Community Blog

7 Important Tips for Dealing with Difficult Parents

By Ketan Patel

When your elderly parents need help but become stubborn, it can be a difficult situation. You have to remember, they took care of you, and now it’s your turn to take care of them. That doesn’t make it any easier to take away the car keys, get rid of unsafe decorations like area rugs and glass tables and give advice about healthy eating and exercise. Sometimes an aging parent is just not receptive, and hoping for gratitude is often too much to ask. Hiring an in-home care agency can take the pressure off by freeing up your time and enabling you to work on a positive relationship.

Here are some tips for dealing with stubborn aging parents:

  • Figure Out What Type of Help to Provide: Before you make suggestions to your parent that can turn his or her world upside down, assess the type of assistance that is needed. It may be as simple as making sure the refrigerator is stocked, or as complicated as providing help with activities for daily living like bathing, dressing and getting out of bed in the morning.


  • Have an Honest Discussion: Pick a time when everyone is relaxed, possibly after a nice lunch or dinner, and introduce the topics you need address. Try for a conversation where everyone speaks what’s on their minds.


  • Listen to your Parent: Remember that it is hard to change habits that have been decades in the making. Some seniors may have played in the same card games for years, and now find that they are having trouble driving to the location and once they get there they find it hard to concentrate and see the cards. Try to put yourself in their shoes.


  • Compromise for a Win-Win Situation: Sometimes the solution is not an all or nothing situation. If you are concerned with your parent taking long trips with the car, maybe you can both agree that local driving is ok, but for longer journeys a caregiver should be allowed to step in. Emphasize that if your parent accepts professional help, it will make your life easier as well as your parent’s.


  • Be Positive: Sometimes the way you frame the solution can make all the difference. You might call the in-home caregiver a companion, and the elder care center as a club. That way your parent may be more willing to accept help.


  • Enlist the Help of the Doctor: Chances are your parent has a long standing relationship with a physician who you might ask to discuss the issues at hand. Sometimes s/he may be willing to accept the doctor’s advice, especially if it corroborates your recommendations.


  • Give it a Try: Emphasize that you are just making suggestions, and the final decision rests with your parent. Ask for a trial run to see if things are working out. Your parent may be pleasantly surprised.

Home Care Services for the Elderly

The home care providers at Home Helpers of South Shore can help your loved one by preparing meals, helping with bathing and dressing, overseeing medicine. A caregiver can provide transportation for social activities and doctor’s appointments.

Home Helpers of South Shore is owned and operated by a compassionate health professional with a strong understanding of the needs of aging seniors. Contact Home Helpers to help your aging loved one. Please fill out the form on the left and we will get in touch with you about setting up in-home health care, or call us at 781-585-1244 to determine the plan that is right for you.

We serve the following communities:

Abington , Braintree , Brockton , Buzzards Bay , Carver , Cohasset, Dighton , Duxbury , Falmouth , Halifax , Hanson , Hingham , Holbrook , Hull , Humarock , Kingston , Lakeville , Marshfield , Mashpee , Middleboro , Norwell , Pembroke , Plymouth , Plympton , Quincy , Randolph , Rockland , Sandwich , Scituate , Taunton , Wareham , Weymouth , Whitman