I'm the caregiver for parents for --5 yr?
My sister says she can't visit, it would take a long day to drive here and she doesn't want to sleep at parents house.
So my sister seem to want to be involved, somehow. And it occur to me, she tries to be involved --by telling me what to do! Fix this for dinner, shop here not there, even tell me when she is afraid they might get the flu from going to church, don't go to church there are too many people coughing.
If she lived nearby and was actually perfoeming caregiving duties, I would not mind. It wouldnt be anything at all to "talk shop" and share ideas.
Sister is just being downright annoying. I don't have time for it. I wish she could be more truly useful.
How to explain the need I have, without hurting her feeling that she is being "helpful" when she is just not?

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Samara, you hit it on the head. She wants to be helpful but can't bring herself to be helpful in person. Be honest, though tactful..opening line would be, Sis, I know you really just wish you could help and all, and that's why you give so much advice, but some of it just won't work out. If you could come by at all you would see. Then give her some little thing she CAN do even from a distance that would no mess up your planning and handling things. Maybe she could do some online shopping and have stuff mailed to you, and you could send back pix of Mom enjoying something she does like that. Maybe at some point she'd actually WANT to come visit more than she is afraid to now.

Five years is a long time to stay away and not even visit once though. Holy cow, what IS she afraid of??
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Tell your sister about this new invention they have in your town, called motels. :)

Seriously, has she Never visited in 5 years? That sounds like a real problem. Agoraphobia maybe? In any case, she is how she is and she has to deal with it in her way. You are kind and insightful to recognize her desire to be involved. I like vstefans' suggestions about possibly doing a little online shopping for the nightie Mom needs, or a lightweight sweater, or whatever would be truly useful.

Also ask her advice when you can. You don't always have to take it, but that would let her feel needed. You know Mom's situation intimately so it would not be often you "need" her advice, but talk things out with her once in a while. Give her credit when you can. "I was thinking about your concern about spreading germs in church, so I've taken Mom in for her flu shot, and I carry hand sanitizer in my purse. Church means so much to Mom she'd be distressed at not going, but thank you for sharing your concern. I hope this is a good compromise." (Of course you might have done these things without your sister saying anything, but give her credit.)

Tell her Mom loves opening personal mail, and ask if she could send a card or postcard once a week.

Samara, it surely is enough for you to be taking care of your Mom. It is too bad that your sister apparently has needs she expects you to meet, too. But if you can tend to some of her needs WITHOUT extra burden to you, it would be a loving family thing to do.
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This seems really puzzling. Is your sister unable to afford to take a bus or plane to come and visit your parents, and a motel would be too expensive?
The fact that she doesn't want to sleep at your parents' house seems odd. Do you live there too? Is there no room for her, or is there some other problem with the house, like animals that would set off her allergies, or hoarding, or inflexible rules regarding the indoor temperature or something similar that make being there unpleasant?
It's one thing if she can't afford to come visit, or if she's ill, but if she just doesn't want to bother, then you should change the subject when she starts telling you what you should do for your parents. Maybe she feels guilty that she's not there to help out, but that doesn't mean you need to listen to her advice.
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Hotels and airplanes are how we travel more than 5 hours from home. You don't have to be rude to sister; however, if she isn't physically involved in the care of your parents she has no input. Thanking her for these annoying comments only gives her more power. Sounds like you are doing just fine and have no need for an offsite manager.

Give her your address and let her know cards and small gifts would be appreciated by her Mother. You can let her know what items she can mail to Mother. Good luck!
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