Follow
Share

I need support STAT! I'm so glad I found this website!!!!! I've asked (told) my older sister, who doesn't particularly like my mother, to come and get her before I have a nervous breakdown. My mother has dementia, wanders, and has become increasingly abusive and violent with me. My sister told me, after speaking with her on the phone everyday for the past 2 1/2 years, that she hasn't come to see my mom (we live together), because I humiliated her in front of people (said something about her hair in a baby picture), and that she had promised herself she would never come here again. Really? What was her excuse before I humiliated her? She hasn't seen my mother in about 8 months and before that it was about another 8 months or so. She is now telling me that she will not be put in a home and that she is "her mother" and I never had her come to doctor's appointments, spent all of her money, didn't include her in anything having to do with "her mother". My sister's son lives rent free in one of my mother's homes. She wants to inherit the home for her son to continue to live there. Her care is so obviously because of greed and money. She has no idea what sacrifices I have made for the past 5 years. I love my mom and didn't know that she would ever need assisted living/memory care facility. I wanted her to go quietly in her sleep in her own home peacefully. It didn't work out that way. I need a break. The moment I mentioned a place better for our mother's care, my sister freaked out and said very hurtful things! How do I be strong, stand up for myself and realize that she has no idea what I've been through and how ridiculous everything sounds that comes out of her mouth about how she "wants to care for our mother". Where has she been!!!!!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I'm not claiming to be a shrink but I have been studying human behavior and how the mind works and I'm still studying and learning and it's been helping me. Hope what I say gives insight to your dilemma:

1. If your sister doesn't like your mother, then there is no energy or motivation for her to take care of mom. And even if you manage to place Mom under her care, your sister may not even give the kind of care that is up to your standards because she does not care.
2. The more you resent your sister, attempt to extract some kind of appreciation from her that you are mom's primary caregiver, fight with your sister, that gives her more ammunition to resist, resent, and fight back with you. So it will be useless and an endless cycle.
3. How do you be strong? You stay strong by not giving away your power to your sister. If you allow her to ruin your day because she is not supportive of you and justifies her actions why she is not doing her part, then your energy will only be drained. Save your personal energy to care for mom and use your personal energy to find caregiver and elderly resources. Sometimes when you can't rely on your own family to help they have resources that will.
4. You can not expect people to give what they don't have. Read the sentence again. Do not expect people to give what they don't have. So if they do not have compassion and support in their hearts, then they can not give it away to others.
Yes, people can be cold, yes, they should help their own family when their family is in crisis. An ideal family should work together and help each other. But in this world we live in, it is not always the case. Helping others is always a choice but it is not required.
5. I highly suggest and recommend that you take your mother to attend adult daycare so you as a caregiver can get respite for yourself and so mom can be watched. If mom has medicaid call her medicaid and ask if they cover adult daycare and if so ask for a list of daycare facilities and check them out. I am a caregiver of my grandpa who has dementia and I take him to adult daycare several times a week. His medicaid pays for up to 5 weekdays of adult daycare and it also covers his breakfast, lunch, and snacks. He doesn't pay anything. While he is in daycare, I can take naps, watch tv, take more naps, take a long needed bath, run my errands, pamper myself, take care of my family. Taking care of your wellbeing will help you become a better caregiver.
Helpful Answer (12)
Report

My sister bailed! She was supposed to be her this afternoon to stay the weekend and take my mom home with her. She called an hour ago and simply said, "I'm not coming". She does work during the week and stated she could not make arrangements for anyone to watch her. Well, I gave her an opportunity. As POA for my mother, along with being her sole care giver for the past 7 years, I now feel that I can make the best decision for her without any regrets, arguments, or grief from my sister. I feel like I now have been given the power to decide what is the best situation for both of us (my mother and me). I should have guessed, but figured it would take a day or two with her to at least say she tried before bringing her home. Just as well. My mom didn't have to go through the stress of adjusting to an unfamiliar surroundings. We will be fine until I get things figured out. That sounds so good, "until I get things figured out". Emphasis on the "I". Thank you so much for your support and I look forward to being able to assist someone in my situation and help others with their family dilemmas!!!!!!
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

Now that you know exactly where your sister stands, have the strength to do what is best for your mom and for you. Arrange for some respite care ASAP. Look into day services for adults with dementia in your area. If that isn't enough help, start researching assisted living, memory care or skilled care facilities, and find a good fit for your mom. Block out any static that you get from your sister. If she complains, remind her that you gave her an opportunity to help and she bailed - enough discussion. Since you have POA, make sure the finances are in order to pay for mom's care. (There is lots of info on this site about applying for funds if needed from Medicaid, veteran's benefits, etc.) List the house that the nephew is living in for sale. Tell sis that the money is needed for mom's care and you need to take advantage of the upturn in the housing market. After mom is settled into a facility (if that is what you choose), you can still be her advocate and support system, but you can start to work on getting your own life back. This is not a failure on your part. You took care of mom in her home for as long as you could, and like many of us on this site, you are realizing that continuing to "do it all" without help is just not possible. Best of luck getting back to that well organized, under control woman you are, and know that lots of us on this site have been there and are cheering you on.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

Your sister has found a lot of excuses and has avoided any real effort in helping you or your mom. Now she doesn't want the money to go away if you put your mom in a facility, since those cost money.

Do you have the Powers of Attorney for both health and property for your mom? If so, then do what you need to do for your mom's safety and your mental and physical health. Your sister opinion isn't really worth worrying about. Does your mom have a will and I hope you're executor? If that hasn't been set up, then it may be more difficult. Others will chime in here shortly with good advice, but you need to take care of yourself. Also go to Youtube and google Teepa Snow. She has great videos on living with and managing someone with Alzheimers. You've found a place with lots of folks who understand what you're going through and will offer great advice and support.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

Why do you feel guilty jls? I think it is probably just a bad habit you picked up somewhere along the way -- perhaps encouraged by certain family members. Bad habit can be broken, you know, but it takes time and effort.

Be standing by the door with your jacket on and keys in your hands when Sister drives up. Hand her a note with whatever she needs to know about where things are, etc. Wish them well. Kiss Mom. Get the heck out of there!
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Well that didn't take long for your sister to back out, did it? I bet you saw this coming in your heart of hearts all along. Your sister just wants the money from what you've said and how she's acting. So now you're free to do what is best for you and your mom. It is a good thing that your sister didn't take her for a couple of days and then decide she couldn't handle it, which you know she would do. That would be harder on you and your mom. Take care and keep us posted. We're all here for you, and we're a large group of caregivers who *get* it.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Dear jls, Take a minute to breathe. If Mom is now going to spend the weekend with your sister, yes you can just walk away. I'm sure you will have everything ready that she needs in the way of clothing and meds with instructions. Just put it all in your sister's hands and leave. Do not engage in any controversial talk with her. Your Mom will survive the weekend. If YOU are the medical and financial POA, you have every right to place your Mom in a facility if you choose to do so, or hire whatever help she needs at home at your discretion, and to spend whatever is needed out of Mom's funds to pay for that help. You do not need to consult or ask your sister her opinion if you have POA. I assume when you say you and your sister are executors, you mean executors of her Will (after she passes). POA's are not usually joint - if there are two, usually one is the successor or alternate. If that is the case and your sister is the primary POA, I would have to ask, Why in the world are you the primary caregiver? Perhaps you should dig out your copies of the documents and read them over when you are alone.

You definitely need to toughen up your emotions - I know it is not easy - I used to be a real pushover. I still allow certain people to take advantage of my good nature (for various reasons), but only up to a point, and only when I choose to allow it, not from being pressured. I know when to draw the line, and I won't allow anyone to disrespect me.
You have absolutely no reason to feel guilty about anything - perhaps regret that your sister is a manipulator, but that is not your fault. She will probably always try to intimidate you and turn circumstances around to make you look weak - it's her only defense mechanism to deal with her own insecurities. The strongest thing you can do is walk away and not let her suck you into her drama. I would just say "Good luck with Mom this weekend" - don't even let her know your plans - and perhaps also say "you can bring her back anytime after 5 pm on Sunday" and then JUST LEAVE. You haven't broken anything, so there is nothing for you to fix or feel guilty about.

If and when your sister is ready to talk rationally with you, you may be able to start mending fences. If she wants to be involved in doctor appointments and such, perhaps you can make a list of things she can do to take some of the burden off of yourself, or review the list together and decide what tasks each of you feels comfortable with. I hope that in time she can become your ally instead of your adversary, but if not, remember it is not your fault.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Good for you! We are all here for you; the people on this site are amazing at giving helpful advice and knowing what you are going through...
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Your situation sounds very much like mine; especially last week. Please don't rush in making fast decisions about what to do with your mom. Can her doctor send respite care for the weekend? That's what they did for me last weekend; when I was at the breaking point.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I will find out about respite care. You know, this sounds so stupid, but I thought there really wasn't anything I could do for myself or her and be able to survive keeping her in her own home for as long as possible. I really need to do some research while my sister is caring (hopefully) for my mom. I just think life just caught up with me.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

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