1. suzanne

    This is a wonderful article, thank you!
    Right now I’m the middle, lol. We have adult and married children who love to give advice, and I also have my ageing mom whose slowing down considerably.
    Thankfully she often asks for help and is willing to listen when we’re concerned about something. She’s very stubborn about wanting to live in her own home though. I don’t know how much longer she can keep up with the house and the yard. She loves it, but she’s suffering from more aches and pains each year.
    I don’t look forward to when we’ll have to have the “living arrangement” talk, lol.
    Thanks for all the great advice!

    • Thank you Suzanne for the kind appreciation. You are lucky to have both sides. I imagine you can draw a good comparison between the two relationships (with your Mom and your children). One may even influence the other, or, at least help you to deal with it. And, you are right, it won’t be an easy conversation, as you will, naturally, want her in safety, while your Mom will want to keep that, perhaps last bit of independence and control over her life. It will take a lot of patience and a lot of understanding her position. All the best to you both!

  2. Hi Kerryanne,

    This brings back so many memories for me of the my late parents.

    I completely agree that we tend to view our parents as strong individuals as we are growing up and it’s difficult to watch that change as they get older.

    I think I often struggled to show empathy, as their aging, unwillingness, or simply being unable to do something they used to, was alien to me.

    I believe I was almost fighting their aging myself, I didn’t want them to get older, to be less capable, etc.

    I really do that your tip about actually having an honest conversation advancing age – sound advice.

    Another great read, thank you

    • Hi, Partha, it’s only normal that we think high of our parents. They usually are our row models, whether we acknowledge that or not. In our lives there hasn’t been a single moment when we could even think about any weakness of our parents. It could happen to others, but not to our parents. Until the time when we have to realise, mostly to our despair, that they are only humans, as anybody else, and getting older, with everything it brings, is inevitable for them, as well. This is a hard part of “growing up”, when you are already well grown up.
      Thank you for the nice comment and contribution.

  3. Kerry Burke

    Hi Kerryanne, You have great insights here, thank-you for writing this article. I’ve lost both of my parents over the last few years – one to an eventful journey through Alzheimer’s. So many of your points above seem like common sense to me now, but I surely could have used your perspective a while back.

    Do you think at all that some of this stubbornness that we seem to perceive is based on their upbringing and the world that they grew up in? I know my parents were children of the depression, and as result of that were very independent from their early teens right on through. I sensed that more from my Dad, who NEVER asked for help, advice or opinions. Frustrating but also a very admiral independence at the same time.

    Thanks for engaging us,

    • Hi Kerry, loosing parents is always painful. Seeing a parent slipping away due to Alzheimer is quite heartbreaking. It mustn’t have been easy on you. The “stubbornness” you describe can easily come from their upbringing. The times our parents were kids and teenagers were tough and required from them to get along on their own. I can imagine a certain pride and determination to not depend on anyone ever, that was born in their minds and, as much as helped them through their lives, might have also be a burden for their loved ones. Still, worth of our admiration, indeed. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  4. Hi Kerryanne,

    This is another very informative and really important article. My parents are in their 70’s and live in in the north of the UK as I live in the south. They are not overly stubborn, but when the lockdown first happened, they did become quite stubborn.

    As you have said here, I tried to solve certain problems for them and they were not having it. They have raised me, so they think they should be in charge all the time. So, I have left them to solve their own problems and I don’t want to come across like I am taking over.

    They have been much better as the weeks have gone on and we can now have a pleasant conversation.

    I hope you reach lots of people who have the same issues with stubborn parents and help them.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,


    • Hello Tom, I think it is even more difficult when you are so far away from each other. You can only rely on what you are being told, you can’t be around to see it for yourself. This can very easily lead to a wrong conclusion and possible disputes. The best thing you could do is to give them the chance to deal with their problems in accordance with their habits, wishes. When your help will be truly needed, I trust they’ll turn to you. And, it takes two to party, so the love and respect goes both ways and no one should be in charge of the other’s life. Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experience, I appreciate it.

  5. As soon as you don’t see your parents as not-stubborn, but trying to live their life as best they can, it makes it so much easier. I have been a caretaker for 20 years. First my Dad who got Alzheimer’s and after he passed away my Mum.
    Yes, at times it was difficult. But I always tried to put myself in their shoes. How would I react in that situation? Often I came to the conclusion I would react the same. 🙂

    • Hello Hannie, oh, 20 years is a very long time, if you are not professionally engaged in caring. Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s may be extremely challenging, but if it is your parent, it may be heartbreaking on top of it. I believe it was more than difficult at times, but, I can see from your words that you were a very good daughter and carer for both your Dad and Mum. Very true, often it only takes to take a look from their angle. Thank you for sharing your experience! All the best

  6. Chantelle

    Hi Kerryanne,
    You highlighted so many truths in this article that it felt like you were in my mind 🙂

    You had so much to say about this topic. In the end they are still your parents and you should always respect them no matter what their age is. Even when they can’t do anything anymore, you still need to respect them as a parent that brought you up.

    I think when trying to help a parent, you need to do it with them and not for them. It would be more bonding and it would help them better to understand how to do things at their age.

    I know my mum sometimes forget what I tell her a day later that I told her. Or she walks more slowly. And I try my best not to get irritated by reminding her what I said or accusing her that she did not listen. I know it’s age and I will repeat myself as much as I need to because she is my mum and I love her dearly.

    Great post

    • Hi Chantelle, thank you for your very kind feedback. There could be said much-much more about this, but then it would be a marathon post. I am pleased indeed that you found my article close to your thoughts. Yes, our parents can be difficult to deal with sometimes, but, hey, as you say, they raised us and never complained about it. They are undergoing major changes while aging and our loving support and respect can do a lot for them. And, when you say you love your Mum dearly, I’m sure you are doing a great job. All the best to both of you.

  7. As I’m currently in that – misunderstanding situation with my mother, and reading your article, I totally understood that I need to be more patient. You are so right – listening and respect are the key.
    Thank you so much for this great, and really touching article.
    All the best

    • I am so glad that my article had a positive impact on you. Also, I am sure, if you try to have a look from your Mum’s angle, you will find it much easier to provide that patience.
      Thank you for your kind words. All the best with your relationship with Mum.

  8. John

    Nice article. Very informative as well. Good points about the things to look for in our aging parents as signs that they may need assistance in the near future.
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Very interesting post. I experience some of this with my uncles. I have been trying to find different ways to communicate effectively with them. This was helpful, thanks.

    • It really gladdens me if my words can help you find a new perspective and make your communication bright and smooth. Your relationship will surely benefit from it. Cheers Brian!

  10. This is such wonderful advice. I experienced similar difficulties with my grandma at times but she was a reasonable person and appreciated the help most of the time. I have a feeling my father is going to be more difficult to help in his older age. He is a lot more stubborn and independent.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your all in all nice experience with your grandma. You can still have that with your father when the time comes. He can be as independent as possible, as long as you have an understanding of being honest and open in your conversations. Then you can address any issue with love and respect. There’s no better recipe for dealing with stubborness at old age. Good luck!

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