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Old 11-08-2016, 05:28 PM
 
Location: SoCal
6,074 posts, read 9,538,346 times
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When I get tired of someone complaining repeatedly about the same thing, I interrupt and ask, "What are you planning to do to fix that?". After I do that a couple of times, I hear a lot less about that particular gripe.
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Old 11-08-2016, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 23,681,631 times
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My mom was a major complainer and had a negative attitude all her life. These things aren't just indicative of old age.
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,751,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
My mom was a major complainer and had a negative attitude all her life. These things aren't just indicative of old age.

What I was thinking. Some people are inflexible in their 20's, while others are flexible in their 70's and beyond. However, the older a person is, I think it's less likely that they'll change their outlook on life.
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Old 11-08-2016, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,124 posts, read 23,000,049 times
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OP, your question was can a senior change their outlook on life. Yes, in my opinion.

But, will your relative change her outlook? Maybe, maybe not.

But, as they say, you can't change anyone but yourself. If you don't like hanging around her, then don't, unless you have no choice.

I live in a low-income senior apartment building. It's amazing how some seniors with horrible physical problems rarely speak of them, yet others who are obviously in much better physical condition can't have a conversation with you that doesn't include their physical ailments.

I like my next door neighbor overall. She's a nice person with a good heart. I don't talk to her much, but in pretty much every short encounter we have by accident in the hallway or parking lot, I learn yet another physical ailment that she has. She can't control her bowels, she has had diabetes - but she's got it under control because she lost weight and changed her diet, she hurt her rotator cuff in her shoulder so opening the back door is painful for her (for 2 years now lol), she's going deaf, she's allergic to this and that. And, she complains that she's lonely and nobody visits her. She has had more visitors than anyone else I know if in the building (in our section of the building, anyway), and most of them relatives including grandkids that bring their kids to see their great grandmother. I've decided that the next time she says nobody visits her, I'm going to tell her that I see visitors come to see her all the time, and I've not had one visitor in 2 years, so it's hard for me to feel sorry for her.

Anyway, with her, I usually feel like holding up my hand and yelling, "Too much information!" and running away lol. I mean, why on earth would someone tell a relative stranger about how they can't control their bowels? Yikes. And yet, she has her own car and regularly drives herself all over the place, too.

My point being that for some seniors/people, all they see is a glass half empty. You can try to get her to see a counselor, etc., but you don't have to spend time with people who are difficult to be around. There's a saying I like that says, basically, if you want to be loved, then you have to be lovable.

If you feel some type of obligation to be around her, I'd just cut the visits short. Tell her when you show up that you have to leave in 30 minutes for something.

But, you can't change someone. You can let her know you care about her, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with her company.
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Old 11-08-2016, 11:27 PM
 
16,019 posts, read 19,703,264 times
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OP.............Does she behave this same way if you two go out and do something fun? Perhaps finding something that you can both take up as a hobby and do it together will change the focus of your visits.

Some folks when at home, can't compartmentalize if there are things weighing on their minds. Take her out of context and see if you both can have an enjoyable day.

You said that she has great kids and grandkids, obviously she did that right.

The other thing that we sometimes need to do is love someone despite their faults. Take control of your own emotions, because those are yours....Don't let someone else's mood change you. Instead, try to engage her in light hearted ways, and model joy and fun for her.

Good luck. You are so lucky to still have your sibling.
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Old 11-09-2016, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Long Neck , DE
4,903 posts, read 3,037,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
She has kids, grandkids, is a widow - so yes that could be part of it. I never was around her much when her husband was alive. Its been 10 years since he passed. I was never comfortable around him, so I stayed away. He was kind of stern. Maybe he rubbed off on her. She isn't what I would call a "giving" person.

It bothers me that I almost don't like her especially since it is family.
Does she live alone? Long hours/days alone can be very depressing.
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Old 11-09-2016, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,108 posts, read 3,468,096 times
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Talk to her....ask her what's really wrong. Maybe she has a health issue, or relationship problem that is manifesting itself in carping about other unrelated stuff.
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Old 11-09-2016, 07:59 AM
 
6,323 posts, read 5,067,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longneckone View Post
Does she live alone? Long hours/days alone can be very depressing.
yes she does, but she also doesn't want anyone around.

She made a comment once about people going to her house so for a while I refused to step foot in there.

She also said that she might/maybe let a family member/sibling live with her if it was an extreme emergency. That upset me also since I think you should think well enough of your family members to not think like that. None of us are horrible people.
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
14,412 posts, read 7,934,902 times
Reputation: 53544
I have to think that yes it's too late for your sister to change her outlook. I think age, like alcohol, accentuates the real you. Her attitudes are firmly embedded in her personality and she is who she is.
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Florida -
8,767 posts, read 10,854,190 times
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Most negative, cranky old people - were once negative, cranky young people. If that is the case here, you may get her to adjust her response and behavior around you, but probably not her inner attitude.
This is particularly true in someone who has no real Spiritual life or relationship with God.

If she used to be one way and is now another -- based on some trial or disappointment in life (or some form of clinical depression), that can be addressed in both older and younger people.

Keep in mind, you cannot "fix" someone else, but you can help them fix themselves -- if they really want to. By 68, however, most are pretty much set in their ways and have decided they would rather be the way they are - than put in the work to change.
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