What can we do when there are warning signs everywhere, but our parents are being stubborn? Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements describes the myriad of scenarios how this happens. Sometimes it takes a catastrophic event, that no matter what we do we can’t get past the stubbornness. Stubbornness comes from a place of fears. But more often, it can go well when information is given to someone from an objective party, someone who’s professional and good at mirroring someone they are listening to, and good at being compassionate without being syrupy, to honor that person and have their voice be heard.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. And Welcome back to answers for elders radio. I am here with Daphne Davis from pinnacles senior placements and you know, we are talking. We’ve been talking a lot. But one of the things that I get asked a lot, daphne, is are not asked but told. When I speak with people they’ll say mom is too stubborn, she’s not willing to do anything, and yet the family is really seeing their you know, red lights everywhere, you know, hazard, hazard, hazard. What can we do about that? You know, as I’m preparing for this conversation, I’m thinking about all the stories at this falls under and there is a myriad of scenarios of how this happens. And sometimes it does take to have a catastrophic thing happen that the subbornness just will not be preventative. No matter what we do, you can’t do anything about it. And there is that scenario. But more than not, when information is given to someone that is from an objective party, someone who’s professional, someone who is good at mirroring who they’re listening to someone who can understand the the difference of how to be compassionate and empathetic without being syrupy, to on or that person and have their voice be heard. Usually stubbornness comes from a place of fear, some kind of fear I’m going to lose something or I don’t know something or change is just too hard. I’ve been in the same house for fifty five years. I know how to chair walk, I know how to Wal Walk. I don’t want to relearn it. I’m fine. And you know, I always tell families whenever somebody feels like they’re losing their faculties in some way or they feel out of control in an area of your life, you want to hang on to what you know. That’s right. There’s a natural tendency to do that. So when you’re talking about fear of the unknown, now you’re asking them they’re already feeling off center. Yeah, now you’re asking them to take this leap of faith to a scenario that they don’t know or they need not recognize, and so that is a very difficult scenario, but one that I always say. You know, if you have a parent that’s stubborn, don’t go at them. No, and that is the wrong way. They will dig in harder. That’s right, and the thing that I’ll throw onto that is that they’ll they’ll dig in harder with you, the family, than anyone else, absolutely, and that’s where you have to have the courage as their advocate, having the courage to invite someone into the equation to help through this process. and not everybody is good at that job. Not everybody can mirror who they’re talking to and give honor to some one. That is the key piece, is giving honor to the person so that they know they have choices and they’re still in charge. Now, I’m not saying that we don’t guide that conversation exactly, and as a professional, you know how to do this right and so it. I mean, it could be the scenario of, you know, I can’t leave my my spouse. My spouse is perfectly happy and healthy and I just they need me and that’s their place of getting fulfilled and I have to stay in this marriage. But yet that person cannot even get to the bathroom by themselves right or they’re falling every day. I mean that’s when you have to have someone other than the children to say dad or mom. This is what’s what I’m really seeing. And let’s talk about how can we keep you together, how can we make this work so that your marriage is intact and you don’t have to give up the things that you’re afraid of giving up? Coming from a child, from their their child, they know who you are. You’re the banker, you’re the you know, ditch digger, you’re the cake. I’m the mother, not, yeah, you’re not the exact you’re not going to tell me what to do. That’s right, and that is absolutely what goes on with so many families. And you know, I would say that that is the number one thing when I get a call from a high school friend or something like that. Dad refuses. Yeah, mom refuses, and I just sit back and say, that’s because you’re the daughter, that’s that’s that’s that’s because you’re the son. Yep, and I will tell you that’s it. It is. That’s the magic thing. It is, it is yet it’s kind of like you can say the words and I can say and we can say the same words, but they hear them from a different person and I have credibility. I’m not the son or the daughter. There’s nothing more magical than just that. Right. The other piece, though, is having someone be able to know truly what their options are and listening to what really matters. This is another piece of the stubbornness that comes out. Sometimes children or spouses can put people into a box of and their forty, fifty, sixty year olds. My Dad did this. My Dad, DA, Dad, Dad, Dad. My Dad is this type of person. But we evolve. Peace will evolved and when you’re eighty eighty five, your life is different, very different, and as children and family members, it’s hard to see that difference and to be able to paint a new picture of what life looks like for Mama Dad and I think more so, they might put on a good front for you even when you come to visit, because they’re going to get themselves like, you know, just prepare, prepare, they will get them turn themselves inside out to be on when you come and visit and they crash after you’re gone. You know, it’s like all of a sudden they can pick up their feet, they’re not shuffling, all of a sudden they’re drinking the water, but they don’t any other time. You know, it’s simple things like that and that you know what that’s human nature. That’s not as flamed any person know. That’s just human nature. And for us to be able to work within the confines of who we are as people and then be able to say, you know what, Dad, this, you can still have this, this and this, whatever he’s afraid of, but you also get to have no stress in worrying about ABCDF whatever, those things that are stressing him. And it’s a process of them self discovering. It’s not me coming in and saying well, you need data, Dad, Dad. It’s me coming in and saying, you know, Joe, what things are really important to you, what things you have to have every day that gives you joy, and find out those things are all. Ask it and however that person can hear, hear me, but it’s finding out and having them discovering that conversation. You know, it would be really nice to not have to walk out in the winter rain to go get my mail. It my mail sits in the box and then I don’t get my bills paid because I don’t want to go out in the rain, it’s too cold. Huh, I don’t want to. Or also wants my mail for so long that the post office took it back. That’s happened a couple to much. I mean those are simple things that they may not even think about, you know. And to the other thing that, because I have the eighteen years of experience, I know kind of what questions to ask that you may not think of. Absolutely that generate a conversation well, and I think it’s important to you know, if you have a one-on-one conversation with that senior away from the kids, oftentimes that senior will be more honest with you than they will to their children. It’s important for them as a parent and you always want to keep them in that role, that you always want to be the daughter of the son and and to honor the process that you know as mom or dad. They’re not going to talk about incontinence to you and they’re not going to talk about those things. No, nope, not as openly anyway. You know, there’s another dynamic in this I’m finding to happen more and more also, is that spousal connection that spouse is having to make changes or decisions for their spouse, which is really hard, and that’s not so much about the honor. That’s more about the guilt and trying to get over the guilt of, you know, quote, giving up on someone. You know. You know, there are a lot of people that still say, you know, till death do us part, I will help you, you know, and in health and an illness. But again, there are situations that we cannot anticipate. No, and for you to have someone walk beside you that says it’s okay to have this kind of care. And let me tell you the value to you and to your loved one one right this is a gift to both of you so that you can be a married couple, that you can love each other without the stress of getting up at two in the morning every night because someone won’t go to the bathroom before they get into bed and then they went the bed and you’re changing sheets and you know it. Something as simple as that can be really debilitating to your relationship. Of what you really want to do is love that person in a way that you both can share your love well, and that’s staying the daughter, it’s staying the sun, it’s not getting into a situation where now you’re in charge now, even though eventually you’re gonna may have to but that it’s a process, it is a it’s a honoring the dignity of the role that that person has in their life and letting them still be Dad or Mom and and respecting when that’s right. And I you know, and that Horton on the stubbornness piece. Also there’s a thing called respite care. Yes, and that can be kind of like testing the water, you know, if it’s assisted living, is kind of like, let’s just go to the hotel for for a couple weeks dad and see what it’s like. No big decisions, just see what it’s like and see if the benefit of somebody cooking for you has enough value for you to give up. Whatever they’re saying wonderful. Or just be in touch with a couple of the communities in your neighborhood and if there are some special till events they would love to have you come and bring dad to. Maybe they’re having a low hour or they’re having a happy hour or they’re having, you know, any sort of special event. You know, Valentine’s Day dinner are whatever, those things that go on all of the time. You know they’re more than happy to welcome you into their, you know, their community. To that you see just a little bit about what lifestyle is like in that gives your dad or mom a chance to get to know those that are around, and I think that’s really valuable as well. It is very often, along with that stubbornness, I hear, well, that’s for old people, you know, that’s for old people. I’m not an old piece is Yady here. See, your sitters are for old people. Give it laughs. It’s common. It’s very common and it’s very you know what, but that’s so telling. They see themselves as a younger person that’s still going to be doing x, Y and Z. I know, I still want to go out and play around a golf and can I do that if I’d leave my house slightly? Yes, even, and you know, really understanding that. You know, at the end of the day, what I will always say to people is, you know, if we make these decisions now, you’re part of the you know your say is important and you’re going to be involved. If you wait till it’s too late, you won’t have a say. That’s right, then people will do choices are limited, you know. You wait for the crisis, all of a sudden the window of opportunities and in choices of where you can live changed. Dramatically and if you would have acquiesced to having a little more support right at least available and at your fingertips, could have potentially, we don’t have the crystal ball, but avoided that that fall or that break or, you know, the the congestive heart failure that got out of control or absolutely things like that that are are certainly preventable. So, Daphne at Pinnacle senior placements, how do we reach you? Well, you reach me the easiest way at eight hundred and fifty five, seven thirty four, one thousand five hundred. You can also reach us at our website, which is Pinnacle Senior Placements.com. And remember to everyone, Daphne’s services are free to you. So there is no downside. Just pick up the phone and called Daphne and she can help you, guys, and whatever transition that you need to make with your senior loved one. Absolutely thanks so much, Daphne, for being on the show. To me, you are so welcome. The preceding podcast was provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. To contact pinnacles senior placements, go to Pinnacle Senior Placements.com.
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Originally published June 30, 2018