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Caring for the Elderly and Overcoming Resistance

Caring for the elderly  is one of the toughest challenges faced by many, especially when they are resistant to care.  It is a common phenomena where many are trying their level best to get around resistance to give the care their loved ones need.


Causes of Resistance

When an elderly person, be it a parent, relative or someone you love, are in need of care it becomes difficult for them to accept. Need of care arise when the elderly person is dealing with a loss of some kind. It can take the form of a physical or mental loss and in some cases it can be a loss of freedom. Consequently, some seniors exhibit resistance to care. Many are not ready to accept care because they enjoy their privacy and a particular routine. Therefore, they might perceive accepting care as a 'full stop' to all these affairs. They might even be concerned for you and will not like to be a burden to you. When it becomes difficult, put yourself in their shoes and imagine how hard it will be to give up on your style of life. Inevitably, they may become angry, frightened, guilty or vulnerable.

Some elderly people may become stubborn and think that accepting your help is a sign of weakness. In some cases, due to mental health problems, elderly people often forget why they need help. It is also possible that they show resistance to care as they are worried about the expenses. At these times, you need to swallow up your frustration and stand by them to help them as they would have done for you in a  similar situation.

How can you help them?

As a very first step in your mission to give the care your loved one needs, you need to start communicating first. You have to approach in a friendly manner and pose some questions in order for you to understand why he or she is resisting. You can start by:-

  • Understanding why your parent or a loved one is displaying resistance- For this, you need to question them politely and find out where the resistance is coming from. In some cases, older adults do not realize that they are resisting.

  • Make them understand what you are trying to do- In order to achieve this, you need too make it clear to your loved one that the two of you are on the same page. Describe senior care positively, the caregiver as a friend and refer to senior care as a club. Make your loved one understand that you are trying to do this for their good so that they could lead a better life.

  • Bring help if you are failing- It is alright to bring in family and friends to convince your loved one. You can also make the elderly person talk to a professional who can be a very valuable source of information.

  • Do you research- Caregivers are not hired at random, you need to be careful when you hire someone to look after a loved one. You can call an agency and hire a caregiver with a sound reputation. You also have to reassure your parent or loved one that you really have found the best one out there. In order to do this, you need to do your research.

  • Decision making- The one who needs the care gets to decide. Your duty is to guide them to what is best for them. If the elderly person has a sound mind, it is up to them to decide on what kind of care they want. Do not argue with them! You are there to guide.

  • Prolonged independence- If your loved one is resistant to care because they think they will lose their independence; then it is time for you to explain to them that it is not so. Make it clear to them that accepting care can lead to safer, more comfortable and prolonged stay at their own homes.

Resistance to care is prominent in health care professions. Get the help you need to give the utmost to your loved one by overcoming resistance.