Your aging mother has always been a proud and independent woman but ever since your father died, mom hasn’t been the same. She looks frail, her house is a mess and there’s never enough healthy food in the fridge. But every time you offer to help-out, mom refuses and changes the subject. Convincing a senior who refuses caregiving that it’s in their best interests can be difficult. Thankfully, getting them to say “yes” is possible by taking this approach.
Why Seniors Refuse Caregiving Assistance
One recent study found that although half of all community-based Americans aged 65 to 84 require assistance with at least one activity of daily living (ADL) they don’t get the help they need. Many elders simply choose not to accept support from loved ones for reasons like stubbornness, pride or embarrassment.
In general, these are some of the main reasons why a senior refuses caregiving assistance:
- Denial. Many seniors would rather argue with their adult children than admit that they need some help around the home.
- Proving themselves. If you repeatedly ask your grandfather to stay off ladders and step stools and he still does, you’re not alone. Many elders still feel inclined to prove themselves to younger family members- even when it puts them at risk.
- Role reversal. In many cases elderly parents that used to bathe and dress their kids don’t want to have those same children return the favor- even when they can no longer perform those activities on their own.
- Hiding bad habits. Driving when it’s no longer safe, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol to excess are examples of bad habits that some seniors try to hide from their loved ones.
Convincing an Aging Loved One to Accept Care
Some seniors simply don’t respond to logic and instead refuse to accept help from anyone no matter what. When dealing with a stubborn elder who continues to rebuff your caregiving requests here are some strategies you can employ:
Respectfully share your concerns
No senior likes to be lectured by younger family members. Even if your previous attempts were unsuccessful, sit down with them and respectfully sharing your concerns. Tell them how much they are loved and why you are worried. Ask other family members to chyme in but don’t approach your senior as a group because they might feel ganged up on.
Discuss recent news articles
Find some recent news articles about seniors in your area that were injured while trying to perform duties they had no business doing- like falling off a ladder while cleaning their gutters. Calmly explain to your loved one that you don’t want the same thing to happen to them, and why experiencing a serious accident could mean losing their independence for good.
Choose your words carefully
A lot of misunderstandings can be avoided if the information is framed in the right way. For example, instead of telling your parent that they’re too old to drive to their doctor’s appointment, offer to take them so that you can treat them to lunch afterwards. Whatever you do, don’t point out your loved one’s weaknesses or forbid them from doing a specific activity.
Involve trusted outsiders
Sometimes it’s almost impossible to get an elderly parent to listen to their adult child. On the other hand, they may listen to someone else who’s opinion they value. If you find yourself in that position, ask some of these trusted outsiders to speak to your loved one:
- Clergy member
- Their attorney or financial advisor
- Close friends
- Geriatric care manager
Another option you have is getting them to agree to take on a “personal assistant” from a licensed home care agency that can help out around the home.
An Extended Family in Your Loved One’s Home
Sometimes it’s best to bring in an outsider so that you can convince an aging in place loved one to accept help. When you need a hand contact First In Care. As a fully licensed and insured home care agency our compassionate professionals will pamper your senior with the nurturing they deserve. While using a proven process that maintains your loved one’s self-esteem, dignity and independence ,our highly trained caregivers can provide services like personal care, respite care, dementia care, companionship care, medication reminders and transportation.
For your added convenience and peace of mind we offer flexible programs and affordable rates, and even accept long-term care insurance and V.A. payments! To learn more now about our family trusted senior home care services in Manatee County, FL, please visit First In Care at: www.firstincare.com.