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I have been helping take care of her since February of this year .....and every day it's negative and complaining that flows from her voice. Although I go to work and I'm not home with her much but still is really getting to me! I need input on how to deal with constant negativity please

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I just tried this with my dad who goes on negative rant/monologues: I laughed out loud! He stopped. After 3x, he finally asked me, "what's the matter?" I said, "Nothing. What you said just hit me funny!" He clammed up and stopped with the negativity. Try that tool. I am going to keep trying it! And other things to make my own peace and equilibrium. He wants a reaction out of me, but apparently there is no payoff for him if I am having fun!
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This may sound overly simple, but put it in your toolbox for dealing with negativity. walk away every time she starts complaining. Come back after 30 seconds and start a new topic. Try repeating it and see if it gets her off negative topics.

Also, try getting close to her face and smiling, making eye contact and petting her face. Bgive her focused love and attention. See if this breaks the negative loop.
If she has dementia, she may just be caught in negative loops she cannot control. You can answer by telling her you love her very much, and calling out some of her good qualities, talents and skills.

If none of that works, breathe and realize that you have to limit your contact and try not to internalize or take it personally . Find a way to transition or minimize the effects on your emotional and physical well-being. Good luck!
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My mom is also legally blind, that is one of her beefs against life--we have tried books on tape from the blind and so far haven't found anything she wants to listen to except talk radio--she loves the conservative radio personalities which drives me crazy. I ordered some biographies and she does like the old mystery programs--have to find a working cd player, she jammed all the old cd/cassette players and broke them.
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Does she have a favorite hymn? Learn it and start singing it when she goes Negative. I will send positive Light & Love Angels your way.....
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Thank you all very much for your input and suggestions! I actually moved in with my grandmother in February of this year. Her husband (my grandfather) passed June of last year. at first I thought depression was making her more negative but I have come to find out (from many people) that she has been a negative and picky person all of her life.....I just never saw it until I moved in with her! Whenever she says some negative things I will say "Alrighty Miss Negativity!" I'm trying really hard to find humor and change the subject but sometimes when you're really mentally worn and physically exhausted it's hard! I just get aggravated and can't think! And then she gets Upset and short, and then she apologizes.....ugh! I'm usually off on Sundays and Tuesdays and spent most of my day taking her wherever she needs to go including church and Bible study. I take her to her doctor appointments, and shopping , out to eat , etc. She usually gets out of the house 2 to 4 times per week with me. We clash some because she is more particular about certain things than I am. An example would be every time you use the kitchen sink it has to be dried out with towel or rag. I've had to conform to all her rules and quirks to keep peace. :-/
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Wow, It's as if you all are talking about my mother. She has dementia, bipolar and schizophrenic, but she is sill able to function among her peers. Her main symptoms are forgetfulness and repeating herself constantly. She can behave with people other than her own family. She has been "eccentric" all her life but I was much younger and I could deal better with it. I am with her almost 24/7 but the times I do have to leave her with my daughter-in-law for a few hours, she rants and raves about the shabby treatment she gets. My mother has always been a nag and she has to have the last word, still trying to tell me what to do. Believe me I know how difficult it can get, I am a retired nurse (specialty was Alzheimer's) but working with patients and having your mother live with you is not the same. I could leave my work at work. If I try to get away from her by going to another room in the house, she follows me to continue harassing me. She is like a child, very demanding and unable to listen to reason. But I love my mother and I promised her I would never put her in a nursing home.
I am under a lot of stress and it affects my lupus, fibromyalgia, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis etc. I will continue to take care of her as long as possible. Last year I volunteered to work with a Child Advocate Agency and am almost finished with my first case. I work 20 to 30 hours per month. It is so rewarding to be able to advocate for children removed from their homes by CPS. It has been a Godsend. It has helped me to get away and but yet be productive. I guess what I'm saying is do something you like so it can lift your spirits. Because y'all are going to keep taking care of your loved ones and it is only going to get worse but make time for yourselves....God Bless!
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I have books on tape for my mother from the Lighthouse for the Blind. (she's legally blind.) this keeps her mind occupied on something else. I ask for the young readers books without strong language, violence or sex because she can't handle that. She's a bit of a prude.
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Well joint he wonderful world of dementia coupled with a great dose of negativity! My mom has always been a worrier and control freak to boot...I am her caregiver and listen to her complaints all day but have made the discovery of 2 valuable tools..One- buy at the 99cent store small pegs that come with small peg bds that give her hours of something to do that needs very little thinking or effort but makes her feel productive..also I play old music recorded in her youth...she sings along and it triggers good energy and smiles. Try it , might work for you too. Good luck...by the way there is scientific study collaborating that music is being used to treat dementia patients using headphone...saw it on tv health network. Good luck!
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I love it, sherry1anne. It was like you were talking about my mom! I will think of your technique and try to be as good as you.
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My mother at 103 was getting down on things from her past. Granted her father was a raving lunatic and they lived in squalor in a cabin with no flooring, but that was almost 100 years ago. She got her blood pressure up over 200 with the recounting of an infidelity of my fathers back before I was born. Always some kind of story like that. I forbade negative conversation in our house. If I catch myself complaining and she is in earshot, I say oops there goes that negative talk. Let's change the subject and I do the same with her. The pattern is mostly broken after about 2 years of this. She was almost upbeat about herself and her health and always had a good word for everybody, but she has always gotten off on a tangent about being wronged about something. It could be the time the bank didn't credit her deposit correctly and she has harped on that story for 40 years. It could be a transgression of a store clerk etc. I now don't permit it to go anywhere. I just say. it's time to change the subject. We're only going to have happy pleasant thoughts and fortunately she complies. Sometimes I have to remind her two or three times about that.
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Hi Rettafly....my mom was always very strong-willed when she was young and now that she is almost 92 (with severe alz) there are still moments of anger. It was much worse when she was in the middle stage but as she has deteriated so has her anger and negativity. So hang in there, and walk out when it gets too much for you, because I don't think they really know what or why they are doing this.
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I am dealing with something similar with my mother, who has dementia. I come home from a long day of working to complaints and accusations and endless negativity. You HAVE to make time for yourself away from her. Find a way to get a break from it. Go to a movie, or some sort of club. Just take a long hot bath if you can. If I have to be with her I put on an old cheerful movie and that often distracts her.
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I just have to chime in that I'm so happy to have found this group! I love all of the suggestions.
As someone dealing with chronic head pain myself I know it's hard to stay positive when you just don't feel well. It's just hard. I can see how complicated it can get with the elderly because they can lose the ability to correlate feelings with physical ailments then Finding correct words to express it all. Maybe counseling would help? For her and you? Sounds like your doing a great job already.😊
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Sometimes we all wallow in self-pity--one possible response is to play into it--rather than try to get her out of it, agree with everything she says and more. Reminds me of the old Kingston Trio song about how many bad things are going on. The theory of it is to try to get it out and get a different attitude about it. Actually, if she has any sense of humor at all, this might even be funny.
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I've noticed that as (most) people age, their personalities become more intensely "them"--for example: a sweet, kind person will just stay sweet and kind, or become even more so, a cranky negative person will be more negative and irritable. This is not true for everyone, of course, but in my personal life, wow, this has been so true. My own mother puts on a mask for outsiders and it's all happy and sweet and adorable old lady--to the family she's a bit of a harridan. I have long since given up trying to figure out why she can't fake it a little for us. Sounds like granny is used to being negative and at age 87, isn't likely to make a sudden change. Seems like you've accepted that and are doing well with it. She is who she is. Sad, but it's true. Yes, you have her checked for all the elderly ailments--but be aware that sometimes being negative is just the way they're wired. Be grateful you don't live with her! And learn from her. I learned how to be a fabulous MIL by having had to deal with my own MIL who literally hates me and tells me so. Instead of that making me angry, I decided to just NOT be like her. If we can't set a good example, sometimes we will serve as a horrible warning. Sorry for your pain--I'd say don't take it personally, but that's easier said than done, right?
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This is difficult and I know this can be really wearing. Be very thankful that you can get away from this by going to work, and continue to do this if you can, to escape. At present I am out of work and my partner - who is deaf - has hurt his foot - I can hardly cope with the constant complaining about the cold weather and Christmas. What I have to do is to shut my ears to the constant moaning, mutter that he is a miserable sod, when it is really getting to me, knowing that he can't hear me actually say that because there would be a huge argument about me being disrespectful. I think you have to grin and bear it, because probably (unless your grandmother has always been like this) she might be in pain. You have to always put forward the positive side to everything.
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They don't change... I've found this out after many years with my mother. It's so ingrained in them. You just have to accept that this is the way they are and know it's not you... go on with your life.
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I bet she was always like this. Most people don't change that much it is just that they are in your face everyday in there is no way out of seeing that person. My best way is just laugh, laugh at everything you can. Find a way to see her for who she is because most likely she not changing anytime soon. Yes you may have to vent in the bathroom or scream in a pillow. Find one friend that you can dump it on everything that your thinking that won't judge you then let it go. Don't hold on to everyday live that day and when you wake up it is a new day waiting for you. Old people can live a long time and you need to know if you can live like this for how ever long. If you have another family member that is willing to take her, keep that door open because you may need it. This job is not for everyone so if it is killing a little piece of your spirit everyday one day all of those little piece will form into a giant piece that is harder then you think to get back. good luck
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My mom is 88 and has always been a negative person, Constantly worrying about money, angry at the world because she is legally (not totally) blind, always looking for things to go wrong. I get angry and she says she will try to change, but she is who she is. I need to learn to not let it get to me.
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I need to know more about her medical condition. Does she have dementia? Does she have other physical ailments? Being "negative" can have lots of causes, from chemical imbalance to learned behaviors. I need to know about your grandmother. Try telling her she is negative and you are being affected by her negativity and ask her why she is depressed, unhappy, etc. You will never know unless you ask. Hope she improves her mood, but recognize YOU have the ability to not allow others to dictate YOUR mood. Maybe time for a break.
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When my granny gets negative... and she's 87 too, I change the subject. If she tells me she's gonna die I tell her so am I and everyone else, life is about what we do with what we have left. If she complains about being sick I share articles with her about people who got sick when they were young or have always been sick their whole life and I ask her does she think she's being grateful?

When she doesn't change her conversation I tell her I love her and then I leave. I think it's helping her to see that I'm not the one to sit and engage her in negative talk. I know getting old is no fun, but let's face it done people don't get the opportunity :-( So granny and I just have to focus on making the best of each day we're given! ;-)
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