What can I do when there is no answer to my problem? - AgingCare.com

What can I do when there is no answer to my problem?

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My parents are near 90 years old and live in their home. My sister, who is unmarried, has moved in with them. My sister does the majority of the caregiving, partly because she is living with them and partly because she is extremely meticulous about it and my caregiving does not live up to her standards. All I ever wanted growing up was for my dad to treat my mom the way she deserved to be treated but that was asking too much. As a result, I've never been close to my dad. My sister had a tumultuous relationship with him also and eventually told him he was ruining her life. A few months later he had a serious accident and now requires daily care. Since the accident, my sister's number one priority has been his total and absolute happiness. I think she feels guilty because she had told him he was ruining her life. My mom is the most wonderful person in the world. Even though she is still living in her home, she has lost her independence, must essentially live under my sister's rule, and I feel she has lost her will to live. Her appetite is not very good and tests show she may have had a heart attack sometime in the last year. My mom would be much happier if my dad was in a nursing home but my sister will never ever let that happen and she's in charge. I cannot bear the thought of my mother living like this because it's her home, not my sister's. I try to make my mom's life better by getting her out so she can have fun but all she wants is to have her life back. It's just so awful and it's been this way for so long and I've stressed and cried and prayed and racked my brain over this for so long -- I just don't know what to do. I really feel like there is no answer but I cannot let my mom just waste away. She tries to put on a brave face but I know how I would feel if my son moved in with me in my old age and took over my home. Is there anything I can do? My sister is in charge and crossing her is really not pleasant.

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How about an Intervention between you and your sister? I know how you feel because I have a sister that I cannot deal with either. Things have become so bad between us that when my mother dies, I do not want to have anything to ever do with her again. Then I have another sister who I absolutely love and we have so much fun together.

The only thing I can see is if you had a therapist do an intervention between you two and you talked it out and came to an agreement. What if you were able to fill in on the weekends and sister left for time to herself? Otherwise I would say ask Mom to please come and live with you.
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Valley girl, Insist that your mother come to visit you for a long stretch of time. Sure she will probably not want to, but do it anyway. Having a talk/visit with your sister would be a waste of time. She knows everything and isn't one to do any changing. All the talking in world will only get you nowhere except high blood pressure.
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i can't even imagine what this must be like for you seeing your mom's life that she is suppose to be able to still enjoy be taken from her. also your dad's situation as it sounds like it is very debilitating for him too. i would most definitely have someone that she might listen to sit down with sis and have a good heart to heart talk with her. help show her some of the other things she needs to see and maybe even uncover some hidden emotions that need to be released. it is easy to bury our emotions when it comes to care giving, and hopefully your sister isn't in any place where she would bring any harm to herself or anyone else. again, i do believe bringing someone in that is a professional in the field of care giving would probably be best. they see this stuff i'm sure alot, and would be more apt to approach it in a beneficial way for both the parents and the caregivers involved. you might even call Hospice and just talk to them. i know they have a great team of people, at least they did for me when my husband was sick. i don't know what degree of need your parents have, but i know hospice is not what it used to be. you don't have to be in your last days for getting care. then again this may not even be an option. Lord, give valleygirl15 an answer to this situation. Make it clear Lord and I ask you to open up doors in which You would send the right help and relief for this family. And Lord, forgive any wrong feelings anyone might have towards each other and allow Your powerful love to breakdown and break through any walls of resentment or unforgiveness that might be present. I ask this in Jesus precious name. amen.
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Right on mover2! We must walk in anothers shoes before judging.
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Nice to see some of the answers that say bring her to your home. Putting labels like OCD caregivers, controlling,vein, pity train, come from MOST who have not had that 24/7 experience. Every title comes with a description.... oh my I could give a speech that would take years, but if ya don't like the way she is handling things either try to help by taking the mom some or keep a zipper on it.
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I think it is good idea to have your mom over frequently.
How would she feel about moving in with you? I'll bet she would have some concerns about your dad. Another option might be to get out a lot, shopping, lunch, a spa day, a drive or what ever. That way she (and you) are still connected to the home front. Siblings can be difficult...If you can't change this somehow, then you need to change you.....a tough one eh? I wish you lots of luck. Try not to let your frustration wear you down so much you don't see the options that are out there.
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Bring your Mother into your home.
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I like a lot of these answers. PinkLA's comment was a good one about her mother having to sit and be an observer in her life because of an over controlling OCD caregiver, which kind of sounds like your sister. And it's a bummer that it's in your Mom's house! And your Mom has no say in what's going on in her life. That would be very upsetting and stressful. So why does your sis have all of the control. Did both your parents relinquish this control to her. Is your Dad now mentally impaired as well as physically impaired? Because if he's still somewhat mentally competent, it would most likely be a challenge to get him to agree to be moved to a nursing home. It's his house too, as well as your Mom's, right? I agree with Skinnona, it may be best to get another person involved to speak to your sis about over-stepping her bossiness and controlling in your Mom's house. She may mean well, and be attempting to assuage her guilt from previous behavior to your Dad, but why should your Mom have to be punished now as a result. This is the end period of your Mom's life as well. She deserves to live as harmoniously as possible in her own home and not be bossed around and under the rule of your sister (who, by the way, may be getting bossier and angrier all the time because she has too much on her plate...at her own doing, and is becoming an embittered tyrant in the process.) I know how this can happen, as sometimes I see myself becoming really angry and bossy trying to get everything to run smoothly all by myself, which is just fruitless and impossible. Your sis could be in denial about it, so maybe someone could point some of these things out to her....as diplomatically as possible, of course. :)) Good luck. I'm on your side!!
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I agree with Macada about suggesting that your mother go and live with you for a short "vacation". Give her time away from your sister. Your mom is probably depressed about your dad’s situation also. I know my mom withdrew when my father became ill.

Your mom wants her old life back but that is no longer possible. Her husband needs daily care and having someone in their home to care for him sounds as though it is a requirement. It's too bad that your sister is a controlling type of individual.
My mother was with my brother and sister in law for six months and it was not a good situation. My SIL was so OCD that everything had to be perfect and SIL had to do everything. It caused caregiver burnout of my SIL which ended up making my SIL not be very nice to my mom. My mother had to sit and be an observer in her life. Is your sister this controlling? It may not be healthy for your mom if she is.
Maybe a break from that would do your mom good.
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Valley Girl -- You're right. There isn't any answer to your problem. That's because the problem is that you allow yourself to be upset by things you can't control.

You can't change your sister. Nor can you change your mother. Her insistence that life return to the way it used to be is irrational. And if she's obsessing over that then it may be that medical intervention is needed. In any case, people are how they are and the only thing you can control is how you manage yourself in relationship with them.

Reaching out to people on this website is a good start and there's nothing wrong with also getting professional help if you need it. Otherwise, if you remain locked in conflict then you are enabling the dysfunctional situation.

Blessings to all concerned for a peaceful resolution.
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