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What can you do when a sibling won't let you visit mom?

 

 Question: My mother is 81 years old and I have not been able to see her since July 27, 2012. Her birthday was November 12, 2012 and I did not get to see her. Mom has dementia and my sister is influencing her and not allowing her to see all of her children. I keep feeling like I am hitting a brick wall. All I would like to do is see my mother.

Dr. Amy: Life is short and we only have so much time and energy. It amazes me that people spend theirs making others unhappy. And yet so much of this goes on, especially with siblings and older parents.

What happened on July 27? Why does your sister not let you see your mother? Does she also deny other siblings the opportunity to visit? Is there a way to talk together as a family and come to an arrangement that meets everyone’s wishes—and centers on what’s best for your mom? Perhaps a mediator or facilitator could help you all come to an agreement.

It is possible you can prick your sister’s conscience enough that she will change her behavior. For example, could you appeal to her from the standpoint that if your mom dies and she has prevented you from seeing her, there will be no way to rectify this in the future? Also consider whether there is someone else your sister is more likely to respond, perhaps someone in the community. If nothing seems likely to work, I suggest you consult with an eldercare lawyer about your options.

Your mother deserves to see her family and you deserve to see your mother. I truly wish you—and your whole family—a peaceful solution to this situation.

 

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. February 20, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Posted by Bernadette

    I took care of Mother who has dementia for 3 years. Two years were driving 240 miles round trip to check on her twice a month, she was still able to live on her own. As she became less cognitive I moved in with her. I lived with her took care of her without any help from other family members who harassed me by name calling Black heart, low life scum, you'll look good in orange, they would call mom and tell her I was going to hurt her, I was going to put her out on the streets,I was going to take everything she had. Even though no one else had any other plan for her care and I was there 24/7 with no help. In the meantime I had to pack up my entire home in order to rent it out, as I could not afford to leave it vacant. That entailed spending several thousand to bring house up to par, such as new hot water heater, all the wall heaters cleaned and checked, painting etc.and giving up my means of income, as I did not have a studio in mothers house, I am a sculptor. and giving up my life for one year. I am not a healthy person, 9 years off and on chemo, diabetes, high blood pressure, The pressure of the discord caused by their calls to mother slandering me and that of pressure of dealing with someone who cannot remember any longer was overwhelming. Was in emergency 3 times in one year, was sleeping 2 hours a night and those were not consecutive, sleep 30 minutes, awake another 3 hours another 30 minutes sleep etc. Decided we had to move back to my home where it would be easier on me, as I would not be able to care for ANYONE UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS. I was also sleeping on the floor. During the time I was taking care of mother I did not deny any family member access to mother, she also maintained her land line so any one was able to contact her. After one year in mothers home my tenants lease was up and I went home to put the house in order so I could bring mother up to live with me in my home. after two weeks, I was going back and forth, I called mother one day and she was gone. Niece had put her on airplane and sent her to sister who lives in Hawaii. They took her dog to shelter as a stray,They had not bothered to inform me, even though I was her caregiver. As a result I put her house up for sale as it is in my name, and could not afford to keep an empty house. Sister then had mother sign a Power of attorney, even though mother was at late middle stage dementia and does not remember what happens after an hour or so. She then brought a lawsuit against me on mother behalf,, still ongoing. she will not allow me to speak with mother, has my number blocked. I do not know how mother is doing and sister has clearly alienated her from me

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  2. January 28, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Posted by Colleen

    siblings should not ever tell mom or other siblings that they can not visit. If parent is living with them and they do not want to see they're brother or sister then leave your house so they can visit, its the right thing to do. Think of your parent and they're needs and wants first. Stop being a spoiled brat and man up Its not about you.

    Reply

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