Your sweet loving mom can turn into a stubborn terror. Your easygoing dad will bow up or stub up at every turn when change is involved. If it hasn’t happened yet, it will. They can’t handle everything at their home anymore. They need to stop driving, but they won’t. It is time to get a house on one level, but they won’t move. They won’t acknowledge their health issues or they won’t do anything about them. They won’t listen to advice from anyone, especially their kids.
Unless they have been diagnosed with a type of dementia and have declined to the point of not being able to make decisions, they get to make their own decisions. Even if they are bad decisions. It is so hard to watch someone make choices that impact not only themselves but others around them in a negative way. Learn better ways of communicating with them.
Effective communication is key to dealing with stubborn aging parents. It is important to listen to their concerns and opinions and express your own in a respectful way. By using active listening techniques and avoiding criticism, you can build a stronger relationship with your parents and find common ground. It may be time to learn to set boundaries to maintain your own mental and emotional health. Setting healthy boundaries and managing your emotions are also essential skills for dealing with stubborn aging parents. By taking care of yourself and seeking professional help when needed, you can maintain your own mental health and provide better care for your loved ones.
Understanding Stubborn Aging Parents
Dealing with parents that are stubborn can be a challenging experience. It’s important to understand that their behavior is not intentional, but rather a result of the aging process. As people age, they may experience physical and cognitive changes that can affect their behavior and decision-making abilities.
Here are some common reasons why aging parents may become stubborn:
- Fear of losing independence: Your parents may feel that accepting help from you means they are losing their independence. They may resist your help to maintain a sense of control over their lives.
- Resistance to change: Your parents may be set in their ways and resist any changes to their routine or environment. They may feel more comfortable with what is familiar to them.
- Cognitive decline: As your parents age, they may experience cognitive decline, which can affect their ability to make decisions and communicate effectively. This can make them appear stubborn or uncooperative.
- Physical limitations: Physical limitations, such as mobility issues or chronic pain, can frustrate and make your parents resistant to help. They may feel that accepting help means they are admitting weakness.
Understanding these reasons can help you approach your aging parents with empathy and patience. It’s important to remember that your parents may be feeling vulnerable and scared, and may need reassurance that you are there to support them and not to take over.
Effective Communication Techniques
Dealing with a stubborn aging parent can be challenging, especially when it comes to communication. However, effective communication is crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship with your parents. Here are some communication techniques that can help you deal with stubborn aging parents without losing your mind.
Active listening is an essential communication technique involving paying attention to what your parents say, understanding their perspective, and responding appropriately. To actively listen, you need to:
- Focus on your parents and avoid distractions.
- Show that you are listening by nodding, making eye contact, and asking clarifying questions.
- Avoid interrupting your parents while they are speaking.
- Repeat what your parents said to ensure that you understood correctly.
Active listening can help you understand your parents’ concerns and find common ground. Please understand that common ground is where you begin to build or work towards better solutions.
Empathy and Patience
Empathy and patience are essential when communicating with stubborn parent. Empathy involves putting yourself in your parent’s shoes and understanding their feelings and emotions. Patience involves being calm and understanding, even when your parents are being difficult. You are going to grow old and your kids will be going through the same things that you are going through.
To show empathy and patience, you can:
- Acknowledge your parents’ feelings and emotions.
- Avoid getting defensive or angry.
- Take a break if you feel overwhelmed.
- Remember that your parents may be struggling with physical or mental health issues.
By showing empathy and patience, you can build trust and understanding with your parents. Do they understand that you have their best interest at heart? Do you have their best interest at heart or what is best only for yourself?
Non-verbal communication involves using body language and facial expressions to convey your message. Non-verbal communication can be a powerful tool when communicating with irrational stubborn aging parents. Remember, that dementia patients pick up on non-verbal communication very easily.
To use non-verbal communication effectively, you can:
- Use a calm and relaxed tone of voice.
- Avoid crossing your arms or standing with your hands on your hips.
- Make eye contact with your parents.
- Use facial expressions to convey your emotions.
Non-verbal communication can help you convey your message and build rapport with your parents. Match your words with your body language.
By using these effective communication techniques, you can improve your relationship with your stubborn aging parents and avoid losing your mind. Remember to be patient, empathetic, and understanding, and always strive to find common ground.
Setting Healthy Boundaries
Dealing with stubborn aging parents can be challenging, but setting healthy boundaries can help you maintain your sanity. Here are some tips to help you set boundaries with your parents. Setting boundaries is difficult, but necessary for all involved.
Respecting Personal Space
As your parents age, it’s important to respect their personal space. This means giving them the privacy they need to feel comfortable in their own home. If you’re visiting your parents, make sure to knock before entering their room or bathroom. If your parents are staying with you, make sure they have their own space where they can relax and unwind.
Managing your time is another important aspect of setting healthy boundaries with your parents. If you’re constantly running errands or doing chores for your parents, you may feel overwhelmed and stressed out. It’s important to set aside time for yourself and your own needs. This might mean saying no to your parents’ requests or delegating tasks to other family members or caregivers.
Here are some tips for managing your time:
- Make a schedule and stick to it.
- Prioritize your own needs first.
- Learn to say no when necessary.
- Delegate tasks to other family members or caregivers.
By setting healthy boundaries with your aging parents, you can maintain your own well-being while still providing the care and support they need. Remember to be patient and understanding, and to communicate your needs clearly and respectfully.
Managing Your Emotions When You Deal With Stubborn Seniors
Dealing with stubborn aging parents can be a challenging and emotional experience. It’s important to take care of yourself and manage your emotions so that you can be there for your parents when they need you. Here are some tips on how to manage your emotions while dealing with stubborn aging parents.
Stress is a common emotion when dealing with aging parents, especially when they are being stubborn or difficult. Here are some tips to help manage your stress:
- Practice deep breathing exercises or meditation to help calm your mind and reduce stress.
- Take a break from caregiving responsibilities and do something you enjoy, like reading a book or taking a walk.
- Talk to a friend or therapist about your feelings and frustrations.
- Set boundaries with your parents and communicate your needs clearly.
Taking care of yourself is important when dealing with stubborn aging parents. Here are some self-care practices to help you manage your emotions:
- Make time for self-care activities, like exercise or hobbies.
- Eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep to help maintain your physical and emotional well-being.
- Practice positive self-talk and focus on your strengths and accomplishments.
- Seek support from family and friends, or join a support group for caregivers.
Remember, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your aging parents. By managing your emotions and practicing self-care, you can be a better caregiver and maintain a healthy relationship with your parents.
Seeking Professional Help
Dealing with stubborn aging parents can be challenging, and sometimes it can be difficult to manage on your own. Seeking professional help can be an excellent way to handle the situation and ensure that your parents receive the care they need. Talk therapy is a great tool to help you figure out your values, your boundaries, and your self-care needs.
What can you hire out to make your life easier? If you only view it as an extra expense then nothing will be worth hiring out. Sometimes, the money spent provides a greater value to you and your loved one.
Check out my services, to see if I can benefit you and your loved one. If you aren’t sure, then let’s have a conversation to see. Email me pat@EmpoweringHealthOptions.com or call me and leave a message, at 865-684-8771.