As much as seniors want to stay independent and in their own homes as they age, it is frequently challenging to manage day-to-day life due to health and cognitive concerns. To maintain a secure and comfortable existence, the elderly require assistance.
While some elders accept help without hesitation, many others do not, especially if it comes from a family member. The elderly may stubbornly resist the thought of hiring a carer even if it is indisputably evident that they require more care at home.
Then, how can you assist? What should you do if your aging parent refuses to get care? Is there a way to make it easier for them to accept help?
Understanding the reasons behind your elderly loved one’s aversion to care will help you persuade them of the advantages of in-home care.
What Causes Resistance to Care?
Find the root cause of your elderly parent’s reluctance to accept help before attempting to convince them that hiring home care is in their best interests. You may create a care plan that works with them rather than against them once you have a greater grasp of how they feel.
Remember that anything that touches on a person’s autonomy and sense of self-worth is likely to cause them to feel strongly about it. Admitting that they require help implies to the elderly that they are unable to care for themselves, that they are useless, and that they have become a burden to their loved ones. This could make them feel depressed and guilty, scared and exposed, and even resentful that they require assistance.
Seniors may also worry about losing their autonomy or about the upcoming changes in their lives. Some people may be concerned about the cost of in-home care or may merely feel that accepting assistance is a sign of weakness.
So, when a senior loved one responds categorically “no” to elder care, they are typically responding to a strong emotion or a fundamental fear:
- Sadness and anger at their deteriorating health – An increased need for help implies decreased functionality and a worsening physical or mental condition.
- Hurt and anger at their family members – Seeking outside assistance may suggest to the elderly that their family doesn’t want to take care of them.
- Fear of loss of independence – Accepting help means sacrificing privacy and losing control over one’s own life
- Fear of change – Having a carer in the home requires adjusting to new routines and changing established practices, which is quite repulsive (and even frightening) to the elderly, especially those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Whatever the specific justification for your elderly parent’s refusal to receive care, it is imperative that you understand and respect their feelings. Understanding their emotions can help you approach the subject about getting them the assistance they require.
How to Deal with Elderly People Who Refuse Care
It is important to approach conversations about in-home assistance with patience and compassion.
- Describe the necessity for outside care.
- Approach hiring a caretaker cautiously and tactfully and do everything necessary to make your elderly parent feel comfortable with this new arrangement:
- Address your growing concern for your parent’s safety and well-being multiple times before suggesting professional aid;
- Align with your senior loved one against whatever is testing them and emphasize your willingness to help them as much as possible;
- Inform your elderly parent how much you worry about them, how irritated you are that you can’t always be there for them, and how much better you’d feel if you knew someone could offer qualified care whenever needed;
- Tell your loved one how anxious and overwhelmed you are and how caring for them affects your family, work, and health.
- Assure your parent that you’ll always be their primary carer, but you need support. If they’re helping you out, they’ll accept outside care better; Make it clear that a professional carer will assist both of you;
- Be sure to describe senior care positively – refer to it as an experience your parent is sure to like and talk about an in-home carer as a friend;
- Point out the many benefits of home care – excellent care, continuous support, friendly companionship, peace of mind, etc.
- Choose the appropriate time to bring up in-home care.
Making progress with your elderly loved one requires careful timing:
- It will be simpler for you to listen to each other and express your opinions if you bring up the idea of hiring a carer when you and your parent are both calm and at ease. You should also try to keep the conversation upbeat.
- Start the conversation by talking about what your parent can still do, then talk about areas where they might need support, and recommend receiving assistance.
- This will ensure that your loved one doesn’t feel compelled to accept something they’re not ready for or bullied into accepting it.
- Ask friends, family, and professionals for help.
Have your parent’s main care physician, geriatric care manager, lawyer, priest, or other trustworthy third party recommend professional care instead of you. Senior-respected professionals can offer advice, encouragement, and perspective. Medical professionals can also explain the benefits of professional senior care and home health care, such as minimizing the chance of hospitalization and relieving your parent’s disease symptoms.
Friends and relatives may assist you to convince your loved one to take help.
- Include your older loved one in care planning and offer choices.
Your senior loved one will feel empowered and less anxious if they can participate in care decisions. If your parent is mentally capable, attempt to involve them in the decision-making process and provide them with options.
Allowing your older parent to choose and discuss their preferences helps “ease” their reluctance to home care. Ask your loved one what kind of help they would like (grocery shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, personal care assistance, etc.), whether mornings or afternoons are better for a carer to come, and what activities they would like to do with their new companion (playing games, going for walks, attending social events, etc.).
It’s crucial to consider your senior loved one’s requests, even if they can’t be met.
- Choose a reliable elder care agency and a suitable carer for your parent.
Before choosing a home care service, know what to look for and do your homework. Choose a qualified elder care agency with great customer service. Interview carers to determine the best fit for your family. Dementia care requires a compassionate and trustworthy carer with experience in that type of care. Let your parent vote on the hire.
- Propose a test run
A trial run lets your loved one try out home care without committing.
Try short-term care for your senior. Promise them that you will find other solutions if it fails. Trials usually go well.
- Take things one step at a time
Accepting outside care requires patience. Introduce the carer to your elderly parent a few days before services begin by having coffee, walking, or doing anything else fun. While you’re at work, the carer can take your parent grocery shopping, to a doctor’s visit, etc.
Let your loved one get used to the carer and outside help. They’ll realize it’s not a burden and become friends with their new acquaintance.
- Observe the caregiver’s initial shifts.
Your presence will calm matters until your parent and the carer get to know each other and create a pattern. It will also reassure your loved one.
This will allow you to assess the caregiver’s compatibility with your parent.
- Discuss issues openly.
Open communication with your parent and their carer is key to solving difficulties and overcoming obstacles. Communicate your needs to the carer, discuss any persistent concerns, and listen to your parent. This improves care and your loved one’s quality of life.
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