Tips for Caring for a Stubborn Senior

Being a family caregiver doesn’t always go smoothly. Sometimes older adults aren’t open to receiving the help they need. They may be stubborn and adamantly refuse the care you are trying to extend. What can family caregivers do when the older adult doesn’t respond graciously?

Below are some tips for dealing with a stubborn senior.

Senior Care Rochester NY - Tips for Caring for a Stubborn Senior

Senior Care Rochester NY – Tips for Caring for a Stubborn Senior

Place the Burden on Yourself

Many older adults won’t accept help for themselves, but they might accept it for you. When you approach the subject of the senior allowing someone to come to the house to assist them from the perspective of them being unable to do things on their own, they may feel insulted. However, if you approach it as you being worried about what might happen if they get injured and how it might affect you, they may be more willing. After all, no one wants to be a burden on someone else. For example, you might say, “Mom, I know you’re still pretty capable, but I spend a lot of time worrying about what could happen if you fall and get hurt. You might not be able to take care of yourself and I can’t take that much time off work.”

Offer the Senior a Trial Run

Your older family member might simply not be ready to make the decision to accept help from a caregiver. Suggest that they give it a trial run and make a decision after a certain period of time. Chances are they will see the benefits of having a senior care provider to assist them with things they find difficult. They are also likely to enjoy having extra time to do the things they love instead of struggling to do those tasks.

Don’t Argue

Avoid fighting with your aging relative about the issue. If they aren’t ready to discuss the matter and get agitated by the mention of it, drop the subject for now. Readdress it when they are in a better mood and more receptive to what you have to say.


Ask the older adult to tell you why they don’t want a caregiver and listen—really listen—to what they have to say. When you know what their concerns are, you can address the true reasons they are resisting care instead of just guessing.

Address Independence

One very common reason seniors don’t want to accept help is that they worry they’ll lose some of their independence. To them, it may seem like one step closer to moving to a nursing home. It may help to reassure them that accepting a senior care provider doesn’t mean that you think they are incapable of living alone. Instead, remind them that having a senior care provider to assist them can actually let them live in their home for longer than they might otherwise be able to.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Rochester NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.

John Hunt