Convincing Your Parents to Accept Help
Resistance to accept help is common amongst seniors. If your parents are refusing the care they need, there are solutions!
For most seniors, having someone enter your home to help with tasks such as bathing, dressing, meals or housekeeping, is not an easy decision. In fact it completely scares many seniors! It can bring about fears that they are losing their independence, spending too much money on themselves or highlighting the fact that they can’t do as much as they once could. All of these emotions and reactions are normal and it takes the right approach to help them reduce the anxiety of this change in their lives.
If your loved one is resisting care, we obviously can’t just give in and leave them at risk, however, it is important to be respectful of their wishes and find a happy medium. Here are a few tips that you should consider when introducing to them the idea of accepting help:
- Introduce the idea slowly. Give them time to accept this new reality and give them a little time to think about it.
- Suggest a trial run whereby a Support Worker comes for a short visit to meet them and just have a conversation or go for a walk. Tell your parent that you will discuss how the meeting went afterwards and listen to their concerns about it.
- Fram the whole situation differently by telling your parent that one reason for this help is to reduce your stress and worry. Sometimes parents are more willing to accept a Support Worker’s help if it is presented as being for the family caregiver’s benefit too.
- Start the Support Worker with household chores, NOT personal or “hands on” care and slowly introduce other tasks as their comfort level with the Support Worker grows.
- Take your parent on a tour of a few nursing homes to discuss the alternative of not receiving care. Many seniors want to remain at home and once they see the alternatives, they might be more willing to accept the care. This approach is not meant to threaten them, however, if they do not receive needed care and they have a fall or injury, the nursing home is where they will inevitably end up. Tell them you want to avoid that at all costs.
- Seniors often listen to their physician. Ask their GP to recommend home care and have a short discussion as to why its important.
- Often, seniors are concerned about the cost of home care. Remember that most of today’s seniors grew up in the Depression and World War years. Money is always on their mind. Over the years, we have had many families tell mom and dad that the government is paying for the services and they pay the bills themselves. Hiding the cost issue from them could be important if it means that they will receive the care they need to remain safe.
The Retire-At-Home Approach:
Retire-At-Home in Red Deer and Central Alberta is owned and operated by Registered Nurses. Our team of home care specialists have dealt successfully with many clients that were originally resistant to accepting help. In fact, the majority of the calls we receive are from the family members of loved ones, often the children of our clients, at a time when they can no longer handle the pressure associated with convincing their parents.
That’s why Retire-At-Home starts with a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our nurses. During this consultation, our caring specialist will discuss the concerns, fears, and resistance that your parents are having. We will take the time to make them feel comfortable, and where necessary, help them in choosing the levels of care and the type of caregiver that comes (i.e. personality traits, etc). By getting to the heart of their fears and anxieties, we can often start slowly and help them build their trust in our caregivers. In these situations we always suggest starting services slowly and ensuring that we gather feedback and input from our client to ensure they feel part of the decision process.