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Recently my father, 87 , fell and broke his neck. His injury is serious however he was lucky and not paralyzed. The injury occurred two weeks ago, with my finding out today when I called my fathers cell phone to arrange a lunch date. My eldest sister answered his phone and I was then told what had happened.
Historical context: There has been lifelong conflict between myself and two older sisters (middle sister triangulates), I am the youngest. The conflict had escalated within the last six months. We all live in the same town. Regarding my fathers injury, the middle sister determined that I would not be called and told about our fathers injury because of her own issues with me. The eldest sister went along with the middle sisters decision. I have a close relationship with my father. There are no problems in our relationship, or with his current care. The issue is that I was not called when he fell and broke his neck and was hospitalized (they kept me from him and kept him from the comfort of my being their during a time when he could have passed away) and as it is he needed all family to be supportive.

I was on vacation when the injury occurred- which my father knew of, but my sisters didn't. My being out of the area was not why they didn't call me. Had they called me I would have returned immediately. When I returned to town I called my father for the lunch date.
Because of the behavior my two sisters enacted I am concerned that they will continue to try to keep me from having contact with my father. What legal rights do I and or my father have so that we can maintain contact and I can help to care for him?
The middle sister who triangulates lives with my father in his home, however her name is on his property etc. in the event he dies she will continue to have a place to live. With her name in the property she feels she has a right to exercise limiting my contact with my father.

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Tsk. Very irksome.

I'm glad the ombudsman is taking an interest. Before you get heavy, though, keep giving her chances. Take what she says at face value: ok, so he's tired - what days are better? You'll be 'busy cooking dinner' (very hard not to get sarcastic there, but…) - so what time will you be free from your weighty domestic responsibilities (sorry didn't I just say don't be sarcastic oops my bad)? I.e. be firm and persistent but nice. If you don't go away eventually she'll have to co-operate. Do other people have 'broken record' techniques for this, similar to the ones you're supposed to use for recalcitrant children?

Very irritating. Don't let her provoke you.
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Well, the middle sister keeps canceling my visits w/ this reasoning: #1 Dad is tired,#2 I need to cook dinner at the time scheduled for you (translation: You can't visit).
The Omsbudsman called and recommended I contact legal aide as her actions may well be isolation of father from family / outside world.
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Sister3, your father probably doesn't recognise your sister from time to time. Her face is not as familiar as, say, yours, on account of she wasn't around that often.

I'm waiting for this to happen with my brother. When it does, it's going to be a delicate exchange:

"Mum really is losing it. She didn't recognise me."
"No, she's forgotten you. What do you expect? You're a stranger."

I'm sorry there isn't more reassuring news, but thanks for the update. Three 45 minute sessions is a lot better than seeing him whisked off out of reach, though, isn't it? I hope he begins to make progress.
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I have 6 sisters. I am aligned with one and three of them have a goal in their lives to keep me and my sister away from my dad. Since I have been banned from calling my dad (almost 3 months ago) my dad has called me every day. the judge wanted to make sure he was initiating some of the calls. We talk every morning for 1/2 an hour. My sisters attempted to get me out of my dad's life, but they have actually helped us to become closer! My youngest sister has tried every trick, like, "Dad doesn't remember you", "When you leave, dad is always upset", "Dad has black-outs", etc. I even found my sisters journal which states that they threaten him with going into the nursing home if he doesn't "co-operate". They constantly lie to him and tell him that he does things and agrees to things which he doesn't. I have always been the peacemaker in the family, but I have tried and tried and they have no desire to work anything out.
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Update: Thank you for sharing your concerns, support and suggestions. I have also thought that were I to get legal support that the middle sister (narcicist) would become even more wretched, and the elder sister would dig her heals in as well as she is closely aligned with the middle sister even tho she states she has to walk on eggshells. At the moment the elder sister has been the go between because the middle sister is inflexible. The middle sister has offered 3 forty five minute visit sessions per week, stating our father needs rest without intrusion other then the care team (the 2 older sisters) and the OT and nurse who come in consistently.
My father does recognize me when I visit and talks to me in current time, however my sister states he has lost cognitive ability and doesn't always recognize them or have a concept of reality. He has not made improvements since the initial injury and is also incontinent now.
In closure-- the vertebrae fractures and frontal lobe injuries have seriously impacted him.
At the moment I have determined that I will do my best to work with my sisters to try to lessen drama and further retaliation by them.
This much I know-- there isn't much room for healing this current chapter among the three sisters-- it is what it is. There is never a win win with a narcicist.
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If you called him everyday how often did you visit him?
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It's excessive to call your Dad every day? Then what the heck is it if you move in with him?

I rang and/or visited my mother every day from the day my Dad died to the day we moved in together, except when she was physically out of the country. I had no idea I was harassing her!

I don't understand what that judge was thinking. Maybe she's been spared (so far) from having a declining or lonely parent she worries about.
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Keep your loved one out of the courts! My dad has money, so he has been being robbed of it since December when he got a court appointed Guardian of the estate and a daughter he can't stand for his guardian of the person. In the first 3 months of guardianship my sister's attorney charged my dad's estate $13,000! We have sent many letters to the judge about the guardian's mistreatment of my dad and NOTHING has been done about it. The judge doesn't care, Adult Protective Services doesn't care, the Area Agency on Aging doesn't care. Two police reports against the guardian for harassing my dad and yet no-one cares. We are on our way to the Attorney General.
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This sounds very similar to my family. Our relationship with our father was going like this until one sister filed for guardianship and another sister got guardianship. Since then, in December of 2013, the sister who got guardianship has done everything to get me and my other sister out of the picture with my dad. She actually went to court with my dad's phone records to show that I called my dad every day. My dad has dementia and lives alone. I call him daily to make sure he has taken his pills, eaten dinner, etc. She doesn't check on him daily or even every other day. The judge said that I don't need to call my dad every day- that is excessive(she said). My sister (the guardian) got the judge to agree to only allowing us to see our dad at scheduled times (they are scheduled by the guardian, NOT my dad). My dad regularly requests to see me and He calls me every day. I have to tell my dad I'm not allowed to see him unless my sister schedules me. No evidence of any kind was presented in court against me; my dad lives in his own home independently, and yet he is not permitted to have the family members he wants to visit him.
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I have been sitting here, reading for about 20min, with my mouth wide open, just stunned. Horror story after horror story. Someone said they were glad they were an only child. Frankly I'm glad both my parents are gone. My heart hurts for you Sis3. And for all who had similar stories. My brothers and I have never been close. (One, a year older and the other 15 years younger) But I am absolutely certain that neither of them would withhold that kind of information. Nor would they have kept me from seeing either parent. I can hardly wrap my head around that kind of childish behavior. Vacation or not you should have been told. He is you father, and what if that had been you last chance to see him? I am astonished at your sisters behavior, and I feel so bad for you.
That said, I have to agree with all who said do whatever it takes to make peace. Eat a s... sandwich if you must. I would not put it past them to find a way to get a TRO, to keep you from you Dad. And start, right now, and quietly, finding a way around them. If you can afford a lawyer, get one. The fact that they openly admit their actions were "payback" means they are sure they have, and will keep, all the control they need. As soon as he is able get your Dad to sign the HIPAA waiver. Then you will, at least, have access to his medical condition. I don't know what should come next, but your lawyer should be able to tell you. Be as pro-active as you can be. Fight for your right to have access to you Dad, when you chose, not when they chose. But do it quietly while kissing up to their faces. My thoughts, and prayers are with you. Good luck.
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Debbie, morally, you're right. But practically? Yeah, I think she can make it almost impossible for her sister to see her dad if she so chooses -- as long as she's in charge. IMO, going down ANY kind of a stubborn road is sure to escalate ill will. If the poster's only motive is to see dad and have a relationship with him, then she needs desperately to find a way to get along. If that means apologizing, then that's what it means. If it means stepping up more? Then it means that. Sometimes, though, relationships are so darned toxic that it just can't be done. These dysfunctional relationships don't happen overnight. Takes years. You snub me. I'll snub you back. More.

The danger is putting dad in the middle. When all he really wants is peace. Most likely he's let go of all the problems of this world and is content to be taken care of by his daughter...as is happening now. He's going to be loyal to his caregiver come hell or high water. I can almost guarantee that.

Make peace!

Maybe an attorney might be able to intercede. But as far as legal action? I'd wish the poster good luck with that. I personally think it'd be throwing good money after bad.

Sometimes, to get what we want, we have to suck it up. Big time.
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I hope we hear what the lawyer says. But I shouldn't matter if the sister was invited to the wedding or not. Morally you can not with hold a parent because your feelings were hurt. My experience with taking meals to my mom would be the sister will snub the meal and if the dad eats it and latter may not feel good the sister who took the meal will be accused of making the dad sick.

These sisters are on a witch hunt and will resort to accusing her of anything they can dream up.

I have no answer to your situation and I wish you the best. I have lived through a lot of this stuff. Some of my lowest points have been during this time of my mother getting older. I just have to believe I am doing what is right for her. And for me that is staying away.
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Such thoughtful insights! I marveled that no one asked if your dad has memory problems? Even after the accident?. My mom is 88 and I thank God I can be there for her. One brother we haven't seen or heard from directly in 20 years.
I was married to a NARSISSIST. Didn't know what the problem was until I left and he wanted a psychologist to tell ME that I was wrong to leave. The doctor told him in closing, "you don't love even yourself, you aren't capable of loving AT ALL". He told people "the dr said I was normal.". And after 26 years tells everyone he doesn't know why his family left him in 1986! I won't go on.
As stated before, the narcissistic sister will be unmovable. She is right if 99% of the WORLD says different. Work around her all you can. Say you are coming and go. If she turns you away, try again and again. I had better luck just telling my husband "I'm going to moms" than asking "can I go to moms". May God give you insight as to how to be near your dad. And please do tell us how it went with the lawyer. (if my brother was in town, I would need one, I'm sure, we never got along consistently.). Hugs...
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My siblings and I often do not agree on parent care (or other issues: we are a bullheaded family). We have agreed to keep informed via email. just a simple update each week, maybe an attached photo. This has worked very well.

Forget the sibling issues in the emails. Remember to thank your sister for caring for your father, it is hard work no matter what you feel about her.

Also, look internally at yourself. My mother was very intensely emotional, to the point that managing her responses sometimes became more the focus than anything else. If you are not able to remain calm while being concerned, scared, worried about your father, work on this. Mom ended up being told stuff after it was managed. If she got upset, during it would only have slowed the situation down, or made it worse. What your dad needs is people who look like they believe "everything will be ok", even if it might not.
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I am not sure what state you are in but I urge you to settle this with your sister even if you have to be sickeningly sweet in the face of adversity. You can file for conservatorship of your mother, however, the sister will go for same and may win because she is already taking care of mom even though she is isolating your mother from you. But try to keep this out of the courts whatever you do because they do not like feuding family members, feel that it is not beneficial to the elder and they will place a professional fiduciary in charge of your mother who will do the same as your sister is doing all with the courts blessing. An attorney told me the only way to protect my mother was through a conservatorship in California, which I did; only to lose her to a professional fiduciary because the courts felt it better that a stranger who paid $500 for a license was better for my mother than a daughter. This San Francisco fiduciary has isolated my mom from her family and is paying himself and his counsel hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees over the last 4 years to keep mom away from me and all he has done is stick her away in some nursing home of which he would not reveal for months. I have been fighting for my mom back for four years and I still can obtain no information as to how she is and I am named as attorney in fact in her durable POA and Health POA's, successor trustee of our family trust, and executor of my parents estate (dad deceased), yet the courts will not acknowledge me as anyone who has any rights. Please try to work this out with your sister and keep mom out of the court system if you can or a stranger could end up doing exactly what your sister is doing and he doesn't care anything about mom; only the money. Good luck.
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From what you say they are being childish and the real issue is with regards to your wedding last year and who's in control from one family event to another, so in this instance I think it would be good for you to play along and mend fences, or apologize or whatever...do what you have to to show a bit of compassion that your sisters that they weren't included (blah, blah, "I'm sorry, we didn't know it was that important to you...") even though you did it on purpose, because this is ALL about their having control over this situation and it sounds like you will not win, or have much access to your dad otherwise.

All you can do is let them think you learned your lesson and see if you are granted permission back in the family. Who cares, really, as long as the drama is kept to a minimum and your dad is not involved in the sibling rivalry.

They might be more than happy to have you step in and help once the shiny veneer of control wears thin, so find out your legal rights and then get in the game because middle sister has control and wants to teach you a lesson and you'll just have to play along and be smarter about it if you want to play with them at all.
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Avoid going to probate court at all costs!!! Never file for guardianship in from the courts. It turns into a long useless battle where the Judge will assign an independent outside agency to control your parents life due to a family squabble. They make all their financial and medical decisions. That is what happened to our mother. They removed her from her home and put her in a nursing home where she lost the will to live. All it is, is a money making agency to rob the elderly legally. We were in court for two years and thousands of dollars. Family squabbles do not belong in the court system. They take away their rights and end up taking everything the ward has. Try to work things out with a pastor or third party. Avoid going to court at all cost. Our whole family and extended family is now broken and will never mend. At my Mothers funeral my brother called the police accusing me of have an AK-47 and guns. It gets really ugly in court. This is only a small picture of what happens. RUN do not walk away from that idea.
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actually there are some protections; not permitting your father to see you, or to seewho he wishes to see is elder abuse/isolation
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As I read various posts on this board, I realize that I'm rather fortunate at this stage in my mom's life that I'm an only child. I think when one is alienated from a family member at this stage in their lives (when a parent needs caretaking and support) it's very difficult to mend fences.

I don't know if your sister works, but the fact that she lives with dad means she's doing more than her share of caretaking for him. Even though she probably gets a place to live at little or no cost, she may still resent that she's there 24/7 while YOU, on the other hand, are on vacation. (I'm not being critical in the least; just trying to see it from another perspective.)

How much do YOU help your dad? And thus your sister? Do you occasionally bring over a casserole for dinner once a week combined with your visit? Offer to take him to doctor appointments? Offer to take him to your house for a few days (or "the day") so your sister can have some peace and quiet?

Have you done some research for respite care for your sis? Provided her with some resources for help in the home? Does she need it? Do you come off as appreciating what she's doing for dad? Or do you think she's well paid because she has a place to live?

If I were you, I think I'd be ignoring the fact that your sister didn't call you. Perhaps simply tell your other sister that you sure would have appreciated a call. In the meantime, actions speak much louder than words. Try to find ways to be helpful to your sis. Without actually saying something, try to mend fences.

I'd say it's probably a sure bet that, should you say, "I'd like to come over to see dad Thursday afternoon and bring dinner for the two of you," she'll probably faint dead away and appreciate the gesture. After bringing them a SPECTACULAR casserole, fresh bread, salad in a Ziplock with a couple bottles of dressing for them to choose from...as you leave, say, "Mind if I do a repeat NEXT Thursday?" I'm pretty sure your sister will begin to mellow out.

Just my two cents. I'm reading a lot between the lines here. But I also realize there's two sides to every story.
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You could inquire about elder mediation services. Sometimes involving an unbiased third party can help to resolve this type of conflict. If you make this suggestion and it is not accepted them calling adult protective services in your county and ask for an investigation and have the suggest mediation. Sometimes having someone ask questions as part of a legal investigation helps family members recognize they are behaving on an immature way.
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You have an absolute right to see your father, so I would forget about the time lost on the vacation and visit your father daily. Secondly, get to know his doctor and find out from the doctor what are dad's prospects for a fully recovery from such an injury at age 87. Then figure out how you can help dad through this recovery and the rest of his life. Things are changing for him in a big way.
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Godspeed and quick recovery!
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Good for you, Sister3. Best wishes for his recovery.
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Thank you to each of you who have responded. Each of you have made valuable points.
I am not and will not get drawn into drama or recriminations with them. I keep all texts and voicemails, which have a nature of attempts to goud me into argument. I am not biting that hook. I am focused on my dad, being present for him, grateful for any contact I may have.
I am very grateful he didn't die from his injury, and will support him in any manner that I can.
My two sisters are trying hard as they might to limit and control my contact with him, because they say their choice to "out me" makes me not part of his care team.
Day to day, moment to moment. I cope.
The initial shock of their actions regarding excluding me from knowing he had a critical injury and was hospitalized literally broke me for about 24 hours. I have regrouped and am stepping forward with a business perspective: the business at hand is care and comfort of my father. Period.
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Try, yes, I agree. But given this particular sister's modus operandi, if ice-breaking doesn't work, just go around her. Try not to let her suck you in and get you down.
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If your father is mentally able to do so, HE needs to talk with the sister who lives there with him and tell her to communicate with you. Ask your father about being designated as POA.
Also I agree with Jeanne, you need to try and have a relationship with the sister who lives with him. Likely she has a load on her shoulders since she is there all the time - be concerned about her situation - not just what she is doing for your dad. It might make for less friction.
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CM, it is also geography and has to do with how GPS system entry to find location from a minimum of three satellites. Triangulation.
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More than $380K was removed from my parents estate in the past decade, and my mother's chronic conditions are not being medically treated. Getting legal counsel is an investment in your parent's wellbeing and quality of life. Don't permit a siblings' power struggle (i.e. "Triangulation") to deter quality of life for your parent.
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I thought it was Geography! :)
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Triangulation.

OK, now I get it. How have I gone 45 years and not heard this term??

I thought it had something to do with outer space or rocket ships or something.

Learn something new everyday.
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