Dealing with a Senior Who Resists Care
Adjusting to having an aging parent in the home can be difficult, even with the help of home care. While the situation is already challenging, it can become even tougher if a senior begins to resist care. Resistance to care is a problem that family members and senior care professionals will need to tackle together. Understanding the reasons for resistance to care is often helpful, and the following strategies can be used to help foster cooperation when dealing with seniors requiring in-home care.
Understanding the Root Cause of the Problem
In many cases, resistance to care goes far beyond a loved one being stubborn. Seniors that require elder care are often dealing with loss of independence, physical loss, mental loss, or all three. When they accept care, they often end up with new routines and less privacy. Unfortunately, this often results in feelings of anger, guilt, fear, or vulnerability.
In some cases, certain types of resistance to care may point to specific problems. For example, seniors that won’t get out of bed could be dealing with pain, illness, infection, depression, or an injury. Elderly individuals that refuse medications could be dealing with nasty side effects, such as confusion, nausea, or dizziness. It’s important for home care professionals and family members to keep these potential causes in mind if a senior is resisting care.
Tips for Dealing with a Senior Who Resists Care
Understanding the root cause of the senior’s resistance to care is the first step to dealing with the problem. However, the following are some helpful tips that can also be used to communicate with elderly individuals who may be resistant to care.
Tip #1 – Keep the Environment Comfortable – Keeping the senior’s environment comfortable and familiar is important. When a senior begins to resist care, consider the environment. Is it too cold? Is the senior upset? It could be something small causing the problem.
Tip #2 – Pick the Right Battles – Some battles aren’t worth fighting. Know which battles need to be fought and which ones should be let go. Getting upset at a senior will only make the problem worse, so realize which battles are important and let the others go.
Tip #3 – Explain How Care Helps Prolong Independence – Seniors receiving home care may not realize that accepting care is actually prolonging their independence. Explain this to an elderly loved one and they may become more accepting to care from elder care professionals.
Tip #4 – Ask Questions – Sometimes family members need to simply ask questions, listening to what their loved one has to say. Asking about the senior’s preferences and listening to their fears and questions can be helpful.
The most important part of caring for an elderly loved one is to ensure they are as happy, comfortable, and healthy as possible. It’s important to be sensitive to their feelings and needs, and taking measures to understand their situation can make it easier to overcome problems with resistance to care.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in the New Haven Area, please call and speak to the caring staff at Talem Home Care. Call today at (203) 590-9099.