Afraid I opened a can of worms.....

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Afraid I opened a can of worms.....

Hi - thanks for having this forum. I have been the off and on caregiver for my sister for a few years now but I've been dealing with her mental health issues for probably 20 years. She has some kind of autoimmune disorder and in 2011 she developed a new problem that have required she be on prednisone.

She was doing OK until about a month ago when she either had a flare-up or developed a new type of disorder.

Long story short - mostly I have just gone over to her place to help her out as needed but she got really bad on Monday and I had to take her to the ER. We were there until after midnight and since the docs pumped her full of dilaudid and steriods, I felt it best to bring her to my house for the night. Well, that has turned into her staying here and I am afraid I have set in motion a dependency that isn't really necessary at this time.

She is better thanks to the extra steroids and could probably go home but shows no sign of wanting to. I don't know what to do. It would be one thing if she was easy to deal with but she isn't.

I guess I'm just needing to vent but I would appreciate some help in how to deal with this situation so it doesn't turn into my caring for her full time at my house when it isn't necessary.


Wow - that is a challenging

Wow - that is a challenging situation Marie...and I suppose there is no easy way to let her know that she needs to return home at this time. You deserve your own personal space and, as much as you love her and want to help her, you know best how to do that.

It may require you to set down ground rules and be clear about your boundaries. If you are sending mixed or weak signals, she may try to play that up to her advantage and further entrench herself in your life. You need to decide how you would like things to proceed, because without your mental and physical space, you will be unable to properly help her. You need to be clear about your needs, WITHOUT apologies.

It sounds like she needs social outlets of her own. Depending on her interests, you could help steer her to groups/activities that may interest her. You cannot be her sole social/emotional outlet. Also, does she receive (or will she accept) going to counseling? You mentioned mental health issues, and that resource came to mind as well.

I wish you the best in trying to remedy this situation with your sister. It's not easy or pleasant to have to be the one to reconfigure an ill loved one's care, but I think in the end, you will feel better and more equipped to deal with the ups and downs of her care.

Take care of yourself while you're trying to help her.


Gaby said it all for me.

Gaby said it all for me.