Caring for the elderly can be challenging-particularly if a loved one is resistant to care. Understand what is causing your loved one’s resiatance and ho wyou can encourage coopoeration.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
One of the toughest challenges you can face when caring for the elderly is resistance to care. How do you help a loved one who doesn’t want help? Understand how resistance to care can develop and strategies for fostering cooperation when caring for the elderly.
What causes resistance to care?
If your loved one is in need of care, he or she is likely dealing with loss — physical loss, mental loss, the loss of independence. Accepting care may mean relinquishing privacy and adjusting to new routines. As a result, your loved one may feel frightened and vulnerable, angry that he or she needs help or guilty about the idea of becoming a burden to family and friends. In addition, your loved one may be stubborn, have mental health concerns or simply think it’s a sign of weakness to accept help. He or she might also be worried about any associated costs.
What’s the best way to approach a loved one about the need for care?
If you suspect that your loved one will be resistant to care — whether from family, other close contacts or a service — you may be hesitant to bring up the topic. To start communicating with your loved one about his or her need for care:
What are the most effective strategies for managing resistance to care?
Getting an aging loved one to accept help can be difficult. To encourage cooperation, you might:
Keep in mind that these strategies may not be appropriate when dealing with a loved one who has dementia.
What else can be done?
If your loved one continues to resist care and is endangering himself or herself, you may need to take steps to protect his or her health and safety. Consider consulting a lawyer about elder care issues.
Resistance to care is a challenge that many caregivers face. By keeping your loved one involved in decisions about his or her care and explaining the benefits of assistance, you may be able to help your loved one feel more comfortable about accepting help.
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