We all need a little extra help sometimes. As children, we’re less apprehensive about asking others for help. When we enter adulthood, the need to be independent often prevents us from asking for help. It’s often because we feel self-conscious, or maybe even a little embarrassed, about not being able to do something completely on our own. This is unfortunate because it’s okay to ask for help whenever we need it – especially during our senior years.
You may have noticed that your senior parent or loved one is struggling with various everyday things on their own. Perhaps they’re having difficulty with their mobility. Perhaps they have not been keeping up with their daily medication. They may have even started to become noticeably forgetful.
When these situations arise, your first instinct is to offer help. Unfortunately, many seniors will refuse to accept such offers. Why? Senior may refuse help for a variety of reasons, including
Worry over losing their independence
Shame of being perceived as a burden to anyone
Fear of being incapacitated and/or dying
Resentment at being treated as a “child”
While all of these reasons and emotions are completely understandable, they should not prevent attaining caregiver help for your senior loved one.
If you are dealing with elderly parents or relatives who refuse help, you’re not alone. Many people just like you face this challenge every day. Fortunately, there are some wonderful ways you can help your senior family members overcome their reluctance to receive caregiving help.
Assess Your Senior’s Situation
Before you attempt to speak with your loved one about their need for help, you should really take a close look at their behavior, surroundings and health. Take some time to properly assess your senior parent or relative’s current situation and determine the areas where they need help and what kind of support would be most helpful.
If your loved one is fairly healthy and cognitive but has infrequent mobility issues the degree of help they require may not be significant. However, if your senior has a variety of health issues, suffers from limited mobility or is experiencing cognitive decline, their personal care requirements may be more considerable.
It’s best to identify these areas of concern so you and/or your family can determine which care options may suit your senior loved one’s specific needs.
Allow Seniors To Feel In Control
Since one of the biggest concerns that aging adults have is the fear of losing their independence, your additional care discussion needs to take this into consideration. Assure them that, depending on their unique circumstances, accepting additional help does not automatically mean a loss of independence. The best way to assure them that they still have control over their own lives is to present them with several care options.Some additional care options that can be offered include:
- Moving into an adult child’s spare room
- Renovating a section of an adult child’s home to create parents quarters
- Installing a home monitoring device or system in the seniors home for emergency alerts
- Retaining the services of a registered home care specialist for regular visits
When they feel that the choice is being made for them, they may dig in their heels and refuse to comply. By presenting your aging parent or relative with these types of options, you allow them to feel more in control of their lives. Now that they have choices to consider, they may be more inclined to accept additional help.
Appeal To Their Parental Instincts
Most parents want to do what’s best for their children. It doesn’t matter if their children are toddlers or adults, most parents want their kids to have the best opportunities. By appealing to these parental instincts, you may be able to convince your senior parent or loved one that accepting additional help and care would help you in the long run.
Help them understand that you worry a great deal about them being alone, injured, in distress or impaired. And that worry is causing you to experience your own issues such as worry, anxiety, sleep loss. If they accept help, then your wellbeing will improve. Essentially, by accepting help they would be helping their child.
Accentuate the Positives
Finally, it’s always a good idea to highlight the many positives of additional help. Deflect the stigma associated with this subject matter by emphasizing the things they gain by accepting additional help:
- They can continue to live independently
- They won’t have to leave their home
- Their pets can continue to live with them
- They can continue to enjoy their own everyday routines and activities
Essentially, you’ll be able to help them understand that they have more to lose if they should have an emergency or become incapactitated due to an injury. By receiving help, they reduce the risk of emergencies and injuries.
With this information in mind, you’ll be better prepared to have a sensitive and productive conversation with your aging parents or relatives about accepting outside help.
If you and your family are interested in short and long term care options for your aging loved ones, Keen Home Care has many beneficial options available. Our team of home care specialists will work with you and your family to avoid premature or unnecessary institutionalization of your aging or disabled loved ones, so they can continue to live in the comfort of their own home.
Contact us today to learn more about our home care service options for seniors in the Long Beach community.