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Tips for Convincing Elderly Parents They Need Home Care Help

January 20, 2021

Tips for Convincing Elderly Parents They Need Home Care Help:

It’s common for people with elderly relatives who need home help to experience frustration. Seniors living in their own homes can be resistant to receiving home help, or even to admitting they need help. They may deny they need help even as the dirty clothes pile up, the bills don’t get paid on time; and they miss scheduled doctor’s appointments.

A recent study estimated that 45% of older adults who need in-home care services do not receive them. Older adults, especially those who have chosen to remain in their homes, can be resistant to change; and adamant that they don’t need help with everyday tasks. They point to the fact that they are grown adults who have decades of experience living on their own. So then how can a concerned family member convince their loved ones to get the help they need?

 

Convincing Elderly Relative Who Needs Help is Not Easy

The bottom line is, sometimes it’s not possible to convince them. Sometimes, their sense of independence and strong will are enough; that they will consistently refuse to agree to get the help they need. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing a concerned family member can’t or won’t do.

It’s important to understand that this is a process and not an event. Accept that there might be small victories as well as some backsliding. Or there might be more significant failures followed by progress. It’s best to take a long view and continue to focus on providing support; even if it’s not as much support as you think they need.

Starting the Conversation on Home Care Help

Most experts agree; that it’s important to first make an honest assessment of what kind of services an elderly relative may need. Are they skipping meals? Home care services can help with that, providing assistance with grocery shopping, meal preparation, and clean-up. Do they struggle to complete basic personal care tasks like bathing and dressing?

An in-home caregiver would be able to assist. However, it’s important that you seek your elderly relative’s input on what they assess their needs as being. Undoubtedly, they will minimize the need or deny it altogether. But it’s important to figure out where they think they need help; and the obstacles you may face getting them to accept more help.

Introduce Home Care Solutions

Rather than focusing on an elderly parent’s shortcomings or what they are unable to do. Framing the conversation around the different types of home care assistance is a good step to take. Be sure to comment on the fact that your relatives don’t need help with everything; and praise their independence with regard to things they don’t need help with.

Focusing on the solution rather than the problem; will allow an elderly relative to feel less defensive about receiving the home care help they need. It can also be suggested that an elderly relative take a meeting with a home care agency. Just to explore options. Once they see how the program works, many objections may fall away.

Eliminate Barriers to Getting Help at Home

It’s upsetting to some to think of it this way, but many times an elderly relative living at home will deny that they need services simply because they don’t want to make the effort to get help. They may suffer from a lack of motivation to change their circumstances, or they may fear or not understand the process of getting help at home. By doing a little research and making some arrangements on a parent’s behalf, it may be possible to overcome these objections.

Another objection many elderly people may have is an aversion to having a “stranger” in their home. This is a valid concern that nevertheless can be overcome with a little creativity. If it’s feasible to be present when an in-home care aide first visits, it may help alleviate the concern for all involved.

Ask Elderly Relatives to Relieve Others’ Worry

Most elderly parents are receptive to the notion that many things they have done have been done for the sake of their children or grandchildren. By framing it as getting help so that others will worry about them less, many parents will be more likely to accept help. That way, they can retain the sense that the needed help is not really necessary, but they will accept it in order to allay their children’s concerns.

If All Else Fails, Beg For Forgiveness Instead of Asking for Permission

If an elderly relative still refuses to accept help at home, there is one last thing a concerned family member can do, but it is a controversial one and must not be taken lightly. Set up an appointment for them to meet with someone about receiving services without telling them. It’s unlikely that they will want to be seen as rude and not go through with the appointment.

But there will be consequences for this action. An elderly parent may feel as though their trust has been breached, their wishes ignored and their feelings hurt. But if they end up receiving needed services, this might be a worthwhile price to pay. Many experts warn that this can cause damage to the relationship, which is why it’s important to exhaust all other options first. 

Home Care Powered by AUAF can Help Get Seniors the Services They Need

Whether it’s help with meal preparation and planning or light housekeeping, let the experts at Home Care Powered by AUAF deliver your elderly loved one high quality services that will help them thrive at home. Call us at 877.947.2685 or contact us to learn more.

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