With my mom moving in soon, I'm wondering how one deals with an estranged sibling. I'm no longer close to this person and any contact I make, be it text, word of mouth or email, is met with cold responses. Sometimes even a door slammed in my face! Recently, I decided to shoot an email with medical updates on our parents. In turn, this sibling didn't even address anything in my email, but rather seemed more interested in filing an elder abuse report against another sibling. WTH?!
My mom has expressed that this sibling causes her stress, yet despite that fact, she allows them to visit her. This sibling rarely visits. Once, they brought a sugary fruit drink that Mom consumed and she had diarrhea. Mom's diabetic and this person still thinks what they did was OK!
Now, I live some 300+ miles away, but I have a gut feeling this sibling will want to come and visit. There are grandkids after all. In my opinion, this sibling is unpredictable and mean, but I'm not about to deny Mom her right to see the little ones. In the past, this sibling accepted money from my parents for hardship, but has never been around to help with medical or estate matters for Mom and Dad. This person has also destroyed property belonging to my parents when they were angry. They dented cars, put holes in drywall, etc. Once, after our mom's amputee surgery, I witnessed this sibling accidentally bump into her leg. Absolutely careless.
I've been declared POA and FPOA already. I saw another thread advising that you can allow the sibling to take mom out for dinner/lunch/meet outside the home and state that they are not welcome in your home. How do you enforce that?
I did think about perhaps Mom going to adult day care and they can meet her there for the day and then she can be brought back home at the end of the day. Something like that? Then she'd be surrounded by witnesses and medical personnel.
I wouldn't put it past this sibling to try reporting neglect or elderly abuse without actual proof if they were emotional enough to. I can keep steadfast records and journals, I suppose? While I'll bet that would be a MASSIVE headache if he tried anything and I had the proof to counter it, it's just extra work. How do I protect my mom and my household? I just want to be as stress free as possible to ensure I have the health and peace of mind to be the best caretaker I can be.
When the time comes I would indeed look at something like Adult Day Care and have the visit with the estranged sibling and their children take place with your Mum there. That removes the stress and burden of any potential fallout as well as maintaining home as the peaceful haven you want it to be. If there is stress, anger, resentment or tension felt or perceived during a visit in your home that may taint not only the experience of either of you living there but also the experience of your Mum spending time with her grand babies there. All things potentially easily avoided by not having visits in your home. If Adult Day Care or something similar is not an option you can also look at a public meeting place, whether it be a park or some other neutral meeting ground where the children would be comfortable and you could bring a friend or carer along to look after your Mum in order to avoid conflicts during the visit.
I have often observed that many forget that where an elder lives, whether it be a care home or the home of an adult child, is their home. Like all of us, they need to feel safe, secure, comfortable, relaxed, loved and appreciated just as they are wherever they call home. When any or all of those things are ignored, their sense of wellbeing can be completely destroyed and may never be restored.
In the meantime I agree that in this moment the focus should be in getting your Mum settled and comfortable. You will deal with issues as they arise but try not to anticipate trouble before it comes knocking as you will not need any added stress.
Trust your instincts and always remember that you teach people how to treat and speak to you. You must demand respect from your sibling or you no longer communicate with them. As children that is often quite difficult to do but as adults it is essential to healthy relationships with others and is the basis for a healthy relationship with ourselves. If we do not demand respect from others we often struggle to respect ourselves.
I wish you peace in all you do. Remember always to take very gentle loving care of yourself. With gratitude and grace
But aren't you rather crossing bridges before you come to them? Get her settled in, continue to send updates, yes keep a journal of her care and also watertight financial records; and then just see how it goes. It's always good to be prepared, sure, but you don't have to go looking for trouble.
Are both siblings in agreement in principle with your mother's coming to live with you?