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So I am back to ask for advice on current situation with my mom and sister. My sister had three procedures on her face for skin cancer in the past two months. Mom doesn't want hired in care as she doesn't like them, so I volunteered to try to help with specified condition that I don't do the butt lift thing like my sister does. The surgery days and follow up days went pretty well. But the past three days have been somewhat of a nightmare, especially last night. I don't butt lift mom but I do try to make sure she is safe, clean, has good food I buy and make to eat if she chooses to eat it and help her get to the padded commode I purchased for her. Sometimes mom has to sit on it until she complies with the directions she needs to do to help me assist her to get off it and stand. Our biggest problem is her pushing her feet forward instead of putting them under herself and not leaning over. So yesterday I made her a flashcard of what she needed to do so she could just read it and have me hounding her to do it, as well as a my terrible drawing of her feet and where she needs to place and keep them to be able to stand. When my sister was gone, it worked fine. But then my sister got home and things went down hill again. My sister had actually called me earlier to come help that morning as well as the night before as mom wasn't following her directions and she wouldn't sit down anywhere although mom gets very tired upright trying to walk with her walker for much of a distance. Each time, I dropped everything and had my special needs adult daughter join me to help. Last night after being there nine hours and coming back home for maybe three, my sister called again telling me mom had fallen in her bedroom on the carpet and wasn't hurt, but she needed to get her up as mom didn't want the fire department to come help. So once again, off my daughter and I went with me packing my daughter's dinner of pork chop and peas along as I hadn't had time to mash the potatoes even. Husband is away on a business trip.


Once there, mom was on laying on her floor carpet but didn't appear to have any wounds and could move her her limbs. She just said her toe hurt. Believe it or not, we came up with creative method to get mom up sitting, use her padded commode, and then she was able to stand but walk very little. The problem came in trying to get her from her transport chair to her bed. As it was well past midnight by now, I got very frustrated and let them know. Mom was just not following any directions and I had to let her and my sister know that something has to really change. My sister still has two areas of melanoma in situ that surgeon did not get clear and her stitches there didn't heal either. He said no more surgery as it would disfigure her too much. So my sister is concerned as are we. I told mom she has to let my sister sleep and she cannot be available to come help her get out of bed or chairs 24/7 anymore. I also let them know that I cannot do that either so I am not available. I have my daughter as well as husband needing me too. I can help a few hours each day but rules have to be set that no lifts out of chairs when just helped to sit there three minutes prior.


I told them both that when caregivers are hired, I doubt any one of them would come running to lift mom from here to there multiple times in an hour as well as lift her on and off the commode without a belt or something else. Mom won't let them come and doesn't want to move out of her home. Mom doesn't want her house to look full of any of the things my sister currently needs her to use like commodes, transport chair, manual walker, and Rolator. Both mom and sister look like zombies from lack of sleep, day plan, proper food, stress, etc. I cannot join them. But I do want to help.


So my question, how can I help them although what they want me to do is not healthy for me to even try to do. I cannot stay up all night myself and function well enough the next day or butt lift.

You need to come to the realization that it does not matter what your mom or your sister wants when it comes to YOU. You do not have to be an accomplice to their selfishness and bad decisions. You established boundaries and agreed to help in your own way. And they aren’t respecting that. You need to put your foot down and tell them no. They don’t get to choose for you. Your mom is expecting too much from both you and your sister. Your sister has skin cancer. She needs to take care of herself. If you all continue to enable your mom and rush over when she falls, someone is going to get seriously hurt! Your mom doesn’t want the fire department to come? I would be having a serious talk with her if I was you. Does she want her children to seriously injure their backs and end up incapacitated? Then what? Who will wipe her butt and pick her up when she falls? What if you drop her and she gets hurt? I sympathize with your mom but all I see here is that she isn’t thinking about anyone but herself. What she wants and what she needs are 2 different things. Something needs to change here because one of you is going to get hurt. And then what?
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Reply to worriedinCali
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It sounds as though not a lot has changed since your last posts, only that people are getting sicker and more endangered. I was not aware that your sister's cancer is melanoma. You of course do understand that this is deadly. With the added cortisol levels off the chart with attempting to continue to care for Mom she may be signing her own death warrant. I can only parrot what I said in my last posts to you. I hope you will consider placement, which will of course in the end be the only option. Good luck snowy1 and my very best to your sister. Melanoma is a tough one. So terribly sorry your family is facing all of this.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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snowy1 Sep 7, 2019
Hi,

My sister's pathology report says she has two areas that still have cells of melanoma in situ. They are going to use some cream on it. I don't know if that is effective and my question is why they cut her face so much if cream would have worked in the first place.

I know it is very difficult time for my mom and sister right now. They don't want to hear what the next step might be.
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Honestly, your post upset me to no end.

You have made a choice of what you can physically or are willing to do...thats fine its your right.

Your sister is sick, really sick and has asked for help. It doesnt matter how manipulative or noncompliant mom is.

While you may only want to help on your terms, you can help by making calls and helping to arrange proper services are in place to help your mom and take pressure off your sister so she can recover.
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Reply to tacy022
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snowy1 Sep 7, 2019
Hi,

The problem is my sister doesn't want hired people to come in to their house either, so that is a problem. I would only make both of them very angry with me if I hired people in.

Finally my sister took my suggestion to have mom wear a diaper for the first time today. (I bought them a while back not meaning that mom had to use them all the time, but when necessary if she could not stay in bed at night.) That way not so much stress on the potty issue. But mom doens't want to use the diaper. Part of the problem for both of them as they don't want things to change. But certain circumstances require change. When a person cannot stand up or walk, they cannot expect someone else to stand them up and make their feet work, but that is what mom often wants to have happen. At the current moment, that cannot happen. Also, mom doesn't want any furniture in her house changed. I told her about Hoyer lift before but mom didn't want to hear about that. Her bed would have to change.

Yes, my sister is really sick and I am sad and afraid about the melanoma in situ that is still on her face. My question is why Kaiser made her wait forever to even get seen by dermatologist. I also know my sister has been under lots of stress for quite some time so that makes immune system less resistant and poorer at healing.

Thanks for listening. Prayers all around.
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I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “butt lift”, but I do know that untrained people trying to do any kind of lifting with an uncooperative person is not only difficult but can be dangerous to both the lifter and the person being lifted.

Mom sounds like she is being uncooperative about everything. At some point, you will need to put your foot down with her. She has dementia? If so, you will not be able to reason with her. She won’t understand. If she is just being stubborn, you will need to let her know that if she wants you and your sister to keep caring for her, she’s going to have to meet you at least half way, including in-home aides and Durable medical equipment to make caregiving easier on you. She may not want it in her home but she has no choice. The alternative is a facility. You need to consider getting a Hoyer lift to help you move her around. Let her know she needs to cooperate or you will no longer be able to care for her.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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snowy1 Sep 7, 2019
HI,

My frustration is that with me mom can comply with what I tell her she needs to do when I am there limited amount of time, but not with my sister when she returns. Once my sister is back, mom expects her to be close to a slave which is not fair. The foot should have been put down by my sister once mom recovered from her bleeding leg with no broken bone last December. I am the only one who puts my foot down as I had to do it with my own daughter.
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