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My husband and I are caring for my mother, 95 years old, in our home. While she has lived with us since we've been married, meeting her needs has been a bit more intense in the last 6-7 years. We had a 4 day break in 2006 and a 2 day break in 2011. Siblings are not able to help. We are burnt out with no end in sight.

The question though is about my sister, 69 years old. She has several debilitating issues as well as narcissistic personality disorder. We are like oil and water. She has gone through 8 marriages, alienated her step children and adopted daughter as well as any friends she has had. She has suffered with spinal bone degeneration (has already had one surgery 20 years ago) has had flesh eating disease in both shoulders, knee surgery, stomach by-pass 3 times and the list goes on. She is hooked on pain killers morphine and oxy. During this most recent crisis, she has devised a plan to go to the ER at her local hospital and have them transport her to an ER of a specialty hospital 250 miles away but nearer to us (2 local surgeons have refused to operate on her). If they won't or can't operate on her right away, I believe that she will want to come to our house to "stay." She has already asked me if she can move in if our Mom passes. Both my husband and I have said no way, not even if she is awaiting a surgery. I intend to insist that she is placed in a SNF until a determination is made regarding surgery. Afterwards to an assisted living facility. If she recovers as she believes she will, then she can move back to her apartment and resume her crisis and drama ridden life. She is overweight (weighs about twice what I weigh) I can't lift her and I have back issues. I just need some objective insight as to whether I am doing the right thing by drawing a line in the sand.

Besides all that we have animals to take care of as well (my shepherd is about ready for a nursing home too). We are both retired, and we're just wearing out. I'm sooo tired.

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Thank you all so much. You can't imagine how much your answers mean to me. SA - I told my husband the same thing and I wouldn't blame him. He is truly a man. All of your answers made me cry, I want to do the right thing and I'm am so sorry for her pain and condition, but I know her and it is just a foot in the door situation.

I should know more today. Thank you all so much for your kind answers.
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1) You need respite. If your siblings can't do it, hire care for Mom while you are away.The surest path to burnout is trying to do everything yourself 24/7/365.

2) As everyone else has said, DO NOT host your sister in your home. Not for one night! I wouldn't be drawing a line in the sand ... I'd be building a huge wall!
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You shouldn't even have to ask the question. Of COURSE it's too much! Do you EVER plan on spending time with your husband, just the two of you? If so, the answer is no, no, a thousand, million times NO. You let a narcissist in your door and the long, slow freight train to hell just became your miserable reality. Your poor husband. He's a saint already imo, dealing with having mom around since you were married, but you move this one in and I wouldn't blame the man if he ran for the hills and left you to it.
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Don't let her in. You are going to drop in your tracks if you don't get some respite. There's no way you should take on round 2 of caretaking, this time for your sister. I agree with others that maybe you help her locate other accommodations, but not with you. Stay strong.
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WitsEndToo, I think your wisdom is speaking to you, letting you know it wouldn't be a good idea to have your sister with you. You have been the child who took care of your mother for so many years. If anyone has earned some time with her husband, it is you. I have a feeling that letting your sister get her foot in the door would be a grave mistake from what you wrote. I know that it will make you feel guilty, but the feeling of guilt will pass when she makes better arrangements for herself. Hugs coming your way.
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Maybe go to your area agency on aging and get expert advice on what you can do for her without letting her move in. She sounds unfortunate, but you didn't cause her misfortunes. Tell her you have to put your mother and your husband first, and that you will pray for her.
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I too, would draw the line in the sand. You have enough to be responsible for. If you are comfortable with it you could offer to help her find appropriate facilities that can help her. You could even do that by phone or internet. I don't think I would bother doing that for either of my sisters!
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Though she is your sister, I think it isn't a good idea that she'll be staying in your home. The best thing you can do to her is to assist her during her surgery and recovery. As you have said, she has issues and you're like oil and water.
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No guilt. You cannot personally glare give all your family members. Sounds like she can be a handful, and compassion is in order....sounds like she has had a difficult life....but you cannot fix it.
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