Senior man refuses elder care helpLosing your independence is scary and frustrating, which is why some seniors have hesitations when it comes to receiving additional assistance or moving into an assisted living facility.


When elderly parents refuse help, it is often tied to the sense of losing their independence, losing their privacy or simply not wanting to admit that they really need assistance. 



In This Caregiving Article:

Family Caregiving
When Do Elderly Parents Need Help
What To Do When Elderly Parents Refuse Help
How To Help Aging Parents


As a family caregiver, it is your responsibility to provide assistance to ensure that your aging loved ones are safe and well taken cared of. The goal, of course, is to allow your aging loved ones to remain independent for as long as possible. In order for this to happen, it is important to ensure they are receiving the right level of care at the right time.


Finding Out When Elderly Parents Need Help

If you fear that your aging parents may not easily accept the idea of receiving help, you should first look for any sings indicating that it’s time for care. look for signs that help is needed. This will allow you to address the situation with confidence and assurance that you are making the best decisions for your loved ones.

Some signs that your aging loved ones need help include:


  • Weight loss or signs of poor nutrition
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Increased accidents or injuries at home
  • Household tasks not being completed
  • Confusion or other mental difficulties
  • Lack of energy or motivation
  • Isolation
  • Unpaid bills
  • Inadequate supply of food

You can also tell that help is needed when you notice that personal care or grooming is becoming increasingly difficult for your aging loved ones to manage.


What to Do When Elderly Parents Refuse Help

Once you have determined that elder care assistance is needed, it is important that you approach your aging parents in a way that allows them to feel that they are still in control of the situation. Be positive by focusing on their strengths and what they can do.  Then explain to them that if they get additional assistance, they can continue to enjoy what they’re used to but still have help with those things that they start to struggle with.


It is common for seniors to misjudge their need for assistance at first or to refuse elder care assistance out of pride, as they are scared to lose their independence. Some seniors are also worried that if they hire a caregiver, their privacy may be compromised. 


You must remember that this is a very sensitive issue for seniors.  If they refuse your first attempt to help them, do not get upset. Try to be very understanding by putting yourself in your aging loved ones shoes.


In this situation, the best strategy is to plan ahead. Have conversations about your aging parents’ wishes as they begin to lose independence long before this becomes an issue. If you address your loved ones’ future needs prior to assistance becoming necessary, it is far more likely that your parents will willingly participate in the conversation.  Thus, allowing you to have a plan in place so when the time comes, you can remind your parents of their wishes and what they agreed to when the need arises.

Strategies to Convince an Elderly Parent to Accept Help

First, it is best to talk to your aging loved ones about their needs to help them recognize elder care issues so they can be involved in the decision-making. Allow them to come up with solutions for the elder care issue that were identified.


If you can guide your aging loved ones to be able to recognize the need for elder care assistance on their own, taking the next steps towards arranging for help will be much easier.


Secondly, stay involved as much as possible. Assure your parent that you will visit often, conduct research on elder care facilities, work with caregivers to ensure their needs and wants are taken into consideration, and provide as much support as you can. 


When elderly parents refuse help or elder care assistance, even after using the above strategies, you may also try seeking additional help from other family members. Your siblings or relatives can provide assurance and assist you in convincing your parents that assisted living or elder care services are in their best interest.


Remember, patience, compassion and understanding will be very handy when discussing this very sensitive topic with your loved ones. Even if your aging parents refuse help at first, your good intentions will ultimately help them live longer, healthier and happier.


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