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I am taking care of my Mother who broke her hip a few months ago she is 86, and also my husband who has dementia and cancer. Windytown you say your mother is in grief, from the sound of your letter you are also in deep grief for your father. You have my heart felt condolences for you have not only your grief to cope with but also your mother with her health issues , and when a new person come to live in our home that whole family structure changes. It's a very very hard thing you are doing and like yourself I love Jesus who died for me and I keep praying. I keep thinking the reason I'm still here and my mother and husband is still here is because we have not finished our work here :) I sometimes have to look at taking care of my husband and Mother as a job and detach myself from it. It's not easy but there is not much choice it's either that or walk around depressed and angry and frustrated. I often have to say to my mother, I'm sorry mom but I can not listen to all this negative stuff it depresses me to no end and will make me sick and I walk away. Anyway know that you are not alone and that you are doing the best you can . Take care Em.
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I moved my Mom up with me a 1/2 yr now & wondered too why is everything not as good as where she was, or everybody is a crook, etc. So now I'm realizing it's part of getting old. I was an abused child who played the part of the rodeo cowboy & always rode in to save her. All my life I would be told this or that from friends about how she was doing, only to drop everything & return for the rescue. Now it's hard to delineate what to rescue her from. For the first time in my life I've begun to talk back to her & it feels good. I worry that I might say something that hurts her, but at least I'm connecting to my feelings. So perhaps compartmentalising is a good thing. She's like te woman at work who gets under your skin...but you "put up" with it & have a nice life outside that framework. Stay connected & positive with your family & leave her at home while you have fun. Remember to smile.
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My elderly dad saves up his worst behavior for me alone. When he can find alone in the house, he will unleash all his negativity. A non-stop tirade about everything he dislikes. I now avoid situations where we might be alone, which has resulted in tirades about how I never spend any time with him. You just can't win. I get told to develop a tougher skin, but what really helps is to take a break. Get out and spend time away from it all. I have a friend that is also caring for her dad and we call each other. Sometimes it is good to have a laugh with someone who understands.
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3pinkrose, Wow! I am sorry the way she treat your Father n with him having health problems too. It sounded like you had a very caring n loving Father. I like your tip about Not letting them bring us down n being positive no matter how small. I try each new day with a positive mindset. I have the mnl with me 24/7 living with us since last yr n it can be challenging with her sometimes. She was diagnosed with AD two yrs ago. I just keep learning as I go. ; )
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So, so many great comments here; and yes there are quite a few of us dealing with the doom and gloom personalities. Nothing will ever change it. My mother is in a facility. She was waited on by my poor, sickly father for years while she sucked the life out of him, just so she could have her way and make him drive her when she wanted to go someplace. Never mind that he was exhausted and ill, and kept everything to himself. Now she misses him terribly, even though during some of her rants, she locked him out of the house and he had to break the screen to get in. And this was at the age of 85.

She also turned away her entire family, except for me due to her doom and gloom outlook. So, looking at the glass half empty, etc. is a choice. Some, like my mother have mental health problems as well; but many down sides to her life are her doing. This is nothing we can do, but not allow them to bring us down with them. If they want to be miserable, then fine, be miserable. And many of us choose being positive and looking at the good in life, no matter how small it is. Take care.
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There is another book for those dealing with a love one that has Alzheimer's Disease or Dementa. It has helped me alot on several topics n a few issues that I have been dealing with my negative, agressive n denial mnl. The book, The 36-Hour Day by Nancy Mace & Peter Rabins n you may be able to get a copy free from your local Alzheimer's organization. www. alz.org

I sometimes will try to figure out why she being negative n offer solution n I will try second time n after that, well the third time strike-out nothing going work for that day so, I find something to release me from the negativity n give mnl time to settle down somewhat. For instance, try using headphones n listen to music, take a time-out n go into your bedroom for about 15 mints, try yoga if possible or games or vent away on this board. Try to find something that will work for you n hang in there n breathe.
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Thanks, a 5 star recommendation is good enough for me.
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It's by Judy Orloff. since I haven't read it yet, I can't recommend it. But it did get 5 stars on Amazon.
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keepontryin - great answer - the negativity is toxic at times and I totally agree with how they suck the life out of you and can leave you exhausted and completely drained. The only alternative is to tune them out. There are lot of elderly out there like this; but, there are also some extremely wonderful people too who take each day as a gift and never complain. My father was one of them as an aunt who is 98 - she is such a positive role model and she has had her share of bad health including going blind with macular degeneration. My poor father had bad health problems too, but never complained. The constant complaining about old age, etc. is a choice for many elderly; and even if they live with us, we can turn a deaf ear or simply leave the room.

Positive energy is palpable and negative energy is destructive. If the elderly choose to be negative because they don't like the changes or feel sorry for themselves - that is their choice. My mother can be so negative most of the time that my children do not even want to visit her anymore. I've always tried to emulate my father's way of living - deal with what comes your way and don't drag others down with you just because you don't like how it has turned out either healthwise or other. I'm going to look into that book called "Positive Energy" as I love anything on that topic. Take care.
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Negative people are like human black holes that suck the life out of you. After a visit with my Mom I feel exhausted and completely drained.

Be strong and try to remain positive. I just tune it out most of the time. But the I get accused of not paying attention!

On my things to read list is a book called "Positive Energy"

Until then a glass of wine and a good talk with my husband seems to help.
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Thank you for your posts. Wow not the only one - not realizing that there are more of us than ever. Well I can say that things are getting better. I decided to get a home healthcare nurse to take care of mom while I go away. I had to go to a funeral unexpectedly and was unsure to leave my mom but it really worked out well. She even like the CNA. If you have never done this, please do it for yourself. A big weight has been lifted and she has someone that she can speak to. Good luck to all and than you for your posts and uplifting!
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Ohh don't I know this story! Funny but not so funny, my mom is so pre-occupied with her bowel movements that it is a running joke in the family...and some friends. But like meanmancare wrote if they were negative before, they becomes 3x's (or more) negative now. My Massage Therapist told me this and it's the truth for me.

Do what you can, when you can and sleep knowing that no matter what, even if your mom gets happy for a day, the next day ole negativity will likey be leading her around.

I've had no-non sence talks with my mom about her constant gripping, barking, and negativity, although she has a few relapses into her old ways, I must say our talks helped us a lot. But GESH!!! how do people live like that? That's not living to me, that's exsiting.
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Hi guys, I feel your pain. All I can say is be strong for you and for them. I think we should still give our best when taking care of our parents. If it still bothers you, why not talk with them and exhaust them how you feel. (not too harsh of course).
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They're all negative. If nothing was ever good enough then its gonna be 3x as not good enough now. My ingrateful prick asked my mom for a divorce on her deathbed cuz "he cudnt go on living like this". Thats after he made her take her can of oxygen on the NYC bus to the supermarket to shlep 10# of his favorite potatoes - IDAHO - cuz they were on sale - then go to the other store - again on the city bus - to get the sale items at that store. Oxygen, a gallon of milk, 5 cans of soup, 10# of potatoes (she got in trouble for buying Idaho RUSSET instead of plain Idaho - J.C. they're ALL IDAHO potatoes - all on 3 bus rides and then got yelled at for being "wrong". He said "they couldn't afford a car". After she signed the do not resuccitate because of the request for the divorce on the hospital deathbed, she died at 60. Six months later, he bought a fully loaded Camry, and bought garage space because his new girlfriend (probably was seeing her when mom was still alive ) wanted a new car.
And now I'm his caretaker, why??? Because it's the right thing to do, and MY son is watching. So hang in there, negativity abounds, you cant do anything right, get used to it. Just know you're doing the right thing and you can go to your final resing place knowing you were better than they were
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I am so tired of hearing about my mom's bowel movements, or lack thereof. She's also extremely negative, always has been and it's worse since she moved in with me and my husband and son.

I have a huge heap of understanding for her. She lost her husband, my dad, at Christmas, and has been uprooted to another state. Sure, she is grieving, but nothing here is as good as it was at home. ***Nothing**** She even told me her philosophy is not to expect anything out of life and that change is always for the worse.

I happen to embrace change because that is the nature of life. Grab the bull by the horns. and see what you can discover. That was my dad's attitude as well. He was a great man with a true love of life. For his 60th birthday he rode his bike across the state of South Dakota by himself, "just to do it." He made it in three days.

Everything in life was good, even the challenges, to him. To my mother, everything in life stinks and she just muddles through it, surviving I guess. There is no joy for her at all. She uses a walker and refuses to EVER leave the house.

So yes, the negativity does wear me down. My only solution is to walk away. Don't let them drag you into their negative mindset. It's extremely easy for me to fall into that if I let it. I guess I just tell myself I'm in control of my own emotions. She did something that really ticked me off when my dad was dying in hospice. She promised him she would visit him to say goodbye. Her pride (fear, rejection of using a wheelchair, transport, etc.) She refused to go out of her comfort zone to visit him. We had a knockdown verbal fight. I got her there and they had some time together, but in retrospect, she's pretty ticked off he died first.

Lovely.

I am not happy with this situation. I have strong faith in Jesus, though I'm not a church-going person. I'm not big on organized religion.

So, no, I have no answers for you. I just know that this too will pass. Everything in this life has an "end date".

I'm struggling with the very same issues. It's a pain in the rear end some days, (well, most days)

Suzie - Hang in there!
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