When One Parent Decides Against the Wishes of the Other

Humans are very complex creatures. Humans form partnerships, relationships, connections, sometimes temporary and sometimes permanently or sometimes somewhere in the middle.

No matter what when two people are together, there will be a time when one person decides against the wishes of the other. Is it during the phases of aging, phases of declining physical or mental health, or other phases?

This scenario is all too common in many households around the world.

What does one do? Leave the conversation? Engage? Or just be a silent spectator?

Here are some ways to deal with and there may be many others as well:

  1. Find out what is the underlying issue?
  2. Is it a decline in mental or physical health?
  3. Is it a lack of resources for caregiving a person with chronic illness..
  4. Is it finances, is it an inability to execute IADL or ADL? (We will touch upon this topic further in our future conversations), ADL (activities of daily living), IADL (Instrumental activities of daily living)?
  5. Is it a cognitive issue or capacity or competency issue?
  6. Is it related to the side effects of medications being taken or administered? 
  7. Is it a situation of an end of life? 
  8. Is it a lack of knowledge or education regarding the matter? 
  9. Is it related to the children’s misunderstanding of the situation? 
  10. Is it due to difficulty in getting expertise?     

Whatever may be, elderly children of elderly parents may find this very challenging, not to mention the other elderly member in the relationship. What then can be done is dependent on the infrastructure surrounding that couple. 

Geriatric care sometimes can take up a lot of time and needs to be dealt with with patience. The decisions that are made can be life-changing for the person who needs certain things. An open dialogue, an open conversation can help solve many of the most critical things in a very respectful way. 

We would love to know what else can help such conversations, please share so we can learn and respond in a better way. Solutions are key and challenges are many. Growing old can be lonely even if in a relationship and not everyone would like to go against someone’s wishes. However, if we look at the question in question, putting the best solution out there through the best conversations can mean an elder’s life’s simple pleasures or cozy living or mihygge.

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