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My dad was the nicest, polite gentleman I knew, but lately he is a pig when eating. Has to talk while his mouth us crammed full of food, picks at crumbs on his shirt and shovels them into his mouth and smacks his food or his drink and it is making me crazy! Also spits particles of food out after he eats jus t randomly.

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Oh give us a break, Rosie - you think we *aren't* thankful for our parents still being here? Of course we are. But every caregiver needs to blow off steam now and then, and that's what this site is for. Take your judgemental self elsewhere if you can't deal with the harsh world of caregiving and the resultant venting that occurs from time to time. The loss of manners by a parent is extremely jarring to a new caregiver when they first encounter it. There's nothing wrong with venting about it or asking for advice.

A "rose" by any other name......think about it folks.....
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Sorry, learningpeace. Just because I cannot always tolerate my mother's table manners (or lack of verbal filtering) doesn't mean I treat her with disrespect. Yes, it is hard to watch a previously fastidious parent decline. Yes, their behavior in public can be embarrassing and Mimijazz has come up with an excellent solution to defuse potential problems. I think this forum is great as it gives us all a place to vent and compare notes, and realize we are not alone in this difficult journey. Thanks to all who contribute.
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learningpeace - Just an idea; my brother and I, who both take care of our mother with AD, always hand a paper to the receptionist at the Dr.'s offices for the doctor with our opinions and concerns on it. Mom doesn't have to have us talk in front of her, and the Doc can just address our concerns during the course of the appointment. Works for us!
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Unfortunately, as caregivers, our sensitivities and etiquette preferences are no longer paramount. We must adjust to our loved one's altered realities. There is no malice in their actions. It's tough not to revert to our 10-year-old selves when dealing with our parents' behaviors. Now, the roles are reversed. The major difference is that a child learns acceptable behavior after being corrected by a parent; the parent with dementia never learns no matter how many times you repeat yourself. It only causes friction and frustration for both of you if you try to correct the table manners. We have to stop being embarrassed by our parent's/spouse's behavior and learn to react differently. I have begun handing a card to receptionists, nurses and diners at the next table in a restaurant thanking them for their patience and understanding regarding my husband's Alzheimer's. It immediately defuses any uncomfortable scenes.
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Right on GG... you are so correct. We caretakers don't have many safe places to vent or complain freely! In fact, I just realized, I only have one person, my husband, that I can talk to when I'm most overwhelmed and discouraged with all my mother puts me through... but I share VERY LITTLE, trying protect him from having to hear what I really feel like or what I had to put up with - again - today... or yesterday - or last week/month/year.. So, you're so right... This is a wonderful place for folks to feel safe to speak openly! I apologize for not understanding.. I am still... learning...
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learningpeace, some of the threads that we have here are more raw than other threads. Many of the people here care for people who have dementia, which is very trying. The typical day is suppressing all feelings of despair and depression, going about doing what needs to be done. It helps to talk about feelings here and to perhaps share a laugh. Some people are more angry with their parents than others, and it is totally okay to vent on this group. Many of the parents here could have starred in Mommie Dearest. I am amazed that they had children who are still willing to care for them. I have the deepest respect, and if they want to get on and talk, it is okay with me. And if we can leave the group after laughing a bit, that is even better.

There are many good threads here about care and many people who had excellent parents. I hope you will find the threads that answer your own needs and the people who you would like to follow. The group is a diverse one. Threads about manners, pooping, and venting are ones you might want to avoid. They tend to be a bit more raw about feelings, so you may find them distasteful and not useful to you.
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I think that it is great we can post any topic about care giving here. I have no one to talk to, am having a h*ll of a time finding a counselor and can't afford one since I gave up my job to care for dad and often we can't get to a counselor if we needed to. I think we should all just listen to each other and offer support or at the very least a hug and a "you're doing a great job!".
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Thanks everyone. Good advice and many situations worse than mine. I will really try harder to be nice and learn to let the little things go. Guess I am really venting also about my sister who is Too Busy to come visit dad or help me for a week so I can pack my house and move in permanently to care for dad. Thanks for listening.
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The other issue at play here are the huge number of dysfunctional families (read the dysfunctional family thread for more info on that). Many of us grew up in abusive homes and are now caring for the very ones who perpetrated the abuse on us - sometimes it's by our own choice, sometimes it's because no one else will do it and we're pretty much forced to, because we grew up to be responsible, caring adults, despite our parents' best efforts to derail us through the years.

So before you go saying things like "Maybe your parents were "terrible parents" and never taught you how to be kind, graceful or compassionate in the face of great difficulty?", you might want to stop and think. Many of us *did* have "terrible parents" - in ways you probably can't even begin to imagine.

And yes...I know...I'm feeding the troll.
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I would be in the loony house if it weren't for this website and the community. I found it just in the nick of time last year. I have learned so much, made some great connections, and the caregiver stories always help. I either learn something new or I get a lesson on "it can always be worse". There are topic specific areas of the site, and some real specialty threads that I find myself into the most.
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