Easing the Tough Conversation with Your Parent
Aging is not an easy process for anyone. It can be particularly difficult as a child to see your parent grow old and begin to lose their strength. As you watch this process from the outside, it may seem obvious that your parent is in need of extra care. But, when introducing the idea of hiring a home care assistant, most likely your parent will respond with hesitancy at best, or downright anger at worst. What do you do if your elderly parent refuses help?
It is natural to want self-sufficiency. If anything challenges those capabilities, we fight against it. You know that you’re only introducing this opportunity of care because you are deeply invested in your parent’s health and happiness. For them it may seem like you are taking away their independence. That disconnect is what causes so much tension when it comes to seeking help for family members.
How to Approach the Issue if Your Elderly Parent Refuses Help Through Home Care
We, at All Best Home Care, not only want to provide direct, personalized assistance, but we also want to bring information that clients, or potential clients, can use when trying to make a decision regarding care services. Getting a parent to the point where they feel comfortable accepting help can be a stressful and taxing process. Below, we have assembled a few bits of advice that may be of some support to you and your family when your elderly parent refuses help.
It is important that you not jump into this conversation without prior planning. Providing thorough research of local businesses that provide relevant services may make it easier for them to picture what the home care would be like. You could also educate your parent on the various benefits of receiving home care. Rather than presenting it as a change of lifestyle, show them how they will be able to continue their usual routines. Explain to them how their quality of life will actually be enhanced rather than diminished. This will surely be a challenging discussion, changing someone’s mind is never simple. If you are armed with facts and specific examples it may alleviate some of the apprehensions your parent has.
Ask you parent to visit with a few different home care providers, as well as with their primary care physician. When the advice is coming from a professional, it will be more objective and reliable. Perhaps your parent just thinks you are overreacting or being unnecessarily cautious. But hearing those same instructions directly from a doctor or another qualified person could bring the situation into perspective for them.
Recruit Other Family Members
If possible, you will want to include other members of the family during this process. If your elderly parent refuses help then sees how many people are concerned about them, and how they are being affected, then it could help them decide to accept the care that they need. It is easy to forget about emails or phone calls from relatives, but if they are there in person then it is more difficult to ignore.
Put Yourself in Their Position
You may be getting frustrated with your parent for not seeing eye to eye with you and that may make the process even more difficult. But you must be aware of the complex nature of growing older. You are not going through what your parent is, and you may be able to separate yourself from their struggle but you should think about how if you were in their place, what would you do? How would you want to be approached in a situation such as this? Imagine you are in their shoes, with your children telling you that you’re no longer able to support yourself alone. How would that make you feel? It is important to be sensitive to your parent’s feelings.
Let Them Make the Decision
A lot of the mixed emotions your parent is feeling is because of their perceived loss of control. If you can help them feel empowered in any way, you should. One way to do this is to allow them the power to make the final decision. At the end of the day, even if you believe you know best, this is their life and even if they have difficulty walking up the stairs or mowing their lawn, this is still their decision to make. The best you can do is provide them with all the proper tools and resources, and then support them. You should never force someone into a situation that makes them uncomfortable, and with time your parent may realize that you were right all along. You just need to give them the space to come to that conclusion.
No matter the decision your parent makes, you will want to keep up with them to ensure they are staying safe and healthy. If your elderly parent refuses help through home care, try and be there for them as much as possible. Keep discussing the option with them in case they have a change of heart. If they choose to accept the care, then you should still check in to make sure they feel secure and are receiving all the services that they need.
All Best Home Care is here for you and your elderly parent. We provide experienced caregiving services in Louisville, and across the entire state of Kentucky. Our caregivers are trained, licensed and certified, and are passionate about caring for others. For more information about our caregiving services, call our office at (502) 456-2273.