Handling Controlling Elderly Parents
The responsibility of providing care for an aging or ill loved one is a monumental challenge in its own right. But when a care recipient is domineering about how and when every single task is done, it’s bound to exasperate their family caregiver(s).
Maybe your controlling elderly mother demands that you keep her company around the clock, but she certainly won’t watch any of the television shows you enjoy. Your overbearing father might refuse to let you help him bathe, but there’s also no way he’ll ever let a professional bath aide set foot in the house. Perhaps your spouse complains constantly about the food you carefully prepare each day and the clothing you pick out for them every morning. You do all of these things out of love only to be met with disdain.
While your loved one’s negative attitude is certainly frustrating, it’s important to understand that an elder’s real and perceived levels of independence and control over their life are forever changed when they begin needing a caregiver’s help. Achieving a better understanding of what this overbearing behavior stems from could help you cope with their control issues and influence how you respond to their demands.
Dynamics of the Caregiving Relationship: Sometimes the difficult dynamics between a caregiver and a care recipient have been deeply ingrained for many years. If your elderly parent or spouse has always been the dominating personality in your relationship, it is likely that their behavior will only worsen as they get older and their health declines.
With some demanding elderly parents, an overly critical, authoritarian parenting style is…
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