My heart aches for so many caregivers on this site and the truly difficult and often devastating changes that occur in their lives by caregiving for many ungrateful and hurtful parents. Especially those that are sacrificing so much to keep their parent in the home. Everyone has to do what is right for them for their own, individual and highly personal reasons.
I do just want to mention two nursing home residents at the NH where my mother lives that have truly inspired me. What inspires me the most is their acceptance of where they are now in life and how they relate to it and others. There is this one gentlemen I have known for quite awhile that is ALWAYS UPBEAT - ALWAYS A SMILE AND A GOOD WORD TO SAY. He is not that old, don't know his age - want to say seventies or so. He is permanantly in a wheelchair and cannot walk due to some problem. He has congestive heart failure as well. There is not one time that I have encountered him at the NH that he does not have a smile on his face and an engaging demeanor.
He is a highly educated man, former principal of a school. He is often at the entrance of the NH working on his tan. He loves the sun. Even when he was extremely ill with the effects of congestive heart failure; he is the most positive person I have ever known. He embraces life even at a NH.
There is another resident who lives directly across the hall from my mother. She is only 40 years old and has MS. She graduated from a prestigious college when she was young; but could not pursue her dreams due to this disease. She also has an upbeat attitude against all odds.
The reason I mention these two people is that they give me pause; I believe they are higher beings in this life to teach us that people like them exist. They appreciate everything that is being done for them. They don't blame other people; they don't make their families miserable or the people around them.
Guess what I am saying is they are examples of the true measure of a person. They are not defined by their afflictions and how they accept their lot in life is an inspiration to so many. Aside from the numerous elderly suffering dementia, there are those that have never accepted many of the trials of life, while at the same time; neglect and ridicule the wonderful people in their lives that are going above and beyond to care for them. Soooo many just don't get it, just don't realize how fortunatel they are and can only complain of their circumstances, and in many case can bring down an entire family in the process.
My father was one of these people I consider a higher being. Someone who never complained, was independent, waited on my mother hand and foot and was never, ever appreciated by my mother. His reason for not "crossing" my mother was that it wasn't worth the hell you had to pay for doing it. My FIL was the same way - think he and my father were kindred spirits. This is why I can relate so so many here who cannot ever address a problem or opinion as it is just plain worse if you do.
So, to everyone out there providing tireless care to ungrateful parents, etc., you will be blessed even though it does not feel like it under present circumstances. For me, just knowing these two people I mentioned, help me walk away from my mother and her endless complaints because they have shown me and taught me that the complaining of many elders is toxic and unjustified.