Your elderly parent’s doctor may have a strict diet and medication regimen that needs to be followed, but what do you do if they refuse to listen to these medical professionals? Some adult children think their loved one’s refuse the doctor’s help because of their stubbornness. In fact, a study was conducted by Penn State University that found that 77 percent of these grown children think their parents are stubborn when it comes to taking advice from others.
It is challenging to watch our aging parents become stubborn when we are confident that the doctor knows what he is talking about. Yet, not listening could also result in a major health decline. If you are concerned that your loved one is not taking the steps needed to live a long, healthy life, here are some ideas that may persuade the elder to be open to what the doctor has to say.
Identify their reason behind the refusal. If the senior flat out refuses to take advice from a medical professional, there must be a reason. Asking the right questions may help the elder open up a bit more. For example, “Can you tell me why you are not following the doctor’s orders?”
Explain why they should listen. Once you find out why they have not been following the doctor’s suggestions, try to explain why listening to the doctor is important in a calm manner. You may also want to let the elder know how you feel when they refuse to listen. They may be more likely to agree to hear what the doctor has to say if they know it is affecting you, too.
Try the bandwagon technique. This technique suggests that you mention to the elder how every other older adult is listening to their doctors. It may be what your aging parent needs to hear to finally open their ears when the doctor is speaking to them.
Do not treat them like children. The elder may need to be cared for by a trained elderly care provider, but they should not be treated like a child. Demanding that they listen will only backfire and cause them to refuse even more. When talking to them, do so in a respectful manner. It is also important that you let the senior make their own health choices, but gently encourage them to take the health advice from their doctor.
Aging adults often think they know what is best for their own health, not wanting to listen to anyone else, even if that person is a trained medical professional. These techniques will help encourage your loved one to make the right choices and advice for their health care.