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I am a caregiver for my mother and my sister lives about 10 minutes away and I have to literally guilt her into coming over on a Sunday afternoon so I can get a break. I get so frustrated that I have to do this that I find myself becoming very aggressive towards my sister in conversation and then she comes up with all of these opinions based on her 2 hours a month on how to care for my mother. Does anyone have any advice on this subject? I am slowly burning out. Thank god for respite care.

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I know the way your sister is acting isn’t fair. It’s aggravating and you are stressed out. Maybe it’s because I am an only child, but I learned early on to be self-sufficient and not count on anyone but myself. I am my husband’s sole caregiver. He is bedridden and I do everything but feed him. I have two children who don’t even ask how their father is. I understand they have lives and families of their own, I know they’d be there (and have been) in an emergency, but it’s only me in the trenches.

From my perspective on your situation, you really need to let go of this anger at your sister. She’s not bothered at all by it, and it’s eating you up. As far as being there to beg money from Mom, well, it didn’t come out of YOUR pocket. She’s the one who has to live with that. It may have been an emergency situation for her and the only one she could turn to was Mom. When sister makes comments, smile and say “Thank you for your input. I’ll take it under consideration!”

See if you can ramp up the respite care. Even to the point of inquiring at your church if they have volunteers who might provide an hour visit here and there. And, there’s always placement in a facility.
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When I made the choice to become a caregiver I did it with the full knowledge that it was MY choice and with no expectation that my sib would be part of the care plan, in fact she told me many times that she couldn't do what I was doing. Yes, I griped that she could have been more involved but that was really just cursing the fates, I knew that it just wasn't part of the plan. It sounds as though it is time for you to reevaluate what you are doing, you need to realistically look at how what you are doing is working for you and how to make changes if it is not. Hire outside caregivers? Regularly scheduled respite? A plan B when it all becomes too much? And don't totally discount the things your sister is telling you, her perspective may be different than yours but that doesn't mean it is wrong.
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zimco13 Nov 18, 2018
Thank for your input. It was my decision for my mom to live with me and my wife. And yes, shame on me that I just "assumed" that my sister would be decent enough to offer help from time to time. I am not talking about everyday, just sometimes and of her own free will as my mom's daughter. I should have tried working it out beforehand but I thought it was just something that would happen naturally. Respite care has been a godsend to my burnout problem. I think I just needed to vent. Thank you for reading and caring.
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I've been exactly where you are. Trust me when I say you cannot guilt someone into caring if they don't already. Your sister knows you'll continue doing everything without her needing to lift a hand and that's probably good enough for her.

There are natural nurturers and then there are people like your
sister, my sister. Like a lot of
people's sisters and brothers etc.
If she thinks she is qualified to give you advice based on nothing she sounds like a pain and I doubt nothing you could say will change that.
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zimco13 Nov 18, 2018
I want to thank you for taking the time to read about my problem and respond. It is just so hard for me to not get extremely aggravated at her "whatever" type of attitude. Then when she gives me her opinions on what I should be doing and how I should be doing it my head just wants to explode! The times that she has come over (2), she then tells me I try too hard and how easy it was for her. Easy to say after 2 hours! uuuggghhh. But thank you for your words, they are most appreciated.
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Whose decision was it to have your Mum move in with you, or did you move in with her?

Was it your choice? Was your sister consulted? Was there an agreement in place that she would relieve you on a regular basis? What alternatives are available for your mother's care?
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zimco13 Nov 18, 2018
Thank you for taking the time to respond. Yes, my choice. No, my sister was not really consulted because she does not have the resources to care for her so it just happened the only way it could. Yes, we did talk about relief which still would not have happened if I didn't call her and practically demand that she come over. The only alternatives at this point is respite care every 3 months. Thank god for that. It is just hard for me to understand how she could not want to help her own mother. It is very hurtful to my mother. She asks all the time about her. However over the years when my sister needed money she would be right there like Johnny on the spot. I could go on and on but I won't.
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