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Step in and help her. Be the example.
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Reply to Compassionate5
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disgustedtoo Jul 25, 2021
Posted July 23, 2 days ago...

"So… I spent a few weeks with her, wanting to help her out but she answer was no until I started to help her anyway."

Also, we don't know where OP and sister/mom live with respect to the other. If they are in different states, then stepping in to help isn't going to be daily or weekly. This sister (OP) IS trying to get something done to assist her sister who is caring for mom, unlike so many we hear about on this forum.
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My husband and I took care of my mom for 5 years, when she had Alzheimer's. As an only child, I was the "it" girl in terms of taking care of her. There were days that I just wanted to feel more like a woman, and not just a caregiver. One day I told my husband that I was going to---and I made the gesture of coloring my hair. He said, "What? deceive the public?" Yes, if I was going to receive them, (in the days before Covid), I was going to deceive them too. Self-care for me included exercise, but since she'd storm out of the house and wander, (I'd often wonder and ponder why she would wander), I got my exercise by chasing after her. Between Hubby and me, we could handle things, but some days were tougher and rougher than others. I even wrote a book about our travails called, "My Mother Has Alzheimer's and My Dog Has Tapeworms: A Caregiver' Tale." There were days that we would have liked more help with her, but I really needed it for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours at night, but many agencies charged about the same for a split shift like that, as they did for 8 hrs. straight, which I really didn't need. Most of my friends worked, (and I worked part-time), so I couldn't really rely on them. I have a friend here whose sibling lived in another state, so she (my friend) shouldered the burden with her parent who had Alzheimer's, who lived nearby. Every situation has its own headaches, doesn't it? I would have been thrilled and grateful and appreciative if I could have gotten more (affordable) help.
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Reply to rlynn123
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Nend more info.
If you're talking about trying to talk a Caregiver in to putting their loved one in to a Senior Home for others to take care of. FORGET IT! Nursing Homes are the last place you want to be. You only go there if you can't afford Caregiver help to be able to stay in your own home or if you don't have a loved one to let you've with them.

Now if you're talking about helping the Caregiver yourself by volunteering so the Caregiver can have some much needed time off or you're offering to pay for a Caregiver for a few hours once a day, ect then that's another story and I'm sure the Caregiver would be more than happy to accept the help.
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Reply to bevthegreat
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LoopyLoo Jul 25, 2021
Bev, we get it. You hate nursing homes.
Your insisting they’re the worst places on earth is not only not true, it only makes caregivers feel worse. They’re already having a hard time and don’t need the guilt trip from you or anyone.

It’s great if you were the perfect person that did 24/7 impeccable caregiving for your family. Unfortunately not everyone can be that person.

Not every facility is a hell hole that kills people. There is no reason to shame people for making that choice, unless you’re willing to swoop in and be the caretaker yourself.
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From the sounds of it, the primary issue isn't your sister, it's the controlling mother, compounded by an overly compliant daughter.

"She had spent quite a bit of time scheduling people to come in and assist her or give her a break. But, mom put an end to it quickly by canceling appointments or not letting them in the house."

Do they live in the same place? If so, how does mom manage to "cancel" and/or refuse to let them in?

The suggestions to hire help that can do non-mom duties can help to alleviate some of the burden on your sister, however SHE has to be willing to override mom and have these people help.

"She’s not going to put our mother into an assisted living facility."

Assumption is you don't live nearby. But you have gone there. Rather than trying to convince your sister to buck up and resist, maybe it's time to lay it on the line with mom. Sure, sis isn't going to put you into a facility mom, but if you continue to insist only SHE can help you, she IS going to end up with a health crisis or worse and when that happens, you WILL end up in a facility. Period. Either let sister hire some help to help her, or plan for a future in a facility, perhaps much sooner than you think!

IT is commendable that you are being so supportive of your sister, even if she is resisting your efforts. That's much better than what many of us have experienced! This ranges from total avoidance to a lot of interference and negative feedback.

"She has basically put her life on hold to care for our mother."

This IS her choice. Since you've indicated that she tried to bring in help, but mom thwarted it, you can try getting mom to back down some, with the threat of facility in her future. Your choice mom, I'm not telling you what to do. I'm telling you what to expect if you continue to demand everything from sister. If she can no longer care for you, I will NOT be stepping in to take her place. Either let her hire people to help her or get used to the idea of spending time in a facility! Be as iron-willed as mom, or more!
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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One or I should say Two of the most difficult things as a caregiver is to ASK for help and ACCEPT help.
The thought that always ran through my mind was...They are not going to do it the way I do. or Something is going to go "wrong". or any number of things that I could find in my head to prevent me from "letting go"
Well I found out that even if things were not done EXACTLY the way I did them things got done and the world did not spin off its axis. and I realized not much could go "wrong" as long as he was not injured he was fine, maybe in the back of my mind the fear that he would die and I would not be there was a thought.
I started with caregivers in "baby steps"
First day they "shadowed" me as I showed them what to do, how to do it.
I would stay in the house or outside and allow the caregiver to do what needed to be done. On the third day I would go to the store for a bit. So I was never more than 15 minutes away.
If you can convince your sister that there needs to be a caregiver that knows what to do incase something happens to her that might work.
The other option is to just get someone in to help. If not "direct care" then someone to do the laundry, clean, wash floors. If your sister does shopping have groceries delivered for her so she does not have to shop. If she does laundry if there is a laundry service that can be used that would help her. Have a meal or two delivered once in a while. Hire a cleaning service. These would all help without being an actual caregiver.
And if possible you care for mom one or two days and make a reservation for your sister to get hair and nails done. Or make a reservation at a local hotel for a weekend "staycation".
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Reply to Grandma1954
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I, as a primary caregiver to my 95 year old dad, have 2 sibs who live very far away. I was getting burnt out and expressed that to my sibs. Their response was to march in and siege a takeover. Undo things I had done, try to get on POA’s. It was hurtful and not what i needed. What i needed was a listening ear, encouragement and respect for what i had been doing. So often our response to people in need is to try to fix, when in fact what i needed was kindness and empathy. I know they feel guilty being so far away, but the reality, which i had to learn and accept, is that there is really nothing they can do for dad except to visit when they can and stay in touch with him, which they have been sorely negligent for years! I have always been the closest in proximity and thus in relationship to our parents. I know they have to feel sadness for not having had this kind of bond. But they made the choice to live so far away. So, I would simply let the family member know you are there for them, but also if it is possible, hire someone to help out.
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Reply to mb0704
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if your sister wants to do this ... why do you care?

Maybe it is important to your sister. Maybe she is not unhappy with how she is caring for herself.

Regardless, since you are interested, there are a couple things you can do to make things better for her:

(1) express appreciation - a simple “thank you” will reduce her stress:’;
(2) give her a break by working for her;
(3) do something nice for her - gift certificate for a massage or a meal;
(4) best yet—- all of the above.

Support your sister and her efforts - don’t criticize.

Thanks for reading.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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From one sister who only wishes my sister would help and see me as well here - so maybe I can tell you some of the things I wish my sister would have helped me with.
My sister lives in another state - so I understand she cannot be all the things mom or I need if she lived closer.
First I wanted my sister to learn about moms stroke - just learn what the brain went through - so from afar she could know how to help mom or me. You are making the effort in caring about your sister and coming here💕. Maybe it will shed some light on what it’s like to be your sister as well as help understand your moms health. Both are huge and both are important to help make hard choices ahead maybe just a little easier.
First it is not easy to hire and train anyone to be a caregiver in your home - allow them to be in your safe space/home and trust people to care for someone you love. It’s not - it is foreign and it’s hard.
Depending on the level of care your mom needs - it takes a lot of effort to train and trust someone with your loved one. Most days we are surviving and don’t have the energy or even thought process to think to “train” someone on how to get to know all the quirks of our loved one. So if you could offer the time to help find and match a caregiver with mom and spend time there while mom and caregiver get to know each other - that would have been something that I needed help with. Nobody knows us better than our family - so offering to not just help find care but to actually be part of getting the care and mom comfortable would be a huge relief for me as the full timer.
Same would go for finding mom outside activities - researching daily care centers (depending on your moms interests and needs) - actually going to places - speaking with people and then taking your mom by a few of them for her to see which may actually be a fun and good fit for her.
I want to find one for my mom to go to even one day a week - but I have zero time to do the research to find a good fit.
Understand if we don’t find a good fit for any of these things it actually becomes MORE work for us as we then have the issues or problems if they are not a good match.
My sister wants to open google - read one review and say “Hey take mom there once a week or hire this agency”. I can do that and what I have asked her is please come take mom to a few and try them out with her or just spend time with her for a week and get her and a caregiver adjusted to each other so that someone can get to know mom and mom feels comfortable - teach them moms interests - how she loves crosswords - or how she wants an adult center that has outings and does days trips and is active or a place or person who likes to be outdoors and show them moms favorite places and in the end everyone wins. We are so strapped for time - mentally - physically and emotionally that maybe asking your sister if she would be more open to help if you would get some of it started and get mom comfortable with others and help in choosing a good match?
Again I don’t know much about your mom and her needs but I do know how much this type of gift of time would have helped me feel less anxiety and stress when trying to get mom and myself help if I had my sister part of that side of the journey. 🌷
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Reply to Momheal1
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Chlokara Jul 25, 2021
That is so true about getting help taking a lot of effort. I have been taking care of my sick/dementia husband for 15 years. People tell me I should have help. But I also have 3 dogs (which my husband adopted), one of whom is a rescue who has a few problems) and the idea of getting someone to help my husband and tolerate my dogs is a problem. And my husband smokes, which is another problem. And my house is a mess because my husband will not let me throw anything out and makes piles of stuff around his chair. I also do not have the energy to clean well. I also do not want people in my house any more than husband does. I will eventually need help, but it will be as big of an adjustment for me as it will be for my husband.
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Why don't you go talk to mom and let her know that your sister is going to wear out because of the demands and lack of cooperation. Put it to mom bluntly, what is your plan b if sis can no longer do it your way.

Maybe you could go there and be the backbone sis needs to deal with mom. Schedule the people, let them in. Tell mom it's going to happen this way...period.
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Reply to my2cents
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NeedHelpWithMom Jul 24, 2021
I love this answer!

Thank you so, so much for saying this 💗. I was the sister who cared for mom in my home, while also being a wife and mother. It certainly wasn’t an easy task. My siblings didn’t help me very much. They helped once in a great while, but only for a short periods of time. It was never a ‘real’ break.

Many hugs to you for showing empathy for caregivers. Caregivers can feel trapped, even confused. We lose our own identity and it would be lovely to have someone in our corner.

I know that I would have appreciated having someone speaking on my behalf. Just hearing ‘Thank you for caring for mom.’ would have been nice.

My mom seemed to favor her sons at times and while I loved my mom very much, I became resentful at times. I had mom for 15 years before my brother helped by taking a turn. He had her for almost a year and a half.

Mom was fearful of going into a facility until the last month of her life, when she entered a hospice house. Mom did have regrets and remorse about being a burden on her children. I am so grateful to hospice for their compassionate care. I miss her but so glad that she is no longer suffering.
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Offer whatever support your family member will accept. If she shows signs of burn out, please refer her to get an evaluation by her doctor. The doctor will reinforce her need to get more help.
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Reply to Taarna
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Your sister is fortunate to have a sister who cares about her. I wholeheartedly agree with Countrymouse. Please share this forum with her. No offense, but she needs to vent more than you do.

I say this because I was ‘your sister’ at one time in my life. I had my mom living in my home for 15 years. It’s exhausting to be the primary caregiver.

It is lovely that you care about your sister. Many of us did the caregiving without any help. Please keep the door open for her to be able to share her feelings.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Well, there's nothing for it. You'll have to tell your sister to come and vent her thoughts and feelings here, that's all.

She'll be glad she did, I promise you.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Is this a 'stubborn Mom' problem or a 'saying no to Mom problem'?

How is your Sister at saying No to Mom? 🤔

Your concern for your Sister & pleas for her to look after herself may go unheeded if she lacks the tools to stand up to Mom. To say No occasionally. Helping her find her strength to do so may be the angle? Give her permission. Maybe some ready-made excuses, someone else to 'blame' or even sneaky tricks. A few examples;

* No Mom, I won't cancel the caregiver booked for tomorrow. She needs the work. We should help her out.

* Let the caregiver in, have a social cuppa all together, more like a social visit. Do this once or twice. Build rapport & trust first. Then the cuppa + go out for a short time.

* No asking permission from Mom for her own things. No "Do you mind if I go with my friends for lunch next week?" Nope. Don't prewarn much. Matter of fact. I'll be out Xday but lunch will be ready in the fridge for you.

Of course if Sister CAN say no to Mom but does not WANT to - that's another issue.
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Reply to Beatty
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Babs1170 Jul 23, 2021
I believe the real issue is that my mother is narcissistic and not dealing well with the aging process. She has always put herself first. If …IF, she considered what her oldest daughter was doing for her and realized that her stubbornness and unwillingness to cooperate is making it difficult to want to care for her she might stop being so difficult. She needs to show some gratitude and come to terms with the idea that time will not reverse itself.

I believe my sister feels that she made the decision to be the caregiver and therefore feels obligated to take care of everything. I would not even entertain the idea of being the caregiver because I know my own limitations - (amongst many other reasons) However, I would do just about anything for my sister and I don’t like to see her so frustrated. I mentioned counseling or group therapy and she simply says she will be okay. I suppose I should let it alone and believe she’ll ask for help when she has had enough or when/if she really needs it.

Thank you for sharing your insight. Just being able to write my thoughts and gain a different perspective is quite therapeutic.

Barb
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"help my oldest sibling with her own self-care"

I did not take this as the sister has health problems of her own. I took it as she is pushing herself to the point she is not caring for herself.

Really we need more info. Is sister so tied up in Moms care that she won't take advantage of help being offered? Does sister think only she can care for Mom properly? Won't take time for herself? Caring is causing health problems?

You can start with your County Office of Aging. Ours has a nice booklet of resources they offer. Depending on Mom's income, they maybe able to provide an aide. Senior bussing is usually provided. Also, wheelchair accessible.

There is also Medicaid "in home" services. This definitely is by income. Mom can't have any assets just her SS and pension if any.
Maybe there is a Senior Center Mom can spend some time at. Ours I have heard, the woman play cards. My MIL would have loved that.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Chuckle. [thinks: good luck with that - !]

When did your mother break her hip?
How long has your sister been your mother's primary caregiver?
Can you describe a bit of the caregiving history? - for example, the classic pattern is what I think of as "snowballing": you start out providing occasional help with particular issues, which then becomes regular help with routine issues, which then becomes frequent help with both routine issues and crises... Before you know where you are you're helplessly cartwheeling downhill in an avalanche - and then somebody says "you're doing it all wrong/we're only trying to help/you need to take better care of yourself" and is surprised and hurt when you respond with immoderate and seemingly unreasonable rudeness.

I give your sister's possible viewpoint, you understand.

What sort of help is your sister refusing to consider? Has she fired useless/stupid/untrustworthy/unreliable caregivers or something?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Babs1170 Jul 23, 2021
She has basically put her life on hold to care for our mother. My mother is extremely stubborn and wants to do the opposite of everything you tell her to do….etc. etc.. My sister is being very passive in this situation - allowing Mom to make to many decisions and/or demands. She had spent quite a bit of time scheduling people to come in and assist her or give her a break. But, mom put an end to it quickly by canceling appointments or not letting them in the house.. My sister looks tired, she’s angry all the time, and is not taking care of herself.
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I am no expert here... Have not succeeded in this task myself. Well maybe a little tiny bit. I am not a good listener really but good at talking😁.

When listening to your sister, what does she say that seem to be the barriers to her obtaining more help?

Is it Mom? She wouldn't like strangers? Fearful, or flatly refuses.

Cost? Not knowing where to look, how to start?

Or does she feel it would detract from her care? Mean she was failing? Was not good enough? Hiring extra help is just that - EXTRA help, not any failure.

If you can get some idea, then some deeper discussions around that can be held.

I found I moved from wanting to convince, to explore seeing each other's point of view.

Come back & update if you can.
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Reply to Beatty
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JoAnn29 Jul 22, 2021
"I am not a good listener really but good at talking😁."
I can relate. Brother told me I was my own worst enemy.
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I just read your profile. Is the family member that you are speaking about, ‘your sister’ that is the caregiver to your mom? You mention that your sister has health concerns of her own. Why is she the caregiver? She needs to take care of herself. Can’t your mom hire someone else to be her caregiver, instead of having her daughter with health issues act as her caregiver? Has your mom considered entering a facility for care?

Encourage your sister to walk away from any caregiver responsibilities. If you wish to help your sister and mother, start speaking to a social worker or Council on Aging to help plan for your mom’s future care.

Wishing your family all the best. I hope your sister will be able get rest soon, and that your mom will find appropriate care. Your sister shouldn’t be burdened with caring for your mom, when she isn’t well herself.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Babs1170 Jul 23, 2021
Thank you!
My sister is capable of caring for our mother, Her health concerns are developing because she doesn’t seem to want to practice any self-care.
She’s not going to put our mother into an assisted living facility. So… I spent a few weeks with her, wanting to help her out but she answer was no until I started to help her anyway.
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