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Sister doesn't work and doesn't want to have much to do with Moms care. She sends her husband to take care of mom ( he can work remotely). Mom took care of her children for the last 14 years. I am the primary caregiver, l live with my mom and have very little help from sister herself with moms care. I am a widow and work fulltime. My sister has not worked for 25 years and has a live-in housekeeper/cook. Don't know what she does all day long while her husband is taking care of mom while I'm at work. Oh I forgot, my brother in law told me that at the beginning of the year she signed up as a volunteer to read to children on Tuesday mornings at their sons school. So my sister is doing volunteer work while her husband takes care of her mother. Mom is 90 and on a blood thinner for afib. She cannot be alone. I'm getting burned out. This started last August I'm waking up at least twice a night to help mom and then I drag myself to work. I mentioned the possibility of me moving out because someone was going to have to share the load with me. My brother in law said on the phone to my working adult son (who has already been missing work to help) that if I moved out they (he and sis) would sell mom's house and put her in a (nursing) home.

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Brenda, my brother and SIL have been married for 33 years. We've always found my SIL a handful - she's bossy, loud, overbearing, touchy, moody, obtuse, zero sense of humour, tactless etc etc etc.

Last year we found out - but only because it reached a crisis that couldn't be concealed - that what she actually is is bipolar. You would be amazed at what apparently sensible, educated people think it's a good idea to keep secret, and go to considerable lengths to do so. No way back in our relationship with her now. And I think that's a terrible waste.

Jeanne's advice is spot on, and well illustrated. Meanwhile, I would be deeply suspicious of what the real story is with your sister. You don't have to do anything about it, of course; but perhaps you could let your BIL (or, better, her) know you weren't born yesterday - most natural thing in the world my foot - and you're willing to listen?
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Brenda, each adult in a family gets to make their own decisions. Your sister decided to delegate care of her children to her mother, and care of her mother to her husband. I suspect that these decisions stem from some kind of personal problems or issues, but whatever is behind them, your sister is entitled to make them. Just as you get to make your decisions. I doubt very much that sister is going to change at this point, so don't count on more than you are getting from her (via her husband) right now as you make decisions.

Who has authority to make decisions for your mother, if she becomes unable to make them herself? Who has Power of Attorney for both finances and medical? This is very important, especially when there are conflicting views within the family. While Mom is still capable of making her own decisions she needs to decide who should play these roles, and set up the appropriate paperwork.

Do what is best for Mom and you.

I know a caregiver who placed her husband in a nursing home when she had to have back surgery. Then she realized that the home considered him a 2-person lift, with equipment, and she realized why she had back problems lifting him unaided! As she was recuperating she spent most of her days with him. When he was ready for bed and she left he assumed she was going to her room. He thought they still lived together! She gradually realized that the quality of her time with him was much better when she didn't have to do the day-to-day caring, and she never did bring him home. My point is that you don't actually have to physically move with your mother into a care center in order to spend good quality time with her. Going home to your own bed with the assurance she will have help if she needs it could be very good for you.

Another option to consider for the day is an adult day health program. If mom could go out to that several times a week while you work and you could get some evening in-home help, that might extend the time Mom could safely remain in her home.

You have a lot of options to consider. Having more help from you sister is probably not among them.
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Brenda, you say you don't recognise who your sister is any more. How long has this been building up? There's something going on. Have you ever discussed it with her?

I'm not suggesting you should take on even more caregiving! Just that if you knew what was the matter with her, as opposed to wondering what the h*** she's playing it, you might find it a) less hurtful and b) much easier to explain her no-shows to your mother.

I'm sorry if I sounded snappish. Venting is to be encouraged, and I apologise.
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Countrymouse - Thank you for your response. My sister is the uncaring sibling with regard to her lack of caring for my mother, but I am really not caring for my sister anymore. You're right - there has to be something very wrong with her. I need to give up trying to figure out what's wrong with her and why and exclude her from my thoughts and actions - and do my own thing. I realize I am venting and I apologize. I guess I wrote what I wrote to see what other people thought. With all the responses I've seen I am reassured that I am not going mad - as in crazy. My sis and bro in law act like everything they are doing or not doing is the most natural thing in the world - they truly believe this. I'm also in shock because this new person that I don't know has appeared in the form of my sister. I don't know this person and it is so disturbing and hurtful to experience what she is doing to my Mom. But I can take care of Mom and start making some decisions on my own for my mom's sake. I need to do what is best for Mom and me. Thank you all for listening and for all your responses.
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Perhaps the reason your sister needed so much help from your mother to raise her children is the same reason why your sister is not able to help your mother now. She doesn't work, she doesn't cook or clean, she's just taken the plunge to volunteer for a one morning per week stint in her own child's school - not what you'd call adventurous, is it? - and she delegates her wider family responsibilities to her willing husband. There is a black hole in the description of her that you've provided. How do you expect us to fill it? - other than with "ohmygod what a lazy ungrateful selfish uncaring cow?" Do you cut her any slack at all for what must be a sizeable problem of some description?

I'm sorry for your loss of your husband, and for what you went through nursing him. And now, clearly, your mother's care needs are far too much for one person, and since you need to be at work during the day, then yes, a night care assistant seems to be the place to start.

But you head this discussion "uncaring sibling." Is that you or her?
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I appreciate all the replies. Its funny that I went through 7 months of living in the hospital with my husband before he passed 2 years ago. I slept very well right next to him in an easy chair in the ICU all that time. I was his cheerleader as he improved. He was recovering. Losing him was a total shock. He lost his hearing from the Chemo so I would communicate with him through a laptop that my children bought for us. I couldn't sleep at home. I went to work every day and went back to the hospital every day and didn't go home for weeks at a time. My children brought my clothes. My own children came to be with their stepdad more than my husbands biological children - always excuses. It was shocking to see their lack of caring. I never thought I would see this happen in my own family - especially with my own sister who my mother helped so much! I'm considering moving both my mom and myself to a nursing home to live. I saw a couple do this at a nursing home. The husband lived there with his wife who suffered from Alzheimers. If I could live in a hospital setting for seven months, it wouldnt be that hard to live in a nursing home. That way I could be with her all the time and still have help with her care during the day and at night - and still keep my job.
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There are so many threads on this site about caregivers wanting other people in their lives to be different than they are. Moms, dads, sisters, brothers, cousins...you name it, we all want someone to be different, me included.

I finally faced the fact that that despite my requests for change, my brother was not going to be as involved with my mom as *I* think he should be. When I put that judgment down, it made MY life a lot happier. So work with what you have, not what you wish you had with your sister and mom.

There are some wonderful assisted living facilities and nursing homes, they're not all doom-and-gloom. Some have very caring staff and activities to keep your mom engaged if she's able. And to give you a good night's sleep. If you can't figure out how to keep mom at home, it's not a failure. You're still doing the best for your mom. Good luck and keep us posted...
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"My sister has not worked for 25 years and has a live-in housekeeper/cook. Don't know what she does all day long while her husband is taking care of mom while I'm at work."

I'm really sorry about your mom, Brenda. It's hard, for her and you and it's sad.

Do they have POA? Otherwise they can't sell squat. Look into night care for YOUR sake.
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Doesn't work, has a live-in, and doesn't worry herself with the difficulties of life....wow. Assandache nailed it.

I hope in home care alleviates the situation sufficiently, if it does not you need to consider NH, unfortunately, you cannot force them to help, and you cannot carry the burden alone.
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Right now my Mom agreed to pay for the 20 hrs a week, she understands that someone needs to be with her. She also has congestive heart failure and high blood pressure - she's on oxygen at night. But you have a good idea - maybe I should look at the night care instead of the day care twice a week which mostly helps bro in law and sister. I've been stupid to care about them.
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Just face it! Sister will never help and her husband is a sucker!! Also known as *whipped!!


I have to remind myself about my siblings daily that "they made their choices to ignore my Mom and have to live with it", not me! When Mom passes I can look myself in the mirror and KNOW that I took great care of her...

Other than the afib what are Mom's other health concerns? Can she afford overnight care?
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