• Pam

Tell Me Why My Aging Parents Won't Listen to Me



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One of the most common arguments between aging parents and their adult children is about whether or not the aging parent should be listening to their advice. Those of that are baby boomers often find we are stuck in the mud on this one. No one wants to think about their parents getting old and frail. But the reality is, sooner or later, all of us will have to deal with our parents' aging process. For adult children of aging parents, this can be a difficult time. You may feel like you're losing your parents little by little as they become more and more dependent on you. One of the biggest challenges can be getting your parents to listen to you and heed your advice. Here are some tips for how to communicate with your aging parents and get them to listen to you.


As our parents age, it's natural for us to want to do everything we can to make their lives easier. But what happens when they don't want to listen to our advice?

Whether it's refusing to give up driving or trying to live alone despite being diagnosed with dementia, it can be frustrating and overwhelming trying to get our aging parents to accept help.


It's a question we all face at some point: why won't our aging parents listen to us? We may feel like we're the only ones who can see what's happening, and that they're heading for disaster if they don't change their ways. But it seems like no matter how many times we try to talk to them, they just don't want to listen. So, what can you do? If you would like some assistance deciding what the issues or concerns might be go ahead and request our checklist 11 Signs Your Aging Parent May Need Help in the Home. You can get that HERE.

In this post, we'll explore some common reasons why aging parents resist help and offer some tips on how best to approach the situation.


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1. What are some possible reasons your parents aren't listening to you?


It can be frustrating when aging parents won't listen to their adult children, especially when it comes to advice about their health. There are a few possible explanations for this behavior.


First, aging parents may not want to admit that they're getting older and need help. They may be used to being the ones in charge and providing care for their children, so it can be difficult for them to accept that the roles have reversed. Your aging parent feels like they know more than the adult child. They've been alive longer, they've made more mistakes, and they feel like they've learned from those mistakes.


Additionally, aging parents may be reluctant to listen to their children because they don't want to seem like a burden. They may feel like they're already causing enough problems and don't want to add to them by admitting that they need help. The aging parent doesn't want to admit that they need help. They're used to being independent and self-sufficient, and asking for help goes against everything they're used to. They think of their child as being busy with their own life, and they don't want to add to that stress. In some cases, the aging parent might also be embarrassed about their current situation, and they don't want their child to see them as weak.


They may also be experiencing age-related hearing loss, making it difficult for them to understand what you're saying. Additionally, aging can lead to cognitive decline, making it hard for your parents to process information and make decisions. If your aging parents are exhibiting these behaviors, it's important to be patient and try to work with them instead of against them. Try speaking slowly and clearly and avoid using jargon or technical terms. You may also want to consider bringing in a third party, such as a doctor or aging services professional, to help mediate the situation.


Finally, some aging parents simply refuse to listen because they don't want to change their habits or routine. They may not be willing to try new things, even if it's for their own good. Whatever the reason, it can be challenging to get aging parents to listen. However, it's important to keep trying, as eventually, they may come around.


It's important to remember that aging parents are still adults, and they have a right to make their own decisions, even if those decisions aren't always wise.


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2. How can you get them to start listening to you more effectively?


Aging parents sometimes have a difficult time accepting that their children are now adults. After all, it wasn't that long ago that you were the one who needed their guidance and wisdom. But now the roles are reversed, and you find yourself in the position of having to convince your aging parents to start listening to you.


Here are a few tips that may help: First, try to have a conversation when both of you are calm and relaxed. Starting from a place of anger or frustration is likely to only make things worse. They're likely to tune out if you're rambling or if they don't understand what you're saying. So, make sure you're getting your point across in a way that's easy for them to understand.


Try to have a conversation when they're in a good mood. If they're tired or stressed, they're less likely to be open to what you have to say.


Another way to get your aging parents to start listening to you is to be respectful. If you're disrespectful, they're not going to want to listen to you. They'll see you as being ungrateful and unappreciative, and they'll tune you out. So, make sure you're showing them the respect they deserve, even if you don't agree with them.


Second, try to avoid making ultimatums or issuing threats. Instead, calmly explain why their actions are causing problems.


A third way to get your aging parents to start listening to you is persistence. They might not listen the first time, or the second time, but if you keep at it, they'll eventually start hearing what you have to say. So don't give up and keep trying until they finally start listening.


Finally, be willing to listen to their side of the story. Showing that you're willing to compromise may help them be more willing to do the sameBut now the roles are reversed, and you find yourself in the position of having to convince your aging parents to start listening to you. Be patient and remember that it takes time for people to change their behavior.


If you follow these tips, you'll be more likely to get your aging parents to start listening to you. And that's important, because the more they listen, the more likely they are to stay safe.


If after trying all of these strategies and you are still coming up short with your parents' willingness to discuss the concerns, you may need to seek professional advice. You can reach out to the doctor’s office and ask for some resources, or you may seek the guidance from a Patient Advocate to help facilitate and mediate the conversation. Sometimes a “third party” healthcare professional can make a difference in their willingness to listen.


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3. What are some positive things you can do to encourage better communication with your parents?


As we age, it's natural for our parents to become more set in their ways and less open to new ideas. This can make communication difficult, especially when we're trying to encourage them to change a behavior or adopt a new habit. However, there are some things we can do to encourage better communication with our aging parents.


One is to be respectful of their experiences and perspectives. Even if we don't agree with them, it's important to listen and try to understand where they're coming from. We should also avoid speaking in absolutes, such as "you always" or "you never." Instead, focus on specific instances and how you feel in those moments. Let them know your concerns are coming from a place of love and worry vs. a voice of authority. Come prepared with some examples. Remember when you….and we were worried about…… or and this is what happened…………. You can say “when I was younger you did all kinds of things to keep me safe. I know you are not happy with getting older and feeling like you are losing some of your independence, but we just want to have you around as long as possible and as safe as possible.” “Where can we at least compromise?” Accept one small win at a time before moving on the next item. Try to tackle the concerns one at a time and make sure you prioritize your concerns first before discussing them.


Depending on the relationship with your siblings and the rest of your family, you can try to set up regular family meetings or have dinner together to check in regularly and see how the plan and your parents are doing.


Children can offer to help their parents with whatever task they're struggling with. This shows that you're willing to lend a hand and that you're confident in your ability to handle the situation.


Finally, be patient. Just because our parents are aging doesn't mean they're not capable of change. If we approach the conversation with an open mind and a willingness to compromise, we can encourage better communication and understanding between generations. Sometimes it takes multiple conversations to get things moving in the right direction. Take it in bite size pieces vs throwing the whole enchilada at them all at once.


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4. What are some tips for communicating with aging parents who may be resistant to change?


If you're like many adult children, you may have aging parents who are resistant to change. Whether it's a change in living arrangements, medical care, or financial planning, getting aging parents to listen can be a challenge. Here are a few tips for communicating with aging parents who may be resistant to change:

As our parents age, it can be difficult to get them to adopt new technologies or change the way they do things. They may stubbornly cling to old habits, even when it's clear that there's a better way.


If your aging parents are having trouble using new technologies or understanding changes in their daily lives, offer to help them out. By taking the time to assist and support them, you can help ease their transition and make the process of aging a little bit easier.

Communicating with aging parents can be a challenge, but it's important to remember that they are still the same people you've always loved and respected. By following these tips, you can help make the transition smoother for both of you.


5. What should you do if your attempts at communication fail, and your parents continue to refuse to listen to you?"


It can be frustrating when your aging parents refuse to listen to you. You may feel like they're not taking your concerns seriously, or that they're just choosing to ignore you. However, there are a few things you can do if your attempts at communication fail and your parents continue to refuse to listen to you. First, try to have a calm and respectful conversation with them.


If that doesn't work, you could try reaching out to other family members or friends for support. You could also look into getting outside help, such as professional counseling or mediation services. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is to stay patient and keep trying to communicate with your parents in a way that is respectful and understanding. Once again contacting the doctor’s office for help or contacting a Healthcare Advocate that can help you by meeting with you and your family and being that independent voice to listen to both sides. The Advocate can help to get a plan in place to address all of the concerns.

Lastly you could also try writing a letter or sending an email expressing your thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, the goal is to find a way to get your message across in a way that your parents will be open to hearing.


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6. How can you create a support system for yourself so that you don't feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for aging parHents on your own?


As we age, our responsibilities change. No longer are we focused on school or raising our own children. Instead, our attention turns to our aging parents. We may find ourselves in the role of caregiver, providing both practical and emotional support. It can be a difficult adjustment, and it's important to create a support system for yourself.


As our parents age, it can become increasingly difficult to convince them to take care of themselves. They may not want to go to the doctor or take their medications, and as a result, we can find ourselves shouldering more and more responsibility for their health and wellbeing. While it's important to be there for our aging parents, we also need to make sure that we don't get overwhelmed in the process. One way to do this is to create a support system for yourself. This might mean enlisting the help of other family members, hiring outside help, or simply taking some time for yourself so that you can recharge. Whatever form it takes, having a support system in place will help you to manage the challenges of caring for aging parents without feeling overwhelmed.


First, try to find other family members or close friends who can help out. This could involve taking turns checking in on your aging parents, or just pitching in when you need an extra set of hands. You might also want to look into hiring professional caregivers, who can provide both physical and emotional support. Finally, make sure to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. This includes staying healthy, getting plenty of rest, and finding time to relax and de-stress. By taking these steps, you can create a support system that will help you better manage the challenges of caring for aging parents.


One way to do this is to join a caregiving group. These groups provide an opportunity to share your experiences with others who are in similar situations. You can also reach out to family and friends, letting them know what you're going through and asking for their help when you need it. And finally, don't be afraid to ask for professional help.


Your aging parents won't listen. You try to have a rational discussion with them about something that's important to you, but they just won't budge. And then the guilt sets in. Maybe you feel like you're not respecting their experience or wisdom. Maybe you start to worry that you're being selfish. But ultimately, you have to remember that you're an adult now, and you have a right to your own opinions and beliefs. If you can't come to a resolution, it's okay to agree to disagree. Just know that at the end of the day, your parents love you and they want what's best for you - even if it doesn't always seem like it.


There are many resources available to caregivers and seeking out assistance can make a world of difference. by taking care of yourself, you'll be better able to care for your aging parents. There are many Facebook Groups that you can plug into that have open discussions on the reality of caring for your aging parents. If you are on Facebook, just go up into the Facebook Search bar and type in “Aging Parents” and groups will pop up. There are many aging experts that offer support for the caregivers. You may also contact your locate Aging and Disability Resource Center or Senior Center for local resources in your area.


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7. What are some resources that can help caregivers deal with difficult conversations and situations with aging parents?"


Hiring a Health or Patient Advocate such as Your Nurse Advocates Consulting to help you address the issues and put a plan in place everyone can live with. We have courses and free materials to assist you in the caregiving process and looking at what decisions need to be made.

There are books available on Amazon and wherever you get your books on the topic. One such book is The Hardest Conversation: Helping Aging Parents Make Difficult Decisions (Staying Home) Here is the link to this book

by Ruthanne Koyama

The Aging and Disability Resource Center or Senior Center in your county will be the key to local resources for you.


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8. Are there any steps you can take to help prevent these conflicts from happening in the first place?


One of the most difficult things to deal with in aging parents are the inevitable conflict that arise between them and their adult children. No matter how much you love your parents, there will be times when you butt heads with them. It's a natural part of life. However, there are some steps you can take to help prevent these conflicts from happening in the first place. First, try to keep an open mind. Remember that your parents are aging and may not be able to do things the way they used to. Second, be patient. aging parents won't always be able to keep up with the pace of their adult children, so it's important to be understanding and patient. Lastly, don't be afraid to set boundaries. It's important that aging parents know that their adult children have a life too and can't always be at their beck and call. By following these steps, you can help prevent some of the conflict that arises between aging parents and their adult children.


One way to prevent this conflict is to have a frank discussion with aging parents about their plans for the future. This conversation can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the aging parent feels comfortable communicating their needs and wishes. Additionally, it may be helpful to involve other family members or close friends in this conversation. Having multiple perspectives can help aging parents feel more confident about their decisions and less likely to experience conflict down the road.


The good news is that there are things you can do to help make the process easier for both of you. We’ve put together a checklist of 11 Signs Your Aging Parents May Need Help in the Home, based on our years of experience working with families in this situation. Print it out and keep it handy for review from time to time. And if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to do next, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. We’re here to support you every step of the way.


It can be a difficult conversation to have but knowing when it's time for your loved one to transition into a new stage of life is crucial in order to provide them with the best possible care.


For a more intense education experience where we come along side you 1:1 to help you determine your parent’s needs, choose the appropriate resources, and then put a plan in place you may wish to enroll in our 8-Module Course: Caring for Your Aging Parent; The Complete Sibling’s Guide. You can learn more about our course HERE.


If you are looking for some resources to assist in the care of your aging parents, we encourage you to check out our Patient Advocate Match Resource Directory.


Thanks for stopping by and spending some of your precious time with us. We look forward to serving you now or in the future.


Take care and see you back here soon.

Pam





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