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As an example, I frantically moved heaven and earth to get a new nebulizer for my 82 yr old mother, racing between calls to her Dr, nurse, a supplier, a delivered (I don't drive, ms) and got it there in six hours. After all that she said, "I don't know what the big deal was." She would have ended up in the ER. Just a little gratitude?

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Gratitude? S’matter’chu? Some parents/people just don’t have it in them.

My parents simply expected me to drop everything to serve them (way before they were old and needed help.) Have you heard the saying, “if wishes and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merrier christmas?” It was near the holidays when I decided to thank myself. Everytime my father would fail to thank me, I would drop a bite-sized candy into a bowl. On days I was particularly distressed, I would have a candy. Ok, this was almost everyday, and my endophins thanked me (and I pretended my waistline did, too.) 

Probably not the best substitution, but now that I am no longer caregiving, it makes me more cognizant of gratitude (giving and receiving) and I eat less chocolate.
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I was in those shoes just last week! I went to see my dad on Valentine’s Day and took him a box of chocolate turtles...he proceeded to say they weren’t that good and that Russell Stover had gone downhill. I took the box back and told him my husband will love them! I took his hearing aids then to go get them cleaned and checked brought them back and again no thank you. Then he proceeded to complain ad nauseum about every little thing wrong and I finally said, "Dad, I need to go. See you later." That was over a week ago and I haven’t been back. I know he is depressed and in a negative spin. I know he has dementia but it doesn’t mend hurt feelings. Realistically he wasn’t in a place where he felt grateful...he feels like his life sucks. I don’t expect miracles from him but sometimes we need to distance ourself from the situation and that’s what I did. I’m going to see him today, but if he begins the negative talk again...I’m going to say if you want me to visit, then we need to visit. I can’t listen to complaints every time I come.
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I feel so bad for the many caregivers in your situation. Was your mother more thoughtful before the dementia? Maybe then it would help to remind yourself that she is no longer in her mind.

Do you think it might be partly denial of her failing strength and abilities?
"Thank you so much, dear, you did a good job."
"Huh , that wasn't any big deal"
In her mind, which of those sentences preserves her illusions that she is still independent and runs the show?

I know a couple of elders who don't have the explanation of dementia who say things like, "Well I could have done that myself, you know. Stop interfering." Of course they couldn't have done it themselves, but that is a very, very hard thing to do.

Is she generally congenial except in the gratitude department?
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It could be the truth as far as they know. They just do not comprehend the enormity and ramifications of things. Their world is so small they just do not
know.
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So true. You are not alone. (((Hugs)))
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My husband is going thru hell with his dad. He is 93 and so rude to the people at the rehabilitation center. He thinks the minute he wants something everyone has to drop everything. If it is not instantaneous, he gets very nasty with them. It is harsh and embarrassing. My husband tried to be the full time care giver, but that was hell on earth. Now rehab is ending and we need to find a semi-permanent solution. He was accepted to Veterans home, but has approx. 3 month wait list. Looking for temp solutions that are affordable. At wits end!!
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As my dad said "I never say thank you"...... and he was right! I make dinner every night and maybe once in a great moon he will say "it was OK. Every other night, nothing. If my daughter makes something he says "that was great" but never thank you. My mother raised us to say thank you all the time. If my wife or daughter does something I say thank you. Our daughter living with us until she gets her house. She empty's the dishwasher and makes coffee every morning. The first thing I say is "thank you". This is the reason she does it because we appreciate it. I and my wife do everything around here. Once in a while she will explode and he will help a little. He now (after 4 years) will sweep the kitchen but waits until my wife is pulling in the garage so he can get his gold star. "I swept today" he says now. My wife says "OK". She wont say thank you becasue he wont. It is like living with a child. Now tonight he is making dinner. First time this year. He will expect accolades for doing what I do every night.
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I care give for a 97 y/o. Her son recently gave her the “Rolls Royce” of rollaters for Valentine’s Day. Cherry red. She was so mad and told me she was going to give him hell.

Most of us do things for some kind of appreciation and a show of simple gratitude. I told her my daughter had given me something once and I got mad about it and the hurt look on her face was devastating. I told her I never did that again. She listened intently and then gracefully thanked him that night.

I believe when I personalized it she paid attention. I didn’t give her a hard time about her behavior. I just reflected my experience and it worked.

And now she brags about the rollater and there’s serious status envy where she lives! Only one other person has one at the facility and the sidelooks crack me up!
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My mother does say thank you to me sometimes, but it's pretty meaningless because I am expected to do things for her and she has yelled at me that I don't do much at all for her.
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To all on this site. You deserve gold Metal ‘s . Your are Warriors for the elderly . It’s hard taking care of someone Who doesn’t recognize it and lives in their own world . I salute all of you . This forum is awesome, remember they can’t tell you they love you, or even sometimes remember you. But don’t forget to take time for you,  a friend, or group and vent. Get some wine, or a bubble bath, and take some me time. When you had it, refresh go back do it again. Find the me time, it’s so worth it.
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