Do you want the same treatment that you are giving to your parent?

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I thought this was a website to help caregivers find answers to questions about caring for someone. When I joined this many years ago, I wanted to read about the logistics of getting proper care for my mother. I thought I would get hints to make her life easier and to make my life easier as well. Instead most of what I read is the belly aching and griping of people who are evidently burned out and have no compassion for their parent or the elderly. I am not sure where this should be posted but for goodness sakes folks, your kids are watching you and learning from you and you will be the elderly one day. Do you want the same treatment that you are giving to your parent? Keeping a home too cold is the same as elder abuse. Their blood does not circulate as well as yours. Walk around in your bathing suit if need be but keep them warm.



After your parent(s) are dead, will you regret the complaints you make and appreciate sacrifices that you make to keep them comfortable in their last years? My guess is yes because I have been there and done that. Read about hypothermia in the elderly, read about the depression of the elderly, read about the loneliness of the elderly and read about the loss of taste, smell, appetite, etc., and the loss of independence. Do you think they really want to live with you? NO. They would prefer to be able to take care of themselves in their own homes. Now grow up and deal with your issues like the adults and caregiver that you are supposed to be. Most likely they made concessions to take care of you when you were young but even if they were not perfect parents, that does not excuse you for basically mistreating them. Apologize to your parent for not being more understanding. Try to accommodate them for this ending of their lives. As I get older, rarely a day passes, that I don't whisper, "Mom, I am sorry, I did not understand" for some stupid comment that I made when she was alive. Again, I have been there and done that.

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If I had a child, I hope they would care about me as much as I cared for my dad and mum. I go back to the phrase about how we are all imperfect caregivers. Its true. I do have guilt and regrets about the last year of my dad's life, but I really tried. I tried to put him first. I tried to do what I thought was going to make him happy. If he said change the light bulb, I changed the light bulb. If wanted coffee from his favorite shop, I got it for him. I did have my moments of impatience and anger. I do regret those deeply. But in the end, for as long as I can remember, I tried to be a helper to my mom and dad my whole life. It wasn't easy, but I tried. I hope if I had kids, they would try too.
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Back to the original question, Yes. I definitely would want to be treated just as my sisters and I treated our mother. We made some mistakes along the way, and I would expect that to happen in any situation. But I have absolutely no regrets about how we treated her. I sure hope my kids were indeed watching!
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countrymouse, I took note of gmafaye's rue and regret over her treatment of her mother. My point is that she should have stuck to judging herself and not turned her scathing judgment on all the rest of us based solely on the fact that we "gripe and bellyache" here on this board.
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She says: "As I get older, rarely a day passes, that I don't whisper, "Mom, I am sorry, I did not understand" for some stupid comment that I made when she was alive. Again, I have been there and done that."

I don't think she's judging anyone more harshly than she's judging herself, and I feel very sorry for her.
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We don't know much about the OP other than what she has about her brother's death when she joined. She hasn't come back to this thread yet, so she may have had her say, then left. I agree with Carla that she was a bit harsh with the group, since most of us give so much and get back little. Our wells can run dry. I don't know what the OP's relationship was like with her mother in the final days. I read her message again and realized that it doesn't apply to many of us, since we talk on the group about our feelings, but treat our parents well. I think that is totally okay, since this is a caregiver support group.
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CM, I love ya' but I gotta agree with Carla. Very judgmental and a lot of finger wagging in the original post.
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I'm sorry, countrymouse, but the use of pejorative terms like "bellyaching and griping" and unfounded accusations of having for "no compassion for the elderly or parents" along with warnings like "for goodness sakes folks, your kids are watching you" and "you will be the elderly one day" all strike me as extremely judgmental. If you want people to learn from your experience, you share your experience, without assumptions or judgements about others. I think you're being far too charitable here.
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I don't think that's quite fair, Carla. GmaF is dealing with a lot of regret about how things went for her, that's all, and she was speaking generally. She's right to warn others that if they don't watch themselves now they might be sorry later, and she didn't have in mind the sort of family histories where arguably it isn't even reasonable for the children to have to be caregivers for their terrible parents. She's saying "don't do what I did or you'll be sorry," not "I was wonderful and you should all copy me."
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Another thing these forums help with was to slow me that a sense of humor can go a long ways in dealing with things we couldn't understand or couldn't control.

Example, my Dad would complain he needed a hair cut, and I would look at him and say "yep, you have a Dagwood going on there", and that got Dad laughing.   I was lucky, Dad [95] enjoyed humor and was quick on the puns.

Dad's two caregivers also had a sense of humor so they would be joking about things that use to worry me... then that helped loosen the stress a bit :)
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with all due respect to gershun, gmafaye stared this thread for the sole purpose of wagging a finger at other caregivers who don't approach caregiving with the sacrificial attitude gmafaye apparently believes appropriate. It's no surprise that she received a lot of negative feedback. Caregivers deal with enough carp without having to deal with sanctimonious lecturing from our own camp.
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