Many older adults have a difficult time accepting help, especially from their adult children.
Accepting help may feel like a loss of independence. It can also be embarrassing for some people to admit they need help. And, it can be a reminder that they are getting older and their life is drawing to a close. When your elderly parent refuses to accept the help of family caregivers, how can you convince them? Below are some tips for encouraging seniors to accept assistance from a caregiver.
Be an Ally
Perhaps the first step in getting your parent to accept your help is to convince them that you are their ally in remaining independent. Talk to them about how accepting the help of a caregiver may actually allow them to be more self-sufficient. By having a caregiver to assist with some of the tasks they may be having difficulty with, like keeping the house clean, they will have more time to do the things they enjoy rather than using all their energy on the things they must do.
Respond to Emotions
Sometimes, no matter how logical your argument is, an older adult still will not allow a caregiver into their home. In cases like this, it might be better to focus on the emotions your parent is feeling instead of what they are saying. Acknowledge that you know they are frustrated, frightened, angry, etc. Listen to what they have to say and assure them you understand how they feel.
Give Them Control
One of the things your parent may be worried about in accepting help from a caregiver is a loss of control. They may fear they will not be allowed to make decisions or do things when they want to. Look for ways you can give them as much control over their lives as possible. For example, work together to come up with a schedule for caregivers to come to the house that is convenient for the senior.
Make it About You
If your parent fears that allowing you to be a family caregiver will make them a burden on you, explain how it may do exactly the opposite. Explain that letting you help them will ease your mind about whether they have everything they need and are safe. They might also be more inclined to accept help if you remind them that they have taken care of you for a great deal of your life, so it is your turn now.