It can be difficult for adult children to suddenly realize that their elderly parent may no longer be able to take care of themselves properly. Whether it is issues with driving, housing, nutrition, medications or safety, some daily activities are no longer manageable in old age. Even more problems arise when the elderly parents refuse to listen to their well-meaning children’s advice or offers to help.
Aging parents often ignore advice on how to improve their quality of life as they age.
They may not want to give up their home or their independence. Having serious conversations about their health and abilities can be frightening for some seniors and they avoid it. Still others are too proud to admit they might need some kind of assistance. Because the elderly parent’s choices have a great impact on their adult children’s lives, everyone feels as if they have some contributions to make to the problems at hand.
There are some things that adult children and family caregivers can do to facilitate communication with stubborn elderly parents.
-The first step is for the caregiver to objectively assess whether the matter is worth mentioning. Seniors are independent and have the right to make both good and bad decisions. Family members should speak up when it comes to health and safety issues, but let minor or inconsequential things slide. This way, when something is brought up, the elderly parent won’t dismiss it and get defensive automatically.
-Another approach that adult children can take in getting an elderly mom or dad to listen to them is to appeal to their emotions. They may need to be reminded of important events coming up like weddings or graduations that may be affected by poor decisions. They may make better choices in health and diet if they feel they would be letting their grandchildren down. Still other seniors might listen to advice from their doctor, clergy, family friend, sibling or other trusted figure. Because of lifelong power dynamics, some parents simply have a hard time accepting advice from their grown children.
-It’s important for both sides to have discussions in a calm and thoughtful manner. Nagging, yelling, mocking and judging will never lead to a happy solution for either adult children or elderly parents. When people approach the problem in a loving way and looking for solutions, it’s easier to convey a tone or respect. Keep in mind that caregivers and seniors are a team and want the best for everyone.
-Finally, adult children need to accept the fact that they cannot make their parents change or accept help if they don’t want it. Although it may be difficult to watch elderly relatives refuse help or make decisions that are harming them physically or emotionally, there comes a point where they will do their own thing. Hopefully, they will eventually see the need for help form family and home care assistance. Until that time, however, adult children can just stand by and be ready to help when they are finally asked.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Helena, AL, please contact the caring staff at Senior Legacy Care today. Call us at (205) 380-7418.
Susan Smith, Owner
Susan Smith is the owner of Senior Legacy, an independent non-medical senior in home care business.... Read More...