Overcoming Care Refusal: How to Make the Process Easier
If you have an aging loved one, the day will likely come that they need more help with their daily activities and possibly personal care.
It is common for this much-needed extra help to be met with some resistance.
If this is a position you have found yourself in, you are not alone. It is very common for seniors to refuse the help they need. This can be frustrating, but remaining in a state of compassion and persistence can help overcome these obstacles.
Why a senior might refuse care
There are so many reasons your loved ones may refuse the care they need. Some of the common reasons for care refusal are:
- Loss of independence
- They don't understand what is happening
- Denial of the declining state of their health
Ideas to help make the process easier
Start the conversation early
It is a tough conversation to have, but the sooner you talk with your loved ones about what happens if they need help with their personal care, the better.
Having the conversation about in-home care before any extensive care is needed can help your loved one get used to the idea of having an in-home caregiver in their home helping with day-to-day tasks.
Opening the lines of communication will let your loved one ask questions and seek comfort from knowing what to expect. They can also begin to learn more about the types of care that are available within their community. For example, some people do not realize that some in-home care providers provide support, such as companionship, before personal care is needed.
Put the conversation on the schedule
Let everyone know that you need to be involved in the conversation you are scheduling in a time and place for it to be had.
Put it on your schedule and set it far enough away so that everyone can think it over and come up with any questions or concerns they may have.
This will ensure that the conversation about advanced care is had and everyone is on the same page.
Learn about the different levels of care available
The future of your loved one doesn't have to include a retirement home or a long-term care facility. Most people would rather age at home, and who can blame them. It is a big transition going into a care home.
You can hire private care providers, and the extent of the care they provide will differ with each company, but you can be sure that you will find an in-home care provider that will suit your loved one's needs perfectly.
Home care services are an excellent way to keep your loved ones at home and comfortable. You will find that in-home care is flexible with the type of care they can provide. If your loved one starts to decline or needs more care daily, in-home care providers are knowledgeable and well equipped to take care of your loved one properly.
Keep the conversation focused on the highlights of accepting care. It will make their lives easier and give them more energy to enjoy other things. They can still do as much as they can, and the care provider will only help with the more difficult tasks.
Talking to your loved one ahead of time about the possibility of needing help with personal care but remaining in their home is a great way to keep them comfortable and more accepting of help.
Listen to your loved one
If your loved one has concerns about receiving care, take the time to listen to them. Shrugging them off and making them feel like they don't have a choice will make their resistance much worse and harder to reverse.
Give them space to tell you how they feel and answer any questions you can. You can also sit down with your care provider and let your loved one talk about their concerns and reasons they are resisting care. It is common for seniors to refuse care due to fear of losing their independence, which is a valid concern.
Taking the time to listen actively will allow solutions to be found and not take away your loved one's power.
Share your thoughts
After you have listened to your loved one's concerns and reasons for resisting care, you can offer up your thoughts.
Don't push them or make demands of them. Tell them things you may have noticed that indicate they need a little more help than they realize.
Choose your words carefully so it doesn't come off as you tell them they have no choice or make them feel as if their choices are being taken away.
Advocate for your loved one
At the end of the day, whether they continue to refuse care or you have convinced them to be more accepting of help, you need to be in their corner.
Aging and not being able to do the things we used to be able to be scary, and your loved one needs to know that you are on their side and respect their decisions.
This doesn't mean they will never accept more care, but you love and respect them enough to know when to back off. The issue can be reapproached as needed. Unfortunately, this conversation will continue for some as their health and abilities decline.
Watching a loved one get older and lose their abilities to care for themselves can be terrible to experience. Adding in the extra stress of your loved one refusing the care they need can worsen the situation.