It can be difficult to provide care for an older adult who is resistant to accepting help. This is a common problem, as most older adults say they are satisfied with their current residence and would prefer to age in place. However, there may come a time when they need more assistance than family or friends can provide. If you encounter this type of resistance these strategies may help.
Start the discussion about getting care early
One way to overcome resistance to care is to start the discussion early on. This means having conversations with your older loved ones about their wishes for care as they age. It can be difficult to broach the subject, but it’s important to have these conversations before a crisis occurs. By starting the discussion early, you can get an idea of their wishes and preferences regarding care. This will make it easier to provide them with the care they need and want, while also respecting their wishes. Do your best to respect their independence and don’t bring on too much too quickly.
Ask Questions about the care they need
Older adults may be resistant to care because they are afraid of losing their independence. Asking questions about the type of care they need can help put their mind at ease. For example, you could ask if they would prefer to have someone come in for a few hours a week to help with chores or if they would feel more comfortable having someone live with them. It’s also important to listen to your loved one’s concerns about receiving care. They may have valid reasons for why they don’t want formal care, such as not wanting strangers in their home or feeling like they are a burden on others. If you take the time to listen to their concerns, you may better understand their reluctance to getting assistance.
Discuss possible options
Once you’ve listened to their concerns, it’s time to start discussing possible care options. It’s important that they feel like they are part of the decision-making process and that their needs and preferences are being taken into consideration.
Some care options to consider include:
- In-home care: This type of care can be customized to meet your loved one’s specific needs and can be flexible in terms of hours and days of service.
- Assisted living: This is a good option for older adults who need more help with activities of daily living.
-Technology: Technological assistance such as home automation or medication dispensers can help make your loved one’s life easier and provide peace of mind for you.
Focus on the positive
Often fear or uncertainty are the underlying issues that cause resistance to care. Try to focus on the positive outcomes such as improved quality of life. Highlight how care can help them age in place, maintain their independence, and spend more time on activities they enjoy. If you are still encountering resistance, try talking to a professional such as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) who can help assess your loved one’s needs and create a personalized care plan. They can also provide support and resources to both you and your loved one throughout the care process.
One way to ease into care is by setting goals together. This way, both you and your loved one can see the progress being made and have a sense of accomplishment. Short-term goals are often more realistic and achievable which can help build confidence along the way. Communicating regularly will help keep things on track. This means having regular check-ins with your loved one to see how they are feeling. It’s also important to let them know that you are there for them and will support them every step of the way.
If your loved one is resistant to the idea of care, it’s important to take things slow. Start with small tasks and gradually increase the amount of care as needed. This way, your loved one can get used to the idea of receiving help and won’t feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. Start with a few hours a week and gradually increase the amount of time as they get more comfortable with the idea. It’s also important to find the right balance of care – not too much or too little. Set reasonable goals and celebrate reaching those milestones.
Go have the conversation!
Often fear or uncertainty are the underlying issues that cause resistance to care. An important thing to remember is that everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to care. By stating the conversation early, asking open ended questions, setting realistic goals and keeping the lines of communication open you should be able to overcome a loved one’s resistance to receiving the help they need.