Long Distance Care

My 85 yo mother lives alone in her own home, and has been experiencing increasing memory loss over the past 2-1/2 years. She refuses to move, but I am concerned for her safety living alone. Enter my older sister who 2-1/2 years ago took over paying my mom’s bills, as well as employing some ladies to check on mom daily, make sure she takes her meds, and take her shopping, etc.

My sister and her husband are wealthy and pay for the ladies out of their own money. The catch is my sister and her husband live across the country from mom, and visit her twice a year. I live 2-1/2 hours from mom.

I have told my sister I can not afford to contribute financially to mom’s care, nor do I think it’s safe for her to remain where she is. Because of this, my sister will not allow me to interact or offer suggestions for mom’s care with her “employees “, nor will she give me any updates on how mom is doing.

She also disregards most concerns I have, relying on her employees for updates. I try to get down to see mom when I can, but I work 4 days a week as an RN, and have been taking care of our chronically ill daughter for the last 13 years.

When I spoke with my sister today (it had been a long time since we’d spoken at all), she asked what I was going to start doing to help take care of mom. I feel that talking with her on the phone weekly (she doesn’t remember when people call, or even what day it is), and visiting when I can are all I can currently do.

My mom moved away to where she is now 20 years ago, and I have made the trip to visit her on holidays and her birthday and to help her around the house and yard frequently since then.

I am planning on contacting the county in the spring to have a nurse assess mom, as I feel it’s an unsafe situation. Any advice would be appreciated.

Comments for Long Distance Care

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by: Anna

Thanks for a marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.

You're doing what you can
by: Anonymous

If your sister can't understand that then she's a brat. Long distance care giving never works from my observations.

Unless your sister wants to move mom in with her, you want to move her to where you are, you want to move to where mom is, or between the two of you a live-in can be put with mom there seems to me to be a problem.

The county is not going to have answers other than telling you that your mom needs full-time supervision if she's having memory issues like you're describing.

My guess is if someone doesn't step up the state might take over mom's care and then the bills from the state might get sent to you and your sister. And if the state is in charge of mom's care neither you or your sister will be having a say.

That's never a nice situation. And I'm not a legal adviser, I'm just giving my 45cents on this. It just seems to me that SOMEONE needs to step forward and do something other that ask the other person what they're going to do about the situation, which is what I'm reading in your post.

Sorry to sound a bit harsh, but I've had trouble being a care giver that lived only 30 minutes from my parents and now only 10 minutes from my mom's assisted living (AL). And I STILL can't catch a break to go out of town for a weekend even with her in an AL....

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