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Helicopter Children

Helicopter Children 

We all have heard the term “helicopter parents” – overprotective, over-perfecting, over-controlling parents who hover over their children’s constant needs, but do you know there is a new term called “helicopter children?”  Due to our aging parental population and the rising cost of healthcare, adult children have become overprotective caregivers who are trying to control their aging parents.  The question is how do we stop this?  What is the correct approach for caring for our aging parents?  You want to be able to honor and respect the decisions they make, but not overstep your boundaries.  If mom or dad decide to stay at home when you think they should live in an assisted living how do you cope with their decision?  Here are some tips: 

  • Pick your battles – Does it really matter if your parents’ clothes do not match?? If they are getting dressed independently that is what matters.   
  • Respect their privacy – Do not go their mail unless asked. 
  • Look into assistive devices – If they are not taking their medicine, investigate devices that help them take their pills daily 
  • Establish competence – If you don’t agree on their level of competence, consult a professional together. 
  • Respect their rights – Your parents have the right to take informed risks, unless they have dementia, don’t make decisions for them.  

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