5 Caregiver Tips for Handling Aging Parents Who Won’t Listen

It can be nerve-wrecking to see aging parents make poor-judgement decisions or to put off getting assistance when they need it. Anytime there is a disagreement between you and them, it is important to remember that everyone has something that is too difficult to let go of. For you, that something could be your job, your home, and your children. For your parent it could be fear of losing independence or self-will.

It is very easy for tempers to flare and for tensions to rise. Take a deep breath before commencing an argument. While there are no simple solutions for dealing with parents who do not want to accept help or who are set in their ways, there are approaches that can be taken and given a try. This post offers expert caregiver advice to help Vancouver families handle a seemingly-stubborn elderly parent.

9 Reasons Why Aging Parents Won’t Reason | Caregivers for Elderly Vancouver

• Feeling they are losing their independence
• Fear of losing control of their lives
• Feeling depressed about the deaths of spouse, friends, and/or family
• Feel they are being left out of the family
• Fear of their own mortality
• Fears of family placing them in a nursing home
• Isolation
• Anger
• Dementia

5 Tips for When Aging Parents Won’t Listen | Caregivers for Seniors Vancouver

1. Show Active Listening

Being an active listener is useful skill to have, but can be particularly helpful when dealing with “stubborn” parents. How will you know what is bothering them (and making them stubborn) if you do not listen to them? They may be trying to let you know about something without being direct. Sometimes you will have to read between the lines and connect the dots for them.

2. Use Humour

We know how difficult it may be to stay upbeat under difficult circumstances. If you can find a way to get your parent to smile or laugh, even if for just 2-3 minutes, you are putting yourself at an advantage. Let them know how much you love them. Reminisce about all the good times you had together. Once you get their attention, take advantage of the moment and slip into the subject about which you want to convince them. Surefire tactic to try! The immediate “laughterglow” of sharing something funny is ideal for breaking down barriers.

3. Avoid Bogging Them Down with Too Much Information

The less information you give to an aging parent the better. When it comes to elderly parents who refuse to cooperate, bogging them down with too many details about their activities and meds or why certain things must happen is the wrong approach to take. Instead, give them a brief (3-4 sentences) overview and leave things simple. By leaving things straightforward and easy to understand, your parent(s) are much more likely to be okay with something they would often show a lot of resistance to.

4. Offer Them Choices

Regardless of the situation, there are always options and resources to consider. Why not share those options and resources with your aging parent. Ask them about what they think about the options you presented and whether they have other ideas. Think as broadly and creatively as you can about the choices you give. If your parents does not want to live in assisted living facility, why not hire an in-home caregiver who will take care of them right at home. You may be able to strike a balance between what you want for them and what they want for themselves this way.

5. Use I Language

Saying things like ‘you have to take your meds today’ can make your parent(s) feel bossed around and like they are being told what to do. This is something that most people, and not just the aging generation, quickly become uneasy about. Try to instead phrase things like “Today I’ll help you with cooking meals” and “Today, I will go shopping with you.” This approach has roughly the same message but is less abrasive.

Ace Personnel | Professional Caregivers for Seniors & Homecare | Vancouver & Surrey

ACE Personnel is a family owned and operated service founded in 1977 by Diane Anderson (“Mrs. A”). It began as a home based business and has since been devoted to helping the local community with childcare and home care solutions. Mrs. A took great pride in the fact that she was able to help others through elderly care and nanny placements. She took time to get to know her each of her clients and as a result developed lasting relationships with many of them.

Contact us today if you are looking for a professional caregiver or homecare for your loved one.

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