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Saying No
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Louise_WebMD_Staff posted:
The other night my mother wanted a steak sub and dessert for dinner. I said no, I had already made a healthy dinner. (ok, I was in the process of making one). Yesterday morning, she wanted a pastry for breakfast. I told her no...that the way she has been feeling lately, the last thing she needed was a pastry.

She has diabetes and heart disease. The no makes sense in light of that...but it still is hard to tell another adult no. Part of me feels like it is the right thing...part of me thinks that I am not being fair.

Does anyone else run into these issues? How do you tell your parent or your spouse or adult child no because it is in the best interest of the person you are caring for?
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suezee52 responded:
Louise, it is especially difficult if you are caring for your parent. It's quite a balancing act to be able to treat your loved one with respect but also treat them like a child (because they are acting like a child). I think that was one of the toughest things I had to learn. If Mom wanted something that she shouldn't have to eat and I felt she shouldn't have it, I would ask her how bad she wanted it (usually ice cream). I'd ask her if she could wait for awhile. Usually she could wait, but because she had Alzheimer's, she would forget about it. I realize that worked with an AD patient, but I did load up the freezer with sugar-free ice cream. Since Mom was also diabetic, we wanted to keep her sugars down, plus it aggrievated her digestion and then we had mishaps. So we tried to work around these things. Compromising was the key with Mom. She had to and so did I. It works better that way.

Suezee
 
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Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
I sometimes do that with my mother. I ask if it lines up with her current goals and I ask her to wait 15 minutes and I would come back and see if she still wants it. That usually works. But, then there are some days I am busy or the request is so out there that I just say no. Or I have planned a healthy meal, put some serious thought into things she likes that are healthy and she asks for something else.

Digestion mishaps. Ugh. We have not as many of those as I expected...but incontinence mishaps are on the increase.
 
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smiely responded:
I waiver between the "do what's best for mom" and "she's a grown woman who still has most of her faculties and should have control of her own food choices" thing. Except, history has shown that she hasn't made good decisions about food, thus the obesity and everything that comes with that.

Blah. It's a tough, tough thing. Much harder than telling a 3 year old that she cannot have an unhealthy snack. MUCH harder.
 
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bensboo1973 responded:
Its not hard for me to say no, its hard for me to not feel guilty lol. But since both dad an i need to lose weight, i tell him he's helpin me by eating healthier. Plus we do have once a month pizza an occasional sweet treats. My big issues with him were sugar n his coffee an food with his salt lol. I couldn't believe how much salt he used an he has high blood pressure. Took a long time to convince him sugar an salt substitutes were in his best interests. It helps that i seldom use salt at all an very little sugar. Occasional cravings are normal tho so maybe keep some sugar free snacks around for when mom wants a sweet treat an talk around the unhealthy meals.
 
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Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
My mother is surprisingly good with no salt but that sweet stuff...that is a killer around here. Sweets and grease.
 
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mslrl responded:
The best solution I've found is to just not have the "no-no's" laying around the house.

I cleaned out the fridge/cabinets of everything that she is not suppose to eat. When she asks, I have the simple (and truthful) answer- Sorry, we don't have any, followed by a healthy second choice. (IE- I'm sorry, we don't have any chocolate chip cookies, and I don't have the stuff to make them. We do have a 100 calorie cookie pack, can I get you some of those?)
 
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grammydonna responded:
moved here 4 years ago to help the folks..6 months after i moved here their health started to rapidly decline...my dad has alzheimers and my ma is rambling around alone alot, which gives her time to think of all the things that need to be done..i am at her house at least 5 times a day..i was recently diagnosed with lupus, my hubby is a truck driver, my son and his wife and two kids moved here to help..the problem is this....we are constantly down there and doing things she wants done, if we do not get to it quickly enough, or if the weather won't allow, she hints at all the things to be done, however if we don't do them asap she tries to do them herself then falls, or gets hurt then thats all we hear about...i am at my wits end..... which then causes me to flare even more often, i am at a loss....my other siblings don't even call let alone come to visit...one brother comes once a year and then all i hear is what i should be doing......uggggg...i am at a loss...thanks for reading...
 
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Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
Oh no. I am sorry to hear things are going so rough for you. Have they considered assisted living at all?

What types of things does she want done?
 
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grammydonna responded:
well, let me see, the lawn mowed when it's been raining for weeks on end...flowers transferred from one spot to another, vacum the house, windows washed, car washed, the list is endless..i tell her to wait til hubby gets home, then she starts doing it the day b4 he gets here...just stuff so i get angry and she gets attention...she craves attention, but i am not sure why as i said i am down there all the time...i know it's probly petty but it is also very aggravating..i offer solutions she doesn't take them and then when something bad happens, she can't wait to tell me...one thing for sure is I love her and am so glad I moved here to build a friendship with her after 30 years of being away...
 
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GAP1954 responded:
One of the most helpful (but initially irritating) things Caregivers need to do is become obsessively organized. Sit down and make a list of all the various tasks your Mom is going on about. Organize them into logical groups and then spread them out over the week. Now - the only way this will help is if you sit with Mom and go through the list with her and let here help you group them and organize things. Then make a big calendar with the tasks charted out. Put it right by the telephone so when she calls you - you can remind her to take a look.

next - send the chart to your siblings and ask them which areas they would like to take care of or hire done. Lay some guilt on them. It won't really help a lot but it will be a way for you to lessen your irritation at them without having a direct fight.
 
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grammydonna responded:
ty for your advice...the chart thing is a good idea...i have done endless lists with her..it is all a matter of timing for us..i have hired out a few of the tasks, just to catch us up....the idea of sending this to siblings is awesome...thanks again..............
 
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izrhurt responded:
Many communities have Senior Service type agencies. You may have to research the exact name in your neighborhood, but please check them out if you need assistance. At least it might help to have an impartial 3rd party to assess the situation. Lucy
 
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Jenn_wishing4baby responded:
Louise!

First off I wanted to say "THANK YOU AND KEEP A POSTIVE OUTLOOK". It takes a strong person to can for their elders. Even more it is hard caring for them because sometimes you have to say NO and they get mad.

I think caring for my 10 year old step-son is easier and more responsive than Grandma. At least he listens.

The one thing I have leared with caring for an elder is you always give them choices so they feel like they have control. Older people tend to feel like they have lost control of their life when younger people start caring for them.

We use "Love & Logic" parenting for our son and have adapted that to caring for elders. It really does work. you can Google Love & Logic. There are great tools out there.

I am now 27 and I have been caring for my grandmother since I was 23. She moved in with me and my husband 6 months after we got married becuase my mom could not care for her. Don't get me wrong my mom helps but the day to day is all on me and DH as my mom lives in in another state 3 hours away.

It is OK to say NO.
 
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SMCarter87 responded:
I can totally relate. My mother also has diabetes and heart diease and many more illness. She does make an attempt to eat healthier but its doesn't last for long.

I don't live with her anymore but when I did I was always trying to lead her into a healthy directions. But of course with me battleing with wieght i'd give in.

Since i'm on my own I have control over whats in the house and in the fridge.

A couple tips that somewhat worked for me have been:

- Sitting down and having a serious conversation. Tell her how you feel etc.

- Being there for moral support.

- Going grocery shopping with my mom , to help make better choices.

- Also finding yummy snacks subsitutes which are healthy or sugar-free. ( sweet and low have some sugar free candy selections)

I don;t know if any of these suggestions will help, but I do wish you and your mom the best of luck.


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