anymore. A meeting together (seems there is just the two of them) may allow her to give voice IF she feels she cannot do this any more.
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Your mother is young -- only 61 years old! Seems that according to your profile that she provided caregiving for your sister's children. Was she living with your sister at that time?

What is your mother's financial situation? She's too young for Medicare. Is she Medicaid-eligible? What is the plan for her going forward (is there one?), because it's obvious that the current situation isn't working,
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I think that your Sister may not wish to resume care of Mom in home. I cannot imagine doing this with little children, her immediate nuclear family that she is primarly responsible to, and which needs to be her first concern.
Please have a very frank discussion with your Sister, who has likely wished to broach this subject, but has hesitated because of the difficulty of doing so. Ask her if she feels she can continue with in home care. If you are able to be there to discuss this face to face that would be a great help, but that may not be possible. Long distance care must be difficult enough for you, but in person day to day is, as you will know, something else entirely.
I hope you will update us on how things go and I wish you all every bit of luck. As a nurse you know what CHF means, and now with the heart attack that will likely be worse. I hope for the best for you all.
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Would your Mom’s insurance cover a stay in a Cardiac Rehab unit? Just like any Rehab, it would let her recover from her injury (the major heart attack) and learn to live her new normal. Then she may be stable enough to live on her own, perhaps in assisted living. That would get her off your Sister’s plate and make her more independent, since she is young.
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I never could understand how a person can be a "long distance caregiver". A person who needs constant reminders and appointments made for them means they cannot live on their own.
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Isthisrealyreal Aug 4, 2020
She doesn't live alone. She lives with OPs little sister and her family.
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While your heart is in the right place, daily scrutiny of your mom's needs may make your sister feel like you're criticizing her care and questioning her love for your mom. Even if they do have a strained relationship, she's doing the heavy lifting and if that's not love, I don't know what is.

It's a familiar situation. After 17 years of taking care of my mother, my sister who lives 500 miles away, insisted she would do a better job managing mom's healthcare. She threw in the towel after a week. Your sister has far too much on her plate, with no end in sight, which is a very lonely place to be. My suggestion would be to step back a bit and ask your sister what she wants to do since she is most familiar with mom's situation. Unless you want mom move in with you, tell your sister you will support whatever decision she wants to make in the best interest of BOTH mom and sis. That did not happen in my situation. Although things were much more complex than I can get into here, after mom's death last year, my relationship with my sister has never been the same.
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my2cents Aug 4, 2020
Excellent advice
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