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Are You Guilty of This Common Form of Adult Bullying?

Campaigns against bullying are everywhere these days. We’re now a zero tolerance society when it comes to bullying, and a rough and tough ten-year-old can no longer get away with teasing and tormenting his classmates. But perhaps there’s some other, less apparent sort of bullying occurring – adult bullying between children and their senior parents. Our parents may make different choices than we would, and that is ok. We should respect their choices as often as we can, keeping safety in mind, of course.

Sometimes it can be hard to know where the line in the sand is between being a helpful care provider for parents and taking over for them in areas they can safely manage on their own. And added into the mix are often unresolved issues from childhood that can resurface - feelings of resentment and bitterness that may find their way into an adult’s caretaking decisions.

As an example, there are some particular main areas of contention that often arise between seniors and their adult children:

How to manage finances
When to stop driving
Medical decisions
Recommended safety modifications
Planning for end of life

The following advice can help ease difficult situations more respectfully and effectively and avoid adult bullying:

Try agreeing on a safe alternative for a dilemma such as driving, like only driving on shorter local trips taken only during the daytime.
Open a discussion with small changes to implement which may be less irritable to seniors, such as removing throw rugs, adding no-slip strips to the bathtub, and moving cords away from walkways.
Try not to compromise safety, while also keeping a senior's wishes in mind. It is important to remember to ask for your parent's input about decisions without talking down to him or her.
Put yourself in the older adult's shoes. How would you feel and want to be treated if the tables were turned?
However, don’t hesitate to contact a social worker or the senior’s physician if there are health or safety concerns.

And keep in mind that typically, serious discussions such as these are often better received in the presence of a trusted healthcare professional or religious clergy member or through an objective third party. Need additional resources for softening the blow of tough topics? Contact Independence-4-Seniors Home Care of Chicago at (630) 323-4665 for trusted, professional assistance in keeping your senior loved ones safe, while allowing them to remain as independent as possible where they’re most comfortable - at home.

Posted February 16, 2017
Tags: elder abuse

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