My sister is ruining my mom's and my life. What can I do without getting yelled at? - AgingCare.com

My sister is ruining my mom's and my life. What can I do without getting yelled at?

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This is how it is. My Mother has dementia, my husband has dementia but not as bad as Mom. I have a job and I am disabled. We don't have much money. She lives alone about a mile from me. She is in her late 80's. Mom has dementia pretty bad and has someone coming into the home seven days a week to take care of her. Mom can feed herself, dress herself, toilet herself, bathe herself etc. She doesn't want this new caregiver either. She says she can do all this herself. She doesn't drive anymore. It's just that Mom is very, very cranky, stubborn, and crabby, irritable etc. No one can do anything right. She has run off scads of caregivers. She won't even go visit an ALF. And sister encourages her to live alone but asks me to help keep mom at home. I feel like I am enabling them. Mom's memory is very bad. Here is the real problem. I feel guilty that I don't spend more time with Mom and do more for her. I call her 2 times a week and go visit once a week. Each time I visit, I get yelled at. If I take her places, she yells at me when we are there. All Mom's friends have dropped her or died so no one visits. Her neighbors avoid her bc she is so cranky and yells at them. Yet I go because she is my Mother and I love her. But I don't want to be yelled at, screamed at. But then I feel guilty bc I don't do more for her. After I get through working and taking care of hubby, and taking care of my home, cooking, etc. I am exhausted. Sister won't hear of letting the council on aging hear about this and has forbid me to contact anyone. Sister also says no pills for the dementia etc. She is running the show but wants me to do things for Mom. Frankly I am too exhausted to rock the boat, let her do the thinking. But Mom is a human being and she was there for me. So I am torn, feel guilt but don't want to be yelled at. What should I do?

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Brandy, it'll probably turn out that your sister is on this website already and has told us that HER sister keeps trying to put mom in asst living, and we've all been telling her NOT to. ha. Just do what you think is right and let all the other stuff go. I'd also be interested what you husband thinks about this.
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Do you and your sister have any unsettled issues? If so, it is overtime to get them out on the table and to stop exploiting you. Possibly a little screaming back may help the issues, but I would draw the line at hair-pulling (JK) though that may feel good. Just handling the money is not enough, In my own experiences I have found that if relatives are not personally involved, it is really easy to remain detatched. Agree with above, who has POA? It sounds like it is 'way overtime to establish boundries and your sister (again, Issues?) and insist on some respect if you are going to be treated like a naughty employee. I am luckier than most on this site, my mom does not have dimentia or anything but I had to lay down a lot of laws about boundries when I came here, as I was immediately 12 years old again (I am 68 with some problems of my own) and hold firm to them, and in my case I do not knuckle under to crabbiness, though I understand that your mom can't help it, but your sister surely can, make her understand you will not be treated as a 2nd rate citizen, you are handling more than your share. Behave that way. Remember, you are not alone, many of us have had and are having the same problems.
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You are under a tremendous amount of stress and you need to take care of yourself first, or you will be of no help to your mother. If you are going to be the primary caretaker, then YOU need to decide what is best for your mom. Any decisions about her medication should be made by the caretaker & your mom's physician. Your mom should be seeing a good geriatric doctor with experience in dementia - that doctor might be able to diagnose what kind of dementia she has and medicate her appropriately. There may be an adult day care in your town which would provide socialization, exercise, a meal, snacks etc for your mom and, most importantly, respite for you. You cannot take care of a person with dementia by yourself, you need to get help, education, referrals, resources. Reaching out to this community was a very good idea, a great first step. Keep writing. This is a great website -- also check into Alzheimers Reading Room, another great resource. All the best!
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Agreed. Let go of the guilt and just keep doing what you can. Tell your sister to get off her high horse and help out, or shove off.

xoxo
-Selfish Siblings
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do you have power of attorney or does your sister? If neither of you have power of attoreny then ignore what your sister whats and call her doctor for meds for mom and if you think she needs to be in a nursing home then get her doctor to say so and contact medicaid to apply for her if she does not have the money to pay for it herself, my mom lives with me and I take care of her, I think she also has the starting of dementia but not to bad yet, but she has like 10 diseases so she needs help bathing walking etc, also does your mom have a medic alert system, my mom does, so if I am grocery shopping and she needs help all she has to do is hit the button on the wrist band that she wears and they will answer and call you or if she needs an ambulance, they will send you, best wishes and again ignore what your sister wants, will keep you and your mom in my prayers,
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Mom can feed herself, dress herself, toilet herself, bathe herself etc. She doesn't want this new caregiver either. She says she can do all this herself. She doesn't drive anymore. It's just that Mom is very, very cranky, stubborn, and crabby, irritable etc. No one can do anything right. She has run off scads of caregivers. She won't even go visit an-------

It sounds like your mother was a very independent person and it scares her that she might be losing her independence and may actually realize (only to herself she needs some help) The crankiness crabby (if like most of the elder people I have been around) Now caretaker of my own has alot to do with not feeling well, anxiety, could be depression. My mother is definitely showing signs of dementia denies denies I have since read all the articles to help myself to learn how to help them with more patience. While visiting ignore the insults, I have heard many from mine. Your sister probably figures let your mom keep her diginity as long as she can . My mother is on the dam meds which makes them MORE accident prone, falling, more forgetful, all the side effects and warnings so I would just monitor mom as time goes
on God bless
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Who put Sister in charge of your life?

Maybe she is in charge of Mother. I don't know. She has decided that Mother is to stay at home alone, and have no medications. OK. Not the decision I'd make, but she's not my mother.

You apparently have figured out how much effort you can devote to the mother you love, and still be a devoted wife, earn money, and take care of yourself. You have decided that 2 calls and 1 visit per week is what you can do. Do it.

Don't take Mother's yelling too personally. She has dementia, remember?

You have to do what your conscience tells you is right for your mother. Is she at risk in her current situation? Do you think calling the council on aging would benefit Mother? I cannot imagine how Sister could forbid you to do whatever you think best. (I am trying to think of how successful I would be forbidding my 3 younger sisters to do something. I had to stop typing a minute while I laughed.)

You asked what you should do. Here's my take:

Continue to visit your mother. Don't let the yelling get to you. Suck it in and be nice to her, a few hours a week in person, and on the phone once in a while.

GIve up the guilt. Save that emotional energy to care for your husband.

Think through whether it would be in your mother's best interest to get objective professionals involved. Make a decision in love, and then carry it out, whether that is calling professionals, or deferring to your sister's judgment.

Be fair to your sister by letting her know your boundaries. "This is what I can do." If she is making the decisions she needs to know what she can count on from you, so her decisions can be realistic. Don't let her bully you or forbid you or order you or guilt-trip you. Make up your own mind, and then tell her.

Since you asked, that's what I think you should do. But whatever you decide to do, by best wishes go with you.
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