Gransnet forums


Sibling difference of opinion on mum

(8 Posts)
Mattsmum2 Sat 15-May-21 15:23:44

My elderly mother, she’s nearly 80 has always been very independent still drives and before COVID volunteered at a local hospice, she was a nurse her whole working life. She looked after my stepfather who had Parkinson’s until his death 5 years ago. I live a couple of hours away and my brother lives 20 minutes away. My brother is dealing with his mother in law who has dementia with his wife which is difficult at times. The problem is that he has started to see our mum as needing more support, which I disagree with. I speak to her via FaceTime daily, I’ve seen her once since covid which went against the rules for Mother’s Day. My brother wanted me to visit at the peek of the pandemic and due to my heart issues I said it was too risky, he didn’t like it. Before my step dad died he hardly saw my mum, I helped steer them with financial matters, and we had family holidays with my parents and my children once or twice year. Once he died my brother took over the financial matters and I’ve let him do this as my mum seems happy with it. He has a holiday home abroad and my mum is expected to look after their dog when he’s away, which was at least 6 times a year before covid. He also leaves their dog with her if they have to go off to do something. She is even asked to visit his mother in law for a cuppa and chat if they can’t do it. Yet he feels she needs more help and wants to discuss this with me,I feel we should discuss this both with mum and not behind her back. Recently she had to see a specialist and may need a small operation. Mum told me about this but I was not to tell my brother, which I respected. My brother then found out and was livid, and said we should not have any secrets. I asked him to ask mum why she didn’t want to tell him. I don’t want to fallout with my sibling but we disagree with what support my mum needs and it’s making me feel guiltily for not being there for her. He seems to be worrying unduly putting in a video door bell and saying that we can put cameras up when needed. I’m not sure how to handle this other than what I’ve already been doing?

agnurse Sat 15-May-21 16:13:58

I am not familiar with UK regulations, but in my area, if your mum is of sound mind, she has a right to live as she wants - even if that means living at risk. (I can't see it being much different in the UK.)

I think you both need to sit down with your mum together and find out what SHE wants. Otherwise the whole thing is academic.

cornishpatsy Sat 15-May-21 16:43:33

Has your brother said in what way your mother needs more support? maybe he sees her mobility has decreased or she is not coping in the house so well. Some things cannot be seen on Facetime, he is in a better position to judge her needs. I do think it would be better to discuss this with all 3 of you present.

wildswan16 Sat 15-May-21 17:18:30

I would be careful about dismissing your brother's worries. He has possibly seen more of her lately than you have. He is already coping with his MIL's health problems and probably fears having to take on the responsibility of his own mother as well as that.

Accept his fears and try to get together with him for an honest discussion about the best way forward. Obviously including your mother eventually, once you understand his point of view.

Mattsmum2 Sat 15-May-21 17:30:33

Yes you’re right. I’m equally worried about his mental state too. Thanks

GillT57 Sat 15-May-21 17:31:13

Perhaps your brother is feeling stressed by the strains of looking after his MiL, and is trying to see off any possible problems with your Mother before they happen? The important thing is that your Mother is involved in and consulted about any proposals to change things in her home, however well meaning the intent.

NotSpaghetti Sat 15-May-21 17:39:38

Why is it that you are worried about your brother's mental health MattsMum?

I'm not sure why this is from what you've said. BUT, the difference between phone calls and so on and actually being there is immense.

Once you are able you should probably visit for a while and then you can see what is really the case.
Things are very different in person.

Jaxjacky Sat 15-May-21 18:25:05

I’d swiftly visit your Mum as soon as possible and see her, not just for a couple of hours, then make your own judgment.