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The specific thing is, she asked me to get her a new mattress, I did, and it was delivered today. She says it is too high. when my husband tried to adjust the height, it is too low. If something is not perfect, then it is garbage, that is how she thinks. If something is not exactly the way she wants it, she has no thanks to give. She thinks this is reasonable, I think it is hurtful. I always try to please her and do as she wants, but it is never good enough. I have to step back from her somehow, give her the help she needs but not do things I just know aren't going to work, even if she asks me. I don't know.

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PamG123, you are giving very good advice in dealing with a person with no cognitive impairment. Set boundaries. Enforce them. Teach the person by example that you will not put up with certain behaviors.

Dealing with a person who has dementia is a very, very different situation. Persons with this kind of damage to their brains are like children in many ways. But a significant difference is that the person with dementia does not have the capacity to learn. They may not even remember that you were there yesterday, let alone that you left when their behavior was unacceptable. It may well be good for you to leave -- for your sake -- but no one can promise that will have any impact at all on their future behavior.

Again, your advice is good, and I'm glad it is working for dealing with your mother who has mobility problems. For others who might be reading this, this probably doesn't apply to persons who have dementia, except perhaps in the very earliest stage.
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I'm going through the same thing with my 86-year-old mother. As they age their word gets smaller and with less to occupy their minds they start focusing inward and can become more child-like. You slowly switch roles and become the parent. As we would with our own children, we need to show them compassion but also give them boundaries. My mother can be very negative and cruel at times. When she starts in I let her know that I won't listen to it and that it's time for our visit to end as she's obvious not in a good place for it. Try to do this calmly and with love just like you would if you were correcting a child. They need a "time out" and I promise she'll be on better behavior the next time. It's a rough road and I'm still struggling when it comes to taking things personally. It can be very disheartening. Take time for yourself, see a counselor if you can. Forums like this are so helpful as they prove to us we are not alone. Good luck!
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The most important thing is you are supporting your mom. Keep up the good work you are doing the right think 😍
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Don't take it personal but do gently let her know that it affects you. If you keep brushing things under the carpet your'e going to start resenting her and eventually start to feel put off you have to help her. Ask her if she thinks it's right that you feel like she's a chore (again in gentler words). The bottom line is that you are entitled to have a positive relationship with your mother. No matter how old you are, she will always be your mother and her child comes first. Parenting is a neverending job, so if she is dependent on you the least she could do is show her daughter the pride she feels for taking care of her.
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Peeweeded Try to take back control start saying no to her request-she will not change on her own because her behaivor gets results and she still is mean to you-the next time she makes a request say you are sorry but you have your own plans-the sky will not fall if for once you do not jump through hoops for her. My MIL would leave my husband a list of 20 things to do on his one day off a week and if he did 19 of them she would bring up the one thing he did not do for her.
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I know exactly how you feel!! I have given my mother my life and there are many times she ungrateful and says mean things to me. I just think that she can't help it, but yes.... it still hurts. I;m getting tired of " hanging in there". I need some relief!!! Help!
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My mother was in the hospital for 10 days and in a rehab facility for another 8 wks. Both were 45 miles from my home and I was expected to run over there at least every other day (gas is 3.45 a gallon here), but her what ever she wanted, do her laundry, clean her house, etc, etc....She told me use use her emergency cash to pay for things and I did for some of the things and now she is complaining because I used her money on her! She says I need to reimburse her the money because I spent too much! I spent ever dime either directly on her or for gas going the 90 miles round trip to and from the hospital and rehab. I am so upset right now.
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I am so sorry you are going through this as the others said from now on is a new game she picks out what she wants and lives with it I know my mother brings me to tears when I visit but whan she is at my brother's home she is so sweet and nice and when I am at her apartment she digs me constantly-one time I used too much toilt paper so now I take my own-you may have to limit your visits let the other family members step up to the plate you may want to call them once and just say Mom needs more help than I can give her and she is unhappy with what I do so you all will have to be available when she needs things done and just step back-I always was treated like a servant growing up so it is not anything new and I can tell myself it is not me it is her and just ignor her digs-it is very hard for me but you need to take care of yourself -keep telling yourself you do not deserve to be treated that and after a while you will believe those words been there done that -I hope I have helped go to my wall anytime and leave me a note I care about you because I know how much it hurts when you are doing the very best you can and go out of your way to please and get it thrown back in you face it hurts because you are kindhearted and she is not.
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Does she have dementia? If so, this is VERY sressful and I am still trying to deal with learning how to destress and just walk away when I can not do for my MIL or do not want to hear one more word. My MIL is demanding on me, but noone else..I understand, so all I can say is if you have the ability to get away from it...then GET while you can because there may come a day when you will not be able to get away if you have to take care of her full time. Good luck honey...Let someone else do things for her while you still have a life..If she gets down real bad..she will be your responsibility or Nursing home..Good Luck and God Bless...HUGS
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While my Mom and Dad are vey grateful for what I do for them for NOW, after moving close to me a year and half ago, it wasn't always that way. When my Mom was recovering from hip surgery and a lot of other times, if things weren't going way, she says, "you always take your father's side," Or "I should have had [her other daughter] help me." Yeah, cold day in hell that would happen. My siblings are AOL. See, there is NO ONE else to help them. Maybe with your Mom too??? They do become so entitled as they age. Mom is definitley slowing down mentally and Dad already has dementia so it's a real shit show. It has also taken ME a year and half to not take it personally, do the best that I can, and when it's not enough, I don't really give a crap!!! That's my advice to you. Hang in there, do the best that you can and tomorrow surely is another day...

xoxo
-SS
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Do what she absolutely needs to keep her well, and i agree with ColetteG, let her pick it out and remind her she did, but she may keep you returning things back over and over. Let her know that she better be right this time as it will be the last time you return. Also, Pray a lot!
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bpryor01, I don't think I'm going to be that way. My mother isn't. Her sisters aren't. Neither of my grandmothers were. It is just not something that I see automatically going with normal old age. Dementia, well, that's another story -- all bets are off then.
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Dana: Why are you looking for "thanks"? Why not just let her pick out her own things? If she chooses something that's not right for her, she'll let you know.
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Hmmm. Uh huh. I think this self stuff (selfish, self involved, self loving) that some elders do is normal. They just cannot see the other side of anything and they are always right in their mind.

I hope it won't happen, but I suspect we too will be the same way, some day. Hopefully not tho'.
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All I can say is try your best to let it in one ear and out the other. My mom is just like that as well, had a therapist tell me one time that if I was waiting for my mom's approval "forget it, it isn't ever going to happen". How right he was.

It still hurts, mom is dying, I provide the majority of her care, and still hear what a angel my younger brother is, how happy she is that her other son calls her almost every day, a word of Thanks would be nice to hear, but ain't happening, when I am there it's do this, do that etc...not asking me to do this or that, telling me to do this or that. Sometimes I feel like telling her I am not her servant and don't deserve to be treated like one.

Before her illness, I would limit the time I would spend with her, I could not be there for long to preserve my mental health.. If you have anyone available to give you a break for a couple of hours, or for a day, get them to do so, and go and do something nice for yourself. Even if it is nothing more than hiding out in a park, a mall, etc..

The nicest thing I get to do for me at the moment is a few hours of solid sleep. I know it sounds mean and spiteful, etc... But when all is said and done, I am planning a trip with my husband for a couple of months. Just need to get out of here for a while.
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Dana, your mother's behavior is probably not news to you. I'll bet she's acted like this all her life right? Why would she change now? Step up and tell her she's being ungrateful and you're not gonna take it anymore. Tell her to call someone else when she needs something from now on, cause you're taking a break. What do you want to bet she changes her tune? And if she's still stubborn and ungrateful, then TAKE A BREAK FROM HER, and follow through. It won't kill her to grouse for awhile.
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I think ColetteG is on the right track. "Gee, Mom, I don't seem to be able to ever get exactly what you want. How about if I take you to the mattress store and you can pick one out?" "I don't think I know your tastes well enough to pick you out a lamp. Let's look at a catalog online and see if you spot something that suits you." You get the idea. Continue helping, but put the decision-making responsibility on her. She wants you to hang pictures? Only if she stands right there and tells you exactly where they are to go.

The second point is not to take this personally. It is a defect or flaw in your mother's personality -- you are not the cause. It is not your fault. Your mother isn't perfect. Unlike her, you can love the imperfect, right? :)
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Ooooh - does your mom know MY mom? It has taken me a long time to begin not to take it personally, at least not to the point of breaking down in tears, but its still a stress - I tend to keep visits short; when I am there she becomes twice as demanding and needy and fussy instantly and thinks nothing of bragging about me to the nurses when I'm not there and calling me an idiot to my face. She is smply not capable of letting a family member sit and relax for a minute doing anythig besides attending to her if they are in the same room. Its a factor in not being able to handle her care at home, though I know she doesn't mean to be mean and it this point probably can't help it. But a steady stream of toxic criticism, coupled wit total lack of perspective (and dementia is NOT helpful to empathic abilities or sense of proportion) is not good for mental health!
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I would say just do your best. Maybe there is no pleasing her and it is just going to drive you crazy. Maybe explain to her the good things about the mattress and keep it too low rather than too high. Also, if there is any way to involve her in picking things out, let her do it. That way it doesn't come back on you. Like if she says she wants a new mattress, taker her somewhere to pick it out instead of just going out and getting it. If she can't go out, let her look through a magazine. She might just be upset that she didn't have a hand in choosing the mattress.

If she just likes to complain, then just let her complain and let it go in one ear and out the other. Sometimes people just like to be heard. Maybe she likes the attention she gets from complaining and having you guys there to help her. If this is the case, explain to her that you tried really hard to get her the best mattress you could and hopefully she'll sleep well on it, then see if she wants to go do an activity with you or something.

Whatever the case, don't take it personally. She is going to need you more and more and this isn't the time to hold grudges or resentment. Just do your best.
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