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I haven't posted in a while because some people had been saying that I was "looking for sympathy"; but I don't have anywhere else to post for advice. I do the grocery shopping; a day or two in advance, we discuss the menu for the week and what is needed (including brand names, sizes, etc.). On the day of the trip, we finalize the list and add anything we may have forgotten about. Then, because I don't drive, I usually take a taxi to the store, which is at a mall about 12 blocks away. Sometimes I may go in the mall to buy something personal, visit the ATM, etc. During the actual trip in the market, Aunty will call me several different times to add things to the list, remind me to get Brand X products, and finally, to ask what's taking me so long. When I get home, she asks to see what I bought, then complains about what I was unable to find ("I've been going to that market for years and I know that they sell it") or if I bought Brand W because our usual brand was unavailable. Occasionally I will actually overlook an item on the list because I'm rushing to get back home. How should I handle this problem?

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Gospelgirl, when I'm helping someone out of the goodness of my heart, and they complain, I always offer to let them do it themselves. Including the time I was taking a friend for a post-surgical appointment and she complained I was driving too slow. (In a strange car (hers) in a strange city (also hers), I wasn't about to make any daring moves, even if other drivers were getting impatient with my caution). I offered to pull over and let her drive the car, even with her recently operated shoulder surgery. She declined, not surprisingly.

I was always taught that beggars can't afford to be choosers, and that applies to the needy elders as well. I don't think you would be out of line to tell your Aunt: "If you're not satisfied with my grocery shopping, I won't mind if you get someone else to do it."
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Gospelgirl, good news, I saw on your profile where you live and the on-line grocery service Peapod services the Giant grocery stores in your area. Home delivery is around $10 but I bet that is cheaper than using a taxi. Check it out :)
You need to order $60 worth of groceries each time.... if that's too much, then you can order once every two weeks. The home delivery will bring in the groceries into the house.
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Can I just say shopping for food is NOT respite not in any way shape or form. I know it was said in humour but I would hate for anyone to ever think it was respite and I have heard it said a lot over here in the UK..... Usually something like the only respite I get is when I go for the groceries - NO NO NO NO NO that is time away from your loved one but you are thinking of them them or in Gospel's case , being hassled by them the whole time. You don't browse any more because you know there is a limit to how long you dare risk being away from them, so you do a supermarket dash grabbing things as you go, is it any wonder we don't end up with everything we intended to.

Time to fess up I think. I on line shop for the most part - it is much more expensive than going shopping the way I used to but it is done in a one at a time that suits me. I book an afternoon delivery always or an evening one with very good reason. Then I lie (yeah yeah OK tell me you have never told a lie) Mum still thinks I go and do the shopping and thatchy then deliver it - I don't care if that's wrong I get 2 hours tops to myself to go and have a coffee/to find a present for Mums birthday (sic) to have my hair cut to shoot the breeze with a friend face to face rather than on the phone.

I know lying is wrong but heavens if it gets me some well deserved break then I will continue to lie - it's only once a fortnight so its not like I got out every day (I wish)
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Gospelgirl, I agree that the online grocery shopping is a great idea. However, is that yield spent shopping also your "respite" from Auntie? If you decide to do online shopping, please make sure you get out once in a while for a scheduled break. Tell Auntie how long you'll be gone for AND DON'T PICK UP THE PHONE!
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You can comfort yourself that not only are you getting your aunt's groceries for her, which is Good Deed 1, but also you are giving her a really juicy bone to pick which clearly is giving her some kind of satisfaction: Good Deed 2. Some people enjoy complaining, no matter how counterproductive it is.

Of course, you could also say to her that if she knows of a better personal shopper she is welcome to use that person for her grocery services; but something tells me you are too kind for that. Do at some point get round to reminding her, though, that being constantly distracted by phone calls and put under pressure to hurry is not conducive to efficient marketing. I.e., if she would only back off a bit you might be able to do a better job. But I wouldn't put any money on her actually paying attention to this fairly obvious point.

Shoulder rubs to you. This caregiving business does try the patience.
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I'm going to be facing this problem soon. I'm long distance from my parents, Dad is still driving to Krogers and manages to get most of the stuff on Moms list, but his driving days will be ending soon.

I appreciate FFs suggestion about on line shopping. I may start using that in the future. I know your frustration. My Dad will only eat my Moms cooking, such as it is, and even that is not good enough anymore. His dementia is screwing up his taste. No matter what I buy or cook, or micro, it's just not quite right.

I just tune him out. He still eats enough to stay healthy and I'm not going to argue if he doesn't like my pot roast. I think you should do the same with Aunty. She probably has no idea how good she has it with you taking care of her. Don't fight with her but don't let her make you her punching bag. Go to the store, turn off the phone, go home, put the groceries away and ignore her BS. You know, we know, and the guy up if heaven knows how hard you work to keep her safe and healthy. Don't let her get to you.
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Here's something I have noticed over the years. It doesn't matter who is shopping for whom, it could be parent for kids, husband for wife, etc. The shopper invariably can't find, forgets, or picks up something wrong. The shoppee expresses their disappointment that something is missing or wrong. Only a very mature and appreciative person can seem to avoid pointing out disappointments. I have been on both ends as a shopper and a shoppee and I must admit that as a shoppee I have not always suffered my disappointment quietly even though I know what it is like to be the shopper.

One way I have found though to make my return home as a shopper a little happier is to pick up one or more items that they especially like, but didn't think to ask for, as a surprise. It helps make up for anything I invariably miss or get wrong and everyone seems to be in a better mood.
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I agree with jude...sometimes you gotta lie a little. Online grocrry shopping then telling mom youre going out to shop and giving yourself a much needed break i a good idea. My mom would get insistsnt on one brand or another but as funds were limited i would buy in bulk and place the product in her old usual brand shampoo bottle...she nevrr knew the difference but saving her money and my sanity allowed me to be a better caregiver...versus the rsving lunitic caregiving can make you become.
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Your aunt is attempting to manipulate you by playing you off against her granddaughter.

I would in fact tell her to do whatever she wants, and also provide her with a list of home delivery grocery stores so she has 2 options from which to choose. She'll be surprised that you threw her manipulative attempt right back at her.
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Trying to change an older person's opinion, preference or decision is often a futile game. When I find myself tempted to argue my point, I realize that doing so will not work. Arguing with them can be seen as a sign of disrespect-even if you are right. Stepping outside one's self is a critical skill and one that most people can master.
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