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  • Five Ways to Get your Elderly Parent to Listen to You

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Elizabeth Swider is the founder and owner of Care is There, which provides geriatric care management and aging life care management services in Charlottesville, Staunton, and Harrisonburg Virginia and in Overland Park, Kansas. The Lifestyle Coordinators at Care is There work directly with clients and their loved ones to support long distance caregiving, aging in place, independent living, and supplemental services for assisted living. Elizabeth is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist and a Certified Senior Advisor.

8 responses to “Five Ways to Get your Elderly Parent to Listen to You”

  1. Therese Anello

    Do you have an specific articles regarding caregivers as siblings? My younger brother (age 57) has been under my care for the past 10 years. He lived with my deceased parents all his life. Although he has tried to live independently, his needs have changed and I am looking to place him in an assisted living facility.
    I have taken on the sole responsibility of taking care of all his needs – personal, financial, legal, etc. It is a huge burden and has taken its toll on my health. I am getting help, but I would love to know if there is even an organization out there that is geared to what I am dealing with on a daily basis. Thank you.

  2. Elizabeth Swider


    Thank you for all the care you have given your brother and continue to give! Lovely people like you earn a very special place in heaven, I like to say!

    Bravo also for seeking out the assistance that you need to make your life work as well as making his life work.

    I don’t have specific articles about siblings as caregivers, but your experience will be very valuable to share with others who are in your circumstance. You might try, which accepts questions from caregivers and emails them out to professionals for a response. That site also gives you easy access to other caregivers who might share your concerns.

    You might also contact a geriatric care manager in your area. We (Care is There) are located in the Charlottesville Virginia area and can support you if you live in our area. Otherwise you should be able to find one in your area.

    Also, call your local Area Agency on Aging and see what resources and support groups they offer.

    And, think about starting a support group for people caring for their siblings. I’ll bet you’d be a great leader.

    Lots of love to you, Therese, and let us know if there is anything else we can do to help.

    Elizabeth Swider

    1. Debrah

      Woot, I will cetrinaly put this to good use!

  3. Israel Garson

    Hi there, just wanted to mention, I loved this post. It was helpful. Keep on posting!

  4. Cassandra

    Great advice Elizabeth! After months and months of back and forth arguing with my stubborn dad, I found one method that finally proved useful. I brought a health monitoring system in his home, which allowed him to remain essentially independent, and safe at the same time. Now he doesn’t have to deal with a stranger in his own home and he never agreed to assisted living. This is also a great article i found that gives some suggestions on what to do if your elderly parents refuse help

  5. Elizabeth Swider

    Bravo Cassandra!

    It sounds like you were willing to listen to your dad and find a solution that worked for him as well as for you. A health monitoring system can be a great way to help keep a loved one safe without forcing them to move or accept outsiders.

    Other people won’t want to be monitored, but might blossom when befriended by the right person or welcomed into a community they can identify with. The key is to help them discover what is important to them, and protect that while also finding some peace of mind for yourself.

    Thanks for sharing your story, your success, and the article that helped you find your way.

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    […] topics concerning health, living arrangements, or finances are brought up.  This article titled Five ways to Get your Elderly Parent to Listen to You offers some advice on how you can get the ball rolling with these conversations.  The key is to […]

  7. Nancy

    This article was very helpful. I am only 47, but I’ve been dealing with my elderly mother’s health and emotional problems for almost five years, since my father died. My now-83-year-old mom has had several surgeries on her knee and hip since December 2010, including a complicated surgery this past January that led to more than four months in a nursing center. She’s still able to walk only a little with a walker and can’t stand upright for more than 20 minutes, and her home isn’t designed for a wheelchair. But her doctor still sent her home, and she’s resisting having any help at home beyond the nurse and physical therapist that Medicare is paying to come to her home. She needs more help than that because she can’t drive, can’t do housework and laundry and can’t cook meals for herself, and she needs good nutrition to get through the physical therapy. Mom has driven most of her friends away since my father died, and will only accept help from her elderly brother and sister-in-law, who also aren’t in good health; one neighbor; and my husband and me, who live an hour away and both work full time and usually can only manage to see Mom on weekends. DH and I want to hire a home care agency to take care of her daily needs, but Mom has resisted and even stopped speaking to us last year when we arranged for someone from the agency to come to Mom’s home to determine what she needs. My sisters are no help because they live far away and don’t visit regularly, so they don’t understand how bad Mom’s living situation is, and nothing I tell them can convince them to agree with me that Mom needs outside help. I wish her doctor had never said that Mom could return to her home, and had told her instead that she had to go to assisted living.

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