My mother said to me, "Nancy, I need MORE of you. MORE."
I visit every day, usually for 45 minutes to an hour or more. Occasionally I can 'only' visit for 15 minutes.
I said, "Mom, you can't have more of me. I'm giving all I can. But, out of curiosity, what would be the perfect amount, in your view, if I could give it?" I was curious how much I was failing her idea of perfection.
She thought about it a moment. "Three hours." A day. Three hours a day, she wants me to sit with her. Hang out with her. Be with her. Attend to her. Help her feel less lonely. (Lonely, though she lives in a home with dozens of other lonely people. Lonely but lazy by her own admission.)
"No, you can't have three hours. I can't do it. Mom, we run out of things to say after three minutes!" She agreed that three hours was probably not reasonable, then in the next breath, she said she wanted it.
I pointed out that her repeatedly saying 3 hours really told me that whatever I was already giving is just not much in her book, that she doesn't really appreciate it and it's not enough. Never enough. Never never enough.
She told my sister (who lives out of town and is a great supporter of my efforts) about the request for three hours a day. My sister said, Mom, when your father was alive, how much did you visit him? When your mother-in-law lived just down the street, how much did you visit her? (I probably visit her in a week more time that she gave her father in a year). She responded, "well, now I'm embarassed." She got the point ... then the next day when I arrived, she mentioned the three hours again within the first 15 seconds.