Dealing with an Elderly Parent’s Resistance to Care

mother and daughter

Having elderly parents is a big change in a family’s dynamics. There are many adjustments among all parties concerned. There is a shift in roles as the children now take the function of the caregiver.

It may baffle the children why their elderly parents seem to be uncooperative. Resistance to care is a natural reaction of the elderly to the surrounding change. Here are practical strategies to cope with this.

Hear Them Out

Care for the elderly should not strip them of their dignity. They may be more comfortable with a telemedicine appointment than an actual consult. This set-up gives them the chance to be in more familiar surroundings rather than a drab and ominous one. It is important to honor their preferences if these things are reasonable.

Always have an open ear on how they want to go about their home care. Do they want more independence or are they amenable to help for the most part? Listening to their desires will make them more cooperative.

Orient Yourself with Possible Reasons

An important thing that one needs to remember is that resistance to care is nothing personal. Your elderly parent does not want to make your life hard by resisting the care you offer. More often, their reaction stems from a deeper reason.

The most common causes are pride, a sense of losing control, and the thought of being a burden to others. These things are hard to accept for someone who once was at the prime of their health. Remember not to be hard on them or on yourself. Knowing where they are coming from will make the process of aging more tolerable for them.


Make the Pacing Acceptable

Most people do not react to change well. Nobody wants to be in a position where everything is unfamiliar. This is even more applicable to an elderly person. They might feel that their personal space is not their own anymore. Being too abrupt with treatment or help will make them refuse the care given to them.

An excellent way to address this is to help them acclimate first. You may first discuss with them the treatments that they need. You can even let them understand the processes before scheduling for one. Also, you may need professional help at home to help them move about. Do not be too hasty in having a caregiver be there most of the time. Introduce this person gradually. Let your elderly parent be familiar with having them around.

Enlist Help

An essential aspect in elderly care is to know that you as the caregiver matters, too. Do not let yourself experience caregiver burnout. When you do, the resistance of your elderly parent might get magnified. You will feel that both of you are struggling to get your way done.

Do not be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. In doing so, your elderly will also feel that they are given care because people love them. They will not feel that they are only an item in a to-do list or an obligation to their children. Approach the care for your elderly parents in an organized way so that nobody gets too exhausted. Make it enjoyable for all.

The shifting of roles should not bring about negative emotions. Parents took care of their children with love and willingness. Observe the same measure as the parents are now in their twilight years.

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