Senior Veteran (female)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: NJ, United States
Re: Mother is Dying of Lung Cancer, sister doesn't care...
I don't want you to think of my post as being negative to you in any way. I was trying to lend support on how you can allow yourself not to deal with this toxic sister.
I'm also glad that you have a full-time job although how you can juggle it all is not something I understand but I guess because I suffer from Chronic Fatigue syndrome and am always tired, I always think everyone else is as well. I'm glad that you are able to do it, there are angels who walk this earth and you are one of them.
You say your Mom is leaving you the house. Unless its in writing, that may not true -- it may be what your mother desires, but in certain states, the house is part of the estate and as such as to be settled with all the siblings. Unfortunately Abby, your Mom may have the best intentions and again, can say anything but if its not within a will or a trust document stating such, your sisters have as much rights to the house when your Mom dies as you do. It unfortunately doesn't have anything to do with you being single with no family -- while your siblings may not want the house to live in, they will want their monetary value of their share and that is when you may or may not have to buy them out, depending again on if its in writing. One of my friends found this out the hard way.
If you are her caregiver for most of her needs -- you should be getting some money paid to you for your efforts. Others on these messages boards tell me that they pay their brothers for taking care of their mother for their week. I think they get paid $1,200 per month for that care and it comes out of their mother's account.
While my sister didn't draw a paycheck for caring for my mother, all their living expenses were covered by my mother's account. I even had my sister paid her car repairs, auto insurance, and fuel out of my mother's money and not her savings. It was only right since she used her vehicle for Mom's doctor appts and such.
I agree that you have caring and compassion for your Mom and feel that its best for her to be home. We all had to deal with Alzheimer and Dementia which is a different story all together. its a disease that doesn't always let relatives keep the patient at home. When my mother fell at home while trying to get out of bed under a sedative and lost her footing, spliting her eyebrow open, my sister called 911 and had her rushed to the hospital to be stitched. They identified that my mother was severely dehydrated which we knew because she would no longer eat or drink for us. They transferred her to another hospital and then we had the nightmare of trying to deal with hospice who wanted their money up front and we didn't have it to give. And then we needed to place her in the nursing home.
I too admire my sister for the most part -- what my ANGER is so pent up about is that now that my mother's gone, my sister has NO JOB, no friends (none) no one to go to the movies with, or out to dinner with or anything fun. She has NO INCOME at all and that's scary since we both need to work so that we can continue to stay in the childhood home and cover the property tax and other house-related bills. If the money she has (I walked away from my claim to any of it), runs out -- I have no means to be able to cover her side of the costs.
My sister was taking care of a mother with dementia who bite her, kicked her, slapped her, spit on her, and everything in between -- taking her hard-cooked meals and dumping the food on the floor or against the wall -- spitting out her medicine and taking ensure and anything else and pouring it on the carpets and my sister, etc. I would hear my sister begging my mother to stop, just please stop and I would go over.
during anytime I tried to stay with my mother so sister could go out shop or bank, my mother would scream, hold her breath, pass out and anything else that she could do to make my sister not want to go. When I would force sister out for a little while, my mother would scream so loud the neighbors heard. She would also slap me and push me towards the door.
The mother I knew technically died 5 years ago when she could not longer bathe herself, dress herself, use the restroom herself and she lost the ability to talk. She'd scream if she walked passed any mirrors so they all had blankets on them, the windows all had to the shades and curtains drawn because light bothered her. The TV couldn't be on because noise bothered her.
My sister had no choice but to just sit in the room in total silence and let my mother just look at her. If my sister went to the bathroom, my mother was right up out of the chair after her.
In reality, her body gave out this past February -- the last year and a half was hell for everyone and no one was there to spell my sister. I told her to get a nurse in to help her and use the money in Mom's account for that. She didn't want to because once the money ran out, there was nothing left for anything that they needed and my mother's social security and my rent didn't cover their total living expenses.
I wanted my mother in a nursing home because I saw the life sucked out of my sister and it broke my heart and killed me. But I was caring for my very sick husband who died at the age of 48 and trying to work full time, keeping benefits going for him and my family, etc. and my mother hated me all my life so it made it difficult for me. I chose to 'support' emotionally my sister in what she was doing.
I do have two kids; 25 and 22. I told them all their lives "I gave you life, I just didn't give you mine". I'm also laying the ground work that I absolutely do not want them to take me into their homes or take care of me. While my son blew me off, my daughter was "that's fine because I wasn't going to anyway, Son is older and that'll be his job". I said "no, it won't and shouldn't be either one of your jobs".
So no, I didn't have my kids so someone would be there to take care of me. I had kids because i wanted to see what they can and should accomplish in life and because I loved kids. And I will force them out of the nest when the time comes so they don't end up like my sister who seeingly was afraid to leave the nest and have opportunities to have a life.
The best thing for my sister is if we were to sell our family home, she and I split the profits and she goes into a 50 and over community or some senior center where hopefully she'd get involved with others and finally have the life she deserved.
Abby, deal with your mom, and those sisters who reciprocate and help you. Stay away from the toxic one. But as I said prepare yourselves. Get a POA (power of attorney) for your mother as well as a (MPOA) medical power of attorney so you can make the necessary decisions. If you don't want responsibility for both, then you get one and let another sibling get the other.
Also make sure the house is documented -- you may have to re-mortgage to pay your siblings for their share of the total value.
I want you to know I support you in what you are doing if its your choice and Bless those of you who can.
Last edited by caringsister54; 06-19-2009 at 11:09 AM.