How To Deal with Stubborn Elders

A parent or grandparent can be difficult to deal with, especially if they are elderly. Often, this person has trouble remembering names, following through with promised actions, and following important instructions. But there are ways you can help. Talk to your parent or grandparent about their forgetfulness, and kindly point out when they are not following through with promises. When your loved one can no longer remember names or anniversaries, have him or her write them down on a calendar.

Life comes with its share of challenges, and one of them comes with the inevitability of aging. Whether we like it or not, we are destined to grow old. While many of the world’s top thinkers have come up with ideas about how we can live the lives we want, there is no fool-proof plan on how to achieve that. However, when faced with the challenge of dealing with obstinate elders, a few tips can help you.

You should know your battles.

When your parents tell you to do something, chances are they mean it. But you may resist because you feel they’re being overbearing or controlling. But remember, they have just as much at stake as you do, so, unless they specifically ask you not to, follow their lead. A big part of parenting is learning how to make tough choices.

Your loved one may also become extremely obstinate when it comes to their health, and may try to show that they are healthier than they are by putting on an act of toughness. They may refuse to see a doctor even when they are in some level of discomfort. They may even refuse simple health checkups, like a vision or a hearing test. Even in these situations, assess whether the discomfort that they are in can be dealt with at home, or whether they need to be coaxed into going to the doctor. Sometimes, they’ll be fine on their own, and allowing them that space to deal with their pain on their own can help them feel a sense of agency and control over their lives.

You should stay calm.

When parents are facing a serious health issue, it can be challenging. No symptom or condition can help explain what’s happening to them, and their family often has no frame of reference for what that’s like. Children may sense their parents’ unease and maybe look for reassurance that things will get better. We all face uncertainty in life, and for our parents, this uncertainty may be compounded as they face their own health issues and the possibility of retirement. Sometimes our parents just need help talking through their fears and concerns, feeling hopeful about the future, and being reassured that they’re not alone. Help them find the reassurance they need by letting them know you’re there for them. They don’t have to be as anxious about the future when they know you’re around.

Look for solutions

Everyone has those family members who drives them insane. Whether they’re always complaining or constantly pushing you to do what they want, it’s enough to cause even the most patient person to scurry away. But what do you do when that family member is your mother or father? You can’t just cut them off entirely since you’d lose the parent figure that so many of us rely on. And your siblings and cousins probably don’t have the same experience you do, so they can’t always help you. So, you either resign yourself to a life of having them around, or they drive you insane.

For many of us, dealing with aging adults can be challenging. While we hope our elderly loved ones can age gracefully and stay in their own homes for as long as possible, sometimes their behavior can be quite exasperating. There could be numerous reasons behind their frustration. Consider a scenario where an elderly person is constantly experiencing tooth loss, it’s likely that this will be a source of great frustration. In such situations, as a caregiver, it would be your responsibility to assist them in obtaining a proper set of dentures, perhaps by consulting with a Red Deer dentures specialist (or wherever you’re located). This could greatly improve their comfort and reduce their frustration.

Likewise, if your elderly loved one is struggling with joint pain, there are various avenues to explore for relief. This may include options like physical therapy, pain medication, or even orthotic devices designed to provide support and alleviate discomfort. Additionally, considering assistive devices for their daily tasks could significantly enhance their quality of life. These measures aim to improve their overall well-being and ease any discomfort they may be experiencing.

Another thing, you can do is to start engaging in open and respectful communication, listening to their concerns, and involving them in decision-making whenever possible. Sometimes, finding solutions might involve considering unconventional approaches. For instance, when addressing concerns related to physical appearance or self-esteem, exploring options like Botox in Hyannis, MA (or one nearer to you) as well as skin rejuvenation treatments using microneedling can offer a boost in confidence and improve overall well-being. However, it’s crucial to approach such suggestions with sensitivity and ensure they align with the elder’s preferences and values, always prioritizing their comfort and dignity.

When addressing things like their issues with mobility and movement, they might feel embarrassed to admit that they need help with it. However, you can identify the signs of their declining physical health and proactively take steps to make their stay at home easier. Getting transport chairs and installing stairlifts from a company like UK Stairlifts ( or others can make the lives of your elderly loved ones much easier.

Understand them

As your loved ones approach the later years of their lives, you likely have concerns about their well-being. You worry about their declining health and ability to drive safely and perform daily tasks independently. These are all valid concerns, but families often overlook one important challenge their elderly loved ones may encounter: loneliness.

Caring for a senior loved one can be physically and mentally demanding, and being confronted with their limitations or stubbornness can make for a lot of frustration. Fortunately, though, there are things you can do to help ease the burden of caring for someone with the stubbornness of a senior. Ask any professional nanny whether being a nanny is the best job in the world, and you’ll get a resounding “yes!” usually accompanied by a smile. Ask any nanny whether they have dealt with an obstinate, difficult parent, and you’ll likely get a puzzled look followed by a long pause. Dealing with stubborn elders (who are not child-like) can be one of the most challenging parts of caring for elderly family members. Elders are typically the most self-sufficient people in the family, so if they refuse to cooperate with an adult child, it can be a difficult challenge to address. However, if you handle it correctly, you can help elders feel included in care and feel more self-confident, even when they disagree with you.

No one likes to complain about their elderly parents, but what happens when they refuse to listen to reason? It can get exhausting trying to reason with stubborn elders, especially as they get older and become less interested in their grandchildren or great-grandchildren. However, learning how to care for your elderly parents doesn’t mean letting them get their way, especially not when it’s detrimental to their health. It means learning how to find the right path forwards, for all of you, together as a family.

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