Parents have lived with me for two years (father has dementia and mother home from rehab). I try my best. My mother is very straightforward and will complain if she doesn't like something. But when I ask her what she wants and how she wants it, she always says "how should I know?" She expects me to be clairvoyant. However, today I brought her a nice tray of breakfast upstairs and she started to complain about this and that. When I tried to ask her about what she wants so I would know the next time she told me to be quiet and not ask too many questions. In front of the speech pathologist and the home health aide my mother said I do wonderful things for her and then a few minutes later she begins to complain about me what I do, what I don't do and that I am not a nice daughter. I was so embarrassed and hurt I had to leave the room. Why didn't she tell this to me this when I asked her?

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This right here is where I'm struggling as a caregiver. I go above and beyond to make sure my gma is comfortable and good like feeding her 3 meals and some snack, manage meds, assist w showers and clothing and sometimes bathroom routine but with her decline she has been skipping out on her essential needs so once I took over she started to say things along the lines of "I'm not a child!" "You demand me to take meds like you're the police" she literally thought me insisting on her taking meds she always reluctant to take so I'm given side eye and when I'm not around or in the other room she would be on the phone talking to whomever would listen. We have already had drama from her stories and I can say that I'm not perfect and yes sometimes I am firm but if you don't set boundaries and say what you will and won't do for your mom is crucial. She will say things to make you feel horrible so she can get her way. I took control of the tp and other paper goods in the house because she uses them as makeshift incontinence pads. I have to remind her of what she needs to do like change pads but no her focus is on why there isn't any tp in the house aka her room. And that we live like poor people all because she no longer has control of tp. I know it won't help her stop the habit but it will minimize the ripped up pieces of tp all around the house. If she starts to criticise about meals again then why dont you insist on her making herself what she wants for just one meal like a sandwich or a fruit cup. So she would feel like she would get what she wants and maybe you can have whatever you want for your meal. I usually cook for our house also and I always hear what is wrong with the food (she has chf and vascular dementia) so foods are not super greasy or salty. She has been eating more sweets which is ok also. We all want to make their lives easier but it will cost us our piece of mind. Please take care of yourself and journal all the times you have felt victimized by her words. Learning about triggers and analyzing your emotions helps you look at it for better self reflection. We aren't defined by what others say about us. Remember that.
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My mother was the Grand Champion of Complainers. She once asked the maintenance person at her apartment complex if he could help her move because her daughter (me) didn’t have time for her. She also told my cousin that we lived in a “barn”. (It was a large, beautiful home and she was jealous of me.) When she and I happened to meet my cousin by surprise one day, he told me he’d gone up and down our street looking for “a barn” but couldn’t find one. Mom tried to tap dance her way out of it.

People like therapists can diagnose their patient’s personalities with amazing accuracy. The therapists know she’s just talking to hear herself talk.

You can’t be everything to everyone. I’d bring her the same breakfast tomorrow and if she complains, tell her neither of you knows what she wants, so until she decides, she will get the same thing, but that’s just me. Provide what she needs, but don’t knock yourself out trying to please her. Some people just aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy.
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