5 Tips for Dealing With Elderly Parents Who Refuse Help
Accept Their FeelingsLet’s face it, no one likes being told what to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re five or ninety-five, everyone has a certain disdain for taking orders. It’s even harder for parents when they become a certain age and realize they’re losing control over their own lives. When dealing with aging parents, you need to be conscious of how they might be feeling. Make sure you let your elderly parents know that you hear them, that you’re listening. Let them know that what they say still matters. You won’t be able to convince your elderly parents they need assistance from a home care agency if they feel like you’ve shut them out. In turn, they’ll shut you out. Remember, you’re trying to do what’s best for them. But, you can’t do this if you can’t communicate with them or get through to them. Accept the situation and accept their feelings. This will make you less combative. You’ll be able to have a clear conversation with them about why it’s best they have care partners at home.
Ease Their FearsWhen an elderly parent refuses help, they’re probably afraid of one thing or another. Everyone has fears and for many, the fear of letting go or losing control is tough to get over.
Fear of Losing ControlThis is especially true with elderly parents who, with each passing year, notice that they’re losing more and more control. A great way to get past this is to help your parents feel like they’re part of the process. Ask them questions. If we did have a care worker come in what would make life easier for you? How often do you think they could help? How about we just try a few days a week to see how you like it? This changes the narrative and puts you and your elderly parents on the same team. This will help ease their fears of losing control since they’re involved in making some decisions.
Fear of ChangeThere is also a fear of change. Many of us are resistant to change, whether we realize it or not. People have their routines and often don’t like being out of their comfort zone. It’s no doubt your elderly parent is the same way. The best thing to do is to let them know that it’s a minor change. They aren’t being uprooted out of their home. They’ll be able to keep up with their daily routine for the most part while having extra care and support. Try to show them ways change is good. Explain to them that their quality of life will get even better with the help of a home care worker. Also, let them know they’re not alone. More than 30 percent of people between the ages of 75 and 84 have home care assistance. Furthermore, about 55 percent of those aged 85 and older have in-home care.
Pick Your BattlesSometimes you simply just can’t win. This includes dealing with difficult elderly parents. You won’t win every argument or discussion. You need to pick your battles. If at every turn you try to tell them they need a home care provider they’ll quickly change the subject, or worse, they’ll leave the room. They’ll probably start seeing less and less of you, and stop taking your calls as much too. You don’t want this to happen. This will create a huge gap between you and your elderly parents that might become impossible to bridge. No one wants to feel like they’re in a constant battle with another person, especially when that person is someone they love.
Don’t Be So Hard on YourselfYou’re probably doing everything you can to help your parents as they lose some of their functions or abilities. You notice them not being able to do some everyday tasks or struggle greatly with them. You need to remember that it’s going to take baby steps. Don’t start getting frustrated with yourself and feeling as if you’re not doing enough for your loved ones. Just keep calm and try to implement changes little by little. You don’t want to become overbearing and forceful out of misplaced guilt.
Have an OutletHaving an outlet for your stress when an elderly parent refuses help is key. Whether it’s a friend to talk to, an exercise routine, yoga, or meditation; somewhere to channel your stress and frustration will help a lot. You can find online support groups or a senior living advisor to vent your feelings or get answers to nagging questions. Perhaps you have a sibling or other family member you can strategize with? Sit down with them and come up with a plan that better suits everyone’s needs. You might learn some things you’ve been doing wrong with your approach to the situation
Dealing With Elderly Parents Who Refuse HelpAging is a tough thing to experience and so is caring for an aging parent. However, if you can help them realize that they should accept in-home care from a home care agency, they’ll be much better off. They’ll also be happier in the long run. It may seem like an uphill battle but if you follow these tips you’ll have a much easier time in dealing with elderly parents who refuse help. If you’re interested in learning more take a look at this.
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