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They only see how bad their life will become in the future! They won't except their diagnose. Diagnosed 1 yr ago with PD, but is on meds and has helped alot but patient only sees how bad it could get. Is on anti-depressant. Always a positive person before Is 85 and won't accept limitations aging has brought on. Keeps asking why me? I don't know what to say. I said think one good thing everyday day, but she says that is so hard to do.

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I am 82 my wife is 83, when we ask why me, we mean how can we be this old and still find life to be so good. I too have PD and yes the medsdo help, but looking to the future, the fact that PD while degenerative, is slow moving encouraging. According to the experts we have both passed our pull date so we'll just contnue to enjoy this extra time we have been granted.
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That's a tall order!

The fact that Patient was a positive person before is encouraging. To my husband, the very worst thing about having dementia was giving up driving. I'll bet it took him more than a year to mourn that loss, and to stop saying things like "Why couldn't I have died in my prime like all my brothers? Did I take good care of my heart only to have this awful disease?" But eventually he accepted (to some extent) his limitations and reverted back to his more positive outlook. It probably helped that I encouraged him to do all he could. He bowled with a senior league. He golfed with a league for persons with handicaps. He got around the neighborhood on a personal mobility scooter. We tried to focus on what he could do. He had the personality to do that.

Many people would say, "If I can't drive a car, I don't want a stupid mobility scooter." or "I used to bowl 200 and now I'm lucky if I hit 120. I'm not going to settle for that." If that is the kind of personality Patient has, then you've got a hard road ahead. But if Patient used to have a more positive outlook, let's hope it will come back!

BTW, long before he had dementia my husband needed hearing aids. He fussed at that and said nobody in his whole family wore hearing aids, why him? And I told him because he was the only one lucky enough to live to an age when hearing starts to go!
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I tried everything in the book: listening to her, trying to keep her busy, serving her favorite foods, taking her for walks in the park, taking her on errands in the car--having her do easy chores like watering the plants, folding laundry, reassuring her that her family loved her and needed her. Nothing worked. But this did: When my whiney, snively Mother-in-law launched into another self-serving pity party at our kitchen table with, "Please kill me. I want to die..." I cut her off with, "I am not going to waste one more minute of my time on my way to eternity. If you want to die, toddle down the driveway with your walker, lay down in the street and wait for a a garbage truck to run over you." To every complaint of, "I'm not happy!", I reply, "I don't care! I have my own problems." I absolutely refuse to be drawn into her endless crapping on. It is the only thing that works. She kept complaining because it worked for her on some sick level. Now she shuts up. I tried to get her to go to a grief counselor, to go to senior acitivities, to visit her friends. When I finally realized she had been a drama queen all the years I had known her and that she uses this to get attention, I cut the head off that snake. You will never be able to make someone happy. That is their job. And if they can't or won't do that for themselves, then let them sit in their own misery. It is asking way too much to make others happy and ruin our own lives in the process. Now she sits there sulking. Silence is golden. Let us be rich!
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My mother is 98. She has had almost perfect health all her life. Even now, although she is becoming frail and naturally slowing down and tired, aside from some back pain, she never gets sick and needs no meds. She is in a beautiful independent living facility, with friends, a great meal program and plenty of entertainment (something 75% of the senior population would only dream of being able to afford and enjoy) She complained when she moved there, and is still complaining. She complains about too much food, too cold, soup too thick, etc etc etc. She refuses to accept she needs help so the family looks after her, shopping, wash, cleaning, clothing, emptying garbage, etc not because of her age, but because her dementia is worsening and she no longer remembers or wants to do things, is paranoid, and worst of all negative. She always was negative, but now it is unbearable and it is pulling us all down. She deliberately avoids anything she might find enjoyable. She won't even take a shower, listen to music, and its been 10 years since she has laughed. I swear she lies in bed at night trying to think of something to complain about. If her back hurts, its the fault of a fall (wasn't) if her foot hurts, its my sister's fault for buying her new shoes (she didn't). If she is tired, she blames it on something and talks as if age has singled her out as the only one on earth. Her repetitive complaints are usually something we have gone over at least 200 times over the past five years. I guess at that age its normal to make everything about them, or at least some older people do. We soldier on, knowing there is nothing we can do, nothing will make her happy or smile or enjoy anything. I guess what bothers me is I know I will some day be old and scared to die, (I am now) but I pray I don't turn into her being unhappy for the last 30 years of my life. Yes, I'm scared to age, but she makes it scarier, as if there is nothing left in life to be happy about or enjoy.
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I'm 55 and ever since watching my parents decline and die, I can no longer live in denial...I find it hard not to get stuck thinking negatively about how my best years are behind me and harder times are ahead. But, I AM determined to persevere and make the best of it all. And of course the answer to "why me?" is "Why NOT me...everyobody else gets the same deal, if not worse.." but don't say that. The alternative to suffering the slings and arrows or outrageous aging is to die young and/or suddenly, which everyone also finds pretty unappealing, if not tragic, but probably don't say that either :-). Give the antidepressant a little time to kick in, recognize that aging really can suck, find the silver linings as best you can, and agree that NO, it is not at all easy, but its all we've got. I look at positive role models, like Billy Graham, who is very old and has even lost his sweetheart, but still goes on contributing what he can; I hope I can age half as well myself and not go crazy with self-pity and tortured self-concern, but even at my age have to really watch out for it.
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Vstefans: I just want to share some experiences with you. Maybe they will be of help or not. I don't know. But here it is. We retired at 55 and moved to the Pacific Northwest, immediately moved my parents her and they lived in a little house we built next door to us. I am now 64. My mom passed in Dec 2008 and my dad passed in Sept 2012.

My husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this month and we vacillated over doing something really special......far beyond the going out to dinner routine......something we had long given up since being caretakers for parents and previously didn't do because we were saving to retire.

We went to Maui for a week. Left the chilly PNW climate and experienced something different. We had never been to Maui, so it was new. Good thing. We had never snorkeled, but we learned and that took a few tries, but we learned. We walked along the beach and saw everyone, kids and grown ups and seniors, in the water and we just wanted to go play. Something very new and yet it brought back memories of when we were young; and we felt like kids.

We briefly talked with a woman on the beach. She said, "What is it about a beach that makes a 63 year old man act like a 12 year old?" I don't know, but we felt like 12 year olds. We were not thinking about planning our deaths, we were having way too much FUN to even think of the end. In short, we were being in the moment and loving a chance to learn something new and expand our abilities.

It's so easy to lose yourself to the care of parents and watch your years slip by, but if you can change it up and experience living again, you will be surprised how much your ability to embrace life comes back to you.

Our motto now is "Have snorkel will travel." We are not reckless and realize we are not 25 years old, but we can marvel at seeing a sea turtle and beautiful fish. I think the bottom line is it that it is new.

Sending all who have been through this journey a heartfelt prayer that you will take some time for yourself and just do something new. I had a real hard time after my dad passed away last year. Just couldn't come up for air. The change of pace and doing something different really make me feel so much better. \

I lived my life, prior to retirement in California. When we were in Maui we had some friends that were there at the same time. We had dinner one night and my friend asked me, "Is being in Maui similar to living in California?" I told her it reminded me of when I was 17 years old and went to the beach in San Pedro. It reminded me of Carmel and Monterey also. Her husband said to me, "You know, there is no place in California that is like any of the Hawaiian Islands. They are not at all the same." I said to him, "You are so right. There is no place in California that has all of this combined, but for some reason this seems so very familiar to me. I feel like I have been here and experienced it before." A few days later I realized that what I found familiar was just a sense of freedom. My memories and connection came from my youth when I was not responsible for children or parents. Very early memories, but so special because even though I am now 64, I am free again. It's up to me and my husband to grasp that opportunity and experience that time to be young in an older body.

Just wanted to share this. It was a big surprise to us and I hope you all get to experience it in the future.

Best wishes. Sending you all the white light of live. Cattails
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LOVE this thread. Someone dear to me, after all the stunning, wonderful, Holy Week and Easter services (we're Catholic, so we just finished Lent and got our Alleluias back :-) tried to deflate the happy mood by bringing up a trivial misspoken phrase in the homily and a piece of unverifiable (proably Drudge Report) bit of bad news and I told 'em point blank that was way off base and there was no spoiling the joy of the moment. Uh uh. Our pastor is our age and facing the same issues, and all his messages this week really helped me to see my way clear to embrace life in all its joy, sorrow, and glory. I am feeling A LOT better today even though it started with a migraine. And I'm going to keep the Easter attitude going, with God's help, as I head back to work too. Happy Easter to EVERYONE!!
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I wish I was writing this to give you a good answer to dealing with a negative person, especially, one that includes their outlook on life.

My mom has been a complainer ever since I can remember. She is 87 and taking care of my dad, also 87, who has mild to moderate dementure (but not AZ as we know at this point). They bicker and fight and then she just dumps it all on me because I am now the only person in the world who calls her (except all the doc appt. stuff). I have tried everything from trying to fix the problems (which never work because THERE IS NO SOLUTION TO A COMPLAINER'S COMPLAINTS. Very important! The complaining is the way they communicate. Somehow their adrenaline may have shifted to a bad place in their head and comes out through the mouth! So, now, I just listen and 'YES' her to death and agree with her. If she says, "Your father is so difficult. You have NO idea how hard it is for me." I say, "I hear you, Mom. It seems to have been like this for a while." I just confirm what she is saying so I'm not escalating her need to bicker back and forth with me. Otherwise, I say something more positive and she just tells me, "Well, that's because you have" .... always a better situation that is never as bad as hers. So, I agree with the person who just says back, "Don't want to listen to complaints! Have enough of my own!" AND "I agree with everything you say no matter what it is" answer can keep the elder with not much else to say.

It took me a long time to figure out that I can't fix my Mom's self-descripted negativity nor am I responsible for her or my father's marriage well-being unless it relates to specific things (mostly physical or harm's way). It's still a constant struggle -- thank you for everyone who has helped me by sharing their wisdom.
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All thinking is a habit. Those who are interested in improving their awareness, thinking, habits, probably will at least try. Some people just get so wrapped up in human pursuits they forget their soul has a purpose. It's great when the two can merge. You can't talk someone into being positive if they don't know the difference.
When I read certain people on Aging Care, I see positive, loving people who have suffered, but something in their awareness has caused them to rise to a higher purpose. Sadly, I read others who continue to whine and ride the giant hamster wheel. No matter how many caring posters give good advice, they continue to complain. Can you change them? No. Can they change? Only if they become aware of their negativity, want to and decide to.
Positive thinking is a habit to cultivate. Choosing to be happy, grateful, helpful, pro active, loving, must be practiced. God help us to become aware and practice positive thinking, which will improve the lives of everyone around us. xo
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Dear ChristinaW, I agree with you. I think the entire question of "How can I make someone happy?' or "How can I get someone to think positively?" is ludicrous!
You can't. That's their job. And if you continue to try, that giant sucking sound you hear will be your soul being sucked out of your own limited time on earth. Do not try. Do not listen to the negativity. Don't even care about it. Do something that makes YOU happy and in the process, you will become easier to live with and do more good in this world than all the waste-of-time caring if disgruntled parents are happy. We caregivers have way too much to do to destroy ourselves on this fruitless quest.
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