Follow
Share

Years ago my parents (mostly my mother) decided that I would move in with the surviving parent. 3 years ago my father passed from a massive stroke. So here I am in a home that is so uncomfortable that I don't like it. The last 2 years have been filled with taking my mother back and forth to doctors. First it was to the eye doctor, she developed massive eye infections in both eyes. Then gallstones, which cannot be removed, stroke, pre-diabetes, and now dementia. Each and every one of these problems has been met with interference from my sister. Not believing what the doctor has told me to calling the doctors to have them explain to me that my mother does not have these problems. She only comes to the house when I'm not around. I finally put a lock with key on my bedroom door because I know someone has been in my room while I’m at work. I don't know what those two are up to half the time but my mother no longer tells me anything or calls me at work to let me know she is ok. She stopped wearing the medical alert necklace and bracelet. She keeps them in her bedroom and thinks she can get to them if she needs help. We bought baby monitors for her room and mine after her stroke so if she needs help during the night I can get to her. She unplugged the monitor. I can't prove it but I think my sister had a lot to do with these decisions. Each and every time my mother have a disagreement (mostly about my sister) she tells my sister that I yelled at her. In all honesty there is yelling. Then sister emails our brothers about how mean I am and now they don’t talk to me. With my mother’s diagnoses of dementia (mixed) apparently she has had this for some time and I didn't know it. She has started some of the things mentioned now that I know what I'm looking for. So every time we see a doctor my sister goes behind me and discusses with the doctors that I'm wrong and she is right. She does everything in her power to wreck everything I've done for Mom for the last year +. I am my Mothers caregiver and I also have POA of her medical and health issues. Because of Mother's dementia she never gets the information from the doctor right and tells sister only half truths while I'm emailing the doctors findings to all my siblings. Somehow I never get any questions from my siblings. There is a total breakdown in communication with my family and I don’t know where to turn for help other than outside help who tell me it’s only going to get worse. I feel that the future is a bleak as it can get and I’m so out of the energy to do this and I can't fight this anymore. Any suggestions?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Your mother decided that you would move in with the surviving parent. You did. It is your decision now whether to stay there. If I were in your place, I think I would not -- but no outsider can ever understand all the factors that go into this kind of decision.

If your decision is to stay, detach yourself from your sister as much as possible. Remove her from medical decisions since your mother appointed you to make them.

If your decision is to terminate this arrangement, start looking for suitable in-home care so you can move out, or start looking for a good care center for her level of care needs.

You may not be able to control your sister, but you can control your own decisions.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I am going to add here, if it gets too destructive for you, I think it is reasonable to step out of the role and leave it to someone else to do. I don't believe anyone should continue in something that is permanently harming him/herself in order to "help" someone else.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

should clarify "when she informed me and I disagreed, on the advice of the staff who look after mother, she went ahead anyway" the staff advised against moving mother and my sis went ahead with her plans anyway.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

(((((((hugs))))) taheil I don't know if the doctors have the right to speak to your sibs, but in any case please let them know that they are to speak to you only, as you have POA and stories get twisted.
My mother plays games with my sis and vice versa - been that way all my life, and I am the black sheep, but mother chose me to have POA etc. and it was a wise decision. Due to the family games it is hard and I understand that very well. Protect yourself as well as you can by getting the professionals on your side and limiting the flow of information. There is a certain amount of misinformation that will be exchanged between your mum and your sibs which you cannot control. I just let that go and concentrate on what I can do. Sometimes it means "mopping up spills". I really would not discuss your sis with your mum if you can avoid it. Recently my mother tried the, "Your sister is only visiting me because SHE cares" - this in the context that I don't care, yet I am the one doing the work.
I am a distance caregiver, so the ALF helps a lot. I am also 76 and mother is 101 and I wonder how long this will go on. You have to look after you, and please work on detaching from those dysfunctional sibs of yours, I do not discuss my sister with my mother though I know they discuss me and put me down. Whatever! That has been going on for a lifetime. After a visit from my sister, mother is much more agitated. I back off for a while until she settles down. After my sis's last volley which was to accuse me of having a vested interest in mother's demise, and of doing nothing for mother, I may never initiate contact with her again.
You might consider placing your mother in a facility at some point. It does sound like the games are going to get worse. and the whole thing is going to get harder and harder on you as the dementia progresses. If you can get one or more professional opinions on this to back you up it would be good and help you to deal with your sibs.
I do not understand doctors who will get involved with pitting one family member against another. You are the contact, you are the one to makes the decisions. I don't consult with my sister any more as she tried moving mother with no consultation with me, and when she informed me and I disagreed, on the advice of the staff who look after mother, she went ahead anyway. Fortunately she did not succeed, as I intervened. It was and is very unpleasant, but not my doing, and I am not wasting much more energy on it.
Detaching helps so much - here are a few pointers. There are a lot of good sites and info on the internet about detaching.

•Find your own unique sources of happiness.
•Surround yourself with external support.
•Remember that you are powerless over others.
•Focus on the positive things about your loved one.
•Focus on the positive things about yourself.

Great advice above re the webcam etc. Come back and let us know who it goes,
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Fun and a sense of humor can be great, but total denial is not going to work. Sis is using you for the straight person that lets her have the fun and stay in denial, while you pick up the pieces. It may not be anything more sinister than that though I like the nanny cam idea too. You would be justified in blocking her from access to Mom's medical care and info - OR - bite that bullet and bring her to the appointments with you - NOT after you or without you, EVER. HIPAA means that whoever is actually in there with the doctor or other healthcare professional can see what's going on as long as it is OK with the patient and POA, but NOT get info released to them or discuss things later on. They can still try to provide "information" but at some point it will become obvious who is giving a straighter story. Have them set up time with a social worker or other counselor if the doctor is not a good explainer to talk with the two of you together about the actual findings and what needs done and what does not at this point.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Country Mouse, thank you for your words. Actually thank you everyone for the input. I am looking into a webcam today. Any suggestions on which brand is best? How small or large it should be and where is the best place to buy one?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Blannie, ask Emjo why taheil can't do that. The "fun" sister will be the broken reed, and the mother will be off to hell in a handcart.

Taheil would your mother's assets stretch to a professional care assistant to cover the relevant hours? I agree, too, about the webcam; which would also give you peace of mind when you're at work (assuming you have a sympathetic employer, or a really good smartphone). Get it installed and don't mention it. Should be interesting.

Re the misinformation campaign: I wouldn't prevent your sister from seeing reports, but get them in writing and copy them to her; instruct your mother's healthcare team not to discuss her care over the telephone except with you. I only had one serious incident like this and that alone made my blood boil - my mother was in a hospital bed with a bleeding gastric ulcer, I was reading her the Riot Act about the handfuls of ibuprofen she'd been guzzling (not to mention the outright lies she'd been telling), then she started giggling and out of the corner of my eye I caught my "fun" older brother making "yak yak yak" faces behind my back. Bloody hilarious, eh? I could have slapped him. Anyway. I feel for you. So get the reports in writing, with blood test results, cognitive test reports, whatever in unmistakeable black and white. Let the silly cow argue with those if she likes.

The other thing to do is get an up to date summary of your mother's physical and mental health, in writing, certified by her primary doctor; email it to all your siblings. Tell them if they have any questions they should feel free to ask. Suggest further reading on dementia to them. Conclude by reminding them that if their current approach continues it is your mother who will bear the brunt - not because you'll walk out, but because their encouragement will lead to her having a fall or other preventable accident. They are playing games with her welfare.

The other thing you need to do urgently is, somehow, detach from your sister's childish, competitive sniping. She is being a moron and your brothers are taking their cue from her. Give them time, information and a few more chances to learn; then get shot of them if there's no improvement.

Your mother finds your sister fun… oh GOD. Heave a huge sigh. Let them gossip if your mother enjoys it. Make sure your sister has, reads and acknowledges an "in case of emergency" instruction sheet if she's going to continue to visit the home unaccompanied. The dementia is going to get worse. For now your mother finds comfort in being told that you're being a fusspot; that'll change soon enough. Your comfort is in knowing you're in the right. Best of luck, be tough.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I'd suggest you move out to your own place and let sis move in and take care of mom. No one is supporting you or your decisions, including your mom, who still seems pretty with it so far, despite her dementia diagnosis. So get the POA changed to your sister and let them (sis and brother) handle her. That's what I'd do. Why go to such trouble when no one (including your "patient") agrees with what you're doing or attempting to do?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My sister does not stay with my mother during the day. She works less then 30 per week and I have to work 40 plus hours per week. Mom isn't to the point that she needs help during the day. I know they talk by phone and Mother deletes any incoming phone calls off of the caller ID before I get home or when I'm walking through the door.As for the influence my sister has over my Mother its always been there. See I'm the mean, serious daughter and she is the fun daughter. My Mother told me they laugh about the dementia. I'm sorry but I don't think it's funny.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Let the medical professionals know that they are not to provide information to siblings, and definitely not to accept input from them. And explain why. protects your backside and do not delete reports you send them.

Does sis stay with mom through the day while you work? How is she able to have so much influence?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Yup. Nanny cam. Sooner or later your other siblings will question your caregiving. Get yourself on camera, your mom, and especially what happens when you are not home. Play it back for your own defense. Emails are a great way to keep them informed, and open communication is always good. Even seeing yourself yelling on video has a way of tempering your future remarks.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

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