Strategies and Tips for those Resistant to Care
Acknowledging the need for help can be difficult for many elderly loved ones, especially those who were raised in an era and culture of independence. What we see time and time again is the adult child calling to find out more about services and ask for guidance in getting parents or loved ones to accept the care they need. According to Irene Zelterman, a Geriatric Care Manager in New York, “I have found that one of the least effective ways to deal with this problem is to get into a power struggle with the older adult. It is very difficult, though not impossible to force someone to accept home care, and this rarely works out well for those involved. Adult children frequently attempt to convince their parents that they need home care, resulting in a very frustrating experience, particularly if the parent has dementia.” Does that sound familiar?
Here are a few alternative strategies to empower your loved one to get the care they need:
- Elderly loved ones need to feel heard and in control. Hire a Care Manager to assess the situation, act as a neutral party and advocate for the loved one. Having the family take a step back from the care will allow the elderly loved one to learn to depend upon and trust their Care Manager who can open the doorway to further care that is needed.
- As family, finding care for a loved one is always a balance between safety with quality of life and the right to self-determination. If there are not imminent risks to safety or well-being, honor the choice of the older adult and revisit the idea of accepting care at a later time.
- Depending on how resistant the loved one is- the adult child may want to have a plan ready to go, but wait for a crisis in order to get the care. Many older adults are resistant out of fear and are too emotional to be logical regarding their needs.
- Suggest a “try it out” method to your loved one, which empowers their right to choose. Select a specific time such as an eight week trial to give time for the client and caregiver to get to know and trust one another.
- Highlight how the care will impact a loved one. For examples if a husband is needing help, mention how much the wife would benefit from the extra help around the house. Many aging adults have a strong desire not to be a burden to their children and may respond to you sharing how much it would benefit and help you as the adult child.
- Creating a gift certificate for care can make the extra care feel like pampering and allow the elderly loved one to try out the service. Help preparing for a bath, having a nice meal prepared, getting a manicure or pedicure, errand running, or a little housekeeping can be presented as a luxury or a lovely holiday gift for your loved one.
Published on December 19, 2012.