Follow
Share

Mom lives in a sr apartment building. She has COPD and doesn't move around much. 2 weeks ago she fell and has taken to her scooter chair. My sister is the only sibling that lives nearby. She is the primary breadwinner in their household, works full time, home schools, and has kids at home who need her. Mom calls her constantly! She drives the 30 min to moms at least once a day, more often than not twice or she just stays there. To add the dysfuction to this scene mom is a slight hoarder. First it was books and papers, now it is her recycling and cookies and candy that she orders by mail. How can I get Mom to see that she needs to let us bring someone in to help or move somewhere that there is more care.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Correction: my Mom requires 24-hour assisted living.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Does your Mom have her own social worker to help you, your family and Mom work out her concerns? For example, my Mom has a social worker's assistance that our family is unable to resolve. She still wants to return to our residence but cannot because Mom, at age 94, requires 4-hour assisted living. We do own our condo jointly but cannot afford to upgrade it to make it safer for my Mom. I am also receiving therapy for my own trauma and stress that lasted most of my life.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Your support is so great, you compassion will come back to you!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you all so much. Your suggestions are worth their weight in gold!! Talked with the State/County Aged and Disability Organization and a Home Health Nurse that I got mom's Dr to order. If I can just get medicaid approved, I might be able to get a few more bodies in to take some of the strain off of my sister. Drove 300 miles and sat mom down and told her that my sister is burning the candle at both ends and this just has to quit. She behaved like she understood but then later wanted to know why I just wouldn't let it go. The 2 orginizations came over and did evals while I was there with my sister and that seemed to go well. She does not want these people in her life ( or in her apartment-I think she realizes what it looks like) but I truly believe that it is the only way we can keep her at home so I told her that too. She is going to have to buck up and accept some assitance. As for my sister, I did tell her that instead of running there a second or third time, she is going to have to learn to say "that's something that the nurse (or whom ever) can help you with in the morning" or something along that line. My newest problem is that I submitted the application for medicaid when mom was being stubborn and wouldn't give me all of her info. Since then I have been able to get more info but have no idea how to update the application? Who knew it was going to be this exhausting and frustrating to take care of a parent?!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It may be a battle royal , but I agree with the others...talk to mom together, and tell her that while your sister is wonderful to help, one person cannot do everything. If mom will agree to have someone come in to help her, make sure you call a company who will send out a qualified consultant who can asses your mom's needs and also will let the family choose the caregiver who is hired. If mom can't afford it, call the local Office of Aging in your county and ask what assistance they may be able to offer. some only ask a small hourly amount to help offset the cost. My mom only had to pay 2.00 an hour to have help, the county offset the rest.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Many good suggestions here. I myself am learning, after many years, to set boundaries, and to say "no", or "not now", or "I'll have to do that later". Or even to say that certain things are not an option anymore. I've been burning myself out, getting stressed, angry, and frustrated. And at the end of the day, I hate the way I feel. Being an only child, have been the primary caregiver. And I'm realizing that I've got to take care of myself, otherwise I won't be any good to anyone!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Cell phones are a help and a burden. We would think twice about letting a minor call us for everything that they think they "have to have now." Boundaries can be set for elders too. Yep *Chicago" the Dear Abby adage has a lot of truth to it!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If your sister is like mine (who eventually died from all of the stress - my opinion only) she won't turn off her phone and take a break. Some just won't. I called it the curse of the cell phone. I would tell her "If you are going into a restaurant, turn your phone off." I would tell her go to each of your son's for a week. She wouldn't.

I came to realize that she was enabling Mother, and there was nothing that I could do. Like Dear Abby always said "No one can take advantage of you, without your consent."
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Wow how awesome are you for noticing your sister needs a break. I don't think you can get mom to see your sister needs a break. You just have to do what is necessary and explain it to mom as needed. Sometimes a little information is best or the whole story depending on your moms mind and age and illnesses . I am the sister that moved in with mom quit my job. My daughter moved to Florida and I am soooo burnt out and look way older than I am. I have learned that you have to just do and not worry about it. It sounds mean but your sister and you are the drivers. We have taken on so many things for mom it's crazy. She has gotten used to it but does not like it much but we tell her it's best for her that we just do it and we would never do anything to hurt her and that we are here to protect her. Qweens pretty much said it all. Just do it slowly and with patients. Mom want's me to paint her house inside and out mow the lawn buy her things she sees in ads and I have to tell her that I am taking care of needs and that I will keep these things in mind if I get time and she has money. Mom had very little money a month and me and my sister had to tell her that. We struggled with telling her the truth which was that she has 200 bucks at the end of the month for food and that's it. She took it well but seems to still live in the I want this and that world. I just smile and walk away. It breaks my heart to see her not be able to go get what she wants because she can't walk and has no money. My sister our back up for some stuff has always taken on the financial extra expenses for mom and mom does not know that. She owns her home but still has taxes to pay and bills. I have to say that sharing things with mom is better in the mid day and that's what works for me. I wish you both all the best and do what you think is best for your mom and you guys. There is not right or wrong answer at all. It's trial and error haha. This can consume your life if you let it so be careful and make the best choices you can. I've been doing this almost two years and it feels like forever. koodo's to your sister for all she does. I am in no way able to get a job right now. I want to have one but I feel like I would have to choose one or the other and I just have to pray that God is going to guide me in the right direction. I go to school during the week once a week and coming home that day after school is so much to deal with and mom actually treats me like I don't care about her and gets mad that I do something for me. It's weird but then my sister reminds me that mom is just that way and will never be happy for what I am doing because it's not all about her. Ok well I have rambled on so good luck and God bless you for taking care of your mom. : )
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

One other thought -- use the idea of "if something comes into the house, then something has got to go" and be ready to take items to sell at thrift shops or to donate. When I actually gather up things to do this, it does make an impact. Every time I go to see the parent I have to clear walking spaces.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

*Queens Gambit" you have good suggestions. Absolutely, set boundaries. The hoarding and mail-order stuff has got to be curtailed if not totally stopped. It's a "pacifier" for someone who is frustrated at other circumstances (eg: the injury and restricted movement). Manageable shopping with a different "pacifier" in mind may help, like offer to buy (once a week?) movies, games, books, and things to take her mind off of just "getting stuff" to feel good for the moment. Maybe more books isn't a good idea, so is there a possibility that a computer with games, books, viewing news, is manageable? A caregiver is a good idea. An impartial, but skilled person who can take some of the time-consuming burden from your sister. If your parent lives in a seniors' building, then are there organizations that come in to do "helps" for any of the neighbors? If so, can you recruit them for your parent? Just like we have to say "no" or "not now" to children sometimes, we have to say no to elder family members. I went through the "slavery bit" with an infant in the house and a elementary-school aged child. Spouse in military, so unpredictable schedule. It was one of the worst times in my life, I really thought I would lose it. Only the spouse getting orders to another state and parent not wanting to live there put some breatheable distance between us. I am managing things longk-distance for now, and I have many things back on-track, but still do not feel "employable" because I get calls to deal with things or to travel there. I do not feel the FMLA supports the growing number of caregivers to those who are not minors. Anyway, hang in there for each other and allow yourselves to set limits w/ parent.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Great comment Queens - great suggestions and perfectly reasonable ones.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I think its wonderful that you recognize the contribution your sister is making to the care of your mother and that you feel compassion for her. So many families dont! I am willing to bet you already give her a huge amount of moral support and that you listen to her vent. That helps a lot!
It is reasonable for your mom to expect her children to help her out now that she is old and sick,....it is NOT reasonable to expect them to do so on her terms with no regard for their needs. Your mom should be grateful she has children who sound willing to help her, and its only fair that she should be willing compromise a little too. Maybe you can make her see that she is taking advantage.of your sister. Make her feel guilty (Poor "sister"! Working her fingers to the bone, taking care of her kids then coming here to take care of you....and you wont even let us get some help for her? How can you do that to "sister" after all she has done for you?) Or you could try flattery...(Oh mom, we miss you so much! Please let us move you closer to us so we can spend more time with you! I cry every night becasue you are so far away) It could take time to convince her. Its not easy to just pick up and move, especially for older people, so be patient, but persistant.
If you cannot reason with her, then your sister needs to set some clear boundaries.. She needs to tell mom that she cannot continue to do what she is doing, or she will burn out. Its too much for one person. If you all stick together and back your sister up, it will carry more weight. Let mom know you love her, you are there for her, but she has to meet you halfway. Your lives matter too. Offer her some reasonable choices, and let her decide which one she prefers,, but one of the choices should not be "remain here and call my daughter every time I need something and she has to drop her life and come".Let mom know thats no longer an option! And dont let her guilt you! It would be different if there were no other choices, but there are. She could move. She could allow you to hire someone to come in and take some of the burden off of your sister. Its possible she doesnt realize she is being unfair. Or maybe she knows and doesnt care. Either way, she cannot always have things her way.
Helpful Answer (12)
Report

Could you and sister have a talk with her, all of you together? Would baring your souls get through to her? Both of you need to tell her she's requiring more care than your sister can provide. Sis is not going to stand up to this wear and tear forever. Are you available to pitch in? Can she live alone? Can she afford care in her home?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.