I don't often ask this, but remind me: what is the point of trying to keep my Mom happy and occupied?

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I admit I am whining, but it has been a bruising day winding up to a really demoralising dinner. Mother is going to respite care for a week tomorrow. I was trying to psych her up ready to have a good time, by discussing what she likes doing or might like to try. Nothing, apparently. So what used she to like? She'd 'have to think about that.' It emerges that her memory of not just recent but past times in general extends to one daughter (out of four children, not including me, "the housekeeper") and one granddaughter (out seven g/children, and she's been living with us for the last six weeks). Since January 1st, she's attended her sister's funeral, her grandson's wedding, two major birthday parties, five book club meetings and a variety of social occasions. She remembers not one. Nothing. She says "it's been a nice peaceful time."

So, remind me, all this effort to keep her active and engaged is… for what? How is she benefitting? What's WRONG with letting her melt slowly into her recliner if that's really what she wants?

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CM,I agree with Jeanette, however I would like to add that you have again served us well, even with the whining. Now I won't feel as guilty when I get frustrated with mom because I see that even the best among us can have a lousy day!
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CM I don't know how I missed your question... But if it's any consolation I stopped making my Mom do activities she doesn't want to.. I just mentally couldn't handle it..
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Jeanette, touché! Thank you for making me laugh. No I won't take it personally... (head slumps, chin onto chest)

Thank you, everyone, I feel better now. Off to see if I can interest her in a bath, always a fun conversation - wish me luck.
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I hear you. My mother is interested in nothing. I think we keep trying because we feel we should. We don't like to see our parents unhappy so we try, even though each of us is responsible for our own happiness, our elderly parents are more like our children now. So we do it to respond to their childlike behavior, and, I have to admit, to keep from feeling guilty that we did nothing.
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I think I do it for Mom and I, we can;t stand to see dad sitting around stareing at the walls. We put magizines in front of him.. he will still read the ads. Or we send him outside to sit on the porch and look at the planes and bunnys.. he still loves this. I try to take him places when we run errrands, but alot of the time he just wants to stay in the car.. I tell him thats illegal and so at least he gets to walk around a bit (even if he whines) I also get library books with lots of pictures, like the National Geographic types. Anything to keep him out of bed or just sitting and stareing
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CountryMouse so very sorry for the incredible bad day you've had. Look forward to your week.

As long as I've been posting on here I don't think I've ever seen you whine or feel so down. Always a bright inspiring answer full of carefully thought out ideas. You've helped me deal with my mother in ways you'll never understand. Thank You. Without a doubt it's hard being the "housekeeper" and the other siblings are just that her kids. As bad as I feel about my mother at times , it's those other times that helps me do what needs to be done which is take care of myself.

Go enjoy....you don't let her "melt" because you have a big ole caring heart. As you know we can't take this personally now can we? HA! Easier said than done.

Be well!
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Isn't it so that they (a) don't pout, complain, whine, get bossy or focus on themselves (b) have the benefit of endorphin generation, leading to some "feel good" time and (c) it makes us feel better that we're keeping them from engaging in (a)?
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I always wondered about that. I figured my outlook was skewed because I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. I figured that those who grew up in a regular family would do their best to do what you mentioned, CM. As for me, I may make suggestions several times. If dad doesn't want to do it, I back off. I try another way. I learned this the hard way several times but it finally registered when I did the run around trying to get him to go to the ER and he wouldn't. APS, elder law attorney, his insurance..all told me that there's nothing I can do if he doesn't want to do it.
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