re: Lack of gratitude

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I suspect that what makes them so obsessive and demanding is two things - firstly, there is very little else going on in their lives, so they over-focus on all the tasks etc, Second, they are frustrated they can't do things for themselves.

Also, they feel lonely, and don't want to admit it, so 'invent' tasks that will require your presence in their lives.
jenny lucas wrote:I suspect that what makes them so obsessive and demanding is two things - firstly, there is very little else going on in their lives, so they over-focus on all the tasks etc, Second, they are frustrated they can't do things for themselves.

Also, they feel lonely, and don't want to admit it, so 'invent' tasks that will require your presence in their lives.
With my Dad its because, I think, as you say, hes got nothing else to worry about. Sometimes I think I wish I had so little to worry about!

Not sure if he invents tasks he just flaps a lot. He even shows me junk mail and says is this rubbish? Aarrghhhh.

Thing is he can do it for himself. He just cant be bothered. Like the letter off BT. I said - read it out. He read out "We've processed a refund for £78 because we've been overcharging you for x for xyz months - so what does that mean?"

So I reply "They;ve been overcharging you for x for xyz months so you're getting a refund". "Ah ok, thought thats what it meant". <Tearing my hair out>
Attention seeking.

But, understandable, given that he wants attention from you........(!)

Trouble is, it would probably be a bottomless pit of wanting attention from you??
I recognise those conversations. Sadly, I think it's a sign of a gradual decline, and the lack of anyone else to stimulate and bounce ideas off.
I tried everything I could for years to get my disabled mum to join in with groups outside the home that she could have enjoyed, if only she wasn't so self conscious. She would rather sit at home lonely and bored all day than let anyone "see me like this" - she had severe osteoporosis and a bad back.
I too had the junk mail problem. In the end I told mum to put anything she wasn't sure about in a pile and I'd sort it when I went over. Whilst my coffee was cooling down I'd get the recycling bin and chuck it all in.
I pleaded with her to NOT keep things in envelopes, but to put all her bills in a lever arch file for me (file, stapler, and hole punch provided). She rang me one day to say she wasn't strong enough to open the binder. At the age of 80 she had never even met a lever arch file!!
Once I had POA, I arranged for all the bank statements to be sent to me, not mum. She kept getting the utility bills, which she would carefully slit open, peer inside, and then put envelope with letter inside on the tea trolley. I once found a bill saying "We owe you £1800 but don't worry, as you are paying by direct debit we will carry it forward to the next bill"!!!
Her disability meant that she needed as little junk of any description around as possible, but loved having mountains of magazines that "I haven't finished reading yet". Anything you say to try and improve the situation is, frankly, a total waste of breath.
I don't think you should see it as "can't be bothered". More a matter of "incapable of motivating himself". Really hard to accept, but when you do, it becomes easier.
I was lucky, my mum was never ever nasty to me or anyone else, in many ways she was the kindest, sweetest person you could ever wish to meet. When she moved into a nursing home when she was too frail for anything else, everyone thought she was lovely.
Accepting that our parents are getting really old, and not the fit and capable mum and dad we used to know, is so, so hard. They can't help it. We CAN help our response.
Its funny thing, I don't mind my mum being more 'limited' (physically esp.) now, its her reluctance to accept that fact that I find frustrating. If she had been fit as fiddle then, say, struck down by a stroke I'd understand more. However most her problems being result of quite hard living and, admittedly, touch and go fight with big C so surely her infirmity (arguably 'prematurely' at 66??) can be acknowledged and accepted more?! :-???
No, it won't happen. I've also had severe health problems, was 65 last week, but feel in my 20's mentally. It's a matter of permanent frustration that I can't do what I want to do thanks to knee replacements!
Happy days then bowlingbun whoop whoop :silly:
With my Dad his manners are getting worse and worse too.

If I phone him, he won't even say hello he'll be straight into "have you done xxx?"
If I visit and tell him I'll be there approx 3-4p, if I get there at 3-10pm I'll say "hi dad" and he'll reply "where've you been?". If I've brought my daugher aged 4 he sometimes will say "why'd you bother bringing her? I wanted you to fix xyz for me?"

Xmas when he visits he sits there and says "Paul -get me a cup of tea?", "get me xxx". NEVER a please or thank you. Wife cooks his xmas dinner and he never says a word to her.
Also with Dad recently is his moaning about his ill health. Hes not too bad considering hes 83. He can walk around,and walks to town.

BUT, he won;t accept the fact that hes no spring chicken anymore. Hes never grateful for the fact that hes not in that bad a health - others his age are bed bound. Its always negative with him.

I've always said hes bad enough when theres very little/nothing wrong with him, but he'd be a complete nightmare if he ever was really ill. It'd be better for him to go.

Wife has an uncle whos been told he has cancer and has 6 months to live. Hes ill with chemo etc and knows hes on his way. Hes the most cheerful guy you could ever meet. His attitude is yes its unfortunate but there we go - it is what it is, might as well make the most. If my Dad has a cold, he expects everyone to be at his beck and call, constantly phones the GP (and ambulance), moans when his legs ache when he walks too far, and thinks he'll die before GP opens after a bank holiday weekend!