As people age, they increasingly need care, often from other family members. In many cases, adult children end up taking their aging family members into their home – a process that often leads to formal or informal caregiving.
But, looking after an adult is very different than a child and caregiving comes with its own set of challenges. Indeed, it is a process that can be physically and mentally draining, even in times where the person you are caring for is mostly independent.
One significant area is the balance between support and independence.
Unlike children, aging parents have already lived a full life and they have their own set of experiences and opinions. At the same time, they are used to having independence and control. Indeed, aging parents often expect to be able to maintain this control – which can make for a tricky balance in any caregiving situation.
Additionally, there is an ongoing challenge of authority. At the best of times, parents struggle with taking advice from their children, even when those children are fully grown.
Collectively, these areas all contribute to a situation that we call caring for stubborn parents. Basically, many parents simply aren’t receptive to support or advice from their children, especially in the caregiving environment. Likewise, parents will often resist support in specific areas, like bathing or medication.
In many cases, the easiest answer is to let the parent have what they want.
And, for small battles, giving them that degree of independence makes sense. But, what about larger ones?
After all, this type of stubbornness can often contribute to significant health issues. For example, what do you do about an elderly parent that refuses to take some of their medication? What about one who won’t leave the house or one who only bathes every week or two?
There are no easy answers to any of these situations. But, the topic is a critical one and it is an area that we all need to seriously, and realistically, think about.
In the past, we posted a Guide to Caring for Stubborn Parents, which offered a general overview of the problem, its implications and ways to address resistant parents. That guide remains one of our most popular pieces of content, partly because the challenge of stubborn seniors is much more common than most people realize.
However, that guide just acts as an overview.
As such, there are many areas that it doesn’t cover and other aspects that it only considers briefly.
So then, over the next few months, we plan to dive into this topic in detail, addressing many of the key concerns and considerations. The topics that we will cover are given below and this section will offer links to them as each piece is posted.
Challenges and Solutions
- Tips and Solutions for When Aging Parents Won’t Listen
- Communication Strategies for Working with Your Parents
- Understanding Why Aging Parents Become Stubborn and Uncooperative
- Stubborn Parents and Indirect Caregiving
- When to Seek Help with Stubborn Parents
- When to Consider Assisted Living or Alternative Arrangements
- Should You Become a Caregiver for Your Parents?
- Living with Aging Parents and Other Relatives: Things to be Aware of
Caregiver Support and Advice
- Stubborn Parents and Self-Care: A Caregiver’s Perspective
- Caregiver Abuse: Does it Exist and What Should You Do?
Please use the comments section below or contact us directly if there are any specific topics that you would like us to highlight. Likewise, please don’t hesitant to leave comments on any of the posts if you have questions.
With these various pieces of content, we aim to dramatically expand our discussion and consideration of stubborn parents – and provide valuable tools for anybody struggling in this area.
Even if you’re not a full-time caregiver, some of the topics may well be relevant to you. After all, many of us still support our family members directly or indirectly, and that process can be challenging as well.