Growing up, we were taught to listen to our elders. Yet as our parents have grown older, we have tended to think they should listen to us instead of the other way around. We see things we believe are uncharacteristic of our mother or father and the alarm bell rings in our head. When we approach mom or dad and suggest there may be a problem with their health, their diet, housekeeping, social life or, dare we add driving, they may refuse to listen.
Even though we might be correct in our observations, if we are wrong or push our view points too far, we may destroy trust between the parent and child. Research indicates that most adult children believe their aging parents are stubborn, when in fact, it may be that the adult children who are stubborn.
Important to Allow Your Parents to Make Their Decisions
Age is not the only indicator that your parent may be too old or stubborn and can no longer make their decisions. It may not be that your loved one is refusing to take your advice, but that your mom or dad is still cable of making decisions on their own and choosing not to hear your thoughts. Today’s seniors are acting younger and participating in everyday activities longer than previous generations. It’s not unusual to see elders dressed in outfits like young adults as well as listening to similar music and enjoying electronic games and technology.
There are professionals who specialize in supporting the lines of communication between your parent and his or her family members. If your mother or father is showing signs of confusion or making wrong decisions, these professionals will intervene not only to provide aid but to help identify their needs. However, if your mom or dad is just living life fully without harm to themselves or others, this may be an opportunity to sit down with the expert and discuss the new lifestyle of your parent.
Get the Help of a Caregiver
Caregivers can also provide wonderful companionship for seniors struggling with loneliness.