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Do you think that your aging parents are stubborn? Accuse 'Mismatched Goals'



To what extent have the researchers asked middle-aged adults if their parents ignore suggestions or advice that would make their lives easier or safer?

Ignore instructions from their doctors?

Do you insist on doing things your way, even if it makes your own or someone else's life difficult, uncomfortable, or unsafe?

For example, several studies conducted by Allison Heid, a gerontologist at Penn State and Rowan University, have measured the perception of stubbornness among their aging parents by adult children.

It turned out to be a widespread complaint.

In a first study of 189 adult children and their parents, Drs. Heid and her colleagues found that 77 percent of children (mean age 55) reported persistent behavior by their parents. at least sometimes.

After decades of helping their children, older people are understandably reluctant to become dependent on them. "Even if they accept it intellectually, it's difficult to actually get help," Dr. Gleason. "It can signal that you are not needed and people want to feel needed."

It proposes to balance the power in the relationship so that parents can also provide support, even if they are just compassionate to a child's account listening to their tough week. "It could be beneficial for the relationship if everything is not one-sided," Dr. Gleason.

She is also a fan of incremental progress, a negotiation that leads to a more reciprocal exchange.

As proof, get to know the Abrams family.

Carl Abrams, a 90-year-old retired air force colonel, lives with his wife Joan, 88, in Williamstown, New Jersey. "He's getting very angry and oppositional," said his older daughter Tamar Abrams, 63, who visits twice a month from Falls Church, Virginia.

In 2016, the family was worried about his driving. Mr. Abrams had thrown several side mirrors from his Buick, had sometimes wandered off his track, once fallen asleep at the wheel and wiped a truck sideways. It was time to hand in the keys, the family said.

After much back and forth, Mr Abrams agreed to re-test the state motor vehicle authority, a move that failed. "We were convinced that he would fail, but he did it," said his daughter.

Months passed; His wife refused to ride with him. The family negotiated a series of escalating restrictions: First, Mr. Abrams agreed not to drive at night. Then just drive to familiar places. Finally, to stay within five miles of home.

"Sometimes he would blow up," Tamar Abrams said. "But if you give him some time and then return to the discussion, he is OK."

Now Mr. Abrams relies on a bright red, battery-powered scooter. "An excellent compromise," he said. "If the scooter were not, I would go crazy in the house."

Twice a week, he drives three kilometers to lunch at Applebee, where the waiters all know his name, and picks up some food on the way home.

"If he did not have to cross a large intersection, it would be a nice ritual," said Tamar Abrams. Nobody (except Mr. Abrams) feels comfortable when he drives his scooter over six lanes, not even at a traffic light.

But she understands. "You think you have a sweet life in what you think you are," she said. So, "we hold our breath and let him do it."


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