Do you have an aging loved one who refuses to give up driving despite all of the new dings and dents on their car? Or a senior who refuses care assistance despite their soiled clothes and unwashed hair? Being a family caregiver is complex, especially when your loved one refuses care despite all outward appearances that they need help.
If you’re getting pushback from a family member that you’re trying to help, the best thing you can do, for starters, is to avoid pushing back. Instead, here are five strategies to help you overcome the objections of a headstrong loved one.
Inquire about the nature of their hesitation to accept care. Ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no,” and then sit back and actively listen. Mom or Dad will be more open to hearing your ideas after they’ve had a chance to express theirs.
Validate their feelings
You may disagree with their responses to your questions, but to build trust, you need to listen with empathy and validate your loved one’s feelings. For example, they may have concerns about losing privacy, the cost of care, or having a stranger in the house. But, listening without judging will keep the conversation constructive can help keep your loved one from becoming agitated or defensive.
For example, if they’re worried about having someone they’ve never met in the house, offer to have them sit in on any interviews you’re going to be having with potential caregivers. Or, if they’re concerned about losing their independence, let them know that they’ll have more time for enjoying their hobbies with a caregiver, which actually promotes independence.
Share your concerns
While you don’t want to make your family member feel bad about themselves for needing help, you do need to share your concerns, as well. Maybe you’re worried about them not eating regularly or taking their medication when they should; telling them why you’re concerned can show them how accepting care will help you and make your life easier, too.
Bring in a trusted friend or advisor
Some parents have difficulty taking direction from their kids. It can sometimes help to have someone else convince them of their need for care, such as a friend, another family member, clergy member, physician, neighbor, etc. Family meetings can also be effective – they show everyone is on the same page and allow you and your family to approach the matter together.
It takes time for some seniors to adjust mentally to the idea of receiving more care than they have been. Be patient with them; it often takes more than one conversation before someone accepts the fact that they’re getting older and need more help.
If you have a loved one living in Virginia who needs personal care assistance, AmeriCare Plus is here for them. We’ve served the senior population here for over 26 years through our 10 locations, and we’d be happy to assist you and your family.
Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation assessment.