Mom in rehab due to broken leg and depressed. My sister passed away unexpectedly this week. How do I tell her?

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So very sorry. I agree with all above.
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Thank you all for your helpful feedback. My sister was in contact with my mom and some of my mom's friends already know so it seems there is only one way to go and that is to tell her. The longer I wait the harder it will become. This is awful. I'll just have to respond to her additional needs as they affect her. Just no way to know ahead of time.
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How close were your mother and your sister? Was the relationship such that there wasn't much contact, i.e., if you don't tell your mother for awhile would she wonder why your sister hasn't contacted her?

I personally think she has a right to know but on the other hand I think it would upset her and hamper her recovery. How are you handling the funeral? Will it be local?

This is a really tough situation; I wish there were some really helpful, or at least not as harmful, ways of dealing with and telling your mother, but I don't know of any.

There might, however, be a way to delay telling her if your sister doesn't normally see her on a regular basis. You could wait until your mother is recovering better, then create a story that your sister had been ill for sometime, hadn't visited Mom for that reason, then suddenly passed away, and that her last wish was not to have a memorial or funeral service because of the cost.

In fact I've read that more families are moving away from the tradition funeral service for exactly that reason - the high cost.
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Unless she has very advanced dementia, and her daughter's passing could be kept from her indefinitely, yes, she has to know. You just have to tell the news and bring the Kleenex (enough for both of you - this is so hard and I am so sorry for the terrible grief and loss!!) BUT first maybe enlist help of others, either other family or maybe a chaplain or SW or someone she is close too from the facility, or both. And take care of yourself with grief counseling and any support you can find. Hugs and prayers for your tough situation. I had to tell my mom that my dad had passed on, and that was hard, but I think this is another level harder.
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Thanks for your response Babalou. Mom's depression is mainly due to the length of time her rehab has taken. She broke her leg May 13, then dislocated her hip on June 10th so that slowed entire rehab process down. Her mental status is only compromised by her anxiety, stress of being in rehab facility. She does not have dementia. She is 90 but was very active, still driving etc. Her current situation is completely opposite from what her lifestyle was, she has been living with us for 2 years now. I've put in a call for the mental health psychologist but that is not happening fast enough. I'm currently reaching out to private psychologist for help. I'm more afraid one of her "well meaning" friends will tell her even though we've asked everyone to give us some time. Just don't want to add to her depression but seems it is unavoidable.
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I don't think there is any easy way to break such news, and unless she has advanced dementia she has a right to know. She may become anxious about being unable to attend the funeral and she will be grieving. Talk to the social worker and staff at the rehab, perhaps they will have some helpful advice, at the least they will be aware and offer a little TLC. Yes, the timing sucks for you all, so sorry for your loss.
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Oh, how very, very sad! I'm so sorry for your loss!

Is your mom's underlying depression being treated? If there is a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse in the facility who knows your mom, perhaps they could provide guidance about whether it is wise to tell her right now.

Is mom asking about your sister? My policy with my mom, who has dementia, is not to tell her about deaths when they occur. If she asks about the person (notably, my mother in law and mom's sister in law), I tell her what happened, but I don't volunteer information. However, having a child pass away is something else entirely. I'm hoping that others here have some wisdom for you. Again, my condolences .
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