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Mom doesn't want to hear that my sister is gravely ill. I just found out that the chemo she is receiving could kill her. This has happened to a dear friend of mine so I take it seriously. I have tried to prepare mom (who does not live in AL). Mom lives on her own and is cared for jointly by my sister and I. I can no longer drive due to frequent insulin reactions and will have difficulty getting her to all of her appointments. I will have help however from a local church group and have been considering using UBER or LYFT. I also have been considering using paid caregivers for appointments. I am trying to prepare for all possibilities. She is 91 yrs. old and adamantly refuses AL which she was in for a short time and hated it.


She refuses to hear about the graveness of my sister's condition and doesn't want to talk about planning. I've been told that at some point decisions just have to be made for them, and I'm beginning to think that may be the case very soon. Do I just let the events unfold as they inevitably will and make the decisions as needed? My sister is currently POA. I'm assuming that should probably be changed but I don't even know how to mention this to my sister. She has been very frank about her time being short but I also have been very reticent to acknowledge or confirm that because talking about it makes it seem too real for me. Besides my sister and my mother I have only a brother whom I rarely see and rarely talk to. He does not participate in my mom's care and I know would not even consider helping out, so I won't bother stressing myself out with asking. Sometimes I find the anticipatory grief so bad (in addition to my health problems) that I fall into bouts of depressive episodes that leave me amotivational and unproductive. Sorry for the length of this post I just need to vent in addition to seeking advice

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Hi Salutem
I am sorry for all that you are dealing with. You are understandably upset about your sister and concerned about how you can continue to care for your mom without your sisters help and with your own health concerns.
Depression can be very debilitating. It sounds like you are looking for comfort and acknowledgment from your mom and your sister is looking to you for the same.
Take a deep breath. Recognize that there is just so much you can do and you are doing it.
You have reached out to your church and you have recognized that help for hire is available. I think it is an excellent idea to start bringing in caregivers. Spend this time supporting your sister and being there for her and taking care of yourself.
What condition is your mother in? On your bio you say she has cancer and had a stroke. On this post you say she is living alone with your help and your sisters help.
I’m assuming that she does not have dementia? In that case she can sign a new POA document for you to be her POA and you could list brother as secondary in case something happens to you before your mother passes. Your sister can’t do this. Your mom has to do it.
Personally I would tell your mom that since she is not in crisis you are stepping back from hands on care as you want to focus on your own health and supporting your sister.
Managing mom’s care is very important and you will continue that as needed but not at the cost of your own health. Whatever you are comfortable dealing with. People everyday deal with not having two daughters care for them. Mom may not be able to understand that she is not the only vulnerable person in her family. That’s ok. You still do what you need to do for yiurself.
Perhaps you and sister can meet with your mom and the two of you can tell mom what you think she needs to do. You’ve supported her as long as you could.
It’s time for her to realize she has to make concessions if she is able to reason. If she is dealing with senility or dementia then you will need the help of her doctors.
It’s a tough time for you and you have every reason to be upset. Come here and let us help you.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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I’m so sorry about your sister. There is a lot of denial here, your’s and your mother’s. But, it’s completely understandable. No one wants to accept a loved one is dying. Part of the reason you’re depressed is that everything is in limbo right now; your sister’s future, your health, the POA, and especially what to do with Mom. No one does cartwheels and backflips about facilities, whether they are the one entering a facility or the family of that person. The new resident hollers and cries and rages and pleads to go home. It’s not fun. But I believe in your case, it’s necessary. Neither your nor your sister are capable right now of giving Mom the care she needs. Take an honest look toward the future. She will need more and more care and supervision.

The only way to pull yourself out of this funk you’re in is to get busy doing what needs to be done. Find the determination, through prayer, therapy or plain old intestinal fortitude to change the POA if needs be, and then find a facility for Mom. Sure. She will be royally pissed and it won’t be easy, but it will be easier for YOU and your sister. It will allow you to spend more time with her if you’re not worrying about Mom, and you won’t have to if she’s got three shifts of caregivers every day. If you are unable to research facilities, call someplace like A Place For Mom and have them handle it.

I’m sending many good thoughts and prayers for each of you. Come back often and let us know how you are. We care!
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Thanks to all. I didn't think of the Corp. For Aging but just left them a message. That might be a big help, especially in tandem with the local church group volunteers. That's helpful. Not sure how to handle this fear of losing them both though; it really terrifies me sometimes. Won't call my brother though, he's about as useful as breasts on a bull.
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Reply to anonymous840695
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My sister knew the possibility of her dying was there. Knowing this she had no will or beneficiary to her Life insurance and she had a small son. We as a family went thru a lot to get things done. It was a mess.

Your sister needs to go to Mom and tell her she is not going to survive this cancer. So Mom needs to make decisions because you are no longer able to drive. Mom is going to have to find transportation. Maybe aides to do her shopping, etc. She needs a POA and ur not able to take on that responsibility. Maybe if no other family she can assign a lawyer.

Call your Office of Aging to see what resources there are. Some have Senior buses that can take Mom shopping and to appts. Mom is going to have to realize she can no longer rely on her girls. Even if sister survives it will be a long time to bounce back to some normal. Maybe Mom needs to call her son.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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It doesn’t matter if your sister won’t step down. As long as your mom is competent, she can revoke the POA say any time. You should ask her if she will step down but at the end of the day, only your mom can assign a POA so if your sister won’t step down, mom can revoke the POA. Under the circumstances, I cannot see your sister refusing to step down.....
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Reply to worriedinCali
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So sorry to hear about your sister. Is there a secondary person listed for POA, i.e. you? If your sister is reluctant to step down now, perhaps the POA can be re-written to add you as the secondary/contingent person; your mom would of course have to agree top this and sign. My husband is POA for his younger brother, and another younger brother is listed as next in line should my husband need to resign or become unable to serve as POA. With your own health problems, I'm sure it's very difficult, on top of all the stress of worrying about your sister and mother. Having you as POA isn't going to solve the issue of what to do for your mother, unfortunately. We've used both uber and Lyft, and it's worked well. If you are in a small enough area, you can sometimes ask if you can get the same person if it's someone you like who gets on well with your mother to take her place.
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Reply to newbiewife
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Well, sorry to hear this about your sister. She should resign as mom's POA as she is not up to it. Then ask mom if she wants to have someone else, and by the way, I can't do everything you need. Any ideas mom? If not, call APS, and take care of yourself and sister first.
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Reply to vegaslady
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