When a senior resists assisted care

Taking care of a senior is a real challenge, especially if they refuse help. Understanding the cause of their resistance may help us develop strategies to encourage cooperation.

Why do elder people resist care?

If the senior needs care, they probably suffer from a loss mentally, physically or both. Accepting help means giving up privacy. They might be afraid of being vulnerable, or see themselves as useless, which makes them angry.

Guilt is also a factor as they have now become a burden to their family. In some cases, the senior may have memory loss, which confuses them as to why they need help.

How to talk with a resistant senior?

The doctor will probably discuss care needs with the senior. However, if a family member must be the one to talk with the senior about this, here are some pointers:

Assess the senior’s condition to see what assistance they will need and choose the best service for that requirement.Talk to them when both the speaker and senior are relaxed. It will be easier for them to accept.

Ask their opinion. Ask them if they prefer certain kinds of service or if they want to be taken care of by a family member.

Needless to say, it’s hard to meet all of their demands, but it is important to listen to them and assess what to do.

Use simple language. An elder person may have trouble understanding. Try to explain everything as simple as possible to avoid confusing them.

Get help from other family members to persuade and reason with them. Keep trying as some seniors may not be willing to talk about it. Don’t give up. Try bringing up the topic next time.

Strategies to manage resistance

Encourage the senior to give it a try. Don’t force them to decide right away. Instead, suggest a trial run to give them the chance to experience the advantages of having someone caring for them.

Ask the senior to accept it for the family. Explain how their acceptance of care and assistance can help make the rest of the family’s life easier. Help them understand that sometimes compromising is necessary.

Talk with them about cost. In some cases, a senior will refuse care because they are worried about the cost their children have to bear for the help. If there is insurance or other funding to help cover the cost, make sure the senior knows about it.

If the senior’s resistance to care puts them in danger, it might be necessary to seek professional help. The senior may be more willing to listen to a health care provider.

This article first appeared in hellodoktor.com and was reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.