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I am caring for my 93 year old mother solo in an apartment we share but I have been caring for her many years. She has mild dementia and I am wondering if this is the reason she ignores me if I tell her I'm not feeling well and that she will have to wait a while longer for me to wait on her. She won't acknowledge my feelings and will come back at me with "my back hurts" or "I don't feel good either." You would think out of human compassion, she would at least acknowledge that I'm not well and patiently wait for me to help her. Some days I feel so unappreciated but I am trying to overlook her flaws and attribute it to her dementia. Is this apathetic attitude age related or am I too sensitive?

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Yes, they lose empathy. Like said, they become like small children who want their needs met now. I had a shower put in my 1/2 bath for Mom by a friend of the family. He did a really nice job. She showed no appreciation. I don't think she even understood it was all done for her. That's what is so hard with caregiving for a person with a Dementia. They can't appreciate anything you do or give up for them.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I think that it might be usual because the roles have shifted so drastically. Now they aren't the mothers who cared for us. Rather they need the care. Even as adults we could count on mom and/or dad to be there for at least running our troubles through their ears. I think that as they decline they get frightened and the fear takes over. My mom went through that selfishness for a couple of years, but is more compassionate now to those around her, even to me. She has started to ask about my life and give me advice again. Her advice of course has no relation to reality, but it is sweet and makes my heart melt that she's started caring about me again. It's shocking at first to recognize their inability to notice our concerns. I hope she eventually returns to being sympathetic.
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Reply to ArtistDaughter
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Dementia seems to me to be almost like a form of autism. The dementia sufferer's world narrows down to: "it's all about me," "if it doesn't affect me personally, I don't care," and "my needs come first, then maybe someone else's." Doesn't matter whether the person had that attitude before dementia set in or not. Your mother likely still cares about your feelings and health but feels if she voices concern, you might expect her to do something and she doesn't really know what to do.
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Reply to lablover64
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People are living so much longer it seems! The children are caring for their parents for a LONG time. I really believe this is hard on parents and children.

I am sure deep down most parents don’t want to burden their children, just like children deep down want to care for their parents but it goes on for so long that we burn out as caregivers and they give up from feeling helpless, not the healthy independent people they once were. As I said, hard for both involved, caregiver and parents or any loved one.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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cwille,

That’s a fairy accurate description of what I have seen at times. It bothered me so much that I saw myself changing but at the same time denying I was changing. I became very resentful of my fate. I was depressed about not having my freedom anymore.

I sometimes feel like my mom can’t understand how I feel and I absolutely know that I can’t possibly understand how she feels. I can’t imagine how it feels to be 93 with Parkinson’s disease. Then my empathy for her returns and the bitterness eases up. (which I get ashamed of) leaves. It’s complicated. No one really understands unless they have been in our shoes.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Often at some point their own wants and needs become all they can focus on, they become like a small child who hasn't yet learned empathy - I remember referring to my mother as a giant suck-hole of need and I began to believe that this self centred person must be her true self and everything positive about her had all been a sham; it's hard.
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Reply to cwillie
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