What to do and how to handle a specific situation?


I have been the sole live in caregiver for my 86 year old mother who suffers from dementia, total hearing loss in the right ear,10% hearing in the left ear with a hearing aid, COPD, inability to walk due to bilateral knee replacement, and now has bladder issues and just diagnosed with asthma. I also take care of her dog. I do this in love for my mother and will do it to the day I believe I can't or until she is called home. The problem is my mothers youngest daughter who lives 3000 miles away has now called the police twice stating that her 86 year old mother hasn't answered her calls in a 2 week period, and at one time asked if we could establish a time where I could sit our mother in a chair so we could schedule a chat. This would be more convenient for her. In one case, she wanted to know if I could do her a favor and lower the TV for my mother so my mother could hear her speak. In a recent card, she alerted my mother that she was concerned because she had called mom and never had the chance to speak; until I brought it to her attention that she was calling at dinner time everyday which I advised her that if her mother is sitting down at a hot dinner that I prepare; no one including the president will get her up from the table. I did pick up twice and remind her it was dinner time and to call back. She never returned a call. I have blocked this person form my email, and now she is calling from different telephone numbers to determine if we are screening her calls. This person has now called the police twice on her mother for not returning her calls and when she has full knowledge she is fine, or she would be notified. This also coming from a person who wanted to put her father in a home because her smelled and put her mother into assisted living before dad even passed. I have enough to do, and do not believe I have the legal obligation to "give her updates" if my mom does not want to speak to her or my mom can't hear her over the telephone. Do I and what can be done to stop these continuing upsetting occurrences to my mother?

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My husband has lost hearing in one ear and with a hearing aide has maybe 30percent in the other.  He has a special phone but still has problem hearing. There is one that you see what people are saying. The phone is free, I think, but u pay for the service. Check with your Dept for deaf. Sometimes you can get something free from them. Why can't u set up a time for sister on like Sunday?
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Thought I answered this one, but the reason that there would not be an accommodation on a telephone call is my mother is deaf in one ear and has less than 15% hearing (with hearing aid) in the other and this daughter had been told on more than one occasion that due to the distortion that mom could not hear her and respond.
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I agree with GivingItMyAll and also with gladimhere. Try to accommodate your mother's daughter by setting up a call at a time when she is at her most alert and it is convenient for you. Explain your reasons for your choices. Thank her for staying in contact even though she lives so far away. Keep her informed of Mother's status, perhaps with a weekly phone call or email. And even without any kind of request you certainly turn the television down or off when Mother (or anyone with hear loss) is trying to speak on the phone.

But that is so obvious I'm sure there must be other issues here. First of all, she is your mother's daughter. Is she perhaps a half-sister to you? Did you grow up in the same household, or were you from Mom's first marriage and this daughter from a later marriage? Has your relationship always been rocky? Have you always resented your mother's attention to this daughter?

My three sisters and I each visited our mother at least once a week. And after each visit we emailed each other, giving a brief status and items of interest. "Bill who lives just down the hall died last night. Mother seems to accept this without being disturbed." When there was something significant going on we also included the sibs who didn't visit often on the email. A couple of us had FaceBook accounts and posted pictures of Mother for our cousins to keep up.

So you'll understand why I can't imagine why you are blocking this sister from your email! In my mind, people who all care about the same person keep in touch and talk to each other about that person. How has your sister misused her email connection to you? This woman is so concerned about her/your mother that she has asked for a wellness check from the police. And you didn't get the hint that you should stay in touch with her so she had to do it a second time?

I don't know if your animosity toward your mother's youngest daughter is justified, but for your mother's sake I suggest you bury the hatchet at least deep enough to share concern for this woman you both love.

If there are extenuating circumstances that would help us see the bigger picture, please feel free to explain.
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red rose, I know exactly where you are coming from. I cared for my mom with dementia for four years and I, too placed restrictions on when phone calls would be answered. The reason was mom's routine, which is very important to her and me as caregiver. Calls had to be before 5:00 since that was when we sat down for dinner. If calls came later they would not be answered. Yes, this irritated sibs but if calls were later, mom would become very confused, sometimes very anxious about her little girls thinking they had been kidnapped, or you name it, all thoughts perfectly delusional, no basis at all in reality.

Twisteds continued to be irritated, but my job was to do what I had to do to help mom. Mom's sundowning behaviors were very difficult to manage, the restriction on phone calls helped mom's behaviors and she would sleep better. So, keep doing what you are doing if that is easier on your mom.

Try telling sis that interruptions after a specific time just is not good for mom and the reasons why. Maybe sis will understand, maybe she won't. Make it about mom, not you. In my case, evenings were very full and busy once dinner was on the table, constant activity until mom went to bed, usually at 6:45. And without the late day telephone calls, mom had much better, easier to manage sundowning behaviors.
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Are you sure this is the hill you want to die on?

Without knowing the the backstory between you and your sister, I'd have to say your behavior is a little controlling and does  nothing to allay your sister's concerns. Why can't you facilitate a phone call at a time that is convenient for you and your mother? Preferably when she is at her most alert. Elders can hear better on the old fashioned corded phones rather than cell phones or most cordless handsets. There are specially designed cordless phones that cup around the ear and have volume controls, we ordered two from an online catalog and it worked great for my mom and aunt. I totally get where you're coming from. We have our routines and schedules in place and hate to lose that control over the few things that we really do have control over. I like my meals to be uninterrupted too. But once or twice a month isn't every day. Work out a schedule that is in your favor. A lot less aggravating in the long run. Hugs to you for caring so much for your mom!
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