Help! My Parents Won’t Listen to Me! Dealing with Elder Parents that Need But Resist Care

By Marty Seigel, Certified Senior Advisor

You know what they say – you can’t control how others act – you can only control your own actions. As Professional Geriatric Care Managers in South Florida, we speak with so many adult children who may live far away and are concerned that their father or mother receive the appropriate elderly parent care or assistance, but they have a very hard time opening the door to this discussion.

The most important key – understanding WHY the senior is so resistant to the discussion of receiving support. In our experience, most of the time a senior relates the acceptance of help as an “admission” of their own physical or cognitive decline, and a subsequent loss of their independence. When this happens, there are typically many concerns and fears that accompany this “admission,” and usually this is a subject that they have difficulty verbalizing or discussing. So the easiest natural reaction? Resist, resist, resist.

The Endless Circular Discussion

This can result in repetitive circular discussions, and a constant vicious cycle of “the kids” encouraging Mom and Dad to open their minds to getting a little assistance, and parents standing resolutely firm with their resistance.

Breaking the Cycle

There are a couple of techniques that we suggest to break the vicious cycle of the eldery parent care discussion.

  1. Use “what-ifs”
  2. Use real examples
  3. Use an independent 3rd party (such as a Geriatric Care Manager) A GCM can help them focus on whether or not their “contingency plan” will work. The key is establishing a “connection” and trusting relationship with a GCM. If a senior client feels safe discussing their concerns, they are more likely to be honest with themselves and the GCM about their concerns. When the walls are down, effective discussion and an effective care plan can be established.

For more information about elderly parent care in South Florida, please contact Advocare at 888-615-1818 or 954-349-3133 or email them today.

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