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4 Tips For Handling Conflicts With Aging Family Members

All of your life you were taught that you should listen to your parents.   However, as your parents get older, it may be time to turn the tables. As they pass a certain age, they may become less capable of taking care of themselves, and may even develop medical conditions which require assistance.   It may be time for you to take care of them for a change.

But what do you do when they resist your help?  Many adult children find that caring for their senior parents is more complicated than they imagined. A lot of conflicts can arise when they refuse to listen to your advice and insist they can do it themselves.  

So, how do you handle older parents that just won’t listen? Take a look at some of the best ways to handle conflicts with your aging family member. 

Have an “It Is What It Is Attitude”

The best way to handle conflict is to first and foremost accept the situation.  Try to look at the situation from an objective point of view and recognize that you’re dealing with someone who may not have the best judgment at this point in their lives.

It can be difficult for them to accept that they are no longer capable of doing everything themselves anymore. The best approach is to have an  “It is what it is” attitude rather than trying to go against the reality of the situation. Accept what is and try to find solutions.

Choose Your Battles

As with all conflicts in life, whether with your boss or older family member, it’s essential to choose your battles.  Not every circumstance requires your energy or frustration. Make sure that you aren’t starting arguments over trivial things.  Sometimes you have to let go and let your parent have their way. Save the arguments for moments that really matter.

Don’t Blame It On Yourself

When you can’t seem to reason with your older family member, and they get hurt as a result of their own stubbornness, you may blame it on yourself.   “Perhaps if I had only said this” or “Maybe if I had just done that” may pass through your mind.

However, you can’t force them to do anything against their wishes. Sometimes there isn’t anything you can do except stand by, watch, and do the best that you can if they ask for help. 

Confide In A Friend

Dealing with the stress of an aging family member can be a lot to take on. Make sure that you’re still practicing self-care.  Confide in a friend so that you have a place to put all your feelings.  Holding everything in will only encourage things getting worse. Don’t be afraid to ask for a shoulder to lean on.