Parents Can Be So Stubborn!!!
Remember when you wanted to stay at your friend’s house for a sleepover, and your mom said “no because you needed your sleep for the _____ tomorrow”? Remember when you replied, “I’ll be fine” or “I’ll get enough, I promise”? Does this sound familiar?
How about this one; You wanted to drive to the grocery store at night, and your dad said “no” because it was too dark? You were upset because the store was close and you’d “be fine”.
Your parents were so stubborn – they just didn’t understand. Well, they are still stubborn, with a twist. Now you are the one trying to keep your mom healthy and your dad safe. And they both get upset and say “I’ll be fine”.
This is a big issue for helping people stay home. There is a mindset that “I’ don’t need any special attention, “my house” is safe with the message being, “don’t try to change me or my home”. It gets harder as the parent / friend gets older and less mobile. They may need help but don’t want to admit it. How does one work with that?
When loved ones don’t want help or changes to their surroundings, we have very little chance of improving the safety and comfort of their lives. So we stop pushing and start waiting for a serious enough event to happen and then it will be clear that improvements need to be made. You’d be surprised at how many of us are waiting. Praying that the event is small enough to be short term, and yet big enough to make a difference. This is crazy.
It’s time to get creative, and proactive. One thing that helps is to start early, before stubbornness really sets in. Think about subtle changes that can be made in your mom’s house that will make for her safety. We’re going to fix a stair tread and then add a handrail at the same time. Whatever you do – don’t say grab bars. That is a clear ticket to the front door.
Here are some ideas:
The bathroom is where most accidents happen. Offer to hang up some attractive towel bars near the toilet. Not grab bars but towel bars that don’t look institutional. Make sure they’re attractive, well blocked into the wall and they become an area of safe support that wasn’t there before.
To minimize tripping, remove small rugs, especially in the bathroom. Make sure the shower floor is non-slip shower floor. Vive shower floor grip tape. There are similar tapes for tread stairs.
Make sure there is plenty of light in strategic places. Give Mom / Dad a light fixture as a present that will look great next to the reading chair, craft table or tool bench.
How about helping to set up an organized area for tools and minimize the danger of falling clippers and tools. This one comes from Home Depot.
Bring a light and easy to use step stool from home which alleviates having to reach too high. And then leave it at his house.
Let’s not wait for an event to happen.
If you’d like more ideas, help with the assessment, act as the 3rd party to lessen the resistance, let me know and I can help.