I Seriously Need Advice

by Third Sister
(Florida)

I am the third (daughter) of my mom's seven children. My mom and two older sisters live in FL - the other siblings all live in the Northeast. Both older sisters are retired, while I work from a home office and have some flexibility. One of the younger siblings is a hopeless addict who shows up only when she needs help - the others are all still working full time and raising families.


My mom is becoming unable to live alone. She can't get herself from the house to the car safely, or from the parking lot to the store entrance. She can't walk her own dog, change a light bulb, carry groceries, etc. She's pretty much okay mentally (IMO).

I moved to Mom's town about a year ago, so she'd have someone close by in an emergency, but I quickly became the "chosen one." My two sisters live two hours across the state, and I'd like to live closer to them, but can't leave Mom. So the plan is for Mom and me to move together to my sisters' town. I would need to buy a house and have Mom live with me.

Mom has always liked to be cared for and waited on even when she was well. I imagine that once she's living with me, my daily workload will double with shopping, meals, errands, pet care, laundry, etc. I have asked my sisters to commit themselves to specific types of help with Mom's care, and they both insist they're willing to help and "do their share", but they resist being pinned down about exactly what help they'll provide. They get angry that I'm questioning their sincerity about helping. We're already fighting and we're still looking at houses - Mom and I haven't even moved yet.

I realize this is still all hypothetical to them. It's much more real to me since I've been Mom's "helper" for the last year and I can see it getting much, much worse. But I still worry I could be jumping from the frying pan into the fire, and I'll really be stuck once we buy a house.

Am I making a terrible mistake? What can I do to help make this situation work? I have nobody to discuss this with.

Thanks.

Third Sister

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3rd sister
by: Anonymous

I don't think moving to another part of the state and expecting your sisters to help is wishful thinking. From my experience it doesn't matter how many are in a family there is always ONE that does everything, because as much as you are told "they" will help this is done around "their" schedule not yours or your moms.

I would stay where you are, don't incur extra costs. What is your mom went to stay with each sister for a month this way you will have a 2 month break.
Hope that helps.

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Response to Anonymous Comment
by: Third Sister

Re: the suggestion of hiring a part-time caregiver for Mom: I love that idea, but unfortunately Mom's budget doesn't allow for that (which is why I'm helping her for free).

Financial help is not being offered by anyone in the family, and I don't want to bear sole responsibility for the outside caregiver - they're not cheap. Besides, if I were going to do that, I could do it without moving and without moving in with her. And maybe that will be the solution after all.

Thanks for the comments.

Third Sister

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From my Experience. . .
by: Anonymous

From what I've been through and seen I would say you are jumping into the fire. But then again I don't know your sisters, you do so follow your instincts. If they won't commit now then why would they commit to anything once you are living with your mother near them?

Think long and hard about what you are getting into. If they don't end up helping you have other options, like a few hours a day with a home health care worker helping. There are lots of resources out on the internet. Search and find what you are looking for before making a mistake you can't get out of. Good luck.

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Getting Outside Input
by: Anonymous

I would suggest, even though it may be difficult, that you locate a third party...a religious leader or respected mutual friend, a counsel of some kind to meet with the siblings in person...on Skype or telephone conference to work with you on this important change in the family.

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