Okay, here's the short version. I'm not sure if this is a legitimate complaint or a sign of burnout, but I imagine that at least some of you can relate to my situation and will be able to understand where I am coming from.
I live with my great-grandmother-in-law (93 with vascular dementia) and I am rapidly running out of patience with her. She is a cranky, miserable old woman and absolutely no amount of effort will make her happy for any real length of time. You could take her out for the best day of her life, and she would turn around and forget the whole thing in a matter of minutes upon her return and go back to being miserable the second that you turned your attention away from her. Sadly, this is the nature of the disease, so I can't very well get mad; I knew this was how it would be and I'm learning to live with her constant negativity.
My question is... how much effort should I realistically bother putting in if it all goes unappreciated anyway? If this woman is going to be unhappy no matter what I do, what incentive do I really have to put a lot of time and energy into pleasing her? It has recently occurred to me that I have been putting way too much work into pleasing her so far - is that horrible of me to say? Can anyone relate to feeling like this?
Her memory is so far gone that almost every good deed is forgotten in an instant, and elaborate dinners and a bowl of cereal are met with the same indifference. It really makes it hard for me to want to put much special effort into her care. Do I sound like a horrible person for wanting to try less and take some of my time & energy back for myself, or is it normal to feel this way when dealing with someone who has AD/dementia? Please tell me I'm not alone here - I feel like I must be a horrible person for thinking like this. How do you strike a balance when dealing with people with memory problems?