In a nutshell; Ten years ago, my mother took a fall and my sister and I decided that she would either need to live in a nursing home or live with one of us. If you knew my mother, you would know she wouldn't last long in a nursing home. She is in a wheelchair, very shy and frail.

At that time, my sister agreed to let me have the money from mother's mobile home instead of mother going into a nursing home, if I would take care of her. That money allowed me to get out of a bad marriage by putting a payment on a house for mother and myself.
Ten years later, mother is doing well. Everyone acknowledges that I take excellent care of her.

But I have never had a break. My sister refuses to relieve me for even a couple of days. She insists on having the right to come to town every 6 months or so, staying with another family member, visiting a few times for 4 hours or so, but she refuses to spend the night to relieve me.

Mother would never have lasted this long if not for me, my sister acknowledges that. But she insists that it is not her responsibility to ever act as caregiver even for a few days to relieve me.
At this point, I don't want her in my home. Am I forced to allow her into my home to see our mother?

I am depressed and trapped.

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I agree that respite care is the way to go. People who haven't done hands-on eldercare themselves are completely clueless about how much work it is and how uniquely draining it is. You need a break. Your sister isn't going to give it to you so you need to find another way. Explore what insurance options are available and start arranging some support.

Good luck.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to Sophiahd

My mother, who “wouldn’t last in a nursing home”, spent 5 1/2 HAPPY, HEALTHY, PRODUCTIVE YEARS in a very nice residential care center near my home.

It is not your sister’s responsibility to “relieve” you. If you assumed the responsibility when your mother needed care, it’s yours.

If you “don’t want her” in your home, find the nicest placement available, near enough to your home, so that you can visit as often as you want to do so, and your sister an do the same.

Your depression and entrapment are not fair to you, but you must make the change. Your mother can’t, and your sister won’t.

Manyof us understand your situation because we have lived it.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to AnnReid
lealonnie1 Oct 16, 2021
The OP does not want her SISTER in her home, not her mother!

I agree with you about elders faring quite well in managed care. In fact, my mother is alive at nearly 95 precisely because she's IN memory care where she's cared for 24/7 by teams of carers and has tons of social interaction.
like everyone here i am so sorry for your situation.

about your sister ... i think you need to pretend you dont have one. Shes just someone you know from someplace or other.
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Reply to Betsysue2002

You can place mom in a Assisted Living facility for a week or so of Respite so you can get a break.
You can hire caregivers that will come in and help out.
Your sister made it clear 10 years ago what her boundaries are and she is sticking to them.
If you want a break, caregivers are the answer you will not get your sister to do this.
Mom's funds, if any should be used to pay for the caregivers or for the Respite stay.
If mom is on Hospice Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance will cover a Respite stay.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Grandma1954
rovana Oct 16, 2021
Would sister be willing to help financially to provide respite? (No hands-on caregiving)
So, it doesn't sound intuitive, but I've found that it is easier in some ways to do everything yourself than to try to get help from a family member who is reluctant to help. If you expect them to help, it only causes disappointment and more trouble for you when they don't.

Furthermore, when I feel like I'm not being heard, I feel very trapped. Like am I not describing my suffering well enough for you to understand? Is that why you're not helping? Do you just not care enough about me? etc. And that trapped feeling in turn makes me feel depressed. That's what you're getting with your sister. She's not hearing you, otherwise she'd help, right? But there's a fundamental impasse in her heart or mind that no reasonable amount of talking will break through.

Just assume you're in it on your own. Look for help instead from others who will help, like respite care.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to kevinwu

No, you don't need to allow your sister in your home. Its your home your rules. She can take Mom out somewhere nice.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to JoAnn29

You might contact the Agency for Aging in your area. There may be some resources-some day care, or respite, of visiting caretaker. I hope so. Your sister is a lost cause, it seems from your description. Shameless, in that case, but unusual. You might ask your sister if she has any suggestions to relieve you. What would she do if you were unable to care for your Mom. You are not a guaranteed resource indefinitely. If there are funds available, respite care in a nursing home is something you could try for a short interval (maybe overnight of some such). Mom might enjoy a change of scene even if she is shy and frail. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Moxies

Please don't be mad at your sister for not relieving you. She doesn't want to and that's her right. Of course, it would be great for you if she did. Instead, I second the idea that you get some respite care. Put mom in a facility for 2 weeks so you can get a break.

Hire some outside help so that you can regularly get out of the house and spend some time away from your mom.

Let your sister visit. If she comes for 4 hours say that you need to run out to the store so at least you can get out for a short time? But don't try to force her to watch mom if she really doesn't want to. It's OK.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to againx100

atee8s: Imho, do not exhaust any more thoughts nor efforts about your sister being your caregiver 'reliever.' She really never signed up for caregiving, but she gave you a benefit from getting out of a bad marriage and the funds of the mobile home sale. Seek respite through someone else other than your sibling.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Llamalover47

You're situation sounds very similar to mine. I know how it feels to be the only one taking care of a parent. My mom is 98 and I have been taking care of her for almost 11 years. My brother and sister do NOTHING, but I am very fortunate to have a husband who is very helpful. You got some cash for your moms house with your sisters knowledge, and I would say that 10 years of being the only one taking care of her has by far outweighed what you got for her mobile home. My sister is a multi-multi millionaire and in the last 11 years has helped financially in the amount of $300. I can't work because I take care of my mom and once she passes I most likely will have to go back to work to help make ends meet.

I agree with many of the others have said, your sister is toxic and it is best to just write her off. It's really hard to get over the anger and any other negative feelings your sister causes. I wish I had the answer for you. After 11 years I have learned that when I start ruminating about how unfair it is that I am wiping my moms butt while my sister is relaxing on a beach in Hawaii without a care in the world, I just have to physically, out loud tell myself to STOP.

I don't know what your financial situation is, but have you tried calling social services? They may help with free or low cost respite care.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to CoffeeCats
Lisaball Oct 31, 2021
I totally disagree. You have other options. You are not obligated “to wipe your mom’s butt”. You can hire home health care to come in to help you. There is also adult daycare and respite care. . Her sister does not want to be a caregiver. I went through this with my brother and my elderly mom. I live out of state and my brother refused outside help. I did all the research and found care available. Well he finally burned out and then left so we got home healthcare 5 days a week. And guess what? My mom is doing great. We do not owe our life to caregiving. We should be there to give love as their children.
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