Aging Well in the Gorge August 8th 2018

Last week I talked about how “never giving up” can be detrimental to your own health and well-being. But this week’s column is from another perspective. If you are the adult child, what do you do if your parent stubbornly refuses to take your advice or help?
In her article “Tips for When Aging Parents Won’t listen” found on the website A Place for Mom, Sally Abrahms shares eight tips to help with those difficult conversations. (Some may not apply to a parent with dementia.)
1st. Remember some things are just a matter of preference and not a significant health or safety issue. Ask yourself how important is it? Really.
2nd. Don’t treat your parents as stubborn children. You may feel the child parent roles have been reversed, but it is not the same. They are adults. And think about it. Do you really understand the physical, social, and emotional challenges they’re facing?
3rd. Try to understand the motivation behind their behavior – which isn’t easy. Is it wanting to maintain their independence; wanting the comfort of what they have always known; or are they confused and afraid?
4th. If you are trying to persuade them to change their behavior, connect it to something they value such as you or the grandkids. Something like “I worry that you might fall.” or “If you cause an accident you could be sued and lose the inheritance you want to leave to the grandkids”.
5th. Think ahead. Connect the behavioral change to a significant event they want to see: a wedding, a graduation or a child’s birth.
And for your own emotional health, consider the last three tips.
6th. Find some place or someone to share your feeling and frustrations.
7th. Accept the situation. Parents have the right to make what you consider bad decisions such as what to eat, and what to wear – if it doesn’t harm others.
8th. Don’t beat yourself up if something does go wrong. Sometimes all you can do is to stand by and be ready to help when needed.
We love our parents and want them to be safe. But we don’t always know best. As we may find out when we reach their age, the number of years you live just may be less important than living the life you want.
The 2018 “Cruise the Gorge” Weekend starts this Friday night with the traditional “Neon Cruise” from 6 pm-8 pm downtown along Second and Third Streets. During those hours the cruise loop will only be open to registered cars and there will be no public parking along the route. But public parking will be available on all side streets; in the First Street parking lots between Washington and Federal; and at the state office building parking lot at 7th and Union. Then on Saturday at Sorosis Park the “Show in the Shade” starts with registration from 9 am to noon, judging from noon to 2 pm and the “Parade of Champions” Awards Ceremony from 3 pm – 4pm. And the activities conclude on Sunday with the “Dufur Classic Car Show” from 9 am-3 pm and “Dallesport Drags” from 8 am-4 pm.
The Selectric typewriter which was introduced with a radical “typeball” about the size of a golf ball and dominated the market in the 60’s and 70’s was manufactured by I.B.M. (This week’s correct answers were sent in by Tiiu Vahtel, Lana Tepfer, Jo Smith and this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket, Barbara Haren, a retired business education teacher who remembers the machine well.)
When I was in high school I remember thinking this British sports car was the coolest car on the road and dreamed of driving one even though I knew I never would. For this week’s “Remember When” question, between 1961 and 1975 what automobile company manufactured the iconic XK-E model – a combination of beauty, high performance, and competitive pricing. Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop off when you stop by in an XK-E to offer me a ride in the “Neon Cruise”.

Well it’s been another week wishing for some Portland drizzle. Until we meet again, don’t forget to keep your lie straight before you tell it.

“The stubbornness I had as a child has been transmitted into perseverance. I can let go but I don’t give up. I don’t beat myself up about negative things.” Phylicia Rashad

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