It’s hard to take when an elderly parent refuses help. You love your parents very much and you would do anything for them. For many years they look after you, even when you move out from the family home. No matter where you are in the world, your parents will always look out for you but there comes a time when the situation turns.
As your parents get older and reach the elderly stage of their life, it can become apparent they need support with their everyday lives. While it might be obvious to you, it can sometimes not appear so for them. Your elderly Mum or Dad may resist having in-home carers as they don’t want to be waited on. However, if the signs are there you know something must be done.
Sova Healthcare are specialists in home care services and understand the difficulties in having this conversation. We’ve put together a list of advice for approaching your elderly parents when they refuse help they need.
1. Start Early
It is imperative you start a conversation with your parent early before any potential health issue could start. The talk doesn’t even have to directly mention “carers” or “care at home”, as these words are likely to trigger a reaction that ends the conversation. Ask questions such as “Where do you see yourself as you get older?” or “Have you thought about getting a housekeeper to help around the house?”. These lead in questions without the mentions of care would help strike a conversation that helps both parties early on. This can also help you understand why they refuse to consider support from health care services.
2. Getting Older Is Scary So Be Understanding
In Donna Cohen’s book, “The Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders” she advised that understanding the fear of getting old is better than insisting they get help for themselves. Most elderly people know about the issues that they are potentially suffering from. However, anger could spring from believing their children aren’t capable of understanding their issues emotionally and physically. That connection is vital in having those difficult conversations about considering care options.
3. Stand By Your Parents No Matter What
When you reach a certain age, you are used to being okay on your own because it is what we must do as adults. However, it’s difficult to accept when this situation changes. If the situation is addressed there is a possibility of your ageing parent using a coping mechanism, such as shouting or storming out of rooms, like you would have done as a child to them. This can cause a lot of stress, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on getting the care that is best for them. Help them out where you can and let them enjoy that support from you before tackling domiciliary care or any other type of home care service.
4. Give Your Parents Option
Putting restrictions on your parents future will not help stop their refusal of help. Assisted living or in-home care can seem like their freedom is being taken from them. A feeling of having no independence or options to choose themselves will make them continue to refuse support. By giving your Mum or Dad options, it makes them realise that their opinion is still valued and they are still an independent person. If you are looking to set up an appointment for them, ask for their preferred date and time. They likely have hobbies which they enjoy and don’t want to feel restricted in continuing them. Explain that their carer is a companion not someone there to tell them what to do.
5. Create a List of Issues and Priorities
The need for caregiving and assisted living for an individual is a two-way thing, so problems can be experienced by both sides. Reduce potential problems by listing priorities. Will your parent need weekly or monthly appointments at the doctors? Should you hire someone to help around the house? If your parent suffers from dementia, they cannot attend to their household chores any more, so hiring a housekeeper would be beneficial.
6. Take Your Time
You love your parents and you want the best for them, but you can’t rush into situations. If you feel they need to go to a doctor but are worried about taking them, could you ask the doctor to do a home visit? This way, it can feel like a less formal assessment which could scare your Mum or Dad into refusing to see them.
7. Seek Expert Advice
The signs around the home and in your parent’s behaviour might be obvious to you that something is wrong, but sometimes it takes professional advice to convince them of this. Talking to doctors or even social workers can help convince an elderly person of their situation. They could detail the potential problems without help from a carer and provide questions your parent might have about possible treatments.
Our expert team offer health screenings in Birmingham, Leicester and Bradford can provide a full health check alongside our expert advice. Our assessment can tell your elderly parents if they are at risk of having a stroke, developing diabetes or other health ailments. We can also provide a screening in their home if your Mum or Dad prefer. Our assessment can then inform you on whether health care arrangements need to be made.
Contact us today about our home care and specialist care services or download our brochure.