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How do I tell my sister-in-law that our parents problems are none of her business?

My sister-in-law keeps trying to make or influence our care decisions for our parents, I know she means well but how do I politely tell her to butt out?
Status: Open    Sep 23, 2014 - 09:27 PM


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4 answers

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Sep 24, 2014 - 05:55 AM

My sister-in- law did the same thing, what helped us was to give her a specific set of tasks so that she felt like part of the family and could still be helpful. She loves to garden so we asked her if she would make it a point to keep up Mom's flower beds and to make sure Mom had fresh flowers in the house. When it came to care decisions we provided her with limited information, usually after the decision had already been made.


Mar 01, 2015 - 07:48 AM

First you should not tell her to "butt out" this is something that your brother should do.
But if she is active in helping to care for your parents then I think she should have some in put as to what is happening especially if the decisions you make will effect her and how much more she will be asked to do.

Jan 30, 2016 - 10:49 AM

I find it interesting that you want your sister in law to "butt out" from influencing or making decisions regarding elder care for your parents. I would think that getting other opinions, options and any help would be welcomed. You seem unable to acknowledge the relationship your parents may have with your sister in law. If any situation were to change, your sister in law may end up being the primary caretaker of your parents. Every family member has a stake in this matter and all should be heard with an open mind before making any decision. Getting to "yes" as a family is hard work and all should be willing to assist as they can. What works today will not work tomorrow because of changing situations.

I am the "sister in law" now that has primary care resposibilities for my husband's mother - and I would not have it any other way. She lives with us and is in a better place than a nursing center. I have seen your question focused at me - and I can tell you none of the "other children or grandchildren" can or will do for mom what I do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Jan 31, 2016 - 09:02 PM

I am in a similar situation. Sister-in-law means well, but doesn't realize Mom has always been intimidated by her. She always seems to "know" the right treatment, can "sense" Mom's vitamin deficiencies, sends Mom home with bags of vitamins and vegetables which will never be eaten. Older brother is super busy and unavailable most of the time, so his wife is his proxy, whether by choice or by default. Younger brother and I have learned, as mentioned above, that limiting the amount of information shared usually takes care of the problem. It is an added stress at an already stressful time, but we are working through it.
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