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Why doesn't she visit?

188 replies

Itwasgoodwhileitlasted · 01/04/2021 09:50

My DDad died last September and in recent weeks my sister has decided to only visit DM once a week.

DM is very, very lonely and has a very bad memory. I didn't visit myself for two days and she had noticeably gone downhill.

I live 5 minutes drive away and visit 4 times a week at least. DSIS lives 15 minutes away and only visits once a week.

I couldn't sleep last night worrying about it.

DSIS phones most nights, but its not the same. We both work full time and I have children, she doesn't.

It just all feels overwhelming.

AIBU to raise this with her?

(She does cry/ feel attacked at the drop of a hat, so I am reluctant. Also while I am getting it all off my chest it riles me that DSis doesn't even make her a cup of tea when she visits. DM does it)

Also, in fairness I should add DSIS does cook for DM occasionally on the one day a week she sees her. Still the responsibility of everything is really heavy.

OP posts:

Tinydinosaur · 01/04/2021 10:00

How old/ill is your mum? Unless she's on her death bed I don't think visiting once a week is an issue. That's a normal amount for visits. I can't imagine visiting someone every other day a year after their partner had died. Maybe the first few weeks.


ShirleyPhallus · 01/04/2021 10:04

Sorry about your dad, but I think visiting a parent once a week is still quite a lot. Visiting four times a week, while kind, would be pretty much impossible for me to do so I think that’s quite unusual.


gobbynorthernbird · 01/04/2021 10:11

Your DSis is doing as much as she is able, and that's fine.

Do you think your mum now needs paid care?


RogersVideo · 01/04/2021 10:12

I think you need to address it practically. If you feel you're mother needs some level of care, sit down with your sister and see if she is willing to draw up a schedule where you both alternate popping in more regularly.


lastqueenofscotland · 01/04/2021 10:13

Visiting once a week is more than most people I know manage to visit their parents. I think you’re being a bit unfair


Itwasgoodwhileitlasted · 01/04/2021 10:14

No, I don't think she needs paid care yet. She is just so lonely, really shy and she has no friends.

I enjoy visiting her to be honest because I enjoy her company but I worry about her being alone.

OP posts:

BookWorm45 · 01/04/2021 10:14

What is going on with your mum - age / illness / other concerns ? Why are you judging how often your sister visits - she is an adult so that's up to her ?
It sounds like you are spending effort wanting your sister to be the same as yourself.


Hadjab · 01/04/2021 10:15


Sorry about your dad, but I think visiting a parent once a week is still quite a lot. Visiting four times a week, while kind, would be pretty much impossible for me to do so I think that’s quite unusual.

Once a week is a lot, when you live 15 minutes away? Hmm

RandomMess · 01/04/2021 10:15

Is it actually appropriate for your Mum to live alone?

Where are your Mum's friends? Does she speak to them too?

I'm not sure it's anyone else's job to step into companion role because your Mum is lonely?


BillyIsMyBunny · 01/04/2021 10:16

How often did your sister see your mum before your Dad died? Once a week seems a completely reasonable frequency to me, presumably your sister has her own life and once a week is already a significant commitment when you work full time. On top of that you say she phones every night!

You’ve obviously made a choice to visit every other day and if that works for you it’s great, but I really don’t think you can raise it with your sister that she’s not able to commit to that frequency of visiting. If you’re finding every other day too much then you need to find ways to reduce that without expecting your sister to do more; can you look at paid carers for example?


RogersVideo · 01/04/2021 10:17

If she doesn't need care, then it isn't your place to dictate how often your sister visits your Mum.


BoyTree · 01/04/2021 10:19

So your sister visits once a week and phones every night and you visit four days a week and that's still not enough? I don't think your sister is the issue here.


Confusedandshaken · 01/04/2021 10:20

Once a week seems a lot to me. I know other people visit their parents more frequently but I find my mum very negative and more than once a week would drain me.


FrangipaniBlue · 01/04/2021 10:20

I think YABmassivelyU!

If your mum doesn't need care and it's visiting for company then once a week plus phone calls in between is not unreasonable nor uncaring!

Just because your sister doesn't have children doesn't mean she has nothing else going on in her life FGS!


therocinante · 01/04/2021 10:20

That's a pretty normal amount to visit, and she takes food, so I think you DSis isn't doing anything wrong. Not being able to sleep because your sister is 'only' visiting once a week is extreme - is there something else going on (other than, obviously, the sad fact of losing your dad)?

Does your mum need care and you're panicked that it's going to fall to you? If so, speak to your GP, the council, or your local care team about arranging that - do not take it all on yourself, because you will burn out and resent your sister, I've seen it myself. My mum took it upon herself to care for my grandma and ended up a year later having to have 6 months off work because she was exhausted and emotionally broken by it - and her and my uncle no longer speak, because he was of the opinion that we should get professional carers. And he was right: once we did, it was much, much easier and my grandma was better cared for by people who didn't resent the load of it and weren't emotional and upset when things weren't good.

If she doesn't need care, then who makes a cup of tea etc is irrelevant. I think it depends here if you're being (with love) a bit overprotective about your mum's needs, or whether she genuinely is unable to care for herself, in which case she needs daily visits by a carer anyway.

It's hard, I know. But do yourself a favour now and seek help where you can, if you need to: there are no prizes for martyring yourself and taking it all on because 'it should be us'. If your mum needs care, get that in place for her sake and your own.


gobbynorthernbird · 01/04/2021 10:21

It isn't down to your sister to make up for your mum's lack of a social life.


TillyTopper · 01/04/2021 10:23

I think once a week is fine - but lovely that you want to visit more. Could you encourage mum to gain more friends - perhaps set her up with an easy device for keeping in contact, go to an online church service or similar?


Notanotherhun · 01/04/2021 10:24

Would you like an altar for your impending martyrdom?


Mary46 · 01/04/2021 10:25

I visit once a week. Thats all I could manage with working ft and a family. She negative too which is tiring. What age is she? Bit home help maybe? You can only do so much.


BrumBoo · 01/04/2021 10:26

Sorry but I agree with others. If she doesn't need care, then one visit a week plus phoning is more than enough. Even if she does need care, it's simply not ok to expect a huge commitment from your sister as much as you do not have to place yourself in a carer position either. Some people are simply not up for such a humongous task, and it's of no benefit for either parent or child to be forced into that situation out of duty.


3Britnee · 01/04/2021 10:27


No, I don't think she needs paid care yet. She is just so lonely, really shy and she has no friends.

I enjoy visiting her to be honest because I enjoy her company but I worry about her being alone.

Move her into your house then.

Itwasgoodwhileitlasted · 01/04/2021 10:29

Wow, some really nasty messages on here for someone who is worrying about there mothers health and loneliness.

Thank you to those who recognise I am struggling and don't know how to do it.

OP posts:

mouse70 · 01/04/2021 10:30

It is up to your sister how much she visits.


MeanMrMustardSeed · 01/04/2021 10:30

Why don’t you both take another approach? I don’t go to my mum’s that often by myself, but always invite her for Sunday lunch and a midweek meal as I’m cooking and sitting down anyway so she just joins in with that. She has a drink before and a coffee afterwards so is with us for 3 hours twice a week. Then any visits I make are a bonus.


GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 01/04/2021 10:32

I couldn't sleep last night worrying about it.

What is it exactly that you are worrying about?

It sounds as if both you are your sister are supporting your Mum. But you sounds very resentful that you are doing 'more'.

But how often you visit is entirely up to you; it's not your sister's fault that she lives further away or has no children.

Does your Mum have any friends/neighbours who could pop in for a cuppa once a week or something? Or could you organise some paid help?

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