Do you really want me to answer that question? I am already guffawing. For any adult child of a stubborn aging parent, all I can say is: You ain’t seen nothing yet! Until now, you may have even managed to tongue-tie your children, your partner, your boss, your friends, and others with your eloquent arguments in those contexts. Who is left? Answer: The Resistant Duo!
Forget the Business Professionalism
Well, not entirely… After all, you wouldn’t go into a contentious meeting with your difficult boss unprepared. Same thing as it regards unpopular conversations your folks want nothing to do with. That would be any subject they will fight you over tooth and nail because it denotes in their minds a loss of independence (i.e., estate paperwork, releasing car keys, entering a retirement home). Have your ducks lined up with every possible objection thought through.
Forget Your Home Authority
Well, not entirely… However, if you’re used to being King or Queen of your own castle, forget that idle notion when it comes to the brick wall you will face when elders strive to have their way with you. Much as they might fight like cats and dogs with each other, they will suddenly present a united front when it comes to you uncovering their real situation. You are detecting it accurately. Trust that aspect. You can NOT use logic when they are entrenched!
Prepare to Be Reduced
OK, so what will work??? Let me start by warning you. Are you truly realizing how quickly you will be turned into that shrunken inner five-year-old you imagined to be long-outgrown? No, it can’t possibly be THAT bad, you retort. Oh, ya? Try me. If you strive to use force, begging or manipulation to prevail, you will get nowhere. If anything, your regression will escalate faster than you can blink because you have just defaulted in the face of their parental commands.
Next Time Around
Yes, I knowingly leave you in a bit of suspended animation today because we have basically touched on what will NEVER work with recalcitrant elders. Like any good cliff-hanger… LOL. Let me not abandon you entirely, though.
My first eldercare book, Coping with Un-cope-able Parents: LOVING ACTION for Eldercare provides two A to Z lists. One expands on what does not work. The other enumerates 26 qualities that will get you somewhere. I am thinking that will come in handy when we tackle next time “I Can Hack It When the Time Comes”. Stay tuned.