When an Elderly Loved One Resists Your Care

Caring for an elderly loved one may be a difficult task, especially if your loved one is resistant to care. As people age, their cognition begins to decline, and they may not be totally in their right mind whenever they need care. This, among other medical and emotional issues, may cause your loved one to be resistant to you or anyone caring for them. If this sounds familiar, then keep reading to learn why your loved one may be resistant, and how to care for them anyway.

What Causes Resistance to Care?

If you love one needs care, then it is likely that they are dealing with some form of loss. Whether they have lost their spouse, have lost some of their mental health or a portion of their physical health, or they have lost their independence, they may not be dealing with their loss appropriately. Accepting care may mean that they must relinquish their privacy and their life. If your loved one has already lost some part of their life, then they may not want to accept your care in case doing so causes them to lose more of their independence and their life. In addition, your loved one may have a stubborn streak that causes them to refuse to accept your help.

How Can You Approach a Loved One About the Need for Care?

If your loved one seems very resistant to care, then you may be hesitant to even bring up the topic of care with them. However, if their health is declining, and it becomes very apparent that they need care, you have to start the conversation with them. Here are a few tips on how to approach your loved one and talk with them about care.

Choose an Appropriate Time

If the need for care outweighs your loved one’s comfort level, then it is time to talk to your loved one about getting a caregiver. Choose a time in which you and your loved one are relaxed. This will make it easier for your loved one to listen and for you to communicate with them. If they are the most relaxed while they are at home then talk with them at home. If they are more relaxed when eating out, then talk with them during a dinner outing.

Ask Questions about Their Preferences

Whenever you first begin the conversation about caregiving do not assume that your loved one is unable to discuss their preferences about their care. While they may be ill, they probably still do have care preferences in mind and can make decisions regarding their care. If your loved one has issues understanding you, then simplify your explanations and questions in order to help them make a decision that they understand. Make sure that you ask questions about your loved one’s preferences and understand what type of care that they truly want. Does your loved one mind going to a nursing home? Or would they rather stay home and have a caregiver? Asking the right questions are the only way that you will be able to have a productive conversation about your loved one’s care.

Enlist Help from Your Family Members or Health Professionals

If your loved one is resistant to care, then you may need to enlist the help of family members, friends, or even health professionals. Family and friends may be able to help you persuade your loved one to get the care they need. Health professionals may be able to talk to your loved one about the importance of care and persuade them to get the care that they need.

Do not Give up

If your loved one is very resistant to care, then having one conversation with them may not change their mind. If they are still resistant to care after talking with them do not give up. Continue to talk with your loved one about the importance of care and why they should consider getting the care they need. You may also suggest a trial run with a private caregiver in order to allow them to test the waters with a caregiver. Hire a caregiver for one to two weeks in order to help them experience the benefits of assistance.

Pick Your Battles

Focus on the big picture with your loved one. If your loved one is incredibly resistant to care, then avoid fighting with them about getting care. Fighting will only make a stubborn person more resistant to care and will not help in the long run.

Explain How Care May Prolong Their Independence

To really help your loved one become more accepting of care, explain to them how it may prolong their independence. Accepting care as you grow older is not a sign of weakness, and your loved one should not think of it as one. Instead, your loved one may need to be reminded that they can still retain their independence by accepting care. Explain to them that accepting care is not a personal failure, and explain to them that accepting care can help them stay active and independent in their old age. By accepting care from a caregiver, your loved ones can continue to stay active, maintain their relationships, and develop and maintain new interests and hobbies.

Even after talking with your loved one and utilizing all of these tips, your elderly loved one may still be resistant to care. Keep in mind that all of these strategies are not full proof and they may need a bit of tweaking depending on your loved one’s illness. But, if after using these tips, your loved one is still resistance to care, then you may need to reevaluate the situation. Are they a danger to themselves? Can they stay at home by themselves and still stay healthy? If the answers to these questions still beg that they obtain a caregiver or move into an assisted living facility, then you may want to consult a lawyer who specializes in elder care issues.

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