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Caring For The Elderly: How To Deal With Resistance

Caring for an older adult can become challenging, especially when your loved one is refusing help. Understanding why your loved one is feeling resistance can help you to encourage them to become more cooperative.

What Causes Resistance For Help Or Care?

When your loved one requires care, she or he is most likely dealing with some loss. This could be a mental loss, physical loss, losing a spouse, or more importantly, when they start losing their independence. Accepting assistance may mean giving up on privacy and having to adjust to a new routine. This can make a loved one feel vulnerable, angry, or frightened that they now need help. They also may be feeling guilty that they may become a burden. In certain instances, a loved one may have a mental health issue, are stubborn, or see it as a weak sign to accept any help. She or he may also have concerns about the costs involved for specific care types.

What Is The Best Way To Approach Your Loved One About The Need For Care?

In most cases, a doctor will initiate a discussion with the person about her or his care needs. If you are the one that has to start the conversation and you feel that your parent or loved one is going to be resistant when it comes to discussing care options, whether from a service, close contacts, or family, consider the following tips:

• Determine the level of care needed. You need to make a realistic assessment of the type of help a loved one requires and which of the services may work best.
• Make sure you and your loved one are in a relaxed and secure environment. This makes it easier for both parties to speak their minds and to listen.
• Ask your loved ones about their preferences. They may have choices about the family members they want assistance from or the type of service provider. While you may not match every expectation, it is still essential to consider their concerns.
• Ask a family member for help. Friends or family may assist in encouraging and persuading a loved one that they need help.
• Never give up. When your loved one is not prepared to talk about the topic, keep trying until they start to understand your point of view.

What Are The More Effective Strategies When It Comes To Managing Resistance To Care?

To encourage and promote cooperation, here are a few ideas:

• Suggest a test or trial run. Avoid asking a loved one to decide right away on the type of care she or he needs to receive.
• Talk about the care and help in a very positive way. Make sure you talk about respite care or any other service as activities they will enjoy.
• Talk about your needs. You may even want to ask a loved one to be less resistant to make your life slightly more accessible.
• Address the costs involved. Your loved one may be resisting care since they are worried about the costs.
• Choose your battles wisely. Try to understand where your loved one is coming from and keep focused on the bigger picture.

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