You've probably heard of helicopter parents who are overprotective of their children. But now there's a new trend of helicopter kids, those kids of baby boomers who are becoming controlling and smothering of their elderly parents (or grandparents). Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says it's a bit, "what goes around comes around!" meaning those people who are helicopter parents are now getting it from their children later in life.
Psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow joins the discussion and warns that acting this way is not in the best interest of your elderly loved ones. He says when it comes to the brain, "use it or lose it." If someone has mild cognitive impairment or is slowing down you don't want to overhelp because you want to allow them to keep their brain active. Dr. Dow says you have to find that sweet spot.
Make sure the elderly aren't suffering or harming themselves but allow them to do things for themselves, as much as possible.
Dr. Dow suggests using "I language," to express concern with your elderly loved ones. Instead of saying, "You've got to stop driving you're going to kill someone," to your elderly father, say "Dad, I'm really concerned about your driving, can I take you to get your eyes checked?" or "Can I help so you're not driving at night?" You don't want your loved ones to feel shame but rather know that they are loved and you want what is in their best interest!