What If Your Elderly Parents Make Unreasonable Demands

| Tuesday, March 15, 2011
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. What is it that they want from you? How do you know if these demands reasonable or not? 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. Are they able to do what they need to do, get a nutritious diet, adequate exercise and fulfill their emotional needs? Do they have financial worries that could be troubling them? Are their living arrangements safe for their needs now? Do they require more assistance with daily living tasks than they feel comfortable with? If there basic needs are being met, then maybe you need to look a little deeper to determine what is going on.

Try to read between the lines of what they are saying when they complain. Is there more to these demands than you thought originally? For example, are the telling you that they are lonely or bored? 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.

Making yourself available to address every complaint in short order is out of the question. 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. Instead, maybe it's time to assess the needs and look wider for other resources that can help to fill those needs.

Letting them know what kind of help is available and when they can count on it may be helpful. Many times, they can be patient if they know when you will be there to help them. Be sure to let them know how much you appreciate their patience and consideration. They deserve your respect, but you deserve theirs as well. For the good of all, make certain that you don't allow their demands to negatively impact your physical or emotional well-being.

Care facilities, such as assisted living facilities and board and care homes, offer many services that can make life more meaningful for the elderly. 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. Assisted Living and Board & Care Homes can partner with family members in providing a physical, emotional, and even spiritual environment in which your parent will thrive.

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