What to Do When Your Aging Parents Refuse Help
What to Do When Your Aging Parents Refuse Help
Babyboomers.com Staff

Caring for your elderly parents can sometimes be challenging and emotionally taxing. It can be extra stressful when your parents blatantly refuse your help. For seniors who have lived independently for most of their lives, accepting help can be difficult, especially if they feel that they can still live by themselves. While you cannot force your parents to get the necessary support that they need, there are certain strategies you can utilize to address the situation and make them reconsider.

Determine the underlying reason behind their refusal

The first thing you need to do is to figure out the root cause for their reluctance. Evaluate your parents' current situation so you can assess what is triggering their negative behaviors. Are they suffering from depression? Do they feel embarrassed for asking for help from others? Are they concerned about their independence and the possibility of losing their home? Remember that for many senior citizens, aging can be difficult and sometimes painful to accept.

If possible, try to have a meaningful conversation with your parents. Make sure that you are all in a relaxed state to avoid unhealthy arguments that can potentially damage your relationship. Be mindful and sensitive during your conversations, and never belittle your parents regardless of how stubborn they may be. By understanding their fears and the main reason behind their behavior, you can think objectively and find productive ways to help them.

Focus on the positive aspects

Instead of highlighting the consequences of their refusal to accept help, it would be better if you concentrate on the positives instead. If you keep approaching the situation from a negative perspective, it is highly unlikely that your parents will change their minds. When talking to your aging loved ones, make sure that you do it positively. Rather than pointing out the things they cannot do, focus on the possibilities should they decide to accept your help.

For instance, if they are uncomfortable with the idea of receiving care from an outsider, you can tell them that having a caregiver can benefit them socially as they are a great source of companionship. If your parents think that they might lose their independence if someone else were doing their daily tasks (such as cooking and housekeeping), emphasize how they can gain more time for themselves since they no longer need to do these tasks by themselves.

Provide them with alternatives

Another way to make your parents reconsider is by providing them with several care alternatives. By using this strategy, you can make them feel that their input matters. Make it a point to get them involved with the decision-making problem and always respect their sentiments.

In addition, be sensitive with how they perceive patient care innovations. Updating and modifying the home can help your parents age in place safely. Explore items like a walk in tub, bathroom grab bars, smart home devices, nonslip flooring and personal alarm devices. Some may be wary about wearing a personal alarm device while entertaining guests at their home. Make sure that you take your time when researching these products and always go with a reliable provider that offers the best medical alert devices for the elderly.

If your aging parents are still set on refusing help, then it would be best to accept the situation as it is for now. Regardless of how frustrating it may be, you need to respect your parents' decision and continue to make them feel that you will support them no matter what happens.



Photo credit: Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

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