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goldberry

Working with Narcissist Sibling to Care for Elderly Parents

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Sorry this is long, but I need some advice desperately....

 

So many of you here have experience with narcissist family members, so I don't really have to tell the sister backstory.  It resembles many stories here.  Everything is about her, she reframes or lies about every story to get the reactions she wants, she tries to pit people against each other, she is purposely destructive and mean to others, etc.  We haven't had very much to do with each other as adults, because I just didn't not want to be around the crazy, ya know?  But now, parents are getting older....

 

I live in one state, and my sister and my parents live in another. Previously, my mom came to where I live to spend the summers.  (She didn't live with me, she lived in an RV nearby.)   When she did, I checked on her every day or every couple of days, took her to doctor appointments, brought her food, etc.  In the last two years, my mom has had increasing dementia, so she can't do that any more.  She is welcome to come stay with me when she wants, but she is afraid of travel and now doesn't leave the house very much.

 

My dad is healthy mentally but has heart problems.  He takes care of my mom pretty well, but recently his heart problems have caused him some down time that complicates things.  In the spring, he had a surgery, and I flew down to stay with and take care of my mom.  I even extended my trip when my dad stayed longer in the hospital.  I also call regularly, at least 2 - 3 times per week. 

 

My sister lives 5 minutes from my parents, but previously has gone MONTHS without visiting them - literally months, not an exaggeration.  She used to work full time, but last spring she lost her job.  So this summer, she did start checking in more with them, which I was grateful for.  My mom's dementia is getting worse, and she has helped out some with doctor appointments.

 

Last week my dad had to go in the hospital unexpectedly.  I had actually just been back home the week before.  I wasn't sure how serious it was going to be or how long he was going to be in the hospital.  I work two part-time jobs in addition to homeschooling.  I was down in the spring for the last surgery, and was just home again a few weeks ago.  So I was trying to judge if I needed to jump on a plane or not.  It seemed like it was going to be short, but ended up being 5 days.

 

My sister first only even went to my mom's because I asked her if she had checked on mom's medicine (my dad takes care of that usually).  Then she did realize she needed to be watching out for mom, and started spending more time with her while dad was in the hospital, which I was grateful for.  Mom has dementia and can be not easy. I know this because I myself spent a whole week with her back in the spring!  and I used to spend every summer with her before her dementia got bad.  So every.single.day I got texts from my sister how difficult my mom was, how she was taking care of her but it was SO HARD, etc.  Martyr mode, kwim?  I tried my best to give her what she wanted... "Oh, I'm so grateful, I'm so glad you're there..."   Which I WAS GRATEFUL.  But when someone so clearly is just begging to be treated like a hero, it rubs you wrong, you know?  I don't go around advertising all the things I do for my parents just so she (or anyone) can pat me on the back.

 

Dad gets out of the hospital and back home.  I'm thinking we are at the end now.  Today while I am at my part time job, I get the nastiest text from sister, about how she has to take my mom and dog to the vet because my dad is still recuperating, and how I could not possibly understand how mom is, and how she is ALL ALONE with NO HELP whatsoever, and no one cares, etc...

 

I do not even know how to respond.  I would love to go back to limiting contact with her, but I can't really.  We have these parents to care for, and we are going to have to be communicating.  But I don't even know how to communicate with her.  I know from past history not to engage or argue. She lives in this alternate reality and she sees nothing outside of it.  But at the same time, I feel like I don't want to just stand there and let her make out like I do or have done nothing.  How do I respond when she goes down this path, without feeling like I'm letting myself get beat up?  I have a feeling this will be a repeating theme, and I wish I could avoid it, but don't see how.

 

Thanks for listening.  I'm so stressed and now hurt too. :(

 

 

 

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How do your parents feel about your sister? Do they realize her narcissism? Do they have end-of-life plans? Are there funds available to make those plans happen or otherwise care for them?

 

Anne

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I don't have advice but I couldn't read & not post.  

 

I'm sorry.  I have an NPD sister so I know what you're talking about.  I'm just so sorry.  Many hugs. :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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How do your parents feel about your sister? Do they realize her narcissism? Do they have end-of-life plans? Are there funds available to make those plans happen or otherwise care for them?

 

Anne

 

They do realize how she is. Of course she is always their daughter to them.  But they also don't take anything she says for granted or as fact.  

 

They have funds for things, but are still in a bit of denial about where things are going.  Right now, my dad can still take care of my mom.  But it only takes a little bit to throw a wrench in things, like dad being out of commission for a few days.  

 

The reality is that between my sister and myself we are able to handle things.  It's just miserable dealing with her.

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You are a ways away from your parents, right? I am sorry to say that I believe that you need to sit down with your dad ASAP and have a heart-to-heart about what the next few years is really going to look like, what he is going to need you to do and how to keep sister-complications to a minimum.

 

You probably need to think of the worst possible things your sister might do - or not do, and plan accordingly. What if she decides to stop helping altogether? What if she begins stealing from your parents? What if she says she will help, but doesn't?

 

Remember that her words are not reality! You are a good daughter and doing the best you can for your parents. Tell yourself the truth - because your sister won't.

 

((((Goldberry))))

 

 

Anne

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alot depends upon legal rights, and who has power of attorney, etc. get it filed with their doctors and hospitals to which they are most likely to be taken in an emergency.  I had it when my mother was still of sound mind, but it really only came into play at the end. 

 

who has more influence with the parents?  who do the parents trust to put THEIR best interests first?  do the parents cater to the sibling in hopes of keeping the peace? (even if they end up getting the fuzzy lollipop.)

 

research where the lines are for adult protective services in there area, and what are boundaries at which point they'll interfere.  if your sibling engages in what you suspect is elder abuse (manipulation is abuse) - are you willing to call in those authorities and potentially upsetting your parents?

 

(I was investigating this at the end.   - It would have been helpful to have had those ducks in a row earlier.  my brother was very manipulative with my mother - even the ER docs were ready to have security throw him out of the hospital.  as in - it was very egregious in a short time-span they could clearly see what he was doing.)

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You are a ways away from your parents, right? I am sorry to say that I believe that you need to sit down with your dad ASAP and have a heart-to-heart about what the next few years is really going to look like, what he is going to need you to do and how to keep sister-complications to a minimum.

 

You probably need to think of the worst possible things your sister might do - or not do, and plan accordingly. What if she decides to stop helping altogether? What if she begins stealing from your parents? What if she says she will help, but doesn't?

 

Remember that her words are not reality! You are a good daughter and doing the best you can for your parents. Tell yourself the truth - because your sister won't.

 

((((Goldberry))))

 

 

Anne

 

think of the absolute worst case scenario - and prepare for that.

 

even if you think it's so awful, it's unlikely, she might surprise you with what she comes up with.  My brother was much worse than I was expecting.   I was the one who bore the brunt of his garbage while I was trying to care for my mom.  her MEDICAL staff were complaining about how much his shenanigans were interfering with their being able to care for her.

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:grouphug:

No advice, just understanding, I will be there someday, but I'm fortunate to have another sister near them (who happens to be a therapist!) who works really hard to be an effective buffer.

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I'm so sorry. No advice here, it sounds very difficult. My mum is my NPD person and she has successfully barred me from even visiting my sick sister...

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I think you need to go for power of attorney (though they may well change it from you to her later) and butter up your sister as much as possible. If she wants you to reply with grovelling text messages, reply with grovelling text messages. Sincerity is not necessary, the appearance of it is.

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If it were me, I would not tell her I am thankful for her being there. You can say that you guess mom is thankful, but not you. By saying "you", there is permission to complain to you since it is assumed you are responsibile to do those tasks.

 

Anyone caring for geriatrics is allowed to complain all he wants. It is a rite of passage that is unpleasant for the caregiver, irrespective of the caregiver's inherent personality. Just be a listening ear while not taking responsibility for the actual tasks. Since your sister does live next to your parents, she will most likely become the primary caregiver to your parents no matter how many summers you spent with them. She will get the worst of the worst, while you will be able to give the respite care. So be it. Unless your parents move in with you, your sister can complain all she wants. Luckily, it is email and not FaceTime, right?

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I had experience with a (distant) relative that walked off with whatever money/assets were available by getting ailing relatives to sign off. So there was no money left to hire caregivers or pay for funerals etc.  I don't have any other advice but just remember that you cannot "out think crazy"  Sorry you are in this position. 

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Our experience is that the narcissist wants everyone else to pay. They want the inheritance, and will talk the elder into signing over assets to avoid the tax man, but wont use those assets to pay for the care. Your dad needs to share the plan for the end game while he can. And your sib doesnt have to be a chauffeur....dad can hire a taxi or ask a friend. I just give my narcissist the taxi number when she gets to pity party stage...its far cheaper than the cost of a day off from work plus gas.

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I think you need to go for power of attorney (though they may well change it from you to her later) and butter up your sister as much as possible. If she wants you to reply with grovelling text messages, reply with grovelling text messages. Sincerity is not necessary, the appearance of it is.

 

Rosie you are spot on.  My logical mind says THIS is what is necessary.  If she gets what she wants, she does a pretty good job.  But to hear her say the things she does (that I'm doing nothing, that I have no idea, etc)  then do the groveling necessary.... IT'S KILLING ME!  Arghhh!  

 

I'm the mentally healthy adult here.  I need to suck it up and do what is needed to keep my parents in the best place possible.  I know this.  But OMG it's just causing me so much internal agony.  

 

Regarding Power of Attorney, etc, my sister is so close it would not seem logical in any way for me to have it.  I do worry about future manipulation and other issues.  My sister has taken pain pills from my mom (that my mom needed) before through manipulation.  There have been other concerning things.  It hasn't been outright evil yet but I see the potential.  I'm not sure how to approach it though.  

 

I think you guys are right that I have to have a more detailed talk with my dad while he is still capable.  They know sister is "off" but I'm not sure they would consider she would ever do something really bad. But I worry if I bring it up they will think I am the one who is bad and trying to badmouth her instead.  

 

To Minniewannabee, sure the caregiver has a right to complain.  She doesn't have the right to accuse and attack me.  That's not right.  I may have to deal with that, but no, it's not right.

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Oh, and those mentioning ER docs, etc, this is already happening.  For my dad's last two hospital stays, he keeps telling my sister to go home because she angers the doctors and agitates everyone there.  She tries to take total control of everything and won't listen to what anyone says, including my dad.

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 I think your talk with your dad needs to include the fact that he can't 100% take care of your mom.  Yes, he can when he's well, it sounds like, but not when these health crises come up.  You need to have contingencies in place right now for those times.  Dad has to go to the hospital?  Someone calls the caregiver set up for your mom to come take over until he's back home and fully recuperated.  While it is true that family is often that contingency, you are far away and your sister is not reliable. 

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 I think your talk with your dad needs to include the fact that he can't 100% take care of your mom.  Yes, he can when he's well, it sounds like, but not when these health crises come up.  You need to have contingencies in place right now for those times.  Dad has to go to the hospital?  Someone calls the caregiver set up for your mom to come take over until he's back home and fully recuperated.  While it is true that family is often that contingency, you are far away and your sister is not reliable. 

 

My dad's response to that would be that of course my sister would help. And she would.  It will just be a mess of complaining, drama, and communicating wrong information to me.  My family would never accept that we should have an outside caregiver when sister is "available".  It might be 100% better, but it will never happen.

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Just because your sister is closer doesn't mean you couldn't be the one with power of attorney if your parents are agreeable. I'm power of attorney for someone and I'm a plane ride away. It works.

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I dunno. If you can somehow detach emotionally, it seems like a little hero worship is a small price to pay for ongoing elder care. Think of it as currency and it's easier to come by than real money. If she's providing adequate care to your aging parents it might be in everyone's best interest to just set your feelings aside and tell her what she wants to hear.

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Rosie you are spot on.  My logical mind says THIS is what is necessary.  If she gets what she wants, she does a pretty good job.  But to hear her say the things she does (that I'm doing nothing, that I have no idea, etc)  then do the groveling necessary.... IT'S KILLING ME!  Arghhh!  

 

I'm the mentally healthy adult here.  I need to suck it up and do what is needed to keep my parents in the best place possible.  I know this.  But OMG it's just causing me so much internal agony.  

 

Regarding Power of Attorney, etc, my sister is so close it would not seem logical in any way for me to have it.  I do worry about future manipulation and other issues.  My sister has taken pain pills from my mom (that my mom needed) before through manipulation.  There have been other concerning things.  It hasn't been outright evil yet but I see the potential.  I'm not sure how to approach it though.  

 

I think you guys are right that I have to have a more detailed talk with my dad while he is still capable.  They know sister is "off" but I'm not sure they would consider she would ever do something really bad. But I worry if I bring it up they will think I am the one who is bad and trying to badmouth her instead.  

 

To Minniewannabee, sure the caregiver has a right to complain.  She doesn't have the right to accuse and attack me.  That's not right.  I may have to deal with that, but no, it's not right.

 

 

Oh, and those mentioning ER docs, etc, this is already happening.  For my dad's last two hospital stays, he keeps telling my sister to go home because she angers the doctors and agitates everyone there.  She tries to take total control of everything and won't listen to what anyone says, including my dad.

 

 

Just because your sister is closer doesn't mean you couldn't be the one with power of attorney if your parents are agreeable. I'm power of attorney for someone and I'm a plane ride away. It works.

 

Yes. It sounds like you need to be power of health care attorney and power of attorney. In the days of email, fax, and cell phones, being local is irrelevant. The person who can interact with health care providers, etc. is the one who should have power of attorney. AND it is something you can do at a distance. 

 

The fact that your father recognizes the chaos that your sister can create is helpful. I would go back for a visit and talk with him straight up about it. Do you want them to move near you so that you can help out more often? It may be that your sister would prefer that, though the allure of the drama is going to have strong attraction as well. But you offered. Help your dad think through: what happens if he becomes physically needing of care? What happens if he dies? 

 

Also, I can't emphasize strongly enough that your parents' finances need to be nailed down. If your dad dies and your mom has dementia and they are not nailed down, she could give away everything she needs for care--and not necessarily to your sister: to anyone unscrupulous enough to worm their way into her life and take what they can get. It doesn't just happen in soap operas. It's pretty common. 

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Nothing but hugs from me.

 

And this is the very reason I am trying to ge my parents moved here while their health is good.

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It is a lot of work to take care of somebody.  I don't see her actions as narcissistic at all.  You asked her to help and she did.  I can absolutely see someone venting in this way.  She *IS* all alone with no help.  She's probably sick of all the work and that's certainly understandable.  

 

Quote:

 

Today while I am at my part time job, I get the nastiest text from sister, about how she has to take my mom and dog to the vet because my dad is still recuperating, and how I could not possibly understand how mom is, and how she is ALL ALONE with NO HELP whatsoever, and no one cares, etc...

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It is a lot of work to take care of somebody.  I don't see her actions as narcissistic at all.  You asked her to help and she did.  I can absolutely see someone venting in this way.  She *IS* all alone with no help.  She's probably sick of all the work and that's certainly understandable.  

 

Quote:

 

Today while I am at my part time job, I get the nastiest text from sister, about how she has to take my mom and dog to the vet because my dad is still recuperating, and how I could not possibly understand how mom is, and how she is ALL ALONE with NO HELP whatsoever, and no one cares, etc...

 

 

Sorry, I didn't want to go into the background story of her narcissism.  It has been many long years of history.  I wasn't pointing to this as evidence, but as a question about how to deal with an NPD person in these situations to get out of it with as little damage as possible.  

 

It is a common characteristic of hers that whenever she helps someone (anyone) or does anything nice, she goes on and on about it to everyone, including about how she did whatever, but it was so hard for her, and poor her, but of course she did it, etc...  If she doesn't get the result she wants, which is "Oh my gosh you are so wonderful and selfless and amazing..." then she gets really mean really quickly.  This has gone on for.... 30+ years?  So yeah, it's not just a vent. 

 

ETA, that's not just the only issue.  I get wrong information from her on a regular basis.  As well as worrying about what other's have mentioned, if things get worse and she manipulates the situation further.

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I guess it feels weird for me, because I have done A LOT - but I don't advertise it.  I don't expect to be patted on the back for it.  They are my parents.  It's one thing to vent to a friend or family when things get tough.  It's another thing to go all martyr and expect everyone to think you are so great because you are taking care of your parents.

 

I never have liked people who feel the need to advertise every good thing they do or sacrifice they make. It's especially hard when I am making the same sacrifices and don't expect to make a big deal out of it.

 

 

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Sorry, I didn't want to go into the background story of her narcissism.  It has been many long years of history.  I wasn't pointing to this as evidence, but as a question about how to deal with an NPD person in these situations to get out of it with as little damage as possible.  

 

It is a common characteristic of hers that whenever she helps someone (anyone) or does anything nice, she goes on and on about it to everyone, including about how she did whatever, but it was so hard for her, and poor her, but of course she did it, etc...  If she doesn't get the result she wants, which is "Oh my gosh you are so wonderful and selfless and amazing..." then she gets really mean really quickly.  This has gone on for.... our30+ years?  So yeah, it's not just a vent. 

 

ETA, that's not just the only issue.  I get wrong information from her on a regular basis.  As well as worrying about what other's have mentioned, if things get worse and she manipulates the situation further.

 

Again, I'm so sorry.   :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

I'm reading your OP with the assumption that you've already determined that she is a narcissist, & now you have your elderly parents to deal with, somehow together.  I think it's clear that the behavior descriptions of your NPD sister are not to be taken as the evidence that she has NPD, but examples of how she is behaving in these new circumstances of parents needing more care.

 

I'm sorry that people seem to be questioning your circumstance.  These are trying circumstances with "normal" siblings.  The narcissism would magnify those problems many times over.

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I'm reading your OP with the assumption that you've already determined that she is a narcissist, & now you have your elderly parents to deal with, somehow together. 

 

Yes, this.  I could go into the laundry list and years of history, but quite a few people on this board have BTDT and have the tshirt already ;)  I was trying to save time!

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Caregiving is really, really hard. I've done it to varying degrees with relatives long-distance and have been juggling the needs of a disabled family member for over a decade. Sometimes it seems like I have zero time for myself and am going to split apart at the seams. Sometimes when I vent people get on my case, when frankly what I need is love and support. Of course I love the person and will do whatever it takes, but it's a rough go. Maybe that's what your sister needs from you.

 

How you're going to work this out with your sister is going to be tough. Even in the best of cases, it's very hard. DH's family was initially united on eldercare issues but then it got ugly during the process of dealing with the house.

 

I had a narcissistic mom who had battled mental illness for years and then developed dementia. Initially I was the long-distance contact because that's how my deceased father had set it up. My dad had always wanted me in charge because he had serious concerns about my sibling, who was very enmeshed with my mother. Well, then one day my mother switched everything over to my sibling and that was the end of my involvement. Mom was institutionalized, and my sibling took a hands-off approach to the point of being very poor about returning phone calls from the staff and house doctor. They really gave me an earful when I was there going through her stuff after she died, but there wasn't a thing I could do of course. All of the legal paperwork blocked me from any decision-making.

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Nothing but hugs from me.

 

And this is the very reason I am trying to ge my parents moved here while their health is good.

 

I would love that, but my dad has quite a few friends and activities he is involved with there.  It's the only thing that gets him out of the house.  He would be sad and lonely here.  Also, we are at an altitude that doesn't do well for many old people.  

 

I have talked to DH about us maybe needing to move back THERE (which we hated) but just for a couple of years maybe.  But, DD is doing college, senior year next year, etc.  We can't think about that realistically for another year and half at least.

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G5052, that sounds so sad and frustrating. 

 

Yes, it is sad.

 

There were also significant issues with the estate which I dropped because my sibling was made the executor and there's no legal avenue left to me. Even their lawyer (a family friend) contacted me "off the record" at one point to say that they were horrified at it all. It's not worth my time to press it any further. The dishonesty and game playing were wearing on me, so I minimize contact and move on. How my sibling could handle things in good conscience the way that they have is beyond me. I could never live with myself if I did the things that my sibling did to my mother and myself. 

 

But that's narcissism! 

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Yes, it is sad.

 

There were also significant issues with the estate which I dropped because my sibling was made the executor and there's no legal avenue left to me. Even their lawyer (a family friend) contacted me "off the record" at one point to say that they were horrified at it all. It's not worth my time to press it any further. The dishonesty and game playing were wearing on me, so I minimize contact and move on. How my sibling could handle things in good conscience the way that they have is beyond me. I could never live with myself if I did the things that my sibling did to my mother and myself. 

 

But that's narcissism! 

 

My sister always makes comments, "you know when mom and dad are gone, I'm taking this (or that)"  I have already made peace that I'm just going to let it go.  It's not worth fighting over to me.  DH and I did get all the pictures and got copies of them.  That way when she takes them I don't have to fight about it.

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My sister always makes comments, "you know when mom and dad are gone, I'm taking this (or that)"  I have already made peace that I'm just going to let it go.  It's not worth fighting over to me.  DH and I did get all the pictures and got copies of them.  That way when she takes them I don't have to fight about it.

 

You were wise to do that.

 

When my dad died, my mother destroyed every picture she had of him. She told me that she never liked him anyway.

 

In going through his brother's stuff, I'm really hoping that we can find some of those pictures. I haven't had time to do that yet. There were some great boyhood ones that I remember.

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I get it. My dh is going through this with his sister. She acts like a savior to their parents and then looks at dh with daggers. When dh tries to help, it isn't good enough or helpful enough. Dh has also resolved to the fact that she can have it all when they are gone. He will not fight her. She always wins, and that has to be okay.

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Sorry this is long, but I need some advice desperately....

 

So many of you here have experience with narcissist family members, so I don't really have to tell the sister backstory.  It resembles many stories here.  Everything is about her, she reframes or lies about every story to get the reactions she wants, she tries to pit people against each other, she is purposely destructive and mean to others, etc.  We haven't had very much to do with each other as adults, because I just didn't not want to be around the crazy, ya know?  But now, parents are getting older....

 

I live in one state, and my sister and my parents live in another. Previously, my mom came to where I live to spend the summers.  (She didn't live with me, she lived in an RV nearby.)   When she did, I checked on her every day or every couple of days, took her to doctor appointments, brought her food, etc.  In the last two years, my mom has had increasing dementia, so she can't do that any more.  She is welcome to come stay with me when she wants, but she is afraid of travel and now doesn't leave the house very much.

 

My dad is healthy mentally but has heart problems.  He takes care of my mom pretty well, but recently his heart problems have caused him some down time that complicates things.  In the spring, he had a surgery, and I flew down to stay with and take care of my mom.  I even extended my trip when my dad stayed longer in the hospital.  I also call regularly, at least 2 - 3 times per week. 

 

My sister lives 5 minutes from my parents, but previously has gone MONTHS without visiting them - literally months, not an exaggeration.  She used to work full time, but last spring she lost her job.  So this summer, she did start checking in more with them, which I was grateful for.  My mom's dementia is getting worse, and she has helped out some with doctor appointments.

 

Last week my dad had to go in the hospital unexpectedly.  I had actually just been back home the week before.  I wasn't sure how serious it was going to be or how long he was going to be in the hospital.  I work two part-time jobs in addition to homeschooling.  I was down in the spring for the last surgery, and was just home again a few weeks ago.  So I was trying to judge if I needed to jump on a plane or not.  It seemed like it was going to be short, but ended up being 5 days.

 

My sister first only even went to my mom's because I asked her if she had checked on mom's medicine (my dad takes care of that usually).  Then she did realize she needed to be watching out for mom, and started spending more time with her while dad was in the hospital, which I was grateful for.  Mom has dementia and can be not easy. I know this because I myself spent a whole week with her back in the spring!  and I used to spend every summer with her before her dementia got bad.  So every.single.day I got texts from my sister how difficult my mom was, how she was taking care of her but it was SO HARD, etc.  Martyr mode, kwim?  I tried my best to give her what she wanted... "Oh, I'm so grateful, I'm so glad you're there..."   Which I WAS GRATEFUL.  But when someone so clearly is just begging to be treated like a hero, it rubs you wrong, you know?  I don't go around advertising all the things I do for my parents just so she (or anyone) can pat me on the back.

 

Dad gets out of the hospital and back home.  I'm thinking we are at the end now.  Today while I am at my part time job, I get the nastiest text from sister, about how she has to take my mom and dog to the vet because my dad is still recuperating, and how I could not possibly understand how mom is, and how she is ALL ALONE with NO HELP whatsoever, and no one cares, etc...

 

I do not even know how to respond.  I would love to go back to limiting contact with her, but I can't really.  We have these parents to care for, and we are going to have to be communicating.  But I don't even know how to communicate with her.  I know from past history not to engage or argue. She lives in this alternate reality and she sees nothing outside of it.  But at the same time, I feel like I don't want to just stand there and let her make out like I do or have done nothing.  How do I respond when she goes down this path, without feeling like I'm letting myself get beat up?  I have a feeling this will be a repeating theme, and I wish I could avoid it, but don't see how.

 

Thanks for listening.  I'm so stressed and now hurt too. :(

 

 

Is there an independent living/assisted living place near you where your parents could move?

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Yup, that's what I was going to ask.  If your father passes, then your mother could move to be near you.  I just moved a relative into assisted living, and they LOVE it.  They can manage meds, do laundry, make sure they're getting all their meals, etc., but the person still has activities (in and out of the building), clubs, you name it.  

 

And yes, get that paperwork in order and signed.  You want that POA, living will, etc. straightened out before she loses her capacity to sign.  Very important.  

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I am currently dealing with a family member who is needing to go into an assisted care type place, and can say that it would have been way better if this had been done some years ago when he would have been able to get into a better place at the independent living level, and gradually work through levels of care--though I didn't know anything about that back then. Now the place that might be best for him is full at the higher level of care he now needs. In fact he now needs a level of care that we cannot find anyplace for him to go to with openings. He is something like 50th place on a waiting list at best for a not top choice facility.

 

 

I'd suggest working with your parents on this while they are able to still be somewhat independent rather than waiting for when they aren't and it is an emergency, and having to deal with your sister at that point.

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Yup, that's what I was going to ask.  If your father passes, then your mother could move to be near you.  I just moved a relative into assisted living, and they LOVE it.  They can manage meds, do laundry, make sure they're getting all their meals, etc., but the person still has activities (in and out of the building), clubs, you name it.  

 

And yes, get that paperwork in order and signed.  You want that POA, living will, etc. straightened out before she loses her capacity to sign.  Very important.  

 

I agree except that I think having them both make such a move now would be better than later. A lot of such places have apartments or suites or even houses for couples, and your father could get help that would lighten his burden considerably.

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I agree except that I think having them both make such a move now would be better than later. A lot of such places have apartments or suites or even houses for couples, and your father could get help that would lighten his burden considerably.

Oh I just sort of thought the op was saying her father was about to pass.  If I misunderstood that then, yes, absolutely!  The place we selected can add a 2nd person to the apartment for just $500 more a month!  So, if, for instance, it's $3500 a month for the first person, that would then be $4000, which honestly is pretty good.  That's baseline, and I'm guessing they make their money on the extras (dressing, etc.).  

 

 

 In fact he now needs a level of care that we cannot find anyplace for him to go to with openings. He is something like 50th place on a waiting list at best for a not top choice facility.

 

Oh my.  We were able to get in right away at our top choice, but it's true that when we realized there was a spot we decided to move RIGHT THEN!  

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My dad has good friends and activities where he is, and also he can't handle the altitude here.  If my dad passes, then yes, my mom could come here and live in a facility.  But it wouldn't be something I could plan ahead for, because as long as my dad is alive he wants to be with her. 

 

The option of them living in a facility where they are now is something we could discuss.  Then if my dad passed at least she would be in a safe place.  Then I could coordinate her moving here if that was appropriate at that time.

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The option of them living in a facility where they are now is something we could discuss.  Then if my dad passed at least she would be in a safe place.  

 

 

That sounds like a good idea. It is hard for people with dementia to handle new places often as I understand it, so maybe she could stay there, but you would have worked out phone calls, skyping, and other ways to be in touch. If your dad got worse rather than  suddenly passing, he too would be in a safe place. And he could still see his friends and do his activities.

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Be prepared for more drama even if you are able to move them into a facility where they currently live.   

 

Caring for elderly parents can cause a HUGE amount of stress among siblings who don't live in the same town, even when there aren't narcissistic tendencies involved.   We moved my ILs into assisted living (in the city where DH's sister lives, 5 hours away from where they had been living) about 2 years ago when they could no longer care for themselves.    MIL had a chronic lung disease, and FIL has dementia.   My MIL passed away about 5 months ago, so now it's just FIL.   It has been a huge blessing that he was already living at the ALF before MIL passed and could continue with the same caregivers and routine, but it's been very hard on my SIL.   Even though he's at a facility, she still takes him to doctor appointments; buys his toiletries, clothes, and other supplies; and has him over to her house for meals occasionally.   My DH has POA for finances and pays their bills, and handled selling their house (we live 4 hours away), filing all of the paperwork after MIL died, and all of their legal/insurance/tax stuff.    

 

I can't urge you enough to get durable POA paperwork done immediately.   Your dad should be 1st POA for your mom, with you as second, and you should be 1st POA for your dad in the event that he can no longer decide for himself.   My FIL can no longer sign his own name, and even though my DH has POA for him, we've had a horrible time getting some banking issues resolved where his signature was required.   If your mom's dementia worsens to the point where she can no longer sign for herself, it's much more difficult to have POA established.   

 

 

 

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