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I’m having trouble understanding why my mother never expresses any gratitude or a thank you for taking care of her daily. She asks me why am I mad, I tell her I’m not mad I’m tired. I don’t like being a caregiver, I need help putting her to bed at night, getting her up in the morning, making breakfast, lunch, dinner. I’m tired and getting very depressed.

Do not ever start caregiving for a parent, especially, and expect gratitude. It is more likely that you will become the reason for all their problems. Some people are just not emotionally prepared to be a caregiver. And that is ok.
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Reply to gladimhere
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I'm of the ilk that people should be grateful for the blessings they're shown. And you're showing your mother a TON of blessings by caring for her daily. You don't deserve to be asked why you're 'mad', but told how lovely you look and thanked for all you do. She should tell you how delicious the food is that you serve her, and how grateful she is for all the hard work you put in on her behalf. But that's not going to happen, I guess, because she may not be grateful, or, she cannot properly express herself, who knows? I do know that my own mother has never been grateful for ONE thing in her entire life of 94.5 years. A couple of months ago my DH and I were trying to get her to acknowledge ONE blessing in her life and she would not do so; she could not think of ONE thing to be grateful for, which we found to be astonishing. Some people are glass half empty types, and my mother is one of them; perhaps yours is too.

My mother lives in Memory Care Assisted Living b/c I could never care for her in my home; I just couldn't and wouldn't. Maybe now is the time for you to either bring in hired help or look into placement for your mother. There comes a time when a person has to Cry Uncle, and this may be your time. Burn out is no joke; please don't become a statistic where your mother outlives YOU b/c of all the stress you're under! God forbid.

Wishing you the best of luck looking after YOURSELF now! You deserve to.
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disgustedtoo Sep 26, 2021
"Some people are glass half empty types, and my mother is one of them..."

Sounds more like your mother is the "glass is empty AND dirty and you left it for me to clean up!"
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My mom 84 was the same way. She lived in my house. Frankly, she was outright nasty. I'd get calls or texts (she still remembered how to text) me all day, "water," "hungry," "TV not working," "too hot," "dropped something," etc. Then the impossible behavior: up all night, won't take meds, falls, refusing to use cane or then walker, only let me change her sheets 2 times in 9 months YUCK (had incontinence, can you imagine).

Best response after brining her pizza -- her favorite food -- for dinner to her bedroom [every meal was eaten in bed] was "I cannot eat this, it was cooked in your dirty oven." Nothing was every done right in her mind. Her "good daughter" she would tell me "would do it better." LOL, there is no other daughter, I am an only child.

About a year ago, she had a bad fall and was in the hospital for two weeks. Thereafter, she went to rehab and then thankfully that transitioned into a permanent long term care stay at the same facility which is an awesome high quality facility. I do not expect any gratitude or understanding from her at this point. With lots of help from my husband, my adult kids and a therapist I am starting to get over this -- it will take years. My mom is a narcissist. Add in dementia, immobility and other medical/mental conditions (diabetes, arthritis, COPD, clinical depression, OCD) it was a total "sh__show."

My advice is get outside help ASAP OR really consider a permanent nursing home or assistive living/AL placement (if there are funds for the later). Get POA and other legal docs in order if you do not have them. Talk with an eldercare attorney so these docs can be executed as well as to get advice on how to prepare to spend down for Medicaid long term care coverage (assuming there are not sufficient funds to cover AL which is largely only private pay). Your local "area agency on aging" can also be helpful to navigate things (adult day care, respite care for you, etc.). If your mom ends up at the hospital at some point for any inpatient reason, the social workers at the hospital can be helpful about "best placements" post discharge and argue for a rehab discharge which Medicare can pay for, for at least some period of time. If that rehab facility is also a Medicaid-qualified long term care facility, a transition right there to a permanent stay may be possible. Carefully review the rehab/nursing facility contract, and DO NOT check the box that you'll take her home upon discharge from their facility AND DO NOT check the box that you agree to be financially responsible. Again, an attorney can help you execute that contract so that you are: 1) not financially responsible yourself and 2) that you do NOT have to guarantee you'll take them back and to review other aspects of that contract doc. If you are considering AL (if you or she has the funds for that as it is private pay -- that is about $14K a month where we live for those needing near nursing home level of care) also carefully review that contact. Some private pay AL facilities when the money runs out, discharge them -- then where does your LO go????

At the end of the day, you need to help get your mom the care she needs but THAT DOESN'T MEAN that that care has to come directly from you. Setting boundaries is very hard, but you have to protect yourself so that you can find a pathway forward to both live your life while assuring you mom is cared for most likely by others. Few among us can handle 24/7 care sans outside help. And when that LO is nasty, lacks gratitude, and/or has impossible behaviors (often part of dementia); sustaining one-on-one care w/o help will lead to burnout, your own depression, and resentment. You can be a good daughter while letting others care for your mom, even if that is a permanent placement somewhere.

Good luck. This is a very hard journey.
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Reply to Sohenc
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I would be honest. First, you also are a Senior. Tell her "I really don't like being a Caregiver especially when I get no thank you for what I do for you." I believe in being direct.
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marymary2 Sep 29, 2021
To the original poster, if you are honest, as others suggest scale down your expectations. I read recently a celebrity with a narcissistic mother was told by her (the celeb) shrink: "don't go to the hardware store for ice cream."
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People who cannot be thankful or appreciative of other people's efforts on their behalf are known as:

Ingrates

Before your mother is put into the ingrate category, let me ask a question.
Is she thankful when someone other than yourself does anything for her? Can she show gratitude to other people?

If the answer is 'yes' then on top of being an entitled ingrate your mother also has no respect for you.
Either way, stop being her caregiver. You don't want to do it and no one should be forced to. Hire paid help.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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bundleofjoy Sep 27, 2021
agreed!!
and i’m in the same boat.

in my case, the answer to your question is “yes”.

courage to us all. burntcaregiver, flowerpots, all of us!!

bundle
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Get some help for yourself. Maybe you should change the dynamics here. Have someone else provide care. Just do it. If Mom is 96 that means you are no Spring chicken yourself. Find some help in the community so you aren't resentful of what you are doing. And stop expecting her to do something she doesn't do. It will be easier if you can lower your expectations of what you think she should do.
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Toomush Sep 27, 2021
My mother is 99. She lives with my wife and I. It drives my wife crazy that she never asks for something outright, or says "please". She'll say "I don't suppose there's any coffee?" or "I can't seem to find my sweater" or "what should I do with this phone?" She will say "thank you", mostly in a generic way. I think it all has to do with not showing weakness. Neither my wife nor my mother have ever been wrong in their lives, so there is some tension. I'm guessing all this started in a different place and a time long ago. Lowered expectations are the best expectations...
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Placement time
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BurntCaregiver Sep 30, 2021
Amen to that, Cover99
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I have to laugh about this. Let me explain….
My Husband was pretty much non verbal he made noises but rarely talked and never a conversation for the last 7 or 8 years of his life. He loved going to Costco and Sam’s. I liked taking him there because he could walk around easily with the taller carts and when he had to start using a walker the aisles were wide enough that he would not get tripped up. Well he loved the samples they used to give out. And it blew my mind that when he would get a sample he would always say “thank you”.
I could make his favorite meal, would shower him, change him, put him to bed, get him up and NEVER a thank you.

You do get burned out. You do get frustrated. You do get angry at the situation. I do hope you have the help you need. It does make things easier. Even a few hours away can help.
Contact your area agency on aging and see what services mom might qualify for.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Santalynn Sep 28, 2021
Yes, polite and gracious and even charming to 'the help' but not the relatives, cuz, well they're 'just there', part of the furniture, right? lol
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There could be a multitude of reasons -
* She expects you to do what you do.
* She doesn't possess the emotional response to feel grateful/gratitude or appreciation so she cannot express a feeling she doesn't have.
* She may have narcissistic tendencies - its all about 'me, me, me'
* It might help if you talk to her more directly when she asks why you are 'mad' - clearly you are expressing frustration, disappointment, lack of feeling appreciated, and I suspect - as you say, tired and depressed.
* It may (or may not) help her to know that by saying "thank you, I appreciate what you do for me," would make a world of difference to you.
* I believe most people do not like being a caregiver, especially when thrust into the job without much or any choice in the matter, one's life likely totally changes, and some of the duties are difficult and unpleasant. On top of this, there is no training on how to support someone with their physical needs (changing disposal underwear, cleaning sheets for instance) nor any knowledge or experience in interacting with a person who has dementia.
- I would suspect most people 'do this work' because it is a family member or a parent. Some seem to feel honored or responsible without questioning their circumstances; most seem to be overwhelmed and tired, and not setting personal boundaries/limits of what one can and cannot do.
* If I were you, I would tell your mother how you feel. It is an exercise for you to assert yourself and what you would like from her (a thank you). It will be valuable for you to speak up regardless of how she responds, although be prepared for any response.
* This work is very difficult. When it also involves a personal relationship, it adds more stress or emotional/psychological expended energy (draining perhaps).
* Lastly, I would ask you to really look at how you do feel inside. You might not identify as feeling 'mad' although you might feel angry - at all you 'have to do' / are doing.
Gena / Touch Matters
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Hopeforhelp22 Sep 26, 2021
Touch matters - wow - great answer.
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Mine says thank you but then turns around and either complains that it wasnt done correcfly or then adds more chores and makes it my problem that Im tired and exhausted because I "work too hard" ( for her) ...never taking any responsibility.
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