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Navigating Resistance: What to Do When Parents Refuse Home Care Help

The adult child of an older adult talks to his dad after getting tips on what to do when parents refuse home care help.
We can help you navigate the conversation when parents refuse home care help.

As an adult child caring for aging parents, balancing your respect for their independence with concerns for their safety and well-being can be complex. If you’ve brought up the idea of home care assistance, you may have been met with a number of objections. Rest assured, you’re not navigating this journey alone! We understand the range of emotions that arise when parents refuse home care help. To help navigate these emotions and foster understanding, we offer some practical tips that will help you and your parents see eye to eye.

Think About it From Their Point of View

The first step is to understand why an older adult may struggle with this transition. In many cases, it arises from a desire to keep autonomy and control of their lives. Aging can be an overwhelming process, marked by changes in physical and mental health that can leave older adults feeling vulnerable. By resisting assistance, they could be trying to declare their independence and retain a sense of dignity.

However, consider that their struggle may be influenced by denial and fear. When parents refuse home care help, it can be because, to them, it feels like they’re losing independence. Additionally, some people may simply not understand the extent of their limitations or even what resources are available for support.

Coming to an Agreement About the Need for Care

So, how can you help parents during this transition? First of all, address the discussion with understanding and empathy. Acknowledge your parents’ concerns and feelings, and assure them that your goal is to support them in maintaining their independence and quality of life.

Begin by listening to their perspective so you can understand why they’re refusing help and adapt your approach accordingly. Reassure them that accepting help does not mean that they are losing control, but rather that they are ensuring they will be able to live at home safely and comfortably.

Compromise goes a long way in this battle. For instance, if the notion of having assistance with bathing or showering is off-putting, introduce the idea of help with housekeeping, meals, and running errands. Once they get to know and trust their caregiver with these types of less-intimidating services, it is easier to work your way up to additional care.

If the older adult is still hesitant about accepting help, a professional third party may help. Often, hearing advice from an objective, trusted professional, like a doctor, can carry more weight than coming from a relative.

First and foremost, remember that this process takes time and patience. It may well require several conversations and gentle persuasion before your parents feel okay with accepting help. Be persistent yet compassionate, and always prioritize their feelings and wishes.

At Superior Senior Home Care, we have helped many older adults live fuller and more enriching lives at home, and we’re here to help your parents whenever they are ready, with custom in-home care solutions in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Nipomo, and the surrounding area. We provide a complimentary in-home consultation to help you and your parents talk through the services that will best meet their needs. Reach out to us any time at 805-737-4357.

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