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Senior News: What do you do when your parents misbehave?

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 tips to help with those difficult conversations. (some may not apply to a parent with dementia):

• Remember that some things are just a matter of preference and not a significant health or safety issue. Ask yourself how important it is. Really.

• Don’t treat your parents as stubborn children. You may feel the child and parent roles have been reversed, but it is not the same. They are adults. Think about it. Do you really understand the physical, social, and emotional challenges they’re facing?

• Try to understand the motivation behind their behavior, which isn’t easy. Do they want to maintain their independence, stay in their comfort level, or are they confused and afraid?

• 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.”

• Think ahead. Connect the behavioral change to a significant event they want to see, such as a wedding, graduation or a child’s birth.

The last three tips are for your emotional health:

• Find a person or group to share your feeling and frustrations.

• 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.

• Don’t beat yourself up if something does go wrong. Sometimes all you can do is 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 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 to 8 p.m. 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. You can still park on side streets; in the First Street parking lots between Washington and Federal; and at the state office building parking lot at 7th and Union.

On Saturday at Sorosis Park, the “Show in the Shade” starts with registration from 9 a.m. to noon, judging from noon to 2 p.m. and the “Parade of Champions” awards ceremony from 3 to 4 p.m.

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 introduced with a radical “typeball” about the size of a golf ball that dominated the market in the 60s and 70s 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


Menu for The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels dinners served at noon in Betty’s Diner at the Center:

Thursday (9): Meat Loaf with Macaroni and Cheese (Music – Tom Graff)

Friday (10): Two Faced Turkey Sandwich (Homemade Soup and Salad Bar)

Monday (13): Salisbury Steak

Tuesday (14): French Dip Sandwich with Au-Jus

Wednesday (15): BBQ Pork on a Bun (Homemade Soup and Salad Bar)


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