"You are doing nothing!"

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As I read the comments I keep noticing a common theme of the caregiver being accused by the person they care for of "you don't do anything for me" .Now sometimes this complaint is by itself or sometimes is also combined with the following of "If ------- was here he/she would take better care of me." The aforementioned unnamed sibling/child that never helps being the person named. I have also noticed that no matter if the caree is of sound mind or not these comments are still made.I know that there are psychological /medical explanations for these statements.I was just curious as to the extent that caregivers had experienced these comments.I would like to hear from anyone that is a caregiver that despite doing everything you could be reasonably expected to do,everyone's circumstances are different,that you are still told that "you don't do anything for me!."Please share your stories.

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I don't get told I do nothing - more that what I do do is done wrong or is not enough and that has been over a life time. Then I hear the same, or get questioned by people mother has complained too. It gets old. No good deed goes unpunished. e g. I came to the city to visit mother and she, who said a week or so ago that she wanted to see me, now doesn't, but she will complain that I do not visit her enough. It is a built in no win. Thankfully, I have other things to do here, and friends to visit.
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I have not dealt with this. Except for a brief period of paranoia, my husband went through his 10 years of dementia displaying gratitude for help. Even in his last week, he thanked the hospice nurses when they did anything.

My mother may scream over and over for us to do something we can't do (such as give her water before a medical test), but she has never claimed we do nothing, she is generally thankful for what she has (when she is cogent enough to know that) and while she recognizes her children are each unique she does not show overt favoritism.

So I have been lucky in that regard (if anyone can be considered "lucky" which loved ones who have dementia.

I just want to offer heart-felt hugs and warm feelings to all of you who must bear this additional burden.
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At 89 my dad had an amputation, part of his right foot and his heal, the heal was more of a very deep scraping which took a year to grow back He was non load bearing for months, the event, meds and ICU trauma affected his mind to were he asked for a gun and was hallucinating. After therapy, time, love and Divine intervention, he began to improve. He never lost his will to live or enjoy life. He regained limited mobility. I do not know many people who could have surpassed this. In his last 3 years he lived well. I helped to "facilitate" some good times for him, but I cannot take credit for his ability to put the bad behind and enjoy a moment. The last 3 years of his life could have been miserable, but he did not allow that. He took his meds, saw his docs, set up therapy in his house (resistance ands, ball, pull up bar). He was grateful for each and any joy that came his way, whether it was a mango from the neighbors tree or an outing to the casino which I would do regularly. He remained the joy filled, grateful man who taught me love, and compassion.

My mother is different, she was never as joyfilled as he. I cannot spark happiness in her the way I could for him. I think it is sad that she is not joyful. Having witnessed both I know happiness is like a wick inside each of us. External catalysts can spark it, but the wick must be healthy to create a bright flame.

Lets learn from what we see and try to stay joyful
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Yep my mum constantly telling my sister im never here and I do nothing I couldnt careless what my mum says anymore shes NUTS! My sister however is just an immature cow who agrees with my mum who is nuts so I worry more about my sister than mum. after a huge row on my sisters last visit she said "we are not all cut out to be carers" then procided to say she wanted POA as shes more ORGANISED? my mum wont have a bad word said about her if my mum goes into a NH sooner it wont be because of me but the crap this all causes its bad enough your nutty mum saying you do nothing but when your own sister never thanks you for looking after her mum then whats the point. my mum says things then buys me lots?? so deep down she knows I am doing my best to care for her? as ive said before I think they know that the others are not caring and make excuses to justify their behaviour like my mum says leave your sister alone she works hard?????????? and im just a big lazy bum!
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JessieBell, your comments are so wonderful. I can identify with you. My mother stopped visiting me in Florida 16 years ago, when she was 68. She was healthy, retired and had the money to travel. But she was just waiting to die. She is now 83 and still waiting. She missed weddings, high school and college graduations, and her grand daughters growing up. Her excuse was always "I am not able" when asked to visit or attend some event. She is just waiting to die too. Gets a little tiresome.
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Texarkana, I wonder if that kind of thinking is what may lead to parents favoring an absent child over the one who is always there. If the absent child was there, he/she would take better care of them. They don't follow through that the absent child is not taking care of them at all.

My mother sometimes comments how I don't do anything for her, though I do everything for her except breathing and watching TV. It used to irritate me, but now I just pass it off as anger over her situation. This morning my mother is watching the Christian Broadcast Network. I guess she is preparing to enter the Kingdom. Then I realized my parents spent the last 20 years of their lives waiting to die. Instead of wanting to live, they were waiting to die. I've spent the last four years of my life waiting with them -- first both of my parents, now just my mother.

Animals can teach us much about waiting to die. I have an old handicapped rabbit scooting about his room right now. Some people think I should put him down, because he doesn't have a good quality life in their opinion. The thing is that he wants to live. I have been guilty of being in the mindset of waiting for him to die. I wondered why humans seem to be pulled that way -- spending huge portions of life waiting to die, instead of wanting to live. Many old people pull in a caregiving child in their long wait to die and put the task of living onto the caregiver. We really need to work on that mentality that older people can fall into. It is a huge loss of their own life and a huge burden on people around them. My parents lost 20 years of their lives waiting to die. We can't get them back now.

Maybe we are seen as not doing anything for them because they are waiting to die. All we are doing is waiting to die with them. That isn't really accomplishing anything other than enabling them in their long, long wait. My mother is still watching her religious shows as the world goes by outside. She may live one more day or one more decade with me doing all her living for her. But it doesn't accomplish anything, so really I'm not doing anything for her except waiting.
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