Advice on family members visiting the house please!

Hi all, I’m struggling with a decision on my sister visiting my mum at the moment and can’t find any advice on line.

I’m live-in carer for my 86 year old mother. My sister lives just down the road. Despite this, we weren’t able to form a bubble as my sister has carers in for her son, along with other medical professionals. My sister, nephew and the carers had covid late last year but we’re all fine thank goodness. Because my sister has to have so many people in the house, I’ve never been able to have an open honest conversation about my concerns re. Covid as I didn’t want to stress her out. Whilst she and the carers have been careful, her attitude has been much more ‘life has to go on’ than mine and it’s caused me quite a lot of stress. The end of last year was awful as she was incredibly upset with me when I told her mum and I would not be coming for Xmas dinner and we should do on video call instead. On occasions I have bowed to pressure - i.e. me going down for presents Xmas morning, occasional visits for my sister to mum (tho she’s been annoyed by my insistence on masks and windows open).

So, now we’re all double jabbed. My sister is, of course, welcome any time but I think she should still wear a mask and I still wear a mask when I go to her house. She has said that she wants to come without mask and thinks I’m being ridiculous. Am I being overly cautious? Is it okay now if windows are open? My sister goes on UK holidays a lot and is frequently out and about but is careful with mask when in shops. We’ve had a rough few years with bereavements and my viewpoint is let’s just keep everyone safe but, on the other hand, my mum is 86 and I don’t want to deprive my sister of time with mum.


HI Sarah,

I think this is only something you, your Mum and sister can decide on.

What does your Mum think?

A compromise may be having the meet up outside without masks?

My Mum is in her 80’, when my sister visits she doesn’t wear a mask but they do socially distance and have the windows open. When the weather is fine they take their drinks into the garden. My sister is chef and has declined the jabs, but our Mum has had both her vaccines. My Mum’s friend wears a mask when she visits my Mum as her husband has health complications. If they sit outside they don’t wear masks.

It’s very much what folk are comfortable with.


I can’t really advise as we all have to do what is the most comfortable.
I will add though, that I wear a mask when on public transport and in shops. But as my hearing is impaired in the left ear, it’s harder to understand what is being said as I can’t see the mouth when others have a mask on. Guess I lip read more than I thought.
Is your Mother’s hearing ok.
Probably sounds a bit bizarre but a couple of my friends feel the same.

Why not have a tea party in the garden? Mask free?

Hi Melly! Thanks for the reply :slight_smile: Mum’s not in a position to make a call on it as she has dementia and doesn’t really understand about covid (we always joke she’s the happiest woman on the planet as she can’t retain any knowledge of the pandemic). So it’s left to me and my sister to decide and our opinions are completely at odds! I was hoping I could find some up to date government advice and just go with that but can’t find anything recent. We have done a couple of garden visits but it’s tricky to get sorted as the weather’s been so rotten, my sister’s away a lot and it takes quite an effort to get mum up and dressed - she’s physically fine but her dementia makes her want to stay in bed. I have also suggested clear visor (sister not keen).
There’s only one window in mum’s bedroom so not great ventilation and my sister wants to sit and go through photos with mum so that would be close up and personal too. I feel like I’m going to have to give in but I’m so cross and worried about it.
I don’t know what the problem is with wearing a mask or visor (mum’s hearing is great, there’s no problem communicating with her with one on). But I also get that we’re all vaccinated now so there’s much lower odds of catching/becoming seriously ill with covid. Sigh. x

So you do all the caring and sister wants this that and the other on the odd occasion she calls in. Don’t make any special effort for her. Difficult to get mum dressed, then leave her in bed in her nightdress, if that is the way she is normally. Will mum know who is in the photos now? Does sister ever give you a weekend or week off from caring??? Or do anything at all to help you in your caring role???

Hi! sorry for the delay in replying, life got in the way of getting on here! No, honestly, I appreciate the outrage on my behalf but it’s completely unfounded. I know so many families do have these awful situations where the care is just left to one person but this is absolutely not the case in ours. My sister is wonderful but is a fulltime carer for her son who is badly handicapped. I chose to come down and help out by moving in with mum (and dad at the time), it was never something that was asked of me, I just couldn’t crack on with daily carefree life elsewhere in the country and leave my sister to cope with so much. My sister is wonderful, and her motivation in trying to come down and see mum is purely to help me out with what little time she has spare. It’s just that our attitudes to this situation differ slightly. I think I’m more cautious primarily because I have the option to be. My sister has to have people coming into the house for my nephew so she has to have a more positive outlook otherwise she’d spend her entire time terrified! Despite all her own daily stresses she would absolutely have mum in a heartbeat to give me a break, it’s me that’s being protective of the situation and not wanting this to happen. xx p.s. I have come up with a solution, which I’ll share in a separate reply to all :smiley: xxx

Hello all! Thanks so much for the lovely replies and apologies for the delayed reply, life (as with all of us) got in the way of me coming on here. Anyway, it’s really REALLY helped just posting on here and getting my thoughts together. Suddenly realised that my main issue was the lack of ventilation in mum’s room. Also, I know I should get mum out more but it’s a full half day to gee her into getting ready so I’m not being proactive enough to actually do this. So, solution: I get mum ready and my sister collects her and takes her out - or to her house for a good few hours and has lunch with her - my sister’s place is airy with plenty of ventilation and I know she’s great with monitoring masks and the like if they’re out. It’s such a win situation for everyone. Mum gets exercise and enjoys, my sister gets to spend time with mum and know she’s helping me out and I get a good break every week. Lovely! Sometimes, I think, with caring, you get so bogged down with minutiae and the routine that you don’t get a moment to step back, see the bigger picture and problem solve. This messageboard and you lovely repliers have helped me do that. Thankyou! xxxxx

That sounds a great solution. Well done.


I’m so glad you have found a solution that suits everyone.