Sister gossiping with neighbour about me

susan103

Registered User
May 15, 2024
10
0
I'm currently staying with my mum who has dementia and Alzheimer's. My problem is two fold.

My mum's neighbour who is also her friend, is overbearingly possessive over my mum and her affairs. She lets herself into my mum's house and issues me orders and instructions on how she wants things done. She comes to the house and shouts at me through my bedroom door asking about my mum's medical appointments and other details. She doesn't think I'm doing a good enough job looking after my mother.

What makes this worse is the second issue. My youngest sister has lived with my mum for a few years and is great friends with this neighbour. She tells this neighbour what is going on in the house and personal information about my mother that I know my mother wouldn't wish her to know as my mother has always been a very private person.

I don't understand why my sister is doing this but she also doesn't think I'm not doing a very good job and is bad mouthing me to this neighbour.

The reason I'm with my mum is because my sister was neglecting her. She wasn't eating and lost an awful amount of weight. My sister works then goes out most evenings and weekends and didn't notice my mother's declining health.

What would you do in this situation?
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
82,043
0
Kent
What would you do in this situation?
I wouldn`t tolerate this level of intrusion.

If your sister accepts it, it`s fine while she is in the house. If you are alone with your mother, I would lock the door to her neighbour and if she doesn`t like it, it`s tough.

I gave a key to a neighbour once and lived to regret it. I had to ask for the key to be returned which did cause a fall out but it had to be.

Welcome to the Dementia Support Forum [DSF] I hope you will feel well supported by others here.
 

susan103

Registered User
May 15, 2024
10
0
Thank you for your advice and for welcoming me. I told this neighbour the other day that I don't work for her and I'm not accountable to her. Yet last night she was outside my bedroom door, after I'd gone to bed, asking me about my mum's medical appointments. I told her I was busy and refused to talk to her but my sister went and spoke to her and discussed my mother's personal details with her

I'm very confused and outraged by their behaviour. I don't know why my sister especially is doing this.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
82,043
0
Kent
Where was your sister when this happened @susan103?

This neighbour had no right to knock on your bedroom door. She is far too familiar.
 

susan103

Registered User
May 15, 2024
10
0
My sister was in her room watching TV. This neighbour also puts her head through the bedroom window and gives me messages for my mum.

My mum is very fond of this neighbour and I know she'll fly into a rage if I'm rude to her. So far I've been very polite not wanting to cause any disharmony.
 

albo

Registered User
Jan 24, 2024
11
0
Thank you for your advice and for welcoming me. I told this neighbour the other day that I don't work for her and I'm not accountable to her. Yet last night she was outside my bedroom door, after I'd gone to bed, asking me about my mum's medical appointments. I told her I was busy and refused to talk to her but my sister went and spoke to her and discussed my mother's personal details with her

I'm very confused and outraged by their behaviour. I don't know why my sister especially is doing this.
Wow,how does she get in to the house?That reminds me of an old neighbour of ours
 

susan103

Registered User
May 15, 2024
10
0
The back door is usually open so she let's herself in. When she can't get in the back door she puts her head through the window. Or she lets herself in the back garden and and comes up to the patio doors.
 

albo

Registered User
Jan 24, 2024
11
0
The back door is usually open so she let's herself in. When she can't get in the back door she puts her head through the window. Or she lets herself in the back garden and and comes up to the patio doors.
Gosh,I feel for you x The lady that used to walk in to our house without knocking would interrupt us during dinner and take a chip off my plate:mad:
 
Last edited:

Jools1402

Registered User
Jan 13, 2024
126
0
Are you able to have a quiet conversation with your sister about this? Would she react badly?
 

susan103

Registered User
May 15, 2024
10
0
Are you able to have a quiet conversation with your sister about this? Would she react badly?
My sister is very fond of this woman for some reason and believes she has a right to know my mother's private information. I have spoken to her a few times, asking her not to discuss my mum's personal business with her but she insists on doing it. She won't hear a bad word said about her.
 

annieka 56

Registered User
Aug 8, 2022
332
0
That sounds awful!
Maybe, if as you say your sister hadn't been looking after your mum very well and neglecting her - your sister has been relying on the neighbour too and allowing her to intrude/take over/come in the house/ remind about medical appointments etc. Maybe your sister has been getting something out of this situation one way or another. Especially if she works all day and goes out in the evenings, she's had someone on hand.

I don't know who I would tackle first but probably the neighbour, tell her you're here now and you are sorting things for your mum and you don't need or want her coming in unannounced.

your sister also needs to know that you're dealing with it but will probably still want to gossip to the neighbour who's some sort of emotional prop for her.
 

susan103

Registered User
May 15, 2024
10
0
That sounds awful!
Maybe, if as you say your sister hadn't been looking after your mum very well and neglecting her - your sister has been relying on the neighbour too and allowing her to intrude/take over/come in the house/ remind about medical appointments etc. Maybe your sister has been getting something out of this situation one way or another. Especially if she works all day and goes out in the evenings, she's had someone on hand.

I don't know who I would tackle first but probably the neighbour, tell her you're here now and you are sorting things for your mum and you don't need or want her coming in unannounced.

your sister also needs to know that you're dealing with it but will probably still want to gossip to the neighbour who's some sort of emotional prop for her.
I believe you're right. I think my sister sees this neighbour almost as a maternal figure and has relied on her over the last few years to deal with my mum.

I think the reason there's a problem is because my sister has been bad mouthing me and saying that I'm not looking after my mum properly, so this neighbour wants to take over.

Her behaviour is unbelievably rude and intrusive but I think she probably feels justified. My sister has form for this kind of behaviour.

I'm going to have to be a lot more assertive I think.
 

annieka 56

Registered User
Aug 8, 2022
332
0
I believe you're right. I think my sister sees this neighbour almost as a maternal figure and has relied on her over the last few years to deal with my mum.

I think the reason there's a problem is because my sister has been bad mouthing me and saying that I'm not looking after my mum properly, so this neighbour wants to take over.

Her behaviour is unbelievably rude and intrusive but I think she probably feels justified. My sister has form for this kind of behaviour.

I'm going to have to be a lot more assertive I think.
If
 

annieka 56

Registered User
Aug 8, 2022
332
0
I also thought your sister might be seeing the neighbour as a maternal figure but didn't want to say it, if she has been living with your mum for several years and letting the neighbour get highly involved - it does seem likely doesn't it.

I think you will have to be assertive but maybe start with a proper conversation with the neighbour if you can, to re assure her that you're sorting things and part of this is no more 24/7 access but you will ring her when needed.

Good luck Susan x
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
7,343
0
Nottinghamshire
Welcome to Dementia Support Forum @susan103. This is a very friendly and supportive site.
Trying to care for a parent with dementia can drive a coach and horses through even the most close relationships between siblings It certainly happened to my brother and his brother and sisters. Is there anyway you can sit down with your sister and explain why you are concerned about your mother without blaming your sister or your neighbour. It sounds like they want to blame you and the blame game isn't helping your mother at all.
Have you had any input from social services? Although they are stretched they should do a needs assessment for your mum and a carer's assessment for you and your sister.
 

susan103

Registered User
May 15, 2024
10
0
I also thought your sister might be seeing the neighbour as a maternal figure but didn't want to say it, if she has been living with your mum for several years and letting the neighbour get highly involved - it does seem likely doesn't it.

I think you will have to be assertive but maybe start with a proper conversation with the neighbour if you can, to re assure her that you're sorting things and part of this is no more 24/7 access but you will ring her when needed.

Good luck Susan x
Yes I believe I will have to be more assertive. I'm not sure I can prevent the 24 access as it's my mum's house and she doesn't seem to mind.
 

susan103

Registered User
May 15, 2024
10
0
Welcome to Dementia Support Forum @susan103. This is a very friendly and supportive site.
Trying to care for a parent with dementia can drive a coach and horses through even the most close relationships between siblings It certainly happened to my brother and his brother and sisters. Is there anyway you can sit down with your sister and explain why you are concerned about your mother without blaming your sister or your neighbour. It sounds like they want to blame you and the blame game isn't helping your mother at all.
Have you had any input from social services? Although they are stretched they should do a needs assessment for your mum and a carer's assessment for you and your sister.
My mum has had a needs assessment done. I haven't had a carer's assessment done as this is a temporary arrangement. My sister isn't a carer, she just lives in the same house.

Yes, I am being blamed for everything that happens. My mum is still pretty independent yet my sister thinks I should be with her 24/7 which is impossible. My mum still retains a life of her own and has a right to personal space.

Yes, this has been a stressful situation all round. I've had no support or consideration from my sister but plenty of criticism. It's been very tough. Especially since my mother has rages and tantrums which can be triggered by anything.
 

susan103

Registered User
May 15, 2024
10
0
The neighbour has just been over to give my mum an Attendance Allowance form. She already receives it. No idea why she's got involved, yet again!
 
Last edited:

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
5,306
0
High Peak
I'm going to have to be a lot more assertive I think.
Yes, you will.

It sounds very much as though your sister relies on the neighbour to look after/keep an eye on your mother while she's at work or out in the evenings.

My honest suggestion? 1. Leave. Your sister will not change, neither will the neighbour. 2. Report the situation to Social Services Safeguarding saying you're concerned about your mother's care, particularly the weight loss, etc.

You've done your best but the neighbour and your sister think it's not enough, so leave them to it. It would be nice to think either/both will change their opinions and behaviour but I really don't think that's going to happen.