Happy smiling mature husband and wife cuddling on couch at home. Focus on woman

Does the person who you caregive for appreciate what you do?

It’s a dangerous question to ask, isn’t it? But we’re asking it anyway. Perhaps they appreciate us, but they aren’t good at expressing it or we aren’t good at accepting it. Or perhaps they really do feel that we owe it to them or don’t realize how much sacrifice caregiving can be.

Even the most appreciative caree can have their moments and, as humans, we’re primed to focus on the worst moments.

I have been care giving for years now and we have gone in cycles. However, it is pain related. The more pain the more grumpiness. – Debra

I put up with not being appreciated for 3 years. I finally decided it was time to stop trying to please the unpleasable. Im no ones punching bag. No one says you must endure this. Place them grouchy mean people who want to make your lives hell!! – Julie

Yes, regardless of my father’s difficulties to communicate, he will always take my hand, smile, reach for a hug, and sometimes find the words to say, “thank you so much, I love you so much.” It’s hard, but he always seems to get it out at just the right moments. – Melissa

My caree is hubby – and he absolutely appreciates me. As odd as it may sound – he’s also my caregiver. He makes sure I don’t over extend myself and makes sure my anxiety is kept in check. – Sylvia

Most of the time, NO!! It makes it really difficult to keep helping, especially when its my own mother. Its more like she expects it so there is very little appreciation. In fact, more guilt trips for not doing everything all the time exactly when and how she wants. – Lynda

No, not in the least. What a way for her to end life. Proclaiming that I was her daughter that has so much for her to you are locking me up so I can’t do anything. And you have taken everything from me. Thanks mom for giving me a wonderful memory of you to last the rest of my life. You have not only screwed up your life by having dementia you have screwed my life as well. – Sue

My mom has dementia so she doesn’t really express her emotions well but one time when I was doing our med regimen I finished by putting in her eye drops and she looked up at me and said “You sure do take good care of me, honey.” It gutted me. I managed to hold in the tears until I left the room.

Whenever I feel like she’s ungrateful I remember it’s more about MY perceptions because my mom, when she was herself was so loving. This disease has robbed me of that loving connection; her emotions about things were one of the first things to go. But in that one moment she sounded like my MOM again and she said the words I so desperately needed to hear from my mom you know? It felt like she was proud of me again even if it was just for a moment and I will NEVER forget that feeling. – Kristine

I am the chosen one for my elderly aunt. She has had years of trauma from my uncles suicide 40 years ago. She chose alcoholism and smoking at numb her all these years. Because of good genetics she synthesized alcohol all that time. Over the last five years or so I could tell she was developing Alzheimer’s/dementia and finally got her diagnosed April 30. During the time trying to get the diagnosis she refused to see doctors until she was found in her bathtub after a day and a half. We believe she had been having TIAs and a stroke perhaps in the tub. She was transferred to an AL and she hated me. Honestly I had been trying to get her somewhere safe for years after she fell and broke her hip. She is now in hospice and declining every week. She is better with the behavior as we near the end. My father gave me great advice to treat it like a job and keep the emotion out of everything I do for her. Moreover my pastor told me she is not the aunt I knew anymore. It was still hard and still is. However to keep my own sanity I chose to remember the time she was not drinking and mean and was a fun person to hang out with. – Bo

My mother did, but she would have bad days when she could be quite mean, but she was dying,she had a right to be angry. I just tried to be understanding. – Cindy

I take care of my aunt who has Alzheimer’s and every single day she tells me how much she appreciates everything that I have done for her. Her daughter appreciates it just as much as my aunt does. – Tricia

Yes he really does. I know if I were in his place he would take great care of me. I have no doubts about that. That’s what makes it easier to cope at times. – Sharee

Not always. We’ve been married for 51 years in Dec. So we know each other well, but yeah, sometimes I wish he’d just show a tiny bit of appreciation. – Christine

I think so yes, Wether or not he is able to say it regularly, I have been told that I am appreciated, he does like to make things difficult though, and often laughs about it when all we try to do is help him! One day. I will look back and remember how cheeky and stubborn he was and laugh. Even if it is incredibly frustrating now! – Georgia

I care for hubby and I know he appreciates all I do even if it doesn’t always show. He has a lot of pain and he is frustrated by not being able to do the things he wants to or even simply help out around the house. We both have to live with his condition, we’re in it together no matter what – Helen

I was told several times a day how grateful Frank was to have me be his caregiver. I felt blessed to wear those shoes and cherished each and every moment we had together before he passed. Yes at times he was grouchy but I knew it wasn’t directed at me. I just tried to show him more love and understanding. – Lora

Sometimes I think yes and sometimes no. Family members think I’m a non productive piece of crap and I sometimes wonder if they get the idea from him. I know they say things about me to him and he doesn’t defend me because he doesn’t want anyone mad at him. But that makes me mad.. hello! I guess I’m supposed to be there no matter what so he can make me mad. – April

Yes, but not the family. I work in a care home and most of the time the family demand too much from a caregiver. They thought we can devout our 8 hours to their love one, forgetting there are other clients to attend to. – Elizabeth

Yes, my mom was the ultimate sweet little old lady, everybody loved the old dearie! I guess I was lucky, she stayed nice and agreeable and appreciative. And I was the ONLY ONE to give any caregiving. After a lifetime of abuse and hate, and all of a sudden, ‘oh, the darling, poor old dear, god bless!’ (I was unwanted, disparaged, hated for spoiling dipshit’s ‘fun’ and ‘tying her down’….and who was left but me who never had the nads to leave town?)  ? yeah, they can say whatever. Doesn’t mean much. – Sally

I just asked him, and he said “Yeah!!” – it might help that we’re away for the weekend, and just enjoyed a delicious dinner ? – Valerie

No. His sugar would go low and i would pull him out and then he would argue with me that he wasnt that low. If i told him his sugar was going low he would argue with me. Argueing was constant. – Rainae

The patients do appreciate every little thing I do, not so much the agency. Very low pay, no raises, incentives, bonuses, PTO, nothing! – Annette

At this point, yes he still does, and acknowledges he would not be alive now without me. Hope this does not change as the Alzheimers progresses. – Carrie


You can read all the responses on Facebook.

Written by Allison Powell
I live off of food from Trader Joe's. I spend my life in a cubicle, a la Office Space. I'm kind of obsessed with the internet. Confession: I take care of people but don't identify as a caregiver.

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  1. My grandmother couldn’t speak, having suffered two strokes. But her eyes and gestures spoke volumes. She was grateful for our 11 year caregiving journey. I miss her everyday! Thank you for your post!

  2. I work with dementia residents for a number of years, along with caring for elderly parents. I have found that one of the most loving things I can do for my peeps is to give without expecting anything in return.

  3. sometimes my most important work is planting the seeds of an idea. If I do that job correctly, my clients will not know, and so will not appreciate.

  4. In that sense I was lucky. When she could, my mother actually thanked me. When she couldn’t, any more, the love in her eyes and the smile in her face said it for her. I cared for her as Alzheimer’s Disease took her away, for 10 and a half years.

  5. My mom up til the day she died told me and everyone else hospital and nursing home staff I was a wonderful daughter who did everything for her. My dad will very politely say thank you when I do things for him but other then that he doesn’t say much. He doesn’t want to admit to himself or out loud how dependent he really is on me.

    • I find men of a certain age have problems expressing any kind of emotional aide. I think a lot of them feel less of a man when they are dependent on their care givers, which is silly.

  6. My Mother couldnt really talk or hold a conversation but the way she understood all I asked her to do for me in her total care were through her eyes & the way she would touch my arm I knew how much she appreciated & loved me for caring for her. I miss her so she passed away after 18 months of having her massive stroke @ #80 I feel so alone now I dont know what to do I need a purpose again. Shes @ Peace yet I’m not. I think could I have done more. I Love you mother & I miss you very much.

  7. It’s very difficult to care for someone who is constantly complaining and has no concept of how much is involved with caregiving. It’s hard to be around that sort of negative energy 24/7. It definitely does a number on the caregiver’s self esteem.

  8. My husband always thanked me .. we told each other “I love you ” each day … he would say ” I love you more”
    I miss that now

  9. My husband always thanks me and tells me he is sorry, it is however our children and others that do not.

  10. My mum kept apologizing up until the day I had to send her to the hospital for screwing up my life. I said she didn’t screw anything up, it was MY choice and MY pleasure.


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