How do I deal with stubborn aging parents?
If you’re struggling to deal with stubborn aging parents, you’re not alone.
It’s a common problem that many adult children face, and it can be tough to know how to handle it.
The problem is often frustrating when a parent refuses your aid or advice.
Here’s what you need to know about dealing with stubborn aging parents.
1. Respect your parent’s independence
Aging parents may not always want help so respect their wishes.
Be mindful that you do not undermine their autonomy in any way.
Show them how much you care and assist them when needed.
But also know how much help you are giving them overall.
Allow them to make decisions for themselves and give them space to live out their life with dignity.
Respect Their Autonomy
Respect their independence and autonomy by allowing them to make their own decisions.
This is even if those decisions may not be what is best for them.
It can be difficult, especially if you disagree with a decision they have made.
But it’s important to allow them to make their own choices and respect those choices as much as possible.
When dealing with stubborn parents, it is critical to remain patient; try not to take things too personally.
Acknowledge the fact that they have different ideas from yours.
Give them time and space to express themselves without trying to impose your views upon them.
2. Communication is key
Maintaining a good relationship with your aging parent requires an open line of communication.
Talk openly about their needs and feelings.
Try to be empathetic when they express any concerns they have.
Try to communicate with your parents in a respectful and understanding way.
Do this without judgment or criticism.
Let them know that you are there to help and provide support.
Explain the benefits of the advice you are giving and why it’s important for their well-being.
Use active listening techniques to ensure that you understand what they are saying.
Do this before responding or offering advice.
Otherwise, they feel like you’re lecturing them.
Talk to them about their wishes for their future
Caring for aging parents can be a complex journey.
Open and honest conversations about long-term care plans must take place to ensure everyone’s needs are met.
Encourage adult children of these seniors to consider not only their own wants but also how decisions might affect other family members or finances.
This helps you come up with an arrangement that guarantees everyone receiving what they need – compassion and understanding.
Find out what their retirement plans are
No matter where you’re at in life, it’s never too late to start planning for your retirement.
Retirement planning should be a priority for both adult children and their parents.
This also goes for adult caregivers who have chosen to continue working into later years.
Even ‘grey nomads’, those retirees that have chosen to embrace life on the road, require a plan and savings for when their golden years arrive.
This teaches them to make the most out of their lives when that day comes.
Have those conversations sooner rather than later.
Discover what everyone’s retirement plans are before it hits you like a ton of bricks!
Financial health check
Encourage your elderly parents to talk to a financial advisor.
It is important they do not outlive their retirement funds.
This is vital as there may come a time for selling a parents home to pay for assisted living.
3. Offer practical support
Provide assistance to aging parents wherever possible by:
– helping out around the house
– preparing meals
-shopping, driving them places
-accompanying them to medical appointments.
This type of practical support can help reduce stress levels and improves quality of life.
It will allow your parents to remain independent longer.
Make Sure They Are Safe
Make sure that your aging parents are safe in their own home.
Check in on them regularly or arrange for siblings to do so if you cannot be there yourself.
Offer assistance with home maintenance tasks such as cleaning or yard work.
Arrange for transportation if needed for doctor visits or other errands.
Check on medication usage so that medications are taken correctly according to prescription instructions.
Check in on their nutrition so meals are healthy balanced ones based on dietary guidelines from doctors or nutritionists.
Get an idea of their health and how they’re feeling
Aging parents become more vulnerable to age related diseases.
It is increasingly important to get a sense of their health and well being.
Cognitive decline and memory loss become more evident with age.
Chronic conditions and medical issues are signs that it’s time to discuss with your older parents elder care or even explore nursing home options.
Regular check-ins, whether in person or by phone, can go a long way toward ensuring their health is looked after.
Pay attention to any dramatic changes in eating, sleeping habits, and physical or cognitive abilities.
These are signals that can alert us when something may be wrong.
If anything concerns you, make sure to reach out for help for your aging parents so that they stay healthy and safe.
Find ways to spend quality time together.
This can be in person or virtually—to foster companionship between you and your elderly parents.
A great starting point would be to:
-have meaningful conversations about shared interests
-share stories about family life when they were young
-try out activities like cooking together over video chat
-take walks outdoors (if possible)
-send cards or small gifts just because
-play games; watch movies together
-go out for lunch/dinner
-ask open ended questions about how they’re feeling emotionally
-encourage physical activity (if appropriate)
-listen without judgement
-make sure they get enough rest & sleep by setting up a regular bedtime routine each night
-stay positive & upbeat during interactions with them.
These are all great ways of showing your loved one companionship during this difficult time!
See if there’s anything you can do to help make their life easier
Instead of feeling guilty about the financial pressure that assisted living costs create, consider taking a proactive approach to help your aging parent(s) have an easier life.
There might be small, creative ways to lessen the burden.
Maybe you can help them do chores they don’t want or need to do.
Set up a budget so they are comfortable in their current living arrangement.
By taking simple actions, you will feel much better about yourself and your aging parents will benefit too.
4. Connect with social services and community resources
Connect your aging parent with local aged care services that provide extra services according to their specific needs.
These services may include home-care visits, day programs for senior citizens or residential aged care if it is needed down the track.
Take advantage of community resources available to aging adults, such as senior centres, adult day care programs, and home health aides.
These aging life care professionals can provide extra social interaction to help keep your parent feeling connected to the outside world.
It reduces feelings of isolation and boredom which can often lead to stubborn behavior or resistance from parents who don’t want company at home all the time.
Professional geriatric care managers
Speak to geriatric care managers and other health professionals about senior living or assisted living facilities.
Here are 7 tips for developing an elderly care plan for aging parents that has resources you can follow up on.
5. Look after yourself
Dealing with an aging parent can often lead to resentment and tension.
Emotions run high on both sides during difficult conversations about health issues or lifestyle changes.
Ensure that you take regular breaks from this situation if it becomes too overwhelming.
Take time out for self-care.
It is not selfish to set boundaries.
This is a signal you are taking care of yourself.
That means going for a walk in nature or having a relaxing spa day at home.
It’s important to practice self-care while looking after others too.
Think about your own needs and abilities
Before you assume you can handle everything for your parents, stop and think about your own best interests.
You don’t have to be the best person in the caregiving role.
If you look after their wellbeing, health and safety, and arrange their assistance, then you can continue to be supportive and loving.
It is best for you to have a good, honest assessment early to avoid a situation that can never be sustained.
Do you have your own health issues?
By default, are you the primary caregiver because the family dynamics are complicated?
If other siblings don’t help with aging parents, it is important to seek out a support group.
There are many support groups for caregivers of elderly parents to reach out to for help.
Seek professional help
It may also be helpful to talk to a professional for advice and support on how best to respond in such situations.
One technique that is often effective is using “I-messages,” or statements that start with “I feel” instead of “you should.”
This way, you can express your thoughts without seeming accusatory or judgmental.
With patience, understanding, and compassionate conversation, it is possible to work out a mutually beneficial solution.
It’s important to remember that aging parents are still the same people you know and love.
This is no matter how stubborn they may be.
It’s also important to recognize that their decisions may be based on a fear of losing independence or control despite their obvious cognitive decline.
Understanding this can help you better communicate with them and respect their autonomy.
And while still finding ways to ensure they are taking care of themselves.
Being patient, understanding which will go a long way in helping your parent make the best decisions for their overall well being.
It is also essential to remain open to new ideas and solutions and consider other options if one does not work.
Having good support from friends and siblings also helps ease some of the stress associated with dealing with stubborn aging parents.
With patience, persistence and cooperation from both sides, it is possible to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes when it comes to caring for aging parents.