Caring for difficult seniors

KUALA LUMPUR, 12 July 2018:

Taking care of a senior is a real challenge, especially if they refuse your help. Understanding the causes of their resistance may help you develop strategies to encourage cooperation.

Why do elder people resist care?

If the senior needs your care, they probably suffer from a loss, mentally, physically or both. Accepting help means giving up their privacy.

Your loved one might be afraid of being vulnerable. They see themselves as useless, which makes them angry.

Guilt is also a factor as now they have become a burden to their family. In some cases, the senior may have memory loss, which confuses them why they need help.

How to talk about caring with a resistant senior?

The doctor will probably discuss care needs with your loved one. However, if you must be the one to talk with your loved one about this, try some tips:

Assess the senior’s condition to see how they will need help with and choose the best service.

Talk to them when both of you are relaxed. It will be easier for them to accept.

Ask for their opinion. Ask them if they prefer certain kinds of service or if they want to be taken care of by a family member. Needless to say, it’s hard to meet all of their demands, but you should still listen to them and see what you can do.

Use simple language. An elder person may have trouble understanding. So, you should try to explain everything as simple as possible to avoid confusing them.

Get help from other family members. If you can’t persuade your loved one by yourself, other family members may help.

Keep trying. Your loved one may not be willing to talk to you about this now. Don’t give up. Try bringing up the topic another time.

Strategies to manage resistance

Encourage your loved one to give it a try. Don’t force them to decide right away. Instead, suggest a trial run to give them the chance to experience the advantages of having someone caring for them.

Ask your loved one to accept it for you. Explain how their acceptance of care can help make your life easier. Help them understand that sometimes compromising is necessary.

Talk with them about cost. In some cases, a senior just refuses care because they are worried about how much their children have to pay for the help. If there is insurance or other funding to help cover the cost, make sure your loved one know about it.

If your loved one’s resistance to care put them in danger, you need to seek professional help. Your loved one may be more willing to listen to a health care provider.

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