It can be difficult when elderly parents refuse help from their children and other family members. As our parents age, they may need support managing their healthcare needs, day-to-day activities, and finances. However, it is common for them to resist any offered assistance. But with the right approach, you can work together with your parent(s) so everyone involved gets the best outcome possible.

Tips on How to Deal With An Elderly Parent Who Refuses Help

1. Be Respectful

Respect your parents’ wishes, even if you cannot understand them. As mentioned, you may find it difficult to accept that your parent is getting older and needs more help but respect their need for independence. Listen to their concerns and explain why they should consider the help you offer in a kind and understanding manner. Also, respect any decisions they make and allow them some time to come around to the idea of help.

2. Explore Options

There may be options available that your parents feel more comfortable with than traditional care, such as nursing care services. Consider exploring other avenues, like adult daycare centers, in home personal care, transportation services, or meal delivery programs that can still assist without compromising autonomy or privacy. This could be an excellent way to introduce the idea of help and may be more palatable for your parent(s).

3. Set Boundaries

Set boundaries when helping elderly parents. Let them know what types of tasks or support you can provide and how often and for how long. This will help you and your parent(s) feel comfortable with the arrangement and avoid feeling overwhelmed or exploited. Additionally, if you are providing financial support, make sure to establish guidelines on what money is being used for so that there is clarity between everyone involved.

4. Educate Yourself

Gather as much information about your parent’s condition or illness as possible to understand the best action. Educate yourself on available treatments, support services, and resources for elderly care. This will give you an understanding of what is possible so that you can have a meaningful conversation with your parents about their healthcare and other needs.

For instance, senior care facilities are different from home care services in a way that provides additional medical care, supervision, and personalized assistance. With in-home care services, your senior loved one doesn’t need to leave home and can get the exact care needed. See home care services in Fairfax, VA to learn more.

5. Stay Involved

Stay involved in your parent’s life, even if they refuse help. Make time for visits, check in regularly, and ask how to assist. This will assure them that you care about their well-being and that you are there to support them no matter what. Showing companionship and understanding will go a long way toward building trust with your elderly parent(s).

6. Be Patient

When dealing with elderly parents who refuse help, being patient and remaining positive is important. Even if you don’t get the response you want immediately, remember that they are still getting accustomed to the idea of help and may eventually come around. Reassure them that they will remain in control of their lives while gaining assistance with everyday tasks.

7. Take Care of Yourself

Caring for an elderly parent can be very demanding, so caring for yourself is important. Ensure you get enough rest, eat healthy meals, and take regular breaks from being a caregiver. Find ways to reduce stress and ask for help from family and friends. Taking time for self-care is essential to remain patient with your elderly parent and continue providing necessary support.

How to Know Your Elderly Parent Needs Help

Many seniors don’t want to admit they need help. But if you observe any of the following signs, it’s a good indication that they need assistance:

  • Difficulty taking care of daily activities such as bathing and grooming
  • Poor nutritional habits or inadequate nutrition
  • Unsafe home environment (i.e., fire hazards, clutter)
  • Unexplained bruises or injuries
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Trouble managing medications correctly
  • Forgetfulness or confusion about time and place

With patience and understanding, it’s possible to provide the necessary support to your parents without compromising autonomy. Ensure you understand the different types of senior care and resources available, set boundaries, stay involved, be patient, and take care of yourself to ensure your elderly parent can continue living safely and independently. 

See here to learn more about in-home respite services, an excellent alternative to senior care facilities.

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