Handling Seniors’ Resistance to Care

There comes a point in each of our lives where we begin to require care. Even though we know it is an inevitable part of life, it can be incredibly difficult to grapple with when the time comes. Many seniors become resistant to care and it is important to understand why. 

While there are numerous different reasons why the elderly are resistant to care, a lot of the time it stems from change. Change can be quite scary, especially when it involves your independence. We spend the majority of our lives taking care of ourselves, and taking care of others, and suddenly we are the ones in need of care. The autonomous way of living is no longer and that can be very tough to accept. Relying on others for help with tasks that you once could do by yourself is a big change to navigate and can lead to seniors being very stubborn and reluctant. Sometimes, the resistance can be laced with anger, distrust, fear, or paranoia, which can be a result of changes to their mental state. There is often also a sense of guilt, and feeling like a burden emotionally, physically, and financially. 

When handling seniors who become resistant to care, it is of utmost importance to be compassionate. This is a significant change in their lives and even though it can be frustrating, one must circle back and remember the why of their resistance. 

The conversation of care should be done at the right time and in the right way. You don’t want to start the discussion when your loved one is already in a stressed or agitated state. Approaching the topic when the atmosphere is calm is much more beneficial. In addition, framing the conversation in a positive light is key. When you’re bringing in a Caregiver, you want to let your loved one know that this is a good thing, that not only are they there to make things easier but they are there as a friend. That also involves finding the right Caregiver

Caregiving is not a one size fits all situation. It is vital to have a Caregiver that not only is adequately trained to provide the necessary care, but one that the senior feels comfortable with as well. At Premier, we strive to create meaningful connections between our Caregivers and clients and work to find the perfect match. This can help any resistant senior be more at ease, and see the care as a companionship. 

Suggesting a trial run is also a great way to ease a resistant loved one into care. You can discuss a timeframe that you both think is reasonable to test the waters. This is beneficial in a few ways. It allows the apprehensive senior to feel like they have some control over their situation, it also provides an adjustment period and is less overwhelming, and it gives them the chance to see the benefits of care. 

Even though seniors are not necessarily always capable or willing to admit the extent of the care that they need, you can still include them in the conversation. Allowing them the opportunity to have opinions and preferences with their care can give them a sense of control, value in being heard, and diminish their resistance. 

Another factor to consider when handling resistance is the financial aspect. Your loved one may be reluctant to care because of the cost. At Premier, we have financial assistance (tax credit and Cheque Emploi), and reassuring an anxious senior of these options can help alleviate those concerns. 

Seeing as a large part of the resistance can be due to change and lack of independence, it is also worthwhile to help your loved one understand that receiving help can actually prolong their independence. The beauty of a Caregiver is they come to you. Having in-home care allows seniors to stay in their homes for longer and maintain a more routine lifestyle with greater independence. 

We hope these strategies prove effective for you, and if your loved one is in need of care please feel free to reach out. Click on the “Contact Us” tab for our contact form, phone number, or Email address. It would be our pleasure to be of service. 

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