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Live far away - how can I help my sister?

(10 Posts)
Lemond1fficult Wed 24-Aug-16 16:49:02

My parents, who are separated, live in the same city as my dsis and her dd6. I live 100 miles away and don't drive. How can I pull my weight more on a daily basis? Short of relocating, what things do primary careers appreciate that help them share the load?

For background:

My dm's 65, has mobility issues and is very lonely so calls and texts my dsis all day everyday. She won't accept any offers of book groups, charity volunteering etc so my dsis is her only outlet. (For some reason she never rings me, though I call her and df every other day). She's reliant on my dsis for all hospital and shopping trips.

df is 72 and is being treated for cancer. He's normally v fit, independent, has a social life, but now my sis has to take him to all his appointments.

What with her dh's dad also being ill, she's shattered.

Im coming up for a week so she can take a holiday and I can look after them. But that can't happen all the time as I work, (plus I'd be staying with my dm and we'd clash within minutes if I didn't bite my lip.)

thesandwich Wed 24-Aug-16 21:59:21

Spending some time looking at whatever other services are available locally to help would be useful- age uk, crossroads etc- and also having strong words with your DM about taking your ds is for granted!
Could Macmillan offer help with DF?

fabulousathome Thu 25-Aug-16 10:22:50

Offer to do some phone calls or admin for your sister?

ZaZathecat Sun 28-Aug-16 18:04:33

As I'm pretty much your sister in this situation I would echo what Sandwich said: help to find and implement outside help, keep phoning regularly and impress on your dm how much your dsis does and how she has to look after her own family and well-being too. Also you can support your sister by talking to her, listening and understanding her gripes.

microscope Mon 29-Aug-16 21:08:15

Going to see your parents with your DSis and telling them that they can't rely on her so much and need to accept some outside help?

PootLevato Mon 29-Aug-16 21:21:06

Been your sister in this situation, it's both physically and emotionally draining to be the sole carer.
I would up your phone calls to every day, do you ring at the same time? Get in a routine of ringing at a certain time so your mum knows she has a call at then, might stop some of her calls to your sister?
Could you perhaps do an online shop for your mum? Talking her through the items she'd like, I know that the supermarket used to take up a huge chunk of time for me.

Letting your sister know when you next plan to visit, even if weeks/months away will give her something to work towards. Take her for lunch and ask her what she needs from you in terms of support?

Needmoresleep Wed 31-Aug-16 12:34:10

Quite a lot!

1. keep in touch with your sister. If you find it difficult it will be much worse for her. Let her rant. Tell her she is appreciated. It makes a huge difference if there is someone to tell you, you are doing a good job, as it is mainly pretty thankless. If you get anger and resentment it may be displaced resentment of your mum, so let her rant and then talk constructively.

2. Plan your visits to give your sister some respite. For example when she wants/needs a short break.

3. Phone your mum daily. However boring it is. With your dad ill, she will be very scared and needy. Find the party line from your sister and follow it. Is she trying to get your mum to agree to doing more outside the house, get a cleaner in, use taxis to the hospital rather than rely on your sister (some taxi firms will provide an escort service whereby a named driver will take and wait, or pay a sensible cleaner/neighbour etc to do the routine visits), sign a POA or whatever. Use the calls to support this.

4. Consider helping with the admin. It may be too early for a POA, but you could get third party access to an account or have a joint account set up and money transferred into it. Then have all the bills sent to you and you pay them online. When my dad died my mum was very vulnerable to scammers, and was too embarrassed to say. It does not harm to understand the money early as this affects future decisions. Perhaps even order deliveries from Cook! if she is not eating properly.

5. Discuss Christmas and birthday presents with your sister, and buy things that will make a difference. Would your dad really enjoy a Sky Sports subscription. Or a microwave to make frozen meals possible. Or fund a taxi account.

6. When you visit see if you can stay somewhere else. Holiday cottages can be cheap off season. Make it into a bit of a holiday and it will become more bearable. As the visiting sister you will weild a different power and use your time to stretch her horizons a little. Take her out, encourage her to do things.

7. And again tell your sister she is doing a great job and that you do appreciate how hard it is. Your mum is not that old. If you can work together now, it may help your sister set up boundaries which give her a sustainable quality of life.

Needmoresleep Wed 31-Aug-16 18:04:35

Did OP read any of these posts? Or did she just post and run. If the latter she might have said, and thus have saved others their time.

foodisbetterwithwine Fri 16-Sep-16 17:51:21

I'm in the same exact situation as your DSis - did anyone come with good solutions for her? AgeUK weren't much help to me - I just need a way of knowing dad is OK while I'm at work but dad isn't going to wear any pendant and anyway they are eye-wateringly expensive...

RockinHippy Fri 16-Sep-16 18:32:32

Speak to the local Hospital, they will have a patient transport service. It's a volunteer service ran from the hospital & it's free. They organise drivers to transport patients safely to & from hospital.

My dad did this for years after retiring & he even moved around a few health services. It's a great service, ran by very organised & caring people who go out of there way to make patients feel less anxious about appointments. My dad even had singing sessions on route

Your mum & dad would both qualify for this service & it would take a lot of pressure off your DSIS

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