What Can You Do When Your Elderly Loved One Doesn't Want Help?
Hilary and Greg Eldridge
For family caregivers, it's sometimes incredibly difficult to convince an elderly loved one that she honestly needs more assistance. Your loved one may be so used to doing everything on her own that she just can't fathom accepting your help. That doesn't make the situation nay easier for you, however.
Listen to Her Reasons for Declining Your Help
Your elderly loved one may have perfectly good reasons for not wanting anyone's help, even if those reasons only truly make sense to her. She may worry that she's not going to have any of her independence anymore or she may believe that she truly doesn't need any help. Regardless of her argument, you need to really listen to what she's telling you.
Get to the Root Issue
After you've listened to your loved one's reasoning, you can start to get to the bottom of why she doesn't want any help. Perhaps she's trying to keep her privacy and feels that having you or home care providers around more often is going to infringe on her privacy. Maybe she worries that needing a little bit of help now might mean that she's going to start needing a lot more help and way faster than she expected.
Let Her Know You're on Her Side
No matter what, you need to let your loved one know that you're on her side. You're her cheerleader in this as you are in everything else. Continuing to push her may make your elderly loved one dig her heels in even more and that could be disastrous if she gets to a point at which she needs help desperately.
Choose Your Battles
You're going to have to eventually choose your battles as wisely as you can with your elderly loved one. You can make all the promises to her that you want regarding her concerns, but if she doesn't believe in them, you're back at square one. Give her some time to contemplate what you've said and you may find that she changes her mind down the line.
In the end, it's really up to your elderly loved one. Do what you can to be there for her in all the ways that she'll accept.
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