It can be a monumental challenge to care for an ill or aging loved one. The responsibility can feel enormous. Add to that, caring for a controlling parent, and can be exasperating. They will have a very definite opinion about when and how every single thing is approached and completed.
Overbearing, aging parents may demand all your time, but not particularly enjoy doing the same things you enjoy. They may refuse to allow you to help them with bathing, dressing, and other personal care duties. They meet with disdain any attempt on your part to lovingly assist them.
There’s no doubt how frustrating and even hurtful this can be for you. What must be considered, however, is that when your loved one starts needing the assistance of others, the control over their life and their perceived level of independence changes forever.
How can you respond to their demands while coping with their control issues? Here’s some advice.
Your Involvement May Need to Be Limited
Abuse, depression, and fatigue can be the result of a toxic environment. You may find yourself needing to limit the care you give your loved one and the time you spend with them. At some point, it might be time to consider an assisted living community for your loved one. There, they are provided with professional care, their needs are seen to, and independence is encouraged whenever possible.
Be Wary of Abuse
It is easy to become frustrated and angry with someone who is constantly pushing you, questioning you, dictating how things should be done, etc. Don’t fall into a negative pattern of mistreatment as a result. Watch others who care for your loved one, as well. They are likely feeling as frustrated as you are. Make sure elderly abuse does not become a problem.
Boundaries Must Be Set
It is essential to set boundaries regarding what is acceptable and what is not acceptable where your parents’ behavior is concerned. Consistency is crucial. Whatever boundaries you set, you must stick to them. To stay dedicated to your rules, you may need to learn to “detach with love.”
Balance Safety and Control
You need to take some control, but don’t take more than you need. Leaving your loved one with as much independence and control as possible may help lessen the impact of aging and their feelings of a loss of control. Keep them safe but let them make some decisions on their own.
Aging and Manipulative Behavior
As some people age, they find themselves needing more and more assistance, and possibly even having to deal with chronic pain. They can feel drained, frustrated, embarrassed, etc. The response may be to push people out and become depressed. This is a coping mechanism.
So you can cope, as well, devise ways to reassure and empower them. Do what you can to understand their feelings of fear and loss.
If for years (or decades) your loved one has been the domineering one in your relationship, this will probably get even worse as they age. You may feel like you just can’t make them happy, no matter what you do. While understanding the basis for their behavior can help, it may not improve the situation. It might be time for counseling if things can’t be remedied between the two of you.
The Park Oak Grove Understands Hard Change Can Be
The Park Oak Grove understands that it’s not always easy for aging parents to admit they need assistance. But we are familiar with working with retirement-age individuals, and always put their best interests first. With our assisted living program, we will encourage their independence whenever possible and give them the care/assistance they need on a daily basis. Before they know it, they will feel perfectly at home and have others to socialize with – making life a happy and engaging experience.
For sales and leasing inquiries, please contact us at 540-348-2669. Any other questions can be asked of a representative by calling 540-989-9501. You can also use our convenient online form to open the lines of communication.
Best of all, you can set up a tour and bring your loved one with you so that, together, you can see all we have to offer.