Hello, Jo. It seems that one of the problems here is that your job involves irregular hours, whereas your sister, working in a school, has, I presume, a regular day job. Therefore you are the one making it difficult, through no fault of yours, to establish a structured weekly pattern whereby you and your sister can share the caring. Don’t give up your job to give yourself more time to care for Mum, though if you could find another job with more-regular hours, that could be a step forward. How far away does your Mum live from you?
Don’t put up with rants or accusations of selfishness. If conversation becomes heated, walk out of it, or if on the phone, hang up on her. Your sister wants breaks and respites. That is a reasonable request, and you need them too, but discussions on how they can be achieved should be done at a civil and courteous level. Some caring providers provide respite care, and you could look into this. Mum’s attendance allowance should pay. Stop feeling guilty; you have done nothing wrong but do have some difficulties to overcome. One of them is your difficult sister.
. . . In terms of my Mum, she owns her own property which, as far as I understand, will be left to me and my Sister but as she has no where else to live, a while ago she suggested that she pay me rent (half of it) based on it’s rental value. That would mean me paying tax. . .
It seems that you and your sister have at at least had the foresight to discuss the situation when Mum passes on. I am wary about houses being left in wills jointly to relatives. It’s OK if all the relatives want to live in the house, but if one wants to move out and the others want to stay put, there can be problems. However, Mum’s Will is up to Mum. The idea of your sister paying you half the regular rent seems OK - but considering that you and she don’t get on, would that arrangement be amicably sustained? I would suggest that you formalise any rental agreement with the help of a solicitor. The tax would be only a small portion of the income. However, that is for the future.
Do you or your sister have power of attorney? Is your sister over 60? If so, and your mum were to go into care, your sister would have right to stay living in Mum’s house, which could not be sold to pay for care home fees.
. . . There is little opportunity to speak to Mum but due to her age, she does get very confused. I am therefore not privy to anything about her financial situation. I don’t know who her Social Worker is and my Sister won’t provide any contact details for her carers. . .
Why is there little opportunity to speak to Mum? I presume you do get to visit her sometimes. Your sister won’t give you carers’ contact details. It seems as though your sister wants to manage the caring and use you as a skivvy. Bowlingbun suggested contact Social Services. You could possibly find out the contacts by this means. I suggest also that you tell your sister that you intend to do this before you do. That way you avoid being seen as “going behind her back”, which will infuriate her more. Instead you will be challenging her to give the details, and thus standing up to her. Bullies are fearful of being presented with situations where they may fail.
. . . If I won the lottery, I would change our garage into a small place where Mum could have some independence but I would still be around for all the care she needs. But alas, can’t see the lottery win happening any time soon.
Thank you again for your support; I do have a supportive Husband and family but I would imagine they are fed up of hearing about this
Forget the lottery. In any case, I think that to put Mum in an annexe to your house could create many new problems. Plan the future in terms of things that are likely to happen - including not winning the lottery.
It is good that you have a supportive family. Tackle you sister yourself as far as possible, but your family is there to support and advise you if things get really nasty.