Children grumble about how hard it is to reason with their parents, about how they resist any change even when it seems clearly necessary. Parents, on the other hand, complain about the overt intrusion and nagging from the children.
Though reasoning with elderly parents is one of the toughest challenges faced by adult kids, they must understand the parent’s fear of ageing first before pushing them to accept help.
Psychologists say, most parents see themselves as proud survivors and have managed through good or bad times easily and so will be fine on their own even as they age.
For more reasons why elderly prefer to age in place, click here.
Some strategies to help you overcome the objections of your loved one:
Look for opportunities to ask questions like, “Mom, where do you see yourself getting older?” or “How do you feel about hiring a housekeeper or driver?”
But make sure that you are not worrying about your parents, much before the need arises.
Check out for the warning signs that your parent needs help: Click here.
Start with small helps as gifts. Do not try to micromanage your parents as they will always brush you aside.
Put yourself in their shoes and reason:
Ask questions to determine why your elderly parents are refusing for any kind of help, only then you can tailor an ideal solution for them.
Is it about the lack of privacy, fear of high costs, losing freedom, or having a stranger in the house? To build trust, first you must accept their concerns and not deny their feelings.
As long as seniors are not endangering themselves or others, let them make their own choices. You can’t always be beside your parent’s side. Bad things can happen, and you can’t prevent them. Accept limits on what you can accomplish instead of feeling guilty about the things you cannot.
Create socializing opportunities:
Try creating more situations for your seniors that would get them to go out and socialize. This would, in turn, make the parents feel the need to be well presented. Gift them movie tickets / Sodexho passes so that they can invite someone for outing like movies or restaurants.
Encourage them to volunteer or pursue some hobby.
Lower your standards:
It is not easy to be at the same energy levels at all times especially when one is ageing independently. If Keeping home in order and clean is one thing- travel,social contacts,fun moments take back seat when loneliness sinks in.
Children are surprised to see that their parents are not the same when they were living with them. Just as your parent may have to accept assistance which they don’t really want and possibly even changes to their home, you must be prepared to make adjustments and lower your own expectations if necessary.
Take full advantage of technology wherever possible. Robotic vacuum cleaners, burglar alarms, fire alarms etc can provide safety, convenience and most importantly, peace of mind.
Mobile APPS to the rescue:
Several apps like medicine scheduling, emergency calls, theft protection etc can be used effectively to help your parents with their day-to-day life. You can install them and show your parents how to use them.
Indians are increasingly adopting a western system of living arrangement, where educated, financially sound and physically fit seniors are opting independent living by choice and not by compulsion.
As per a recent survey, 80 to 90 percent of the elderly in India say that they want to reside in their own homes for as long as possible.
Yet, ageing in place is always not the best option, especially with impending emergencies, one cannot imagine leaving their elderly parents all by themselves.
A range of services and products addressing the needs of 65 years plus parents living alone are available. Keeping yourself and your parents engaged with these services and products as they age in place is the best way to go.
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