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My mother whines when she talks to me. "c.a.n.y.o.u. g..i..v..e..m.e.m.y s.y.m..b..i..c..o.r..t?" Very annoying. I tell her to please stop whining & ask me in a mature voice. Is this something I'm expecting of her but she's not able to do. I listen to her talking to her sisters & friends & her voice immediately changes to a normal conversation w/an incredible memory. Not bad for 97..HOW can I deal w/her whining? Is she just doing it to me?

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Thank you for posting this. My mom does this same thing. She whines with me and when my daily visit ends at her facility she whines, nobody loves me, I don't have no family, etc.
When she talks to my brother over the phone, who lives out of state, she talks normal. He thinks I'm exaggerating when I explain her behavior. I try to ignore the whining as best I can when I can't I just cut my visit short and TRY to remember her brain is broke and I can't FIX IT! Augh!
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Llamalover Mom's in a nursing home completely bedridden and has some dementia. I guess I should be more understanding because she can't help the broken record. Thanks for you suggestion.

If they found that fountain of youth, I'd use it on me first!
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Keep: You tell her the following and loudly as YOU WILL be repeating it only one time-
#1 You are not about to buy a dog because she will fall over the dog and break her leg. That's going to be VERY painful so I know you don't want pain.
#2 The Fountain of Youth theory was found to be unproven YEARS ago and yes, I'd like to be 15 myself, but that is an unrealistic expectation.
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My mother whines too and it's usually for things I can't or won't give her.

For example every Monday the therapy dogs come to visit. When they're gone she whines because I won't get a dog. She wants me to get a dog and bring it to come visit her every day. I don't want a dog and her non-stop whining about it is not going to make me go get one. I really get tired of the broken record every Monday.

Then there is the whining because I won't take her to the dematologist to do something about her wrinkles. She's 87, she's not going to look like she's 20, but she say "why can't I look like I'm 20?"

Wears me out. Wish I knew the answer.
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I did have a question for you. Did she always whine like this? Or did this start at a certain time?
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My mother did this sometimes. I couldn't understand her when she did. Once I asked her to not use that voice. I asked her to speak from her chest voice. She said. "It's the only voice I have." When she said that her voice fell down and she heard it herself. I sang from my chest with her hand on my chest and I sang from my head and then she knew what I was talking about. She didn't always remember but at least she understood what I meant. I felt like she did it when she was stressed.
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AmyGrace: I agree with you.
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Maybe, she feels she needs to sound pitiful to get you to provide it for her or to get some sympathy. I'm just speculating. Do you normally have a good relationship? Are you her caregiver?

I'm not sure I could figure out a way that it would bother me. If my mom is 97 years old, can see, hear, speak and pronounce Symbocort......I think I might baby her and love doing it.
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I wonder if the whining is partly from the dementia where the person reverts to childhood habits. Also, many women of our parents generation used whining and "helpless cute little girl" behaviors to manipulate. Mom's generation women seldom got a higher education, and for the most part they were expected to be "dependent" as opposed to sons. I saw a lot of that with my mother in her last few years. She alternated between acting totally independent and stubborn, but at the drop of a hat, with other people, she would act helpless and "cute" and whine and complain to get attention. Growing up her brother was the favored one, and my father "protected" her, and her second husband dominated her and treated her like a pet. It didn't surprise us that Mom alternated roles given her generational upbringing and experiences.
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I read all of your post. Sorry I didn't the first time. Hmm...it seems like she wants to be annoying to the caregiver-you. This happens a lot.
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She can't. Reason: she has now reverted to childhood.Thus the whiny child-sized voice.
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Give a Hug, you do seem to have your hands full. And a daily challenge.
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Does't it come with the territory of these last days? My Mom has started a whining sound, and recently I think it is getting worse. I know she can not help it and does not even realize she is making the sound. I guess we all have something to deal with. BUT, at night when I tuck her into bed, I am so thankful to be doing that and knowing that she is safe and has had good and safe day.
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I recently heard someone say: " If she is pushing your buttons, move the buttons!"

Sounds like several of you are saying that. Very good idea. Not easily done, but a goal worth striving for. ;)
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At least your mom has teeth and can be understood! She could be speaking Polish or some other language you don't know, as a throwback to childhood.
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Olivia12 I sure understand where you are coming from. I wish everyday my mom COULD whine if she could. However, sometimes we allow bad behavior to go on for years and years and let people get away with it because we don't want to lose our mom or dad's love or rock the boat. I know, my family did it for years with another family member. Wish everyone would have stood up to this person and just said No More. Anyway, this was just a thought after my post and yours.
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You may wish you could hear her whine just one more time one of these days. We don't realize how much we miss all that aggravation until it is gone and we sentimentalize it. Just let it flow over your head.
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I am going through this with our 4 year old grand son. He is going through a really bad spell right now of doing that on EVERYthing from food to who knows what. It's hard to do but we ignore it until he can ask without whining. It's getting better and better. When he was sick a couple of weeks ago he wouldn't take this medicine and would whine and cry. He loves his school so we simply said ok, too bad you won't get better and won't be able to go to school. 5 minutes later we would ask him again and he would say ok. When your mom whines, try to ignore. Then when she asks again. Ignore. When she asks why you are not getting her ?? tell her you won't until she asks without whining....period. just because she is 97 you (we all) shouldn't let this go on. Caregiver is not the same as being a doormat or slave. Good Luck and God Bless.
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Most elders' short term memories are gone, so telling them to do something is usually a wasted effort.
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Hapgolucke1, you have to understand that elders become child like as they age. The roles reverse. We are the adults now and they are the children. So telling her to ask you for her med in "a mature voice" may not happen, even though YOU want it to.
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Oh, and don't take it personally. Whatever the folks say or how they behave, we just can't take it personally. Work on developing a healthy, emotional detachment from what can be really hurtful treatment. I can't believe I've been able to achieve that to a great extent now. It took a long time, but it's made all the difference first in my stress level and ability to remain calm, and then in Mom's calmer responses to me. SO important!
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I can relate. My mom has always been a whiner (and a yeller) and it's gotten worse the older she gets, yet she can't tolerate that in others. When the whining increased substantially about 10 years ago, I'd say, "Know what my mother used to say when I whined like that?" (She'd look at me blankly.) "She'd say, 'Stop your whining or I'll give you something to whine about, with the back of my hand.' " (Not like I'd hit her, but just to give her some perspective on how I viewed the situation and how it affected me.) That curtailed the whining that day but had no long-term effect.

I disagree with the theory that they do it because they trust us. I think partly they do it because they DON'T trust that anyone will respond efficiently if they use a normal tone. Mom will call me in the whiniest breathiest, I-need-so-much-help-hurry-over voice like she's dying. I'll call her back 30 seconds later and she sounds chipper, brisk, and mature. I say, "You sound fine now," and she'll reply, "Well, I didn't know who was calling." And that's logical to her.

I think another part of the whining is that many in the older generation never learned how to ask for what they needed (perhaps because their parents had no way to provide it, in hard times). So as kids our folks were supposed to suck it up, stand on their own 2 feet, and reject charity.

For the last year, like I would with a child, I try to ignore Mom's behavior that I don't like and model and reinforce the behavior I prefer, and I give Mom the words she can't articulate. For instance, she'll start whining because I clean up a mess on the floor when she wants me to do something else (non-urgent) at that exact moment. I let her whine, then I say (as I would to a close friend), "Or you can say, 'Thanks for noticing that needed doing and taking care of it. I appreciate your help. Can you please do such&such next?' " It's surprised me how quickly she'll respond, "Well, yes, thank you. I do appreciate it." But that doesn't mean she'll remember to do that next time without more practice and repetition, but I'm hearing a lot more thank-yous and I-appreciates than ever before.

I'm also working on trying not to shame her about those behaviors, just let her know there are better ways to handle things next time, and showing those to her. Like when she starts yelling and tantrum-ing over something insignificant. I let her fume, then I say calmly, "Why are you yelling at me? I'm right here. You can just talk to me." At this age, much of what happens won't register in her explicit memory, where she can recall it and use it, but with repetition it can get into her implicit and procedural memory so those preferred responses and behaviors come more naturally to her.

Still, it often seems like one step up and two steps back, but there is real improvement and she's feeling less anxious and frustrated, which is very important for her well-being and mine.

"Teach your parents well, their children's hell will slowly go by..."
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Wow. Sounds like my mother when she talks to my sister who has enabled her over the years. Now sis has become "mom" to her. With dementia on top of an already spoiled, stubborn self centered person sis gets that all the time. I wish I had an answer except to say maybe its habit and your mother is very good at playing "victim" (like my mother) and its worked in the past so she keeps doing it? Can you extinguish a bad habit in a 90+ year old? Not sure. so far everything we have tried with our mother hasn't worked. It is so annoying. Hugs to you!
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Until you learn how to not let it bother you (if she just simply can't change).... carry an MP3 and listen to music with your earphones. The music will soothe you, and you can turn it up as loud as you like (and still be able to hear her). I think answering her in a whiny voice is a funny idea, though it may offend her, so tread lightly.

Why would someone whine.... because they are unhappy. Is there something that can be changed to make her happier? Music in her room? DVDs of her favorite program/music idol/nature program? Adult coloring books/velvet posters?

Or sit down with her face to face and help her to see what she sounds like... but do it totally lovingly.... calmly... or get one of your siblings to sit down and tell her for you...? Record her whining at you, and then record her NOT whining voice at siblings, and play it for her. Or just play the non-whining voice and tell her you know she can do it.

Running out of ideas... but whatever you do, it's got to be done while showing respect. God help you! (Oh yes..... and pray!!!)
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Yes, to respond to your question, this indeed is something you expect that your mother is NOT able to do.

And perhaps it has nothing at all to do with you.

Your attachment to her speaking in a certain way may be making life unnecessarily unpleasant for both of you. As 'Zonlangirl' commented above, it's best to focus on what is being said and what is needed rather than the tone of voice.

With consistent effort, we can train ourselves to stop reacting to these annoyances. If you can, find something to be thankful for and switch the negative thought to one of gratitude. This perspective helps us remain emotionally neutral with annoying people.

Keep a smile on your face and a lilt to your voice and compassionately detach from your mother and the buttons she knows all too well how to push. Blessings and good luck to you both.
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Sometimes I find the things that irritate me about caring for my mother who did this whining thing way before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's are things none related to the action she is displaying. So I reason with myself and ask myself the question. Is she doing this to irritate me? Does this action take me back to a time when I was a whiner or someone in my life was whining? Take courage. When I checked myself then I changed my approach to her. I placed my concern on what she wanted and not how she said it. To be truthful, I did not always get to my thought process as quick as I should but I keep working on it. Your Mom trust you, and respects that you are caring for her. She doesn't want you ever feel that she does not honor the time you take to care for her. Hope this helps.
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Duct tape? *dang it we need emoticons on here, so imagine I inserted a joking one*
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Unfortunately, the same way that you deal with a whiny toddler. I'm always challenged with how to do this while still showing the respect my father has earned as my parent. He is, in some ways, very much like a toddler (self-focused, unable to process complex concepts, unable to consider consequences in decision-making...). And dealing with him in ways that recognize that is effective. So, I do take the 'mom' role, but try to temper it with acknowledgement that he's my father and he should be in control of his own life to the degree that he can be; even when his decisions aren't always the smart ones. Again, like a toddler, I choose my battles and try to avoid conflict in the ones that I get into. Little white lies are my best tools.
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Try: "Not now, but if you ask me in a normal voice rather than as a whiny child, I'll get it for you right away"
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No idea but much, much sympathy!
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