How do you handle a sibling who hasn't been around for caregiving support suddenly wants to step in?

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I have been taking care of my mother with vascular dementia for 4 years. The toll on me and my life has brought me to the edge. My sister has been very critical of me and we have not spoken for years. Now that I am struggling so, she suddenly wants to 'talk' and take charge. I feel resentful and angry at her arrogance and judgement.

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I did not understand she was willing to direct bit not contribute. Oh, that is useles, unless you can use the discourse to get her to contribute time and or money to help you help mom and give you a break.
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Exactly. If she only wants to manage finances, etc. -- then leave her out. If she wants to step in and provide care or assistance with help from outside care; then let her trial. In no way, give her any control over finances or mom's expenses.

Who has POA for finances and medical? Are you privy to the will?

I see no harm in talking to see where she is coming from and what she offers to bring to the table. If you don't like it, offer her some alternatives, such as "gee Sis, I could use some respite time, glad you offered. What weeks or months can you care for mom?" or "Gee Sis, thanks for your offer, I think its time to get outside assistance with mom, I'm looking at 30 hrs, 40 hrs per week - its $20/hr -- how much can you kick in?"
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So she just wants to take control but not do any of the real work? Pffft! Not your problem.
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Thanks margarets. Unfortunately my sister lives quite distantly from where we live and doesn't have time or convenience to be here. I have let her know that I have all the help that I need locally to deal with mom's situation. I think it's her attitude that bothers me most. She couldn't do what I do and I know it.
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Just because your sister suddenly wants to talk doesn't mean you have to. You can set the terms for how things go. Take it very slowly, like a year or two. E.g. let her take your mother for an afternoon here & there and see how it goes. Give her specific tasks to do, like your mother's laundry. See how she handles those. But don't give her any control. My guess is that if she has an ulterior motive, she'll bail pretty quickly.
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I have deliberated for quite a while whether or not to post of my own circumstances on this forum; but I have a similar situation with my husband's mother (who struggles with dementia) and their side of the family. The one sister (who lives in the same local area) told my husband some years ago that she didn't want anything to do with their mother. This was at a time when my MIL was upset and crying over the fact that her daughter never came to visit her any more. Likewise the two older sisters live out-of-state; and other than an occasional phone call, holiday card or token gift, have never showed any concern for their mother's living situation or her increasing care needs.

My husband meanwhile has single-handedly taken care of her (in her home) on what came to be a daily basis (3x/day weekdays and almost all day weekends) while simultaneously holding down a full-time job, with virtually no support or respite for the past six years. The only time his sisters ever called him was when their mother had intermittent hearing trouble and failed to answer her phone. He eventually stopped calling them, because it usually wound up being a one-sided conversation. I'm not sure what they have against him, unless it's because (as the youngest and only boy in the family) his parents treated him more favorably (not saying that was the case; it may have just been their perception of things). Incidentally they all married and left the home early while still in their late teens -- not sure what was the catalyst for that.

But anyway now that Mom has been admitted to long-term care, we've received reports (from another residents' family, who were present at the time) of unauthorized visitors referring to her as "Grandma". :( It really concerned us, because the facility had no records of any visitors other than ourselves; and for all anyone knows it could've been some strangers posing as relatives for some ill-intentioned purpose. The facility where she is staying currently is almost a three-hours' drive from her home, and we don't know how they would've even found her unless her previous (transferring) facility had given out the information (which I'm not certain they were authorized to do).

Like Whitney suggested, I'm thinking that their reasons for showing interest now might not be from the best of motives -- particularly since they're still avoiding my husband (and after he had made special efforts to try and keep them informed during the first few weeks of when she'd gone through the crisis).

But relating to your own situation, in what way has your sister been wanting to "take charge"? Is it mostly the legal/financial stuff; or is it to share the actual caregiving load? If the former, I'd be very cautious before surrendering any control of your mother's finances or healthcare decisions over to her. If the latter, I'd still be cautious; but try to remain open to the possibility that she might just genuinely want to repair and re-establish her neglected relationships.
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Hopefully there is not another motive for her that has to do with the inheritance. I would hope that you are getting most of the inheritance, since your sister has been out of the picture and has not been helping out. Also, I am not saying this is the case with your sister, but possibly there is a financial motive for her to start coming around now. Hopefully her concern is genuine, but this was just a thought.
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Let her "take charge". It will only lighten your load. If only for a Short time. This could be a blessing
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