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Caring For Parents In Your Home: How To Deal With An Elderly Parent Who Is Demanding

elderly couple sitting on a bench

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


January 24th, 2021

Have you ever found yourself thinking “My mother lives with me and I hate it!” out of desperation? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

When elderly parents become difficult, it can be highly stressful for adult children. Not only do you have to care for your aging parent’s health, but you also deal with the emotions of seeing your parents struggle to maintain their quality of life and independence. 

When adult children become the primary caregivers for their parents, it can quickly go from a pleasant to a tense environment. 

Whether you’re caring for parents in your home or you need help with an aging mother or father, there are several steps you can take to reduce stress and ease the transition. 

In this article, we’re addressing what to do when your elderly parent needs help and lives with you. We’re sharing tips on:

  • How to deal with an elderly parent who is demanding
  •  What to do when elderly parents become difficult
  • Where to turn for support when you’re caring for parents in your home
  • What to do with elderly parents when you can’t provide adequate care alone 

Today, we’ll guide you through the process of dealing with aging parents and where to turn when you finally say, “I need help taking care of my elderly parents.” 


“Help! My Mother Lives With Me And I Hate It!

Dealing with aging parents can be complicated. As parents age, you may naturally transition from the role of child to the primary caregiver in their lives. 

Often, an elderly parent becomes overbearing or demanding in ways that can be stressful for their children. When adult children have their own full-time jobs or children relying on them, it complicates matters even further. Yet, for many older adults, their children are the only people they trust

Fortunately, there are ways to ease the tension and set healthy boundaries when you have an elderly parent who is demanding. 

Keep reading to get expert tips regarding caring for parents in your home stress-free.


In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

Contact us for a free assessment

How to Deal With An Elderly Parent Who Is Demanding 

If you’re the primary caregiver for an elderly parent, there are a few things you can do to help your parent and yourself through the care process. 

Here are five ways to ease the burden of dealing with aging parents in your home.


1. Communicate Your Limits

It may seem obvious, but simply explaining your limits can significantly impact how you engage with your elderly parent in your home. 

Your parent may not always understand how busy you are. By clearly communicating your limits and fixed time commitments (like work), your parent will have better awareness when making their demands or requests. 

Try using positive reinforcement. Let them know you’re happy to help them; however, there are certain times you may be tied up or unavailable. Always give them an alternative for those times. 


2. Set Up A Consistent Daily Schedule 

When learning how to deal with an elderly parent who is demanding, it’s essential to create a consistent daily schedule and routine

A daily schedule can help your elderly parents know where you are when you’re not home. It will also help give familiarity and structure to your loved one’s days. 

Routines have tremendous benefits for seniors and family caregivers alike, by:

  • Reducing stress for both parent and child
  • Making parents feel safe and secure
  • Decreasing the anxiety of the unknown for parents
  • Helping parents and caregivers feel accomplished 

When creating a schedule for what to do with elderly parents, consider their unique needs.

For example, maybe they tire easily or have increased confusion in the late afternoon hours. Though it may seem obvious, don’t forget to schedule times for relaxing, exercise, and hygiene. Your parents will always feel comfortable and well taken care of, knowing what activities are coming next.

Post the schedule on the refrigerator or somewhere visible, so your parent can reference it throughout the day.


3. Discover Their Interests And Build On Them

If you’re wondering what to do with elderly parents, try asking them. Your parents may be able to entertain themselves more easily than you initially thought, as long as you provide them with the right activities.

Find out what interests them and how they like spending their time. Though they may not be able to do everything to full capacity anymore, creating a modified version will bring your parents joy and purpose. Dealing with elderly parents can also be fun if you take the right approach.

Here are some examples to jog your creativity

  • Your mother loves to read, so perhaps you help her look through the newspaper each day to find interesting articles about books or authors.
  • Your father is handy, so you buy him some tools for a small project at home or introduce him to a popular home improvement show he may like.
  • Your mother loves to cook, so perhaps you take her to a senior cooking class or provide her with the task of making a meal or two each week.
  • Your parent likes making art, so you buy some canvases and paints or a jewelry-making kit, so they can pursue their passion for art.

Sometimes all it takes is encouraging your parent and getting them started on a hobby or task they enjoy.


4. Get Advice From A Trained Professional

When elderly parents become difficult, it can feel incredibly isolating. Trying to juggle all of your responsibilities and the pressure of helping your parents live their lives to the fullest can feel impossible. It’s ok to say, “I need help taking care of my elderly parents” or “My mother lives with me and I hate it!”  A trained elder care professional knows exactly what to do when your elderly parent needs help to make it all feel more manageable.

If you’re having a challenging time caring for an elderly parent, consider contacting an elderly care expert for support. Many states have support groups and family caregiver trainings to help you feel calmer and more confident about caring for your elderly parents.

If it still feels too much, or you notice your parents’ health and memory declining, it may be time to enlist the help of a compassionate home care professional.


5. Hire A Professionally Trained Caregiver

Dealing with aging parents alone is no easy feat. After caring for parents in your home for any length of time, you may even be telling yourself, “I need to find my mom a home at a senior living facility.”

Before you move an elderly parent to unfamiliar surroundings, know you have options to keep them home and find relief. Often the best thing to do for their quality of life (and yours) is to bring in a professionally trained caregiver who specializes in the elderly care you need. 

There are many benefits to hiring in-home help, including:

From total patient care to specialty dementia or memory care, a compassionate caregiver will lend a hand, and a heart, when you and your loved one need it most.


Commonwise: Compassionate Caregivers For When Elderly Parents Become Difficult

Navigating what to do when your elderly parent needs help can be a complex process. However, it’s essential to know you don’t have to be alone in caring for parents in your home.

At Commonwise, we serve clients, families, and caregivers with wisdom and compassion during complex and difficult times. Our in-home caregiving services improve the quality of life for your loved ones and help them stay safe and at home, longer. When you need advice on how to deal with an elderly parent who is demanding, and you don’t know where to turn, we’re here for you. Our goal is to bring hope, healing, and comfort to elderly parents and family caregivers across Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, and Charleston.

contact us today to set up a free consultation if you find yourself crying out, “My mother lives with me and I hate it!” Our compassionate and professional team will walk you through how our services can benefit your elderly parent—no matter how demanding they may be.


In-home elder care solutions in Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, VA and Charleston, SC.

Contact us for a free assessment