No matter how much my partner and I do for my Mum, it seems like it's never enough. She is in a care home and has some mental health issues and her mobility is limited. She doesn't have Dementia. She's asks for things every time we visit, which is 4 times a week. We are both shift workers, and I am presently recovering from leg surgery with an infection in the wound. Also having physical therapy for the other ankle and my back, so my own mobility at the moment is not great. When we bring her the things she's asked for...we don't get any sign of gratefulness. No thank you, nothing. She admits that she only cares what's happening with her. I'm finding myself not wanting to visit her and I feel guilty.

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Why not tell her no or address her attitude?

If she doesn't have dementia then you can tell her that you are not willing to do anything for her until she starts expressing gratitude.

Having guilt isn't a gage whether you are a good person or decent. It means that you feel like you are doing something wrong. Setting boundaries and enforcing them is acceptable and important for your wellbeing.

If your mom isn't willing to show gratitude or appreciation then it is okay to not comply with her demands. You are a grown up and you can make your own choices.

By the way, your situation is all to common. Parents thinking that their adult offspring have some obligation to jump through hoops. Nope!
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lealonnie1 Jul 14, 2019
"By the way, your situation is all to common. Parents thinking that their adult offspring have some obligation to jump through hoops. Nope!" This is EXACTLY what we're forced to contend with ALL the time on this site! Those martyred saints who jump through fiery hoops 24/7 for their folks and feel the need to pat themselves on the back for it all the time, reminding US of what WE are doing 'wrong'. Thanks for the reminder!
I think THE hardest thing EVER is to accept what 'is' instead of what we'd like things or people to be. Your mother is what she is.......ungrateful and self-centered, just like mine. We can never change that fact, so we have to accept it. Cut down your visits to once or twice a week and get rid of the 'guilt'. Guilt is telling you that you're doing something 'wrong'.........what exactly are you doing wrong by preserving your own sanity? Since nothing you do is good enough ANYWAY, stop trying so hard! Set down some new rules and boundaries, and then stick TO them, like glue. I will see you on thus-and-such a day(s) mother, as my schedule does not permit more frequent visits. Please keep a list of what you need & I'll do my best to see that your needs are met.
The end.
It's what I do with my own mother, it preserves MY sanity, and she's no worse the wear for it. The end of life process can go on for many, many years, and things tend to get worse & worse with the passage of time. It's time to think about YOUR needs now, and not just your mom's. I read somewhere that 40% of caregivers wind up passing BEFORE their elderly loved ones.
Best of luck!
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I would cut down your own visits to what is now reasonable, perhaps twice a week while you feel up to it. I suggest you stop hoping for a miracle that changes your suffering Mom who is not grateful into a happy, grateful person. I suggest now that you take care of yourself, and be as decent as you are able without sacrificing your own lives and you own health; you have a window of time yourselves. The long slow slide at the end is not pretty, and it will be here before you know it. You say you feel guilt? Why? Because you are not a martyred Saint shot through with arrows yet? Trust me, only decent people feel guilt. Not all things in life are happy, not all people are deserving of our kindness, not everything can be fixed. Please begin to think about yourself. You will be drained completely and will have nothing whatsoever left to give if you do not put yourself first. I am so sorry this is the outcome, but not everything has an answer and the end of life is not about happiness.
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I suggest you discuss this with her care givers so they can maybe involve her in more activities or give her more attention. From what you say it seems she might be depressed. It's hard when those we've had loving relationships with turn in on themselves and don't offer emotional support for our own problems or seem grateful for our existence, especially when we do so much for them. It helps to remember that they are actually not capable of the responses we once got from them. The relationship is changed and we have to change our expectations.
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