Tips on How to Avoid Overstepping Boundaries with Senior Parents

daughter discussing overstepping boundaries with senior parents
Avoid overstepping boundaries with senior parents with these tips from the Anchorage, AK senior care experts.

We desire what’s best for our elderly parents. As our parents age, it is not necessarily a straightforward task to determine our role as adult children. However, if we’re not very careful, it is possible to find ourselves overstepping boundaries with senior parents and trying to parent them.

Avoiding boundary issues is particularly true when safety is an issue. There’s a thin line to walk between making sure senior parents are safe and promoting the independent way of living they need and deserve. It wasn’t all that long ago when our parents were taking care of not merely all their own needs, but ours as well. The changeover from caregiver to care recipient is usually frustrating and painful for seniors.

Keeping the tough transition in mind, be aware that particular facets of independent life are precisely what an older adult may now be missing. And when we aren’t careful in exactly how we approach these losses, it can produce hurt feelings, arguments, and fractured relationships.

For instance, one part of senior independence that’s often affected is in others stepping in to take over tasks that could now be a bit more challenging and take a bit longer for an older adult to accomplish. Although the intentions are certainly good, it is actually harmful to a senior’s self-worth and self-esteem. An improved approach is to allow a good amount of additional time and only offer assistance when truly necessary.

Yet, one of the primary indicators of freedom is the capability to drive, going wherever and whenever we please. When driving is no longer safe for a senior, it is vital to approach the topic with empathy and tact. Neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez explains that adult children often lose patience with their older parents, ultimately saying hurtful comments that can be truly traumatic.

When talking with elderly parents, he recommends avoiding phrases such as, “You’re not allowed to operate a vehicle anymore!” It is much kinder and more effective to supply the elderly with choices and to engage them in brainstorming a feasible alternative. An excellent example of this might be, “I’m sure it’s getting more challenging to be able to see clearly now, which must make it challenging to operate a vehicle. Let’s talk about some options that will allow you to go wherever you want safely.”

Together, you can then end up with a game plan that is agreeable to everybody. When reviewing choices, consider that Midnight Sun Home Care’s caregivers are available day or night, for Anchorage, AK, senior care and care in the surrounding areas. Our services are available based on each senior’s wishes and timeframe, whether that means a regular lunch date with a friend, medical or salon visits, attending religious services, or just a Sunday afternoon drive to get out of the home and enjoy the scenery. Contact us at 907-677-7890 for details.


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