The process of aging is hard to deal with – whether you are a family member or a friend of the person aging. It is especially hard for children to watch their parents age. These are the people who raised them, taught them everything they know and were their role models when starting their own families. It is hard to see your parent in need after being independent for so long. What makes it even harder is when one’s parent refuses help that they so desperately need.
This puts one in a very uncomfortable and unenviable position. You want to provide your parent with the care that they need, allow them to retain their independence and dignity, but they obviously need help that they cannot provide for themselves. It can be frustrating, difficult, and feel hopeless, but it is important to stay patient and remember that as hard as it is for you, it is even harder for your parent. They are not used to looking towards others for help.
If your parent needs help, and is refusing, try employing the tips below to help move the dialogue forward in a positive way. Remember that these are big changes for your parents and that getting them to accept help will be a process, not something that you can magically achieve overnight.
- Start the conversation early - It is better to begin planning for how to manage your parents’ aging by starting the conversation before serious decisions have to be made. This is a difficult topic to approach with one’s parents, but it is easier to have a plan of action already in place in case something happens, than trying to figure things out on the fly. And remember, your parents are likely to be very resistant to help; the longer you have to get them used to the idea, the easier it will be to get them the help they need.
- Be compassionate - Try not to see your parents’ refusal of care as them trying to be difficult or frustrating. Imagine being in their position. The people who raised you are now in need of help that they never imagined themselves needing. It is difficult for them and can be a very humbling experience. It is important that you approach the topic with empathy and understanding.
- Be persistent, but patient - If your parents are beginning to show signs of decline, it is important to try to convince them to get the help they need. This is a process and it will take time. This means that you are going to have to bring up the subject more than once, and continue to bring it up until they begin to warm up to the idea. It is important to be patient with your parents and remember that they are not trying to be difficult. These are very big decisions in your parents’ lives and you must be patient with them while they try to make them.
- LISTEN to their concerns and needs - Your parents probably have plenty of concerns about obtaining homecare. Listen to them, as their needs are important. Your parents likely want to keep as much of their independence as possible, and if this is what is most important to them, it will drive your plan of action. Let them voice their concerns and take them into serious consideration when looking into any possible homecare options. If your parents do not want to leave their home, and want to retain their independence, remember that there are homecare services that allow for your parents to get the care they need, without having to move into a nursing home or retirement community.
- Provide plenty of options for your parent - The decisions made over care options will change your parents’ life. They need options and to have as much control over the situation as possible. Don’t just find one option and go with it, do diligent research on all available options. Present the research to your parents and let them decide what is best for them.
We at Carefect Homecare Services understand how difficult it is to watch a parent age. We are here to help you along every step in the process of assessing and finding the best care plan for your parents. Contact us today for a free, in-home assessment, and let us show you how we can help your parents age in place, with dignity and independence, while still getting the care they need.