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My Mom complains all the time to me, she is 85 and had Dementia.

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My mom doesn't complain but I know she isn't happy, at 97, mostly blind, deaf and incontinent how could she be. I think they reach a point where happiness needs to be snatched up in little moments, the rest is just plain existence. Says a lot about growing old today, doesn't it :(
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Cathy... "happy" is a bit of an ask. For one thing your mother has things to complain about, like being 85 and the world not making any sense any more; and for another with her dementia she's not really in charge of what she's saying anyway. All you can do is your best.

If you're thinking that she might be "happier" in a facility, forget it - she won't be unhappier, it just won't change her reality. But would it make *you* happier? Because that matters too, you know.
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Pam, that reminded of the coal bin my parents had in their house in the city, and the big old scary furnace where my parents had to shoveling coal into it to keep the heat going. My parents told me I was terrified every time the coal truck would come and dump the coal into the bin, it made such a large deafening sound. To this day, I can't deal with loud noises :P
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My father was unhappy about being 80. There are some things you just cannot fix. You just remind them that this is not the Great Depression; she has a home and food on the table. When she brings up the "good old days" tell her they are NOW and ask her if she wants to back to shoveling coal.
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We need to realize that when one gets up in age then tend to become grumpy.

When you think about it, most elders cannot hop into the car and drive to go shopping on their own. They have issues with walking, with seeing, with hearing, and staying awake to watch their favorite programs.

Food doesn't taste the same as elder taste buds disappear except for very sweet items.

And once the elder is of advance age, most of their friends have either moved away or have passed on.

Don't get me wrong, elders can be happy. I know my Dad was much happier once he moved to senior living and being around people of his own generation. And he grinned from ear to ear when his private caregiver came in as she had the same sense of humor, and she was able to get him to go for walks and join in some the activities.
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