Having an elderly relative who obviously needs help but doesn’t want it is a common issue. If your mother just wants you to wait on her, or your father keeps driving on his own, not realizing what a hazard he is, it can be hard to convince them otherwise. There’s probably not many things harder for an adult child than to watch a parent or aging loved one refuse help that they need. The instinct you might have is to push harder to get them to accept, but that rarely works, and if you can understand better why they might be refusing, it will be easier to quell their fears and help them see their needs more objectively.
When Reasoning Doesn’t Work
A senior parent with some cognitive impairment or other mental signs of aging can be difficult to talk to. Your mother or father even in their anger and agitation are aware of the changes in their brains, but don’t yet understand their loss of function. Staying calm and reassuring your elderly loved one will help them to relax and cope.
Here are some strategies you can use to help convince them:
- Start talking to them about it early on. Even before any health issues start occurring, find chances to ask your mom where she sees herself as she ages, or find out what your dad would feel about hiring a housekeeper or a driver.
- Offer them options. If your parent is able to, include them when interviewing caregivers for elderly home care or let them choose a schedule. Try asking them about having a caregiver in on certain days of the week instead of every day.
- Make priorities. If you create two lists, one for problems that your loved one is dealing with, and one for steps you’ve already taken to help them, it can help you focus on what’s most important.
- Be client with your aging parent. It can take them a lot longer to understand things than when they were younger, and sometimes they just need enough time to come to a decision. Even after several conversations that may veer off-topic, keep gently trying to find out the real reason your mother is resistant to home care.
- Approach this indirectly. Sometimes telling your father less information may be better. If they are threatened by the idea of a stranger entering their home, don’t try to explain every aspect of care that will happen before they meet the aide.
- Accept your own limits. As long as the elderly person isn’t hurting themselves or others, it can be better to let them make their own choices. You can’t be with them all the time, even though you sometimes wish you could. Don’t feel guilty after doing your best.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of elder care in Webster, NY contact the caregivers at Caring Hearts of Rochester, LLC. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (585) 245-0134 for more information.
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