My mom has Parkinsons and dementia. I've been her sole caregiver for 9 years 24/7. She's been confined to a wheelchair for 2 years and is incontinent.
I have 2 sister's that come about once a week to let me know what I'm doing wrong,not to help.
My mom recently went to the hospital with an e coli infection, she was there 2 weeks.
I took the opportunity to go away for 2 nights because I hadn't had a break in 9 years and was suffering extreme caregiver burnout.
One of my sister's agreed I should go, but the one that lives around the corner from me got really mad and told me I only put mom in the hospital so that I could have a vacation!
I went to the hospital when I got back and was told my sister had told them mom was going home and they were ready to discharge her even though she wasn't eating and had lost a ton of weight and couldn't even sit up in the wheelchair.
I consulted the doctor who thought it was best that she have rehabilitation before she comes home.
I agreed because it was hard enough taking care of her when she was able to help some,but without anyone to help I knew I couldn't do it.
The problem is, my sister who lives near me is calling me every day telling me off for letting mom get rehabilitation.
She wants her home where she can just forget about her except to bring her a blizzard once a week.
She somehow feels like she needs to check on her everyday in the nursing home and when she was home she knew mom was being taken care of no matter what it was doing to me and only came once a week if that.
She says I just want a break and that's why I'm leaving her in there and I should be ashamed of myself.
I do feel guilty because part of me is enjoying the break.
Should I feel guilty?
Mom is going to come home as soon as she finishes the rehabilitation,probably 2-3 weeks.

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Sorry, meant to say nothing to feel guilty about. I'm sure you knew that but I wanted to correct anyway. God bless!
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Don't answer sisters calls. You'll be surprised how empowered you'll feel by taking that first step.
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You have nothing to feel about. I agree with Jeanne.....get caller ID and don't answer your sister's calls. My heart goes out to you. Enjoy!
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cwillie, your answer comes closest to my own. If one of my brothers spoke to me like that, it would be the last time he spoke to me unless I had to be around him at Christmas. That level of disrespect is overwhelming to me. Kirkatt, it sounds like your sister is a real bully. As long as she knows she can bully you into doing things, she'll keep doing it. I would have divorced her as family long time ago.

The nerve of that woman. Who does she think she is? Even I'm mad at her.
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I hope you have call display, if not it would be a good investment. Use it to screen sister's calls, good lord I would have hung up on her long ago, what a nerve! Does she expect you to sit in sackcloth and ashes until your mom comes home? NO, you have nothing to feel guilty about!
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Hmm ... guilt serves a good purpose when it makes us so uncomfortable we vow not to repeat an action that caused somebody else harm.

In all this post, it seems to me the action you shouldn't repeat is listening to your critical sister. That is causing you distress and that gets in the way of being the best caregiver you can be. So listening to your sister is causing your mother harm. Feel guilty about that and Stop It,right now!

If you'd "accidentally" left the brake off the wheelchair and that caused an accident that put your mother in the hospital, feel guilty! But you didn't earn any guilt for her getting e coli, so don't claim it.

Early in my second marriage my husband and I took a 3-session seminar for parents of blended families (his kids, her kids, and maybe their kids). The most valuable thing we learned applies in all areas of life. It is OK to enjoy lemonade even if you didn't buy the lemons! So some or all of your kids are spending Christmas with your ex. Terrible! Sad! You have to spend a major holiday without your children! Instead of wallowing in guilt, make the best of the situation by having a nice adult vacation at a ski resort. Or focus on strengthening bonds with the kids left behind. The oh-what-a-terrible-parent-I-am to think of enjoying myself without my kid attitude does absolutely no one any good.

You didn't cause your mother to need rehab. But it would be stupid not to take advantage of having her someplace safe! And who on earth is benefiting from your feeling guilty about enjoying yourself?

Furthermore, now that you can see how good it is to get your batteries re-charged, do plan to arrange respite once in a while, and not just wait for fate to dump the lemons in your lap!

Should you feel guilty? Yup -- for listening to your sister. Stop it right now!
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