Press Release

Elderly Refusing Help? Here is What to Do

Aging can be a scary experience. Many seniors fear the unknown, like loss of independence and medical illnesses. This is why many older adults are reluctant to seek help. In some cases, they are even secretive about any issues they may be experiencing.

The process of watching your parents make risky decisions can be painful. For many adult children, transitioning from recipient to caregiver can trigger an identity crisis. Treading this path is always challenging. So, it would help if you kept your emotions under control to aid your parents in dealing with their physical and emotional old age blues.

Here are five ways to help the elderly who refuse to ask for help. 

Start Small

When you offer help to your elderly parents, start small. For example, an aide can provide in-home assistance around the house twice a week in the beginning. You can help them with tasks such as shopping for groceries or driving. Also, creating easy-to-digest recipes for your older parents is a nice way to help them remain healthy. The idea is to allow your parents to adapt to outside help. 

However, do not try to change their lifestyle overnight. Introducing abrupt changes could cause your loved elderly lots of stress and discomfort. Gradually introducing help will show that you value your parent’s boundaries.

Know their Situation

Before you do anything, you should consider your parents’ living habits, activities, and mental health. 

  • What daily tasks can they still accomplish? 
  • Where is assistance urgently needed? 
  • How do they view themselves? 
  • What do they think of self-sufficiency and their sense of purpose? 

Assessing all these questions can help you understand how and when to help your elderly. This can also help you tie your words to the things they value and the factors that drive their actions.

Look at the Silver Lining

When talking to the elderly, start the conversation on a positive note. Instead of telling them the things they can’t do, think about what they value. 

When they realize that getting help will ensure that they can maintain their independence and allow them to carry on doing the things they love, they will likely listen. 

When you talk about caregivers, try to remind them that they are there to support and not impose restrictions.

Consult Experts

If you’re at a dead-end with helping your aging parents, it may help to involve professionals to convince them that assistance is needed. The experts you should seek include:

  • Your parents’ doctor.
  • Support coordinator.
  • Neighbor.
  • Friendly social worker.
  • Geriatric care managers.
  • Even a priest or rabbi.
  • A Fiscal Intermediary like CDPAP.

Involving the surrounding community will prove to the parents your worries are legitimate. It also shows the importance of having a support system and the ability to recognize that others care about their wellbeing and happiness.

Talk to Them Like Adults, Not Children

Your parents remain your parents, and it could be jarring for them as well as you, if you start treating them like a child. Remember that they are adults, and they should be treated as such. In your discussions, concentrate on highlighting the importance and give them the freedom to make their own choices.

Tell Them the Outcomes

If your parents still decide to stay in their bedroom or, say, keep driving, kindly inform them about the possible consequences of their decisions. Avoid rash talking. 

Instead, you should remind them that their actions can hurt someone. “Dad, I love you and support your decisions. However, I would like you to be careful with what you decide because you would never want to hurt anyone”, can be a good way to talk. 

Do you have any questions about the tips mentioned above? Ask us in the comments!

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