Date: June 27, 2024


Author: Pete Imbesi

It can often be challenging for seniors and their adult children to adjust to shifting caregiving roles. Dealing with demanding elderly parents and their needs from time to time is natural, but that doesn’t make it any less of a struggle for caregivers who are still learning to adapt. In this post, we’ll explore tips for how to deal with a difficult elderly parent and what to do if that difficult elderly parent’s behavior continues to escalate.

Manipulative Elderly Parents

It’s not at all uncommon to find our parents depending on our support more and more as they age. However, manipulative elderly parents will often make requests or even demands that simply don’t work for you. Whether you’re dealing with a parent who is asking for more help than you can reasonably give or one who continually finds excuses to cross established boundaries, clear and direct communication will be key to reaching a peaceful resolution. Below, you’ll find some helpful tips on how to navigate these talks with your difficult elderly parents.

How to Handle Elderly Parents

1. Be Patient

It’s important to remember that aging is a complex and emotional process. Learning to accept their changing limitations can be a tough pill to swallow for many seniors, and a little empathy can go a long way.

When dealing with difficult older parents, frustration is almost inevitable, but it’s important to keep your cool, even when emotions are running high. This is especially true if you’re handling emotionally manipulative elderly parents.

2. Be Honest With Yourself About What You Can and Can’t Handle

We all want to show up for our loved ones when they need us, but you can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself. Take time to think about how often you can realistically visit your parents, help them with daily tasks, and provide other emotional or material support. Be as specific and honest with yourself as possible, and consider writing these thoughts down if you need to refer back to them during a heated conversation.

3. Set Boundaries

During this period of self-reflection, it’s also important to identify what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do when it comes to helping your parents. Communicate these boundaries clearly, and if they try to argue — resist the urge to engage. You don’t owe them an explanation.

4. Stand Your Ground

Oftentimes, when children of manipulative elderly parents try to establish boundaries they are met with resistance or outright hostility. Though it can be tempting to compromise in order to keep the peace, it’s important to stand your ground. Giving in on one issue is only going to encourage manipulative elderly parents to continue pushing your boundaries to see where else they can get you to compromise.

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5. Ask for Help

As tough as it can be for our parents to age, it’s just as hard for us to watch them go through it — especially if they’re fighting you every step of the way. Dealing with difficult elderly parents isn’t something you should go through alone. Whether that’s leaning on support from other family members or bringing in a professional, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.

To learn more about our home care services, contact our caregiving team today at 1-800-GRISWOLD or find a Caregiver near you.

Date: June 27, 2024

Author: Pete Imbesi

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