One of the most common and difficult caregiving challenges that an adult can face is dealing with an elder loved one who refuses necessary assistance. Whether he or she is resisting in-home aides, driving under ill or weakened physical conditions, or just generally denying help from any family members, it can be hard to decide how to handle the situation. Especially if he or she is experiencing early levels of cognitive impairment, there will be clear signs of confusion or fear of what’s happening to them. As their adult child or close family member, there are a few things you can do to make this process run a little smoother.
What Are Some Strategies to Help Me Overcome My Loved One’s Objections?
- Start the conversation early: Don’t wait to have the conversation of implementing care for your loved one when there is a health crisis. Start a casual discussion early on and introduce the idea as a plausible outcome in the near future.
- Be patient: Make sure to ask open-ended questions and give your loved one plenty of time to answer. These are hard things for anyone to think about, so let them have the time to give you an honest and helpful answer. Don’t be surprised if the conversations veer off-topic; realize this might take several talks before you get a beneficial response.
- Deeply explore: Really try to determine why your elder loved one is refusing care. Ask questions that actually foster a solution- is it about privacy, financial concerns, loss of independence, or a combination of the three? Patiently figure out the root of the problem.
- Offer options: Include your loved one in interviews, meetings, or schedule setting in order to discuss the various options that he or she can take. There are levels of aid that a helper would give, and they can be around for only certain days of the week or certain times of the day.
- Accept your limitations: Realize that in the end you should let your loved one make their own choices, as long as they are not endangering themselves or others. Bad things might happen and you can’t always be at your loved one’s side. Accept the limits of care that you can provide and don’t feel guilty.
If you would like more assistance in helping your elderly loved one accept the care that they need, contact our Massachusetts elder law attorney today.