Tips on How to Approach Seniors who Refuse Help

Tips on How to Approach Seniors who Refuse Help

Are you feeling defeated trying to keep a parent or loved one as healthy as possible in their later years, but they just flat out refuse your help? You are not alone. Sometimes seniors refuse our help even when they really need it. In most cases they’re not trying to be difficult, they’re just afraid. If they admit that they need help, it’s the beginning of the end. It means they might be put into a home and forsome seniors that makes them feel as if death is just around the corner.

There are many ways people approach the situation that may not be helpful.

  • Trying to convince them that they need help using rationality usually ends up with arguments and no one ends up winning, even though you make very valid points in the conversation. Unfortunately, it is typically a losing battle for both.
  • Forcing the help on them. Going ahead and hiring a person to help them clean for example can be traumatizing and cause hurt and anguish between loved ones.
  • Giving time and space for your loved one to see your point and agree. Waiting doesn’t address the issue and can cause our loved ones to live in less then ideal conditions for longer than they should.

Many seniors fear being perceived as less then capable. Really pay attention to what your loved one is telling you when they get defensive about getting help. Consult with the family physician or a doctor that they trust to have a conversation with them. Its good to understand their fears and let the doctor know what may be causing them to be so defensive.

Sometimes having a professional tell them, “I understand. You don’t feel like you need anything, and you are doing just fine on your own. BUT your child is losing sleep at night worrying about you. Would you be willing to accept a bit of help to give your child a little peace of mind?” By taking the spotlight away from all the reasons why they need the help and putting the spotlight on the children, this may help them be less defensive and more open to listening. Parents typically want to help their children, so if you make it more about you and less about their inabilities, you may find it easier to get them the help they need.

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