I’m doing everything I can for my mom to care for her in my home, but I am feeling very unappreciated by her. Seems like nothing I do is right or enough. I’m just looking for a place to vent. For the most part I have a ton of patience but then there are days like yesterday that leave me wondering why she can’t be happy to have someone who cares for her. I told her that I was feeling as though she didn’t appreciate all that I do for her but she had no comment which made me feel worse. Can anybody relate?

Find Care & Housing
Yes, yes, yes. My mother is angry, argumentative, and NEVER “sees” me. I am slooooowly learning that she never will. She lived with me for 8 weeks. It was a disaster. Now, she is in her own IL apartment. I help out of a sense of obligation, to be honest. Maybe some day, I will be able to serve with compassion. But, for right now, I keep my boundaries and take her to appointments, and will have her over for Thanksgiving. You are in the right place. Vent away!
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to cxmoody

My wife and I put up with years of verbal abuse from her Mother. I finally after about 17 years I could not take it any longer. It caused a divorce because my wife would not leave her Mother. Two years after I moved out she finally put her in a nursing home. My wife could not find ANYONE that would come near her Mother to help her out.

THis is a more common problem than people think.

You will have to decide how much you can take and start making plans fort hat day. I promise you this.. She wont change she will only get worse. It is not a question of if you will have to make other arrangements, it is a question of when
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to lacyisland

Hi.welcome to the "club".
I go through the same ,more or less,assisting my dad.
What helps me to overcome this lack of gratitude from my dad is meditating on a few things:
1st: my conscience is clear that I'm doing what I should be doing.i am not a "wonder woman"...
2nd: my dad,your mom ,have cognitive deficits, which explain their lack of gratitude.
3rd: (the most important):God takes note...
Don't give up...
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to ValerieStella

I too had a mother that was never happy and nothing I did was ever good enough or right in her eyes. Thankfully though I never had to care for her, as I moved many states away when the opportunity presented itself, and she now has been dead for 8 years. It's certainly not a good feeling when you feel you are doing so much for someone and they don't appreciate or acknowledge it. You however are going to have to get past the fact that mom probably never will show or acknowledge her appreciation for what your doing. I'm guessing she was probably this way all her life, so to expect her to change now is pointless. It's now up to you to decide if you want to continue to look after someone that doesn't appreciate all you do for them, or find a nice facility where she can have others look after her, and you can get on with your life, and live in a more healthy and peaceful environment. You do have choices you know. Just because she's your mom, doesn't mean that you are required or obligated to be her caregiver. You deserve to be happy. If mom wants to continue to live in misery, perhaps she needs to live elsewhere. Best wishes.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to funkygrandma59

We are asking them to appreciate us when we are part and parcel of their loss of EVERYTHING. Loss of control of their money, their health, their foods, their choices of where to live and with whom. The truth is that the end of life is simply one loss after another. Finally dignity follows control out the door and they are left bereft. They are often left without even the recognition of who they love and why. Their body is no longer in control of its functions. They are anxious and fearful.
There just isn't honestly a whole lot to be happy about in all of that. Given their fragility and their mental limitations they aren't able to even put a good face on it, as we sometimes are.
I have always known I could not do one on one caregiving in my home. I had a hard enough time adjusting and adapting in the last year of my bro's life; I don't know what it could have come to had he deteriorated, and had he ever come to the point when he could no longer listen to me, and believe and trust me. I am thankful we never got there, in all truth.
I am so sorry. You are living the heartbreak of so very many here. You asked her if she appreciated you? Do you appreciate what for her is nothing but loss? It is almost impossibly difficult. I hope some moments are light and good, because this is such a difficult thing you are doing. My heart truly goes out to you.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Donkeygirl Nov 18, 2020
Thank you for this. I am struggling and praying for help because I am tired and my nerves are frayed. You have remined me of this perspective that slips out of sight in the midst of the daily tasks and frustrations. Thanks.
You're certainly not alone. I think we all experience this. Remember, taking on the role of caregiver never works unless it's done on YOUR terms, not theirs. I don't know what your mom's conditions are or how dependent she is on you. If it's possible, STOP doing so much for her. Make her do for herself if she's able. Make her pay you also. This may sound harsh to some, but it's not. Many times when seniors start to need some help, they totally give up and expect to be taken care of like they were a baby and waited on hand-and foot. If they can maintain any level of independence it helps with their behavior and respect level. It will improve the family relationship too many times.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to BurntCaregiver
CTTN55 Nov 19, 2020
Yes -- make her pay you! My resentment decreased once my POA brother started paying me $20/hr. I could emotionally detach much more.
It's very disheartening when one is treated like that. It's hard to know how to comment: was she always like this? Or has she become like this of late? If the former, then you must have known what you'd be in for. If the latter, it is most likely part of her cognitive decline, depression, etc.

No matter what, you are not morally or ethically responsible for her happiness (which would be impossible any way). If you are her durable PoA you are only tasked with doing what is in her best interest. Going forward you won't be able to elicit the gratitude you'd like (and deserve) so try to have the mindset that you're providing her care because you are choosing to do it and how she reacts to any of it is not important. If you have no expectations, you won't have any disappointment. You are doing a noble thing and knowing this will hopefully be enough to carry you through day to day to day. I wish you all the best in achieving this.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Geaton777

Yup. That is the irony of caring for dementia sufferers; they lose the ability to understand just about anything from another's perspective. They can only see what is part of "their world" and their own needs. Add to that problem, the additional problem of having an ever-increasing difficulty communicating their needs, feelings, and/or frustrations.

Those in the online group understand and applaud your efforts.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Taarna

Yes nothing is ever enough. My father was never one to show appreciation but now with his dementia it’s even worse. He complains about living in our guest home instead of thanking us for spending a lot of $ fixing it up for him. He still complains to us he had to pay a $200 bill to cancel his cable when we asked him to move out of his home and into our guest home. I say well it’s sure a good thing you’ve been getting free cable for the last 4 years since we are the ones who pay for it 😁. He never did thank my husband for moving him out of his home but he does complain that he thinks a couple of his things went missing. He also complains to my sister about my caring for him, instead of appreciating the help. I remind myself I saw him in need and I know I’m doing the right thing by helping. I probably will never hear a thank you.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Martz06

I can relate on behalf of a client and his wife who had a mutual melt-down in front of me this week.

He struggles with episodes of shortness of breath, which scare and exhaust him.

She is desperate to keep him at home, because although he is eligible for hospice the Covid separation is unbearable for both of them. She works her behind off from dawn to dusk (and during the night) to try to make this sustainable.

When I arrived and was washing my hands, she came to tell me about various things to do with his care and treatment, and she had quite a lot to unload. He was in earshot. When we went back into his room, he scolded her for "going on and on" and taking up my time.

My heart sank to my boots for BOTH of them. Her, because of course she was terribly hurt (and, I regret to say, she scolded him right back). And him, because it wasn't her talkativeness that had made him lose his temper - it was the really extreme fatigue he was experiencing that makes the effort of hearing, let alone listening, unbearable.

I am happy to report that after she had gone into the kitchen for a little cry, and he had finished his morning routine and recovered, he apologised to her and asked her to forgive him, and she did.

So what I am betting on with you, is that your mother's lack of appreciation is nothing to do with what you're doing wrong or overlooking - it's about how she is feeling in herself, and what she's dealing with in terms of her health. Pain, fatigue, anxiety, loss of cognitive function, depression would all affect her responses to your loving care - and, indeed, could be why she didn't respond at all!

As I said sorrowfully to my client's wife "I'm afraid this can seem a very thankless task, at times."
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Countrymouse
NeedHelpWithMom Nov 19, 2020
I love your example of how these things happen. So true and explains things so well.
See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter