As a child with elderly parents, it can be difficult to reason when they don’t want to reason. You know they need help but don’t want to accept it. You don’t have the time, energy, or resources to care for them yourself. You’re busy, with a family, and work a full-time job. Sure, you can help on the weekends, but what about the rest of the week? Here’s what to do with elderly parents who refuse care. Consider these approaches to reaching some common ground.
Probe: Ask Questions
Sometimes it’s fear. Other times a loved one might be hesitant due to not wanting to lose their liberties. If they are very resistant to receiving care/help, find out why. You can discuss different alternatives. You can inform them of what routes are good approaches for them. And, you can let your loved ones know you aren’t going to do anything to put them in peril. Let them know you’re there to help. And, let them know if they are uncomfortable, to simply talk to you. This might help soften the situation a bit, and they might be more willing to accept help if they need it. At least you’re opening the channels of discussion, and this is always a good thing.
Start Early & Be Patient
Start the discussions early. And, don’t force them, take it slow. If they’re resistant, take it step by step. The earlier you start the conversation, the more you can possibly sway them. Especially in situations where you describe at home care aides or other options outside of nursing homes. Let them know there are many resources. And, if you’re able to, inform them there’s help in payment and other insurance options.
Make sure you’re patient. Especially if you’re dealing with stubborn parents. If they’re stubborn, think about how they feel about you. You’re probably butting heads because you both want to win an argument. So, don’t make it an argument. Make it about them. Let them know you’re there when they need you. And, inform them of the resources they can turn to if they do need help when you’re not around.
Ask for Help
Recruit help from others. Ask your siblings to step in or your spouse. Ask other loved ones and relatives to talk to your parents. Don’t force or pressure them. Instead, make it come from a place of love and wanting to help. Furthermore, when there’s more than one voice of reason, they’re more likely to listen to the voices. So, make sure you have help from professionals as well as family and loved ones. Doing this will make it a little easier to present your position. It will also make them more open to opinions and different forms of help.
Offer More than One Option
Let them know there are options. Some seniors might think it’s a nursing home or nothing. This isn’t the case at all. There are assisted living communities where they’d maintain their freedom. There are home care aides who can help. There are also service providers for transportation or helping them run errands. Let your parents know they can stay at home. Offer more than one solution and see how open they are to discussion then.
Accept the Limits
As long as your elderly parent isn’t a danger to themselves or others, you can’t force them into senior care or accepting help. In fact, the more you push and try to force it, the worst things will get. So, accept your limits. If they’re still able to reason and have their bearings in order, give it time. If they are safe in the home, let them remain there. As long as they aren’t in a position of endangering themselves, accept it and move on. Come back to it at a later time when they actually do need help for their personal health.
There are many reasons your elderly parents might be resisting help and care if they need it. Make sure you know what their point of view is, rather than just project your opinions on the matter. Open dialect is the starting point to compromise. So, start early, remain patient, and learn when to stop pushing (at least for a short period of time) when trying to get them help.