Absolutely no appreciation...

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My mother is 90 years old and has dementia. No matter what I do to help her, try to please her, nothing I do, can I even get a simple thank you. I think this is part of her disease pattern, but does anyone else have this problem. I feel used and abused. I have no other family to help or discuss this with.


It is so difficult to know for sure but the only way to know for sure if she has capacity for appreciation is to see whether she thanks others. If she does, then you it is not dementia and something else. I notice that my father thanks others, but often does not thank me. I suspect he doesn't know how....
I've read about others having this same situation, too. I went through it with my mom. ... With my dad, he was not yet too far gone in his senility to stop appreciating my help. He only became grateful when he became bedridden, we had a couple of months of power struggle and when he realized he could no longer punch me in the head - was when he started changing to being a nicer person. To me. I learned after he passed away that he was still very mean and demanding of others.

I know that it's important to feel appreciated by just that simple 'thank you.' Because I liked it when dad said it to me... If I recall my caregiving days with mom, I remember describing myself as a 'Drudge'.

Does your mother give any other signs of appreciation? A small smile, maybe? A light touch on the hand? You know with dementia, she's going to continue downhill. Maybe for your sanity, it's time to stop viewing your mom as a normal person? 

Oh! When I first found this site, after a year of reading people recommending Teepa Snow, I finally googled her and found some great YouTube videos. I remembered watching the mini-series. I Still have my notes on those videos. Oh my, I learned sooo much! If you haven't watched it, I strongly recommend you do!

My favorite of her YouTubes was the short video parts: youtube teepa snow making visits valuable
And you know what puts a tin lid on it? - when somebody else does a small thing - brings her a cup of tea, rearranges a cushion - and gets effusive thanks, smiles and lots of 'isn't that wonderful' comments.

Well - b***** me! - one thinks.

Be glad you don't have siblings who get the emotional red carpet from her just for turning up once in a blue moon.

The thing is. Expecting appreciation, or even awareness, from a 90 year old with dementia... You might as well expect it from the chair she's sitting in. Social interaction of all sorts involves a complex chain of brain processes, and the chances of your poor mother's head being able to keep a complete chain going are increasingly slim.

How long have you been your mother's caregiver? Do you have any support at all?
It's the lack of appreciation and the expectation that I will spend all sorts of TIME with my mother. One of my brothers has now not been to see her in a YEAR. (And he is only a few states away.) He spins stories about why he can't come, and my mother believes them. She will not hear a word against her golden boy.

My mother's goal is to preserve the inheritance. While that's nice, what I don't like is the expectation that I am fully supportive of this. I don't know why *I* have to participate in her obsessions about this. It's my time. And I only get 1/4 of the inheritance. It's just one of the reasons why I refuse to be her personal care attendant ever again, or to even clean her condo.
It's good that you are reaching out to others for support. It's tough to be a sole caregiver. I've been there and it can be so brutal.

I learned that with dementia, the patient often loses the ability to really process information or display gratitude. I think it helps to read a lot about the condition, go to You tube and watch videos, discuss with others, etc. And also, to adjust your expectations. We may just not get that appreciation from our LO's that we earn for. So, we may have to pat our own backs occasionally. You know your dedication. You will get jewels in your crown one day. I try to look at it that way. Just finding peace by doing the right thing. Even if it's not acknowledged in this life.
My family cares for my grandmother from a distance. Kidney problems, mobility issues, and probably age related cognitive decline at the very least. Her neighbors help a little bit, which is nice and they get a thank you from my family but not my grandmother. She doesn't even thank us for helping her out once a week for 5 hours. It's the whole come out tomorrow and do this, that and the other thing. She is capable of saying thank you and showing gratitude but won't.
My mother has turned in to the mean old lady. She likes to belittle me in front of people. I have been taking care of her for 7 years and neither her nor my 6 sisters give me any credit. After all I'm here rent free? Let me tell ya.....nothing is free. I'm in hell and a servant to her sundowners. I think I'm going to die first.
Hmmm, looking for some peace of mind. You all talk about Alzheimers, my mother's brain is almost in tip-top shape. She is 98 yrs young and starting to fall apart slowly but when she tells you "you make me so unhappy, I'd rather live in a nursing home than with you" it really gets me down. Those times I'm ready to move out....even into a BOX! I don't want her last years to be miserable because I'm here. (that is why I moved here 7 years ago, to spend her last years with her and take care of her.) Have brother and sister but they are very little help...just like you have all said. But I really don't mind being 24/7, it's a "job" I love and am very good at. It's just ...sometimes.... gloris55

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