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I am an avid cyclist and live with my elderly mother. When I am already in the process of taking a shower, or getting dressed in my biking attire, or about to head out on a ride. It somehow triggers her to want me to do something that necessitates my getting off my bike. Groceries not included, today I told her what she wants(a movable plant/tree today) wouldn't cause the Stock Market to crash, the house to burn down, the car to fall apart, or the heat to go out. I moved the plant after I had come back and changed. Because the plant would have ripped my biking attire. Had I moved the plant, when she wanted.

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Years ago, my MIL ended up in the hospital because she had passed out at home. We asked, and the doctor asked what she had been doing that day. "Nothing unusual". She asked me to go to her apartment and get some bills she had written out that needed to be mailed.

When I got there, i saw atop her dr table a pile of wooden slats, the type used to make wooded panelling in a room. Several bundles, must have weighed 50 lbs...in a Home Depot bag. I went back to the hispital and asked about them. " oh yes, i brought them home yesterday. Had to walk with them to the busstop (three blocks), but i got them fine. (This was in July, 90 degrees out, she's 78 with copd. Couldn't see that there might be a connection between the exertion and the hospitalization.

We set her up with a car service account to be used for trips like this.
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Chris, your mother moving the bookcase is a bit of a worry.

I wondered if it might be an idea to give her a firm commitment of when whatever she wants doing will get done. But actually, if she's started doing stuff like that, I'm not sure how much longer you can expect reasoned discussion to work.

I hate to say it, but it could be that "unreasonable" no longer applies. Don't expect her to be reasonable if she's passing, or has passed, the point of being capable of reason.
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Dustien, I have been. I will decide if I agree if her demand is reasonable.

freqflyer, Yes, It is exasperating. Especially when she tries to guilt me into doing something.

Carla, Exactly!

windytown, Yes they are.

CaringRN, She needs to make a list of things she needs done. But one of them is a reminder to make a list of the things she needs done.
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windy, when my mom lived with us for 3 yrs (3 YEARS!), structured schedule was not the word! I guess it helped that back then she was an extreme nightowl, who often stayed up until 5am - once saw a mountain lion on top of our 6'x10' dog cage (which had 3 kittens in a large cage inside the big dog cage) trying to reach down and get thru the chain link; for some reason, she never thought to tell us until about a year later, when I put one of those cats out in the cage alone and he screamed until I gave up and took him in - no wonder, who knew? (she did). The nightowl thing bugged my husband no end because he had to be somewhat quiet, but at least she wasn't demanding service when she was asleep most of the day....
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mally1, It does get better, definitely. When mom lived with us I was on call 24/7 and up before dawn as that was her choice, certainly not mine. It's too long of a story to tell on this thread. Basically she wanted to run our household according to her structured schedule.

So yes, there is freedom in that aspect. Being able to sleep according to your own needs is a blessing.

AL has been positive on my end. On my mom's not so much. When I stepped back and looked at the situation, she was not happy here with me and complained about everything too. There is no pleasing her. I can't turn back time 20 years when she was happy at home with my dad. (She complained all the time then as well. :()

No AL is perfect which is why we have to be vigilant for our loved ones. My mom just won't rely on them for simple things which drives my batty.
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windy, you mean it doesn't get better if they go to AL? Aaargh.....
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Mally, she is putting the guilt twist in when she calls someone else. When my mother does something like this, it makes me feel like the terrible daughter in the eyes of the world. I wonder if the other person is wondering why I didn't do it for my poor sweet mother. If they only knew. :)
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Absolutely! It takes all day long to run errands with her, go over the list, asking repeatedly if she needs to stop anywhere else, ect, ect. Get ready to go home & hear YOU forgot to get me this & I'm completely run out. UGH!😖
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My mom in AL gets upset when she runs out of Kleenex on her tray and has to ask a caregiver to get a new one out of the closet. "I had to ask one of the girls!". Well, good for you mom. I'm the workhorse that keeps her 100 demands of stuff stocked every week. It's sooo frustrating that they are so insular.
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Carla and Jessie; well, you made me laugh! If I say no to my mom, she calls up someone else (7pm and dark out) and pays them to do it, but at least I didn't have to; isn't that awful?
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Carla, what you wrote made me think of some of my mother's emergencies. My favorite one is when I've gone to the grocery store and am carrying in 10-15 bags of groceries. When I'm loaded down and walking in the door, she says something like "I need some gum. I'm out." I know she has dementia, but she does this so often I think she gets some perverse pleasure in it. If I tell her she can do without gum until the next time I go, she'll pitch a fit. Gum to my mother is like cigarettes to a smoker. She has to have it.

Another one she does is her glaucoma eye drops. She'll come in the room and ask me if I have more Lumigan. I'll tell her I gave her a new bottle 2 days ago, so it's around somewhere. Then she yells "I can't find it and I have to have it. You need to go to the drugstore." So I go in the living room and there it is, setting on the table. If it had been a snake...

It's terrible when independence, memory, and vision are lost. It puts a lot of little things into the lap of the caregiver. It may not be hard work like digging ditches, but it is mentally grueling.
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I think this must be a common trait among the elderly. My mother also has no sense of the urgency of something - if she thinks of something, it becomes urgent at that moment. And she will manipulate to get you to go along with it, such as exaggerating the urgency. One time, the battery in her watch ran out, and she wanted to be taken to the store that day even though she had another watch that was working perfectly. A few days ago, she called me because her TV wasn't working. Since it was early evening and that's when all her shows come on, I felt bad and drove right over (half an hour drive). By the time I got there, it was fixed. Her housemate had come in and realized that my mother had clicked the wrong input on the remote so it wasn't ;picking up the signal from the cable. I asked her why she called me to begin with and she said her housemate wasn't home. Yes, but she came back not 10 minutes later. I told Mom: From now on, make sure it's something that your housemate has tried to fix before dragging me over her.

In addition to wanting everything immediately, I think they lose all sense of other people's time or convenience. My mother would think nothing of calling me up at 8 pm on a Friday night saying "I took my sheets off the bed to wash them - can you come over right now and make up my bed for me?" (That was when she could still do her own laundry but not make her bed). Like everybody said, you have to set boundaries. And if she backs you into something, tell her than next time, you want to know in advance or be asked to set a time that works with your schedule. It's thoughtlessness more than anything, combined with a false sense of urgency that comes from god knows where as the person ages.
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Chris, that reminded me of the times that my late parents had a post office box at the Post Office itself, instead of using a perfectly good mailbox at the end of their driveway. My folks had a mail theft back in the 1970's and have used a box ever since. And Mom thought the mailman was reading her magazines.

My folks use to go to the post office every day to pick up mail, and when they stopped driving they expected me to do the same. Or as Dad would say "if you are driving by the post office could you get our mail?".... I rarely if ever was on that side of town but was guilt into being their personal mailman.

Eventually whittled it down pickup to once a week, unless mail delivery of prescription meds were coming in, they wanted me to check twice a day :P Oh joy, especially during blizzards.

Then I said "enough was enough", use the driveway mailbox for ALL mail. But Mom said "if you had a post office box we would pick up your mail for you".... the matter is I wouldn't have a post office box to begin with.... [sign]

Something that sounded so simple became so demanding.
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You asked.... "Anyone with elderly parents who make unreasonable demands?"

Yes, most of us I'd say. You need to take all the other poster's advice and not give into her. Nip it in the bud now, but expect it to get worse as she get's older. You'll have to stay on top of balancing your need to have a life with her need of you.
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BarbBrooklyn, I definitely agree.

Mally1, My mother even tried moving a tall bookcase while I was out on my bike a week ago. It fell over on top of her. When I found out that she did it because I was not available. I told her, she should have waited.

JessieBelle, IF I had been wearing just gym shorts, and a t-shirt, I wouldn't have had a problem. But, When I am riding my (road)racing bike. I am wearing my bike helmet, biking sunglasses, biking gloves, racing bike shorts w/racing jersey(they are a set)my hippack with my ID. I also wear vekcrove ID bracelets. When I did move the plant, if I had not changed when I got back. All my biking stuff could have been damaged irreparably, if I tripped, or the pointy edges scraped my clothes somehow.
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Chris, it sounds like you handled it well. She got her wish, but it was on your schedule. I don't know if it affected the stock market or the structure of your home, but it did keep you from tearing your attire. Besides, who wants to move a tree before they go riding?

Nice to be able to take back some control in a small way.
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Barb is so right..... I would be spinning in circles if I did all the stuff my mom wants me to do for her - EXACTLY the way she wants it and WHEN. She no longer lives with us (3 yrs was more than enough for all three of us), and that helps; now I've been learning to say "no", "later", and "no, but I can do this". She doesn't like it much, but IS learning - what else can she do?
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Chris, if you are going to live with your mom, you need to avois the trap of thinking that you need to do everything she asks you, when she asks you to,

It's about setting boundaries. It's being able to say " I'll do it when I get back". And sticking to it, even if she has a meltdown.
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