It would be great if your senior parent always took your advice to heart because he or she knows it’s being given out of genuine love and concern. However, some aging adults aren’t keen on the idea of role reversal, while others are simply not naturally amenable to feeling as if they’re being told what to do. Below, you’ll find five things you can do to break through communication barriers of this nature when your parent won’t listen.
1. Pick the Right Time
As a general rule, trying to offer well-meaning advice and guidance when your parent is distracted or simply not in a good mood isn’t worth the time and effort because you’ll likely be met with resistance or agitation. Instead, pick a time when your parent is relaxed, attentive, and likely to be receptive to what you have to say to him or her.
2. Remain Calm & Avoid Certain Tones
You’re more likely to be ignored or shut down entirely if you default to a tone that comes across as nagging or one that has hints of frustration or anger in it. Your parent is less likely to be combative or defensive if you remain calm, clearly explain your concerns, and tell him or her why you’re offering the advice you’re giving.
3. Ask Questions & Try to Determine the Reasons for Not Listening
Instead of getting frustrated with your parent because of what you perceive as stubbornness, take a step back and approach him or her again in an inquisitive way. Ask thoughtful questions to find out why your loved one is resistant to what you’re suggesting or saying. Approaching conversations like this increases your odds of finding an acceptable compromise, and it’s also a good way to start a meaningful two-way dialogue. Aging adults may be resistant to advice because they’re afraid of losing their sense of independence. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Winnipeg seniors can depend on.
4. Be Persistent
Let’s say you’re trying to convince your parent to make some adjustments to his or her diet or get more exercise, and he or she keeps pushing back. Your loved one may act this way because he or she assumes you’ll just give up. However, don’t simply abandon important topics—like making healthy lifestyle adjustments or being more mindful of doctor’s advice—that can contribute to your loved one’s overall health and wellbeing. Sometimes it may just take some time for your loved one to digest what you’re saying or realize your suggestions could ultimately be good for him or her. What you can do instead is find natural ways to bring up important topics again. With diet-related issues, for instance, start a conversation on the subject while making the weekly grocery list or cooking together.A home caregiver can help your loved one adopt healthier lifestyle habits. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
5. Get Some Backup Support
No matter how good your intentions are, some older adults just won’t take advice seriously if it comes from their children. If you believe this is the main reason your parent isn’t listening to you, get some backup support from people you know he or she will take seriously. These individuals may include: • Your parent’s doctor• Older siblings• Your aunts and uncles• Trusted family friends• Clergy membersA professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of information and support for your loved one. In Winnipeg, home care agenciescan be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (204) 489-6000 today.