22 Mar What to Do When Your Parent Is Refusing the Care They Need
Caring for an aging parent is stressful, and most individuals come to a point where they can no longer do it themselves. When you reach that point, you’re probably ready and eager to find caregivers to help care for your parents, or may even be considering a full-time care facility. But what if your parent isn’t as ready to accept outside help as you are? What do you do if you have an aging parent who refuses to accept the care that they need? Here are a few tips.
Try to Be Understanding
First and foremost, try to be patient and understanding. It can be difficult to accept that you can no longer care for yourself. How would you feel if a family member told you that they felt you needed professional care to tend to basic needs? Aging can be scary, so it’s important that you try to be understanding of their reservations, and offer them empathy and reassurance that they are still whole and important, despite needing a little extra help.
Determine Why They’re Resistant
People can be resistant to receiving professional care for a variety of reasons. It’s important to try to determine your parent’s specific reason for resisting this change. Are they worried about sacrificing privacy? Are they uncomfortable around strangers? Are they worried about the cost of the care? Are they afraid they’ll lose the freedoms they currently have? Are they resistant to leaving their long-time home?
If you can discover your parent’s reasons for not wanting to accept the care they need, you will be better able to offer reassurances and find compromises that will make them more willing to accept help. For example, if your parent doesn’t want to leave their home, you can talk about getting in-home care. If they’re uncomfortable around strangers, you can come up with a plan to ease them into being around their new caregiver, with your presence and support. Identifying the root of the problem may help you to find a solution that works for everyone.
Get a Professional’s Input
Many people refuse to believe they have physical limitations unless they hear it from a professional. So, ask your parent’s doctor to provide some input and advice regarding the kind of care they feel your parent needs. If they hear from a medical professional that their health and safety is at risk by refusing professional care, they may be more willing to accept it.
This is especially important in cases of progressing cognitive impairment. If your parent suffers from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another cognitive disorder, it can be difficult to accept that their mind simply isn’t what it used to be. Having a doctor tell them that their condition requires daily, professional help may encourage them to accept the care they need.
Explain Your Reasoning
Nobody likes to hear the phrase “because I said so.” And while your parent may have used it on you when you were a child, you shouldn’t simply tell your parent that they need professional care because you’ve decided it’s what best. Take the time to sit down with your parent and explain your reasons for wanting to hire professional senior care for them. Let them know you’re worried about their health and safety, if that’s the case. If you’ve been caring for them, don’t be afraid to tell them that the responsibilities are taking a toll on you, and you need a little extra help from an expert.
Take It Slow
Finally, don’t expect to be able to persuade your parent with one conversation. This is a subject that you will likely need to approach several times, in a calm, kind, and understanding manner. Don’t push your parent into the decision, or let the topic put a strain on your relationship. Ultimately, as long as your parent has their cognitive abilities intact, the decision to accept or reject elderly care is their own.
So don’t turn it into a fight, and don’t feel like you need to stage an intervention. Just give regular, gentle reminders about how professional care could benefit them and improve their quality of life. Over time, your patience and persistence will pay off.
At Best for My Parents, we can offer professional help and input in deciding what type of elder care is best for your parent, and can even pair you with a care provider or full-time care facility that meets your parent’s needs. Our services are designed to smooth the transition into receiving professional care, so please reach out to us with any questions you may have as you help your parent adjust to this new stage of life.