Strategies for Managing Resistance from Elderly Loved Ones
Caring for an elderly loved one is both rewarding and rife with challenges. When an elderly person resists help or change, it can halt progress. The key to handling resistance from an elderly individual is to work with them to understand the root cause and to come up with a solution that’s reasonable and adequate for both parties involved.
If your loved one is resisting your help, there are a couple of things you can do to gain their cooperation:
Understanding What Causes Their Resistance
If a loved one is resisting help or care in any way, it is often due to their own anguish and sadness dealing with mental as well as physical loss. Accepting help often means a great deal of change that your loved one may not feel ready for. Oftentimes, elderly individuals feel angry, scared or vulnerable when they need to ask for help as they are dependent upon someone else for their daily needs.
Of course, there are also instances where mental illness may prevent a loved one from fully understanding how much help they require. This is especially the case for those with dementia and failing memory. In other cases, an elderly person may worry about the overall healthcare costs attached to accepting help or they may even view it as a sign of accepting defeat against their condition.
Know How To Approach A Loved One With These Tips!
Once it is established your loved one requires additional care, there are different methods for broaching the subject. For certain conditions, the topic may even lie out of your hands as a medical professional will start the hard conversation. However, it is best to prepare yourself ahead of time for some resistance, and use the following tips to help you cope:
Keep It Honest
Stay vigilant and honest with yourself about the amount of help your loved one really requires. Try to do an objective assessment and make a list of things they need daily assistance with.
Talk About It In A Relaxed Manner
Tension can build and it may lead to an outright fight if you choose the wrong time to approach your loved one. Save this topic of discussion when you both are relaxed and ready for the conversation.
Keep Your Loved One’s Preferences In Sight
Your loved one is going through a hard time, and therefore, it is important to keep them involved. Ask what his or her preferences are for care. Do they have a favorite family member they wish to rely on? It may not prove possible to accommodate all of the person’s wishes, but try to at least consider them. If your loved one has trouble grasping the subject, try explaining it in simpler layman’s terms.
Bring In Help
Tough subjects are hard to broach, which is why you need backup. Involve close friends or family members you feel could help further the person’s care along.
Avoid Giving In Or Up
It’s normal to get faced with resistance, but it’s important to avoid giving in or giving up. Just start the conversation again at a different time when it suits the both of you.
How To Encourage Cooperation In Order To Get Help
There are a couple of ways that you can help your loved one get on-board with seeking help. Here are some methods that are worth trying:
Let Your Loved One Test The Waters
No one wants to commit to a level of care they’re unsure about, especially if the concept is foreign or new. Let your loved one do a trial run of their care plan and see how they like it. Once they enjoy the advantages of getting help, they may feel more at ease about making permanent changes.
Use Positivity When Describing Care Services
It’s important for your loved one to feel at ease about talking about respite care. When conversing about it, always keep a friendly tone and refer back to it as an activity he or she looks forward to. For example, a caregiver may get referred to as a friend or the care itself may get referenced as a club.
Ask For Their Help
Consider taking a different approach to the conversation by asking your loved one for help. Let them know the strain it puts on you to know that they aren’t getting the assistance they need. Sometimes, compromise is the only way to get ahead.
Talk About The Funding
Your loved one may refuse to get help simply because he or she is concerned about coverage costs. Have this conversation with them in the beginning and let them know how their care costs will get funded. This will ease any worries or concerns.
Know When To Just Stop
It’s important to choose your battles wisely and not fight your loved one about every aspect of their care. Try to understand where they’re coming from before attempting to put your foot down.
Note: Please understand that these tips are not necessarily appropriate for a loved one battling dementia.
What Happens If These Tips Don’t Work?
There are instances where a loved one may continue to resist, so make sure you employ the help of a professional. Elderly individuals may be more apt to listen to a doctor, lawyer, caregiver, nurse or just about anyone other than family.
Most people face resistance from their loved ones when they broach the topic of getting caregiver assistance. This is normal, but once you explain all of the benefits they can enjoy, chances are you can get them on the same page.
If you and your loved one are ready for the next step, let us help! Our licensed, insured, and bonded caregivers can provide assistance with daily living, regardless of the challenges involved. Our goal is to provide compassionate and professional care every step of the way! Contact us or call us today for more information! We’re here to help you!