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DT maybe your mom must wants to complain without you trying to fix her problems. I know that when I have a serious pain that drives me crazy, I will eventually have it fixed, whatever the 'it' is because, let's face it... it's a pain. Maybe some people just want to complain for complaining sake.
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Well, hugs to you DT.And why can't you get away to enjoy yourself? (You've probably explained this elsewhere. Please humor a newbie.) As well as having no imagination, does she not have any money to pay for some respite?

I am really impressed that you can avoid taking it personally.
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jeannegibbbs - It is hard to deal with the almost constant whining and complaining, but as I know you have read on another blog, my mom has Zero imagination - I once asked her why she complains so much, her answer was that if she did not complain she would not know what to say! So, as the old saying goes, That which is, is. That which is not, is not, is it not? Or, as Yoda says, there is no try, there is do or not do. Not much I can do to change her at this point, so you can't please everyone so you got to please yourself (Ricky Nelson - I am really feeling all of the cliche's tonight...) I can't get away to enjoy myself, so I must be satisfied and make the best of making myself an individual. Nichole - Yes, I get the wisdom in what you say but as her ailments are about all mom has, she clings to them hard. She is narcissisic, so the feelings of others mean little to her. She has no real belief system or base, no conception of an after life, you need an imagination for that, so to quote another old song (ad nauseum) she is tired of livin' but feared of diein'. I just cope and do not take it personally. At least she boasts to the doctors, nurses, lab techs, and anyone else that I am taking good care of her - that is a kind of payment and gratification in itself.
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Good point, Nicole. DT, if you think of something like that that would motivate your mother, let us know how that works out.

I've just been thinking of a few years back when Mom was in a TCU after hospitalization for a fall. A test that they did for other purposes revealed an ovarian growth of some kind. This wasn't within the scope of what she was being treated for and they advised her to make an appointment for followup. They gave her name to the specialty clinic and a week or so after she was home that clinic called to set up the appointment. No thank you, she did not want an appointment.

I took her to her next appointment with her geriatrician. The doctor said she saw the recommendation for followup but not results. Did she make the appointment? No, Ma said. I'm not going to. It isn't bothering me and if there is something wrong I don't want to know about it. The doctor said she totally respected Ma's right to make that decision, but she was obligated to make sure she understood that if she did have cancer it could be treated, and if she didn't have treatment it could be serious or fatal. My mother said, "I would refuse chemo. So what is the point of worrying about it? I have lived a good long life. If this is my time, I won't fight it." The doctor asked me if I was OK with that. I said that I was OK with Ma making her own decision, and that I was comfortable she knew what she was deciding.

Mother has MCI now and a case could be made for taking over some of that kind of decision-making. But knowing her beliefs and attitudes I would still respect her right to refuse treatments or to refuse tests.

DT, I think that your situation is a little different. Your mother complains, and there might be solutions that would give her a greater quality of life. I can fully understand why you would want to presuade her to try to find solutions to her complaints. But ultimately, it really is her decision, isn't it?
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DT, I am currently reading a book about relating to people. One of the suggestions is that when you would like something from someone, in your case that your mother take the different actions you are suggesting, you don't focus on why you want them to do it. Think about what it is that she REALLY wants more than anything. How will these actions benefit her, and meet her WANTS. If you spend some time thinking about her wants and needs you may find a way to match that up with the actions you are suggesting.

Just an idea, good luck. My thoughts are with you and your mother.
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Pretty much I don't think you can make her. On the dentist, my dental office calls and reminds when when I'm due. My eye doctor sends an annual letter. Reminders are common. You might suggest to the dental office that the receptionist call Mom and suggest she is due for a checkup and they have openings next month, what day of the week would she prefer, etc. She might take a reminder better if it doesn't come from you. Or she might slam the phone down. Who knows? Might be worth a shot.

Did you inherit some stubborn genes? Everytime she complains about her digestion, say "That sounds bad. I'll make an appointment with Dr. Smith for you." If she complains about her swallowing, say "That sounds bad. I'll make an appointment with Dr. Jones for you." Do you think that if every time she complained about an ailment you replied pleasantly but persistently with an offer to make an appointment she would either stop complaining so frequently or would relent and see a doctor? Either one would be an improvement for you, wouldn't it?

In many ways there is role reversal when children care for an elderly parent. But a parent can insist that a nine-year-old must see the dentist. You can't really force an elder who still is competent to make her own decisions to comply with that kind of request.

I suppose you do have some ultimate bargaining power if you want to exert it. What does she need from you? "I'll take you to your hairdresser if you also let me take you to the dentist. No dentist, no hairdresser." But that kind of power struggle might just be too ugly for the benefits.

I guess she is entitled to neglect her own care if she wants to, but then she should stop expecting you to listen to all the moaning.

Just curious -- how do you deal with all the moaning and complaining now? I think that would wear very thin very fast!
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