At IP Homecare we can help and support you with a relative who refuses care. Perhaps your mum needs a little help using the bath but is too proud to admit it. Or maybe your dad still insists on driving, despite his failing health. Or your aunt doesn’t want to leave her home, even though it’s too much for her to maintain.
As your loved ones face the challenges of advancing age, they don’t want to lose the things that make their lives their own. That car could well have become a symbol of independence. And their home is their sanctuary, filled with memories of better times. To give these up can feel like ‘giving up’ – and that would be a step too far.
Before pressuring an elderly relative too hard to accept live-in care, try to understand their fears. They may feel that they are being pushed aside or forgotten, worn thin by the physical and mental strains of growing older while not wanting to admit they are struggling.
We hope the following tips help a relative who refuses care
1. Start Early
It’s good if families can have easy-going conversations about care long before there’s any kind of problem. Look for opportunities to broach the subject and ask questions like: “Where do you see yourself living when you get older?” or “How would you feel about hiring someone to help clean, go to the shops and that sort of thing?”
2. Be Patient
Ask open questions and give your loved one time to think and answer. Conversations may be repetitive and go off on tangents, but persevere and you will eventually reach an arrangement that suits them and gives a sense of control.
3. Don’t Be Ignored
Try to work out why your elderly relative refuses care. Is it about a lack of privacy, fears about the cost, losing independence or having a stranger in the house? Listen and try to understand their point of view rather than dismiss your loved one’s feelings.
4. Offer Care Options
If possible, get your relative directly involved in deciding what help is needed. Make them central to the decision-making process. So you could give them the opportunity to sit in on interviews with potential Live-in care providers such as IP Homecare for example. Also, encourage them to see the carer as a companion.
5. Bring In Health Care Professional
Sometimes it’s easier for an older person to talk to a professional rather than a family member. Don’t hesitate to ask a doctor, nurse or community leader to broach the subject of their care needs.
6. Prioritise Things
Make a list of your concerns and your relative’s issues and problems. Number each point depending on its urgency. You can also note down steps that should be taken to resolve the problems. This will help keep you keep on top of everything and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
7. Keep things general
Sometimes, particularly when dealing with someone who’s suffering from dementia, it’s best to give just the important information rather than every single detail. For example, you could let your relative know that a carer will be coming to help them on a particular day, but don’t feel you have to explain everything about of what this will entail.
8. Take It Slowly
Gradually introducing a carer to the home will allow your loved one to become comfortable with their presence and naturally develop a rapport. Perhaps arrange a short visit so you can get to know them over a coffee, or maybe ask them to assist with a shopping trip.
9. Accept Your Limits
As long as they are not endangering themselves or others, let your relative who refuses care make their own choices. You can’t be by their side all the time and you’re not able to prevent every bad thing from happening. Accept what you can accomplish and don’t feel guilty if you have to say “no”.