Monday, January 30, 2012

Elderly Parents Making Unreasonable Demands on Family

By Janine Sanderstine

So, you're doing the best you can to provide for your parent's or loved one's health, safety, and emotional needs. Somehow, they're still not pleased and continually demand more. So why now are they making so many demands on your time and energy? Are their complains grounded, or are they just making trouble? What should you to provide the best for your loved one and preserve the quality of your own life?

Being certain that all their basic needs have been met as a first step. Consider their medical condition, their ability to get to where they need to go, their diet, medication, exercise, and spiritual needs. Are their financial matters being managed well? Are their living arrangements safe for their needs now? How much of this are they able to manage on their own? If you are the one who's making this happen, give yourself credit for what you've accomplished!

Listen carefully to the requests and demands that your loved one is making Is there more to these demands than you thought originally? Perhaps they are bored, lonely or even sick. Are they telling you that there is something missing in their lives? Perhaps if you can find activities that engage both mind and body, they will find life more rewarding and have less inclination to complain and make demands. If they are living on their own and having difficulties with daily living tasks, maybe it's time to consider an assisted living facility or a board and care home.

Are they asking that you make yourself available at all times to satisfy each and every whim of theirs? Time won't allow you to do this and it is unrealistic. Dedicating all of your time and energy to their demands will deplete your resources, and you won't be able to help yourself or your parent. Finding resources, such as alternative living arrangements, for your parent, may better address their current needs and add value to their physical and emotional health.

It may help to let them know when you will come to visit and help them with shopping or any other help that is needed. They might be more patient if they know what to expect. Be sure to let them know how much you appreciate their patience and consideration. But most of all, give the same respect to yourself that you give to them. You must have your physical and emotional needs met for both your sakes.

Both board and care homes and assisted living facilities provide an environment that is makes live fulfilling for many senior citizens. The quality of your loved one's life may be impacted positively by having services like meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping, and other services provided as well as having more company and an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities. There will still be plenty of ways for you to be involved, but instead of being the only resource, you will be part of a team, all working toward a common purpose.

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