As a family member or caregiver of an elderly person, you want to help in any way possible. But what happens when a senior makes it very clear that he or she doesn’t want your help, even when the need is clearly there?
This article will address the issue of dealing with elderly parents who do not want to be cared for by a family member or in-home caregiver. We’ll offer helpful solutions for having compassionate conversations, setting boundaries, and opportunities to grow closer with age.
Why Elderly Adults Are Resistant to Care
When someone is resistant to care, this behavior is often directly tied to loss. This could be a loss of personal independence, loss of physical ability, worsening ability, or the loss of a spouse. Loss can bring about feelings of anger, fear, and guilt. Older adults may also feel like a burden to the people around them if they accept care.
The Resistance to Care Dementia Connection
Another common explanation of why a senior may be resistant to care is dementia or another type of deteriorating mental condition. A loss of memory may make it more difficult for a senior to understand and acknowledge why help is needed. The resistance to care dementia connection is a complex one, but it is a possible explanation that should be explored as a person ages.
Overcoming Resistance When Caring for Seniors
Dealing with elderly parents who refuse help can be a big challenge and cause for concern, but it’s one that can be overcome with open communication and compassion. To start, assess the areas of your loved one’s life that are most in need of care and look into products and services that can help. Perhaps the senior in your life would be more open to having a stairlift installed at home or to using a fall alert system to retain a sense of independence rather than bringing in an at-home caregiver on a full-time basis just yet.
When your loved one is in a positive state of mind, initiate a conversation about potential care options and ask what his or her preferences are. If that attempt doesn’t turn out to be particularly productive, revisit the issue later and don’t give up. It may help to suggest care on a trial-run basis so that it doesn’t feel like such a big commitment and also to explain financing options so that care doesn’t feel like such a financial burden. Establish boundaries in terms of what types of care your loved one is comfortable with so that your loved one doesn’t feel embarrassed or offended.
As a child or caregiver of an elderly adult, you may want to explain your own personal obligations and why care by other family members or a professional would benefit you both. Sometimes we all need to see the other side of things to gain a better perspective, so the way that you explain care will have a big impact on how receptive your loved one is to it. Ultimately, accepting care in the areas that it is needed is one of the best ways for seniors to maintain their independence. With a combination of loving care and assistive products, like Bruno stairlifts, caring for seniors can be a mutually beneficial endeavor that brings joy and fulfillment to everyone’s lives.