Overcoming Resistance to Care
Is your loved one resisting your suggestion of home care?
The Mayo Clinic Staff published an article on dealing with resistance when caring for the elderly. In this article, they offer sound advice about how to start communicating with your loved one about his or her need for care:
- Determine what help is needed. Make an honest assessment of what kind of help your loved one needs and which services might work best.
- Choose a time when you and your loved one are relaxed. This will make it easier for you and your loved one to listen to each other and speak your minds.
- Ask about your loved one’s preferences. Does your loved one have a preference about which family member or what type of service provides care? While you might not be able to meet all of your loved one’s wishes, it’s important to take them into consideration. If your loved one has trouble understanding you, simplify your explanations and the decisions you expect him or her to make.
- Enlist the help of family members. Family and friends might be able to help you persuade your loved one to accept help.
- Don’t give up. If your loved one doesn’t want to discuss the topic the first time you bring it up, try again later.
Aware Senior Care loves this advice. Tim and Gina also have some tips on dealing with resistance:
A good self-assessment is a great start because often the senior and his/her family have difficulty in determining and communicating what the senior needs. During this step, it’s important to ask if there are things the senior likes to do but recently had to cut back or eliminate. Also, are there activities of daily living the senior is doing that have become tedious and it would be nice if someone else did them? We’ve found that in a conversation about accepting care, the following two points resonate: accepting care can prolong independence and a trial run is a great way to get started when you don’t know how much care is right.
Prolonging independence. The earlier we accept help, the longer our loved ones can remain independent at home. One of the goals of caregiving is to change the picture at home to help seniors thrive and feel better. Getting help can allow seniors to use their extra time to exercise both mentally and physically, to do things they once enjoyed but have cut back on, and to decrease the chances of something harmful happening at home.
A trial run. We don’t have a crystal ball to tell us how many services to start with and how much time is right. That’s why a trial run is a great idea. Start with a little bit of help and see how it goes. This helps the senior to be more comfortable, as he or she is not locked into a certain level of care.
Remind the senior that they are in charge. At the close of an assessment, we recommend you tell the senior that he or she is in charge. We had one senior who was very resistant to help due to ongoing pressure from children. When we met the senior, did the self-assessment, and suggested a trial run, the game changer was explaining that the senior was in charge and could change the plan at any time. The children were stunned that their parent accepted help. It was great to be part of the solution to the family’s impasse on home care.
The Mayo Clinic Staff article can be found here.