Has anyone experienced a sibling who refuses to see an elderly parent because of issues with you, the caregiver/sibling??? My sister and I have always had a strained relationship. At this time, I'm living with Dad and providing all the support he needs. Sister rarely visits (only holidays) and contributes nothing. I know from what she has said to other family members that she blames me completely and has no intention of helping ME (but would help Dad; however does not even visit). She has never articulated any of this to me. If the tables were turned I would let nothing come between Dad and I. Has anyone experienced a sibling who is awol due to YOU, the caregiver??

Your sister is not AWOL as you say because of you. No. More likely she has no intention of ever helping out with your father's care needs and is using you as her excuse.
Of course she has never said anything to you about it and never will. She's maintaining the status quo and making sure the situation stays exactly as it is. This way she doesn't have to take on any of the caregiving responsibility for your father, while saving face with the family by making the reason your fault.
The going around to the family members and blaming you completely for everything is because your sister is trying to line up allies for her cause. She doesn't want to be seen as an uncaring daughter who won't help with her father. So she's going around telling everyone that the reason she doesn't is you. Then she'll expect the family to back her up if the day ever comes when you confront her about it.
Do these family members she talks about you with ever come around and visit your father? Let them come and see how much you do for him.
Then call your sister on her BS.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to BurntCaregiver

If you honestly think your sister would visit dad but does not because you are there try this to test your theory.
Contact her, whatever way you want, phone, email....
Ask if she wants to visit dad and if so you will leave the house while she visits.
If she wants to spend a few hours make plans to get your hair done, make a doctor's appointment, get a massage...anything to give yourself a break.
She can have her visit and you can have a day to yourself.
If this works out you can arrange that she come every Monday from 9 until 3 or whatever day and time works for both of you.
You get respite, she visits dad and gets to care for him for the day so she understands how dad is doing.
If she declines the invitation then you know that she is not refusing to see him because of you.
At that point her refusal to visit and have contact is on her not on you. She will be the one that will be sorry when dad is at End of Life and she realizes she missed out.
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Reply to Grandma1954

If there is one thing I have learned throughout this process of taking care of mom, it is this:  You can't control anyone but yourself.  Siblings not stepping up to the plate is a common occurrence. If I am the only one taking care of things, then I don't need anyone's approval to make decisions.  That last one is an important one.... If your sibling never visits and never helps with any of the care, then they are in the category of "casual acquaintance".  No different than a friend or neighbor.  And that is their prerogative, but it is your prerogative to treat them accordingly.  Don't give them any more energy or thought.  Make decisions that are in the best interest of your parent and in the realm of what you can handle and leave it at that.  Let your siblings call and ask for an update if they want one.  Once you get to the right place in your head, it is less stressful and easier to handle.

Take care Sandy.
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Reply to Jamesj
CantDance Sep 25, 2021
Excellent advice
This is my life. I have five siblings and my mother moved in with my husband and I after my father's death. Two of my sisters are helpful and present. Another sister, who I've never really had a great relationship with, visits Mom only when required. My brothers aren't much better. I go out of my way to make them all feel welcome. They have a straight line of communication to my mother. Still, very little effort is made to see or talk to her. My advice to you? Let it go. Your sister has most likely been self-centered her whole life. Lower your expectations and lean on those you can. Someday, when your mother is gone, you'll now that you did everything you could to make her happy. Your sister will probably just be waiting for the will, and there's nothing you can do about that. Find your own peace, in spite of her lack of interest.
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Reply to Doingmybest101

Sounds to me Sister might just be using this as an excuse to not lend a helping hand for Dad's Care.

You should let her know that Dad could go visit her or she could come and stay with Dad fir a week or two, to give you a break and you should take a much needed vacation
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to bevthegreat

If she's never said any of this to you, then ignore what others have told you. I'm not saying she is NOT telling them things, but since she hasn't voiced it to you it may be she is just not a caretaker person and has told others things simply to defend not being there for dad.

Call her, when you need something, and ask her directly. If you have to fake a hurt body part, then do it. Ask her if she can come help with dad on a certain day or take him to dr, or whatever. Maybe pick up groceries that you will order online. Anything to get her to the house for a day or a few hours. If you can get her there, then let the honey pour. No bringing up past issues. Agree when you disagree. That may get her foot in the door.

You live with dad. Is it assumed by others that dad is paying your bills, going to give you the family home, that they think you are benefiting more by living with him than if you lived on your own? Many a family has been split by what they 'think' is going on - especially when it comes to the potential split of assets when a parent dies. The inheritance factor is HUGE.
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Reply to my2cents

I've got the opposite problem. I'd love to help mom, even though our relationship has been hard over the years.
Because sis mixed up mom's meds and there were none to give mom on my day, she doesn't believe it was her mistake. So she told me to turn in my med box key and to back away. Honestly, what am i going to do with 2 Tylenol, 1 bp pill and 1 cholesterol pill? I suspected a trust issue because sis lives in fear and is very judgemental, so i turned in moms gate key and house key as well and i backed away. I've not been back however, i call mom regularly. I'm not going to go where I'm not trusted. Sis has made the same mistake again with hired people but now she has no one to blame but herself. She's on her own, which she wanted in the first place because she loved the control and refuses suggestions that would make things easier.
Siblings sometimes just cannot work together. Perhaps hire someone to come in and help. Your sister just might not be the type of caregiver needed. Don't fault her. Talk to her and be nice. It's a step in the right surcharge. His luck!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Flowerhouse1952

I have not experienced a sibling who is awol because of me but I could see how that could definitely be a good excuse.
After three months of my two sisters doing little to nothing for my mom I told one of them that I was done waiting for them and wasn't going to concern myself with their lack of involvement any more. I explained to her that I can only control my actions and that I will continue to care and advocate for my mom no matter what they do and don't do. That was a wake up call for one as she decided to step up.
After five months I finally told sister number 2 that we could use help. She lives two hour away but acts like she lives 2000 miles away. She replied that she had been waiting for me to ask her for help as she isn't here on a day to day basis. GIVE ME A BREAK! You need an invitation to help your ailing mother??? Really. I also told her that some meals would be nice. She had 3, 45 minute visits in 5 months and of course only scheduled around when she was coming for some other reason and only at her convenience. So far two meals, neither of which my mom will eat or likes, so there you go.
In the long run it is totally their loss. I will never regret the time I have spent with my mother. I love her and will continue to do whatever I can to make her happy and loved. I am honored to help my mom and tell her that I help her and spend time with , not because I have to but because I want to.
Thank you for all that you are doing for your dad. You know you are doing the right thing. Totally their loss. One day they may figure that out.
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Reply to jeanmarie12

I recently became the caregiver for my father. The thing is my father has rarely been in my life. I became the caregiver because there was no one else that stepped in to help him. Back to your question- My father has 6 children, my sisters and brothers from fathers other relationships. When I contacted them for assistance, the response was basically "let me know how he is doing thanks for calling".
Siblings not supporting and not HELPING is unfortunately very common.
To date none of his children have called or visited.
I do what is needed for father, and has sought help from local senior agency.
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Reply to Juanita206

In my experience (wife and I took care of her grandmother, her father, her mother, my father, and now, my 99 year old mother, who lives with us), most children would rather put the caretaking out of their minds. Often, they feel guilty about their own lack of helpfulness. It's hard to blame ourselves, easier to blame others. We have a total of six brothers and sisters, all of whom would like to think they are supportive, but none are. We like to encourage them in their feelings of support, since it makes them more willing to call occasionally. It's probably not you making your sister AWOL. Frankly, my wife and I would like very much to get back to just our own lives, but my mother has vowed never to go to a hospital again, and the nursing home we pulled her out of two years ago seemed a terrible place. So, I sympathize with our kin. If you could get out of this situation with your conscience intact, you'd probably do so, too.
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Reply to Toomush
CaregiverL Sep 21, 2021
Too, Bless you! Hugs 🤗 to you & Wife & your Mom🤗

There’s going to come a time..well, she’s 99…& you & Wife aren’t spring chickens either…you may have to place her in facility..looking & planning for backup to you & Wife.
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