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Is it normal as a caregiver to become frustrated or impatient? I ask my Dad not to move certain things, and he tries to tell me he knows better. As soon as I leave, he ends up eventually moving it may it be right away or the next day. I become frustrated and repeat myself to him, and then I get the cold shoulder, or he walks away. Today I asked him not to walk away while I talked to him and mention how you would like it if someone walked away while you spoke to them and that it was rude. He stopped and listen, but now I feel so utterly guilty for visibly showing my frustration and repeating myself. I always end up apologizing, and it seems he plays on my emotions. I always end up feeling guilty.

Yes it’s normal. I understand the guilt & feeling of shame. Caregiving is draining. In a perfect world family would all take their shifts & the moral responsibility to take care of our own, our parents would be delegated out to several members. However, it seems there is usually only one sibling doing all of the giving.
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Reply to Apeter
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ALL caregivers lose their patience and get frustrated at times(if they're honest). And not just those caring for parents. I would on occasion lose my patience or get frustrated with my husband during the many years I was his caregiver. I too would feel bad afterward and apologize. But really, we're all just human, and we all have our breaking points. It comes with the territory, unfortunately. Just know that you are doing the very best you can, so cut yourself some slack. And when things get to a boiling point, just go out on your back porch and let out a big scream. You'd be amazed how helpful that can be.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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cherokeegrrl54 Dec 1, 2020
Yes and the old standby, scream into a pillow works very well in releasing stress!!! Try it
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Most parents know how to push our buttons...........because they INSTALLED THEM! It's quite normal to feel frustrated & impatient with your father, I am quite sure we ALL do sometimes, because we're all human. If you're going to feel so guilty & apologetic for speaking your mind, the next time he does something irritating, try leaving the room instead of saying anything. Then come back in a little while and see if you still feel the need to address the matter. It may just pass and you won't have to say a single thing.

On the other hand, if your father is acting rude and walking away while you are speaking to him, in my mind, it's perfectly fine for you to call him out on it! Setting down boundaries with someone is necessary, otherwise they can wind up walking all over you until you DO!

Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Being elderly is no excuse for being rude, hurting someone’s feelings, or showing contempt to the caregiver. Your father is wrong and it is your right and obligation to set some boundaries. I received this advice from the practical nurse helping my mother and also from another professional, a psychiatrist I needed to see because of guilt feelings for being human to her. Your Dad is not and never was perfect so drop the guilt feelings or your relationship will suffer and so will you. As caregiver you become the parent whether your Dad accepts it or not. The ending to my experience with my mother pushing my buttons was this and put simply I no longer felt any guilt because I was the one who ended up in the psychiatric ward of the hospital with my mother not allowed to visit me. Start today being the grown up in this relationship or you will regret it long after your Dad has expired. If you keep feeling guilty you will be emotionally crippled for the rest of your life. In an effort to protect myself from my mother I changed my telephone number so she could not contact me which she did very often. I had to put some time and distance between us and she survived just fine, in fact, she fared better than I did! I did all of this with professional help from people who had my best interests at heart as I tried to help my mother. Wise up, my dear, get a thicker
skin and perhaps your Dad will start to show some respect. Stop apologizing for being human. Does he apologize to you for hurting your feelings. I am 81 years old, been married for 51 years, and I feel so much hate for my mother even though she has been gone for over 20 years. But I sleep like a baby with absolutely no guilt where she is concerned. Please, please save your self from experiencing what I did. Start now, today. You are no longer the child in this relationship!!!
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Reply to Ladyrosalind
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silvermoon7 Dec 3, 2020
If her parent has dementia then they cant apologise for hurting their childs feelings. Dementia strips a person from feeling empathy or meaningful understanding. Our parent is still there. they still love us and most likely would be devastated if they could understand how much their behaviour was hurting their child. Everyone loses their temper. We are all only human. Although make up quickly though and never leave on an argument. Tell your parent you love them everyday and have no regrets
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My mom has Alzheimer's and is bedridden requiring round the clock care. Sometimes she is not very cooperative, won't eat or take her meds...... doesn't want me to change her diapers or reposition her....it frustrates me and makes sad. I am the only one helping her and devoting my time to ensure she is safe, happy and healthy but she cries and acts like I'm rying to hurt her. Occassionally I get angry and have to remind myself not to take it personally. She doesn't know what she's doing, doesn't know who I am. In her mind she is fine, doesn't need help, wear diapers etc and here is some stranger giving her pills when she's not sick, trying to take off her underwear, turning her left and right .....pressure sores are not on her mind. I ask myself would I take pills from a stranger.... what would I do if a stranger tried to remove my clothing/underwear, lied and told me I was wearing diapers when I'm not....I probably wouldn't be very cooperative or agreeable either (smile). Putting myself in her shoes and seeing things how she sees them with her current state of mind, helps me to be less angry more compassionate and understanding. She's not trying to hurt me. Mind you....occasionally when the stress builds up I crack and say something out of anger then end up feeling like an awful person wondering how I'd feel if those were my last words to her. I think the trick is to not take what they do/say personally and put yourself in their shoes, look at things through their eyes.
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Helenn Dec 3, 2020
You’re response is right on ... as caregivers we need to be able to imagine how our loved ones with dementia feel !!!!
putting ourselves in their shoes ... loss of control of their bodies .. thoughts... forgetting everything...all the confusion...the frustration and humiliation...easy to understand why they get angry depressed and sad.
walk a mile ......shoes
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Yes! And I thank you for asking the question; reading the title of your post helps me feel not alone. The pressure to be the calm and sane one in the face of all the stress and frequent mistreatment is grinding.

Speaking of frustration, you might like this story; I’m in the midst of moving mom to AL. Many hours of work, many people helping my mom, etc...my mom can be a good woman ( which cues my guilt honestly )but she also does what I call ‘practicing ingratitude’ daily. After myself and others busting our arses so hard for her I’m just over it. She got on this kick that she’s being moved to a basement so finally I snapped, “ Nope! Not a basement! You’re being sent to a DUNGEON!” Then I thought, “ Uh oh there goes my mouth”, but she actually got the joke and laughed!

You’re all right and we’re all doing what we can...
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Reply to Madisoncuckoo7
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Yes. Yes. Yes. why wouldn’t you? Your life role has changed, you have grief for your losses and for your parent’s decline.

I sanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. You may need to adjust your expectations or remove items for awhile depending on the situation.

Remember, he sees you as his child, not an authority figure. You will have to make things seem as his idea if you want to have the possibility of him changing his behavior.
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Reply to GAMtns
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“.....at times....”? How about almost constantly?

“Guilt” is SO USELESS. It doesn’t help us do better or even do something differently. It just SITS there, pinching and kicking us, while our LOs keep doing what THEY DO, seeming not to feel guilty themselves, at all.

Let it go, and if you’re doing the best you can with the concern you feel for him, don’t bother to ruminate on it.

Can you simplify, or organize or put away or fasten down what he moves that you don’t want moved, so that the issue doesn’t become a guilt producer?

Whatever the situation is, if you can maneuver it before you wind up having to confront him, it’s a win-win for you.
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Reply to AnnReid
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Operator Nov 29, 2020
Thank you.
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What would be MOST helpful on these posts nowadays would be 2 things:

1. A BLOCK feature to block annoying users who love to lay on the guilt trips; and
2. A DELETE feature so the OP could remove certain comments permanently
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NeedHelpWithMom Dec 3, 2020
Love your style, Lea! Great suggestions!!!
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Is it normal to become impatient with your parents? Are you kidding? Haven't you read the posts on this site?

MOST of us are frustrated and impatient. That's why we vent here. If you need an understanding group of caregivers who are going through what you are going through, then consider joining the Alzheimer's/Dementia Caregiver's Support Group on Facebook. You will find plenty of frustrated and impatient people who will listen and support you.
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