Caring for your aging parent often brings upon many challenges. One of the toughest difficulties is communication. If you’ve had failed discussions with your elderly parents about healthcare, you’re not alone. Your parents may refuse to listen to your advice for many reasons. Perhaps they are in denial and think that they don’t require medical care as they age. Or they could be afraid of changes to their lifestyle If they move to a retirement community.
It can be stressful and frustrating when discussions with your parents on their care needs go the wrong way. Try some of the below tips when your aging parent refuses care.
Start With Simple Changes
Is assisted living better for his health condition but he refuses it? Don’t be too quick to judge your parent for being stubborn. Introducing sudden changes can affect their life greatly and it’s not uncommon for them to reject you.
Instead, begin by taking small steps. Perhaps your parent has a friend who has moved into a retirement community that provides assisted living. Get the friend to share some stories about life in the community. Your parent might start opening up to the idea after hearing some positive stories.
Your elderly parent might refuse help because they don’t want to feel burdensome. Let’s say your father requires mobility assistance and you think hiring a driver is beneficial. But he turns down your suggestion because he doesn’t want you to incur additional expenses. But he doesn’t know that you have his interests in mind.
Expressing your concerns and letting him know how you feel can lead him to accept your advice. Suggest that having a driver means someone can bring him around even when family members are busy. He’s not being a burden and it wouldn’t add on to your monthly expenses. He might start to understand your intentions and accept them.
Take A Look from Their Perspective
Physical and psychological changes affect everyone differently as they age. The challenges increase if your loved one is living with dementia. You could feel that a retirement community that provides memory care can better take care of your loved one’s needs. He or she might think otherwise and refuse your suggestion. When scenarios like this happen, remember to try and understand your parents’ feelings and see things from their point of view. Are they being stubborn? Or is a medical condition making them confused? What are their fears?
Don’t give up when you fail on the first try. Find out the root cause of your parent’s negative behavior and see what changes can be made.
You want your parents to have the best arrangements but things don’t always go smoothly. Your elderly parent has the right to decide their care needs. Respecting their decisions is important too. Forcing them to choose something could lead to conflicts that worsen your relationship.
When you choose to accept your parent’s decision, no matter what it is, it can lift the stress off your shoulders. It might not be the outcome you want but you’ve both talked it out and weighed the consequences.