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My mother is 94 and for the last year-and-a-half, we have been taking care of my mom. We now have her at a very nice Assisted Living place that she is slowly adjusting to. Compared to the stories and issues many people have, we do have it pretty easy. The problem is my sister.
I always try to find the good qualities in people, but my sister is not easy to get along with. She has not lifted a finger to help in any way with Mom. But then she called her up and invited her to come up to Milwaukee for Thanksgiving. Milwaukee is a four and a half hour drive from here, and she had no intention to come get her. She never called me she just called my mom who now wants to go to Milwaukee. Mom rather amusingly thinks it's only about a half hour drive. So, her grandson could pick her up on the way home from work.
Oh, and my sister refuses to call me, so I called her and tried to explain to her that we were not going to be driving mother up to Milwaukee on that Thanksgiving, that our family was going to be here in our city, and that she was welcome to come visit us. Oh, and by the way my mother has edema, is on various forms of medication that my sister has no idea about, and also can barely walk.
Sis did not care, shouted at me, and hung up on me.
I did call her son, and tried to explain my end of the situation, not sure it got across. They have called my mother, and she is very confused, and does keep saying that she wishes she could go to Milwaukee.
Yes, they appear to be somewhat concerned that mom may pass away without them seeing her, but they sure aren't making it easy.


If you have any sage advice, I'd be glad to hear it. Happy Thanksgiving

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I'm sorry that your sister's cluelessness has led to mom feeling bad. Those feelings will pass. Have a lovely Thanksgiving with your mom. Perhaps arrange for a Skype or phone call to sister's family in the near future so all can "see" mom.

This is not your problem. It's Sis's problem. Don't get into it with her. I simple "no, we won't be doing that drive, not this year", suffices.

If she whines and cries, say "I'm sorry this is upsetting to you. It's very sad to see mom so ill and diminished. Let's talk next week when you're feeling calmer".
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I would just tell your mother that she is welcome to go to sister's for Thanksgiving, but you have planned your own and will not be attending. Tell your mother she is more than welcome to attend either sister's or yours and that if she attends yours, you will be glad to come get her. If she would like to go to sister's, tell her she will need to work that out with sister as you have your own Thanksgiving to plan and attend.
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I have a bit of a different take on the sister's actions. To suggest that you bring your mother to Milwaukee and take her home could infer one of several things, most of which have already been stated. I think Sunny hint on something deeper. It wouldn't surprise me if your sister is specifically manipulating to avoid having to do the driving, to create a situation in which you claims she wanted to have your mother visit but you refused to cooperate.

Add that to the alleged concern over dying, and she has another poison tipped arrow in her quiver.

Perhaps I'm paranoid, but there have been so many posts here on manipulative but noncontributory siblings that I begin to suspect when someone seems to be playing games. Or, it might just be that sister is clueless on the difficulties of traveling 4 hours for anyone, let alone an older person, and at this time of year when winter storms are to be expected.

To protect yourself, you might also check the weather forecast and raise that issue with your sister.

But I think I'd also start responding, or rather reacting before hand, in a different way. You could e-mail her (I'd be documenting her actions) and suggest a method by which she could visit with your mother, raising all the concerns, everything has to be taken, itinerary so meds aren't missed, backup supplies in car (winter gear, the whole deal - boots, blankets, backup food, water, warmers, GPS, maps, AAA or other emergency road service...) . These are really necessary in Northern climate winters anyway.

Travel COULD NOT safely be straight through; your mother would have to have stops when she could elevate her legs to prevent edema from worsening. Or she could wear TEDS, but those are really uncomfortable and hard to get on and off. Actually, given the edema, a medical transport would be the best idea.

You might also show your mother a map, explain the mileage calculations, and help her understand that this isn't just a short drive.

BTW, did your sister invite your family or is she just expecting you to provide the transportation? And would this be an overnight trip?

If this isn't the first instance of attempted manipulation with your mother in the middle, it might be that your sister is using your mother as a pawn for whatever games she wants to play, and whatever possibly nefarious goals she has.
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If your sister can't have a rational phone conversation about your mom's health and wel being, I'd doubt that she would be much fun to spend a holiday with. I'd likely keep my own plans and put her on my radar. What's wrong with sis? I'd likely try to stay cordial, but, wary of sis. If sis was that concerned about mom's passing, she'd be more on top of it and make arrangements to see her herself, imo.

It's a shame that siblings can't be kind, loving and supportive to each other, but, if anyone should feel bad this Thanksgiving, I wouldn't let it be me. I'd make my family and mom happy and let sister deal with her own issues.
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Next year, just say "what a lovely idea!" and do nothing. It won't happen, because let's face it you're the only one who makes anything happen, and nobody will get upset.

Mending fences with your sister is optional and may be more trouble than you think it worth, but if you're interested I would say:
don't drag children into it, not even - actually, especially not - if they are mature and sympathetic children;
for your own blood pressure's sake, keep in mind that your sister did this cretinous thing not to be a pain in the butt but because she thought it would just 🌺loooovely💕🌸💐for your mother to be included but didn't think any further than that. Shame she forgot to consult reality before she opened her big mouth.
So, maybe, send her a nice Christmas card just as though nothing had happened; and if you think it a practical possibility suggest some dates in the new year when sister and family might like to visit mother.
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I think sister wants to look like the good guy and invite mom but doesn't want to do any work to make it happen. So you wind up looking like the bad guy to mom because you won't make it happen. Phooey on sis. She's either clueless and willfully ignorant or playing head games with your mom.

I'd be cordial but keep my distance. I just feel bad for mom. It sounds like she has some cognitive decline and can't reason out that the invitation from sis isn't really a responsible invite. So she may be unhappy with you. I'd just tell her that you've told sis she's welcome to come get her - you'd be delighted for her to spend the time with your sister. But you can't take her there, you'll be with your own family. Put the onus on sis.
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Leave it up to your sister. If she and her family want to come and get mom and bring her to Milw and then return her back to AL; then fine. You see mom all the time anyway - and it might be nice for you and your family to just enjoy Thanksgiving alone.

Share mom with Sis - but let her know that she has to make the arrangements to come and get mom and return her. No guilt -- you do plenty for mom year round; so sister can put herself out alittle (I wouldn't meet her halfway, that may be even more confusing to mom).

I wouldn't get snooty with sis, just matter of fact and tell her you have made plans for Thanksgiving at home with your family but you are "sure Mom would love to spend Thanksgiving just with her and her family" so come and get her.
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Do what I did - tell them to come and pick her up and be prepared to bring her home again.

Then let them know that the time they have her away from home, they are responsible for her health and safety.

It stopped my nephew & sister from taking Pop out of state.

People want the glory and pats on the back. But not the responsibility, never the responsibility.
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So your sister wants your mom to spend Thanksgiving with her but won't participate in getting your mom there?

I understand why you don't want to drive your mom there on Thanksgiving day and how easy your sister is making it for you to decline with her expectation that you'll automatically make the trip so she can see your mom. Can you and your sister meet halfway the day before Thanksgiving? Mom can spend the night with your sister and have Thanksgiving with her then you two can meet halfway again Thanksgiving evening and you can take mom back to her assisted living.

I don't know how far of a drive we're talking about so this may not be doable. It's not so much about telling your sister no because she's selfish and expects you to do all the heavy lifting but it's about your mom who wants to go to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving to visit her other daughter and her family.
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GardenArtist, I think you are so right in that there are some very manipulative siblings involved in these situations. BethandDan, I have a sister very much like yours who offers to do things for my mother but then cancels out with a bad migraine when it comes time to help or is willing to host a dinner without doing the hard work of getting mother to their home. I think we all have to remember that we must care for ourselves as the caregivers; so many people on this site are becoming so miserable, depressed while attempting to placate their elderly family members. BethandDan, I think you can rest assured that you will be providing a lovely Thanksgiving for your mother. Don't feel guilty about not making the drive. Your sister is being unrealistic and a little bit manipulative, although she might not be doing this consciously.
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