Karen knew it was time to make a change. Her 80-year-old mother had lived alone for years. She was fiercely independent and had many outside activities. But the signs were there. She’d forgotten something on the stove more than once. She’d fallen a few times. She’d had her neighbors call “concerned” about her mother’s behavior. It was time for a decision; one Karen knew would lead to a major fight with her mom.
Like many adult children, the next step is difficult at best. No one likes facing the inevitable. It’s difficult to have to make decisions for your parent. It’s even more difficult when your parent fights you the entire way.
Waiting For An Event
Nobody wants control taken away from them. But sometimes you can ease into it with minor events.
- Did your mom have a minor accident that would stop her from driving?
- Did a mild heart attack leave her more willing to ask for help?
- Did a fall make the decision that she needs assistance?
Sometimes a wakeup call is all your parent will need to be lead to a new way of life. Use events to talk about what’s possible and the best way to move forward. Realize sometimes you’ll have to meet in the middle.
Have Regular Conversations
While trying to have a conversation with your mom or dad may sometimes feel like you’re talking to a wall, they’re listening. Change up your approach. Never make it their problem: “You can’t do this on your own.” Instead, make it all about you: “I’m concerned about you,” or “It worries me to see you this way.”
Most parents don’t want to be a burden on their children. Parents hide things because they don’t want to be a bother in their kids’ already busy lives. Yet if you show them you are trying to advocate for them, that you are genuinely concerned, often they’ll admit to needing a helping hand.
They Still Resist
Letting go is often the hardest thing we ever have to do. And sometimes no matter how hard you try, your parent will continue to say no.
Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.
When they say no, keep talking. That’s really all you can do. Emphasize that your parent has every right to do as they wish. You can’t make decisions for them.
But if you continually tell them how much better you would feel if you knew they were safe and secure, sometimes that thought kicks in. Especially if they have a “scare” that makes them rethink their personal power.
Caregiving requires a team. It includes your siblings, friends, family, other members of the medical industry. It takes everyone coming together to create the best life possible.
If we can help answer any of your questions, we’re here.