I have eight brothers and sisters. My mother is in a nursing home now and she insists that I help her do things that the nursing home aides and or nurses can help her do. Such as brushing her teeth and helping her to the bathroom doing her hair and laundry. She never asks any of my siblings to help her do these things but she thinks it is my job. I have been designated as the POA in my mothers living trust and have done the lions share of taking care of her and her needs these past 6 years as her health has steadily declined. I have PTSD from dealing with the nursing home staff and fighting them about her being overmedicated etc. My siblings never volunteer to take over some of the tasks but instead want to be asked to do these things. It feels like I am an only child and makes me angry and bitter. I don't want to feel this way! My mother has no quality of life now and complains every day about it. I wish every day for my mother to die in her sleep.

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If Mom is in a skilled nursing facility, you shouldn’t have to do anything but visit. This is why these facilities charge thousands a month. She will not receive the kind of care she would in her home from you, but I’d guess her care is passable. If it’s not, you have every right to call a Care Conference and find out why and you should do this rather than stepping in and taking over her care yourself if that’s what you’re doing. As for fighting with the nursing staff, find out when the house doctor is there. When he/she is, be there also and discuss Mom’s meds with them. Nurses have to do as they are told, as the script is written by the doctor. They’re just following orders.

If you are visiting every day for hours, step back. Mom has come to rely on you too much. As long as you make yourself so available, she will continue to use you.

You cannot force your siblings to help. They will either outright refuse or ignore you. I would not plead with them or force them. I would save yourself the anger and anguish and write them off.
Helpful Answer (20)

Because you don't have any boundaries, and you don't say no. She has it all figured out. Why not, back off a bit, let the staff do more for her. You are killing yourself and suffering from F.O.G.=Fear>Obligation>Guilt...fear leads to obligation, fear and obligation lead to Guilt. Guilt will ruin your life. Please start taking care of you! My Best!
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Repeat after me...
NO....say it again. NO....Look in the mirror and say it.
When you go visit if your mom needs help call an aid. That is what she/you are paying them for. And I can assure you that if/when you are there they will not respond quickly because they are used to you doing things for mom that they would normally do. And you can bet that mom probably tells them ..oh Jeanfastbrush will do that when she comes today. So you will have to retrain both groups to understand you are not going to do hands on care.
Another reason not to do so is IF something were to happen to you or mom it is possible that the facility would not cover any injury.
So lets try this again, and practice until you can say it easily ...NO, I can not help you to the bathroom. I will get an aid to help you.
NO, I can not help you shower. I will get an aid to help you.
NO, I can not do your laundry. (although if you want to do this take it home and return clean laundry later in the week) And you might even want to give one of the siblings the laundry duty.
Helpful Answer (18)

You are the one she trusts to get the job done. You are devoted, loving and responsible to a fault. You can't really blame your siblings for letting you do all the work - you continue to do it so well - even though it's killing you. That said, my heart aches for you. I am in a similar situation in that I too, have accepted all the responsibility for my loved ones.

You need make the decision to save yourself. Allow the NH to do their job. Decide on day or two a week and tell those who care for your Mother that you will no longer be spending as much time with her. If you're concerned, then just stop by on different days and then they won't be "ready" when they know you're coming. I know this is easier said than done, but believe me, if you don't set boundaries, it WILL affect your health. Someone on this forum once told me the same thing - and it has. You are crying out for help and you know what you need to do. Please Jean, your Mother has lived her life. You deserve to live yours too. 💙💙
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How old is your mom? Is she in AL or LTC? Has she been diagnosed with dementia? Are you PoA for both medical and financial? Knowing this will help the community give you the most appropriate answers.

I actually think it is better for you to be the central organizer for how and when your siblings least they seem open to it! You are in the best position know exactly what your mom *really* needs (and its not brushing her teeth or doing her hair as the facility can do that). Think of what will benefit her the most and is easiest for the family to do. Send out a group email so that everyone gets the same communication from you at the same time and please sound grateful when asking for their help. They can't read your mind for what you need help with. Ask them if there's anything they'd be willing to do that's not on your list, like bring their kids over to do something fun with Gramma or take her out to lunch, etc. I'm an actual only child and I manage care for 4 seniors over 85. Two of them are out of state. The only way it gets done is with good communication and gratitude. I realize you are feeling burnt out and your mom's complaints are draining you. My mother has always been a complainer and I just don't listen to it. You don't have to listen to it or internalize it. You're not responsible for her happiness. Only for her care. Now go write up that list of what help you think your mom really needs!
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Beatty Aug 8, 2019
Great reply!

I found that to keep my sanity I had to 'promote' myself: from hands-on carer duties to clerical - organising the care.

Took a while for the lightbulb to go on but the new job (ie boundaries) suits me much better. Plus the unexpected bonus that Mum & Sis (both disabled) are coping just fine.
That is the question of the century. When my mom was in the nursing home, she made sure to get on the good side of most all the staff and saved all the complaints for me-as if she was fooling someone. AL facilities have seen it all and then some. Since she was only there 6 weeks, she didn't get many visitors from family. But after a few weeks I wouldn't go in but every other day. She started comparing me to all the 'girls' there and of course I fell short.
I would step back like others have suggested and I wouldn't beat yourself up because no one else is stepping up or volunteering. Do what you can and leave the rest to the nursing staff.
It's hard but try to get on their good side at the AL/NH and get them in your pocket. It has to be a team effort but that doesn't necessarily mean related team members. It is sad but people often who you don't have history with are the best ones to turn to.
Be present but don't let this consume you.
Also, let mom know you have other things to do too. (even if you don't) just being home resting or watching tv or reading is something else to do. Or just BEING.
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Sorry, battery giving out so didn't read responses.

You have to set the boundries. She is in a NH all you need to do is visit. She has to allow the staff to do their jobs. She is now provided with her toiletries, depends and laundry services. If on Medicaid she gets a $50 allowance. POA does not mean caregiver. You are enabling her. Put the laundry in the facilities hands. Really, whatever soap they use takes out stains and smells mine couldn't. When u do that, plan a trip and go. Mom will be cared for.

Talk to the doctor that prescribes her meds. The staff is only following doctors orders. Always talk to the Director of Nursing if not getting anywhere with the charge nurse.
Helpful Answer (10)

Simple! If you’re like me, you are the ‘dependable’ one who has done the most.
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Simple answer is, she asks you because she knows you’ll say yes. I think that’s pretty normal in a lot of families. There’s always someone who constantly needs something and there’s always athat one person who will never say no! You are the one who won’t say no, but your siblings will. Different situation but I’ve got certain family members who always go to the same family member when they need something. Because they know she won’t say no. They know better than to ask me because I have no problem saying no. If they ask me, it’s always a last resort.

its hard to say no to your parents. It took me a long time before I learned to say no myself. But you’ve got to learn to say no and set boundaries. Your mother is in LTC, there’s no reason you should be wearing yourself out taking care of your mom.
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Consider why she is in a NH. She needs help,and she has people there to help her.Don't go every day. In fact try not going 2 days in a row. this is not to be unkind, but to let her understand that ,"no, I will not be the only person to help you. Call a sibling. Say, "I can't go in to see Mom next week. I went for 3 weeks in a row. It's your turn."
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