Caregiving for Seniors- How to Handle Resistance

When an elderly loved one reaches a point in their life that they need some help with their daily activities, it can be a difficult time. For most people, admitting they need help is a form of surrendering their independence. Adult day care, assisted living or in-home care can all be great caregiving solutions that will provide them with the assistance they need while maintaining a sense of independence.

Family members may encounter resistance or the elder may deny that they need some help with their day-to-day activities. It can be an especially difficult situation for an elderly parent. They may tell you “to stop worrying, everything is fine” or say ‘they don’t want to be around all those old people.” They spent so many years taking care of you, it’s not surprising that they might reject any assistance you may try to provide. There are ways you can ease, or even completely overcome this resistance.

Plan Ahead

We often prefer to avoid the difficult or uncomfortable conversations. Planning for senior caregiving is no different than buying life insurance or drafting a will. It does no good to wait until you need it to discuss or plan for it.

It is best to discuss the possibility of senior caregiving with an elderly parent or loved one before it becomes necessary.

Be Patient  

Conversations with an elder about caregiving or assistance may be met with objections or a dismissive attitude.They may even try to change the subject.

Be patient and don’t get frustrated. You may have to broach the subject more than once before engaging your loved one in a productive conversation on the subject.

Caregiving for Seniors- How to Handle Resistance

Discover Reasons for Resistance to Caregiving

Asks questions and try to determine why they are refusing assistance. The reason may go beyond the initial fear of losing their independence. They may fear a lack of privacy, learning to trust new people or becoming dependant on others.

Listen to their reservations and be empathetic. By validating their feelings you also be letting them know that you truly care about how they feel and that you are looking out for them.

Provide Options

When looking into adult day care and assisted living facilities or when interviewing prospective in-home caregivers, include your loved one in the process if possible. Have them help decide on the best option for them and their needs.

Whether you chose in-home care or the use of an outside facility, reinforce the idea of companionship and activities. This will help ease the fear of losing their independence.

Recruit a Third Party

It can sometimes help if your elderly loved one discusses their feelings with someone outside of the family. It may give them a different perspective to discuss the positive benefits of caregiving with a third party.

Don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a family physician, a priest, a social worker or even an old family friend to sit down and have an honest discussion with the elder, convincing them that they may need some assistance with their daily activities.

Sustained Independence

Explain to your loved one that accepting some form of caregiving is a great way to prolong their independence. In many cases, it allows them to remain at home with family or even in their own home longer.  

Reassure them that accepting caregiving and surrendering some of their independence is not a personal failing.

Caregiving for Seniors- How to Handle Resistance

Be a Little Selfish

Sometimes people will do things for others before they do for themselves. Suggest to your parent or loved one that it would be easier on you if they would agree to some form of caregiving.

Explain that it would ease your mind to know that they are no home alone all day. Tell them that while you may each have to compromise from time to time, you are in this together and you only want what’s best for them.

Take it Slow

Whatever is decided, don’t jump into it all at once. If your loved one will be attending adult day care or assisted living, start with short escorted visits a couple of times a week. Work up to a more independent, full time schedule.

If you and your loved one have opted for in-home care, the same theory will work. Have the caregiver visit the house for just a few hours a couple of times a week to let your love one get used to their presence in the house.

Admitting they need help and accepting assistance is not easy for people as they age. It can be a very emotional time for both the elder and their family members.

Signature Senior Services facilities create a home away from home. We provide a place for your loved ones to relax, have some fun and provide their family with the peace of mind the they are being cared for. We our medical day care provides many healthcare services and therapeutic and entertaining activities. Stop in for a visit or contact us today or  to see if one of our facilities is right for your loved one.


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