Ever since your mother died last year, your elderly father has been living alone. Although dad’s always been a proud and independent man, you’ve noticed lately that he’s having trouble keeping up the home and his appearance. Convincing an aging family member that they need care without being too pushy is never easy. What follows are some proven ways to get even the most stubborn relative to say “yes” when their health and wellbeing weigh in the balance.

Why Do Seniors Refuse Home Care?

Since the average senior has spent a lifetime running a household and working at various jobs, they don’t like to be told how to manage their affairs—notably by their adult children or grandchildren.

Whether it’s from an informal caregiver or a paid professional, seniors often refuse home care for reasons like:

  • Denial
  • Privacy concerns
  • Embarrassment
  • Pride
  • Apathy

Confusion and memory loss caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s can further cloud a senior’s judgment. Once cognitive changes occur, convincing a loved one to accept care can be even more difficult.

Getting an Aging Loved One to Say “Yes”

Every senior deserves the right to age in place with privacy, dignity, and respect. Once you start noticing that yours is having trouble performing activities of daily living (ADLs), here’s how to gently ease them into the idea of in-home care:

Express your concerns

Look for “red flags” around your senior’s home like dirty dishes in the sink, stacks of unpaid bills, or piles of dirty laundry. Choose a non-threatening setting to sit down with them and respectfully share your concerns. Politely ask if they are having trouble completing household tasks like laundry, cooking, or cleaning. If so, offer to help.

Involve other family members

If your initial conversation doesn’t go well, ask your siblings and other family members to chime Approach your loved ones as a unified group and tell them how much they mean to you, along with why you are all worried about their health and wellbeing. Hearing the same message from multiple parties may be all it takes to change a stubborn loved one’s mind.

Call in the calvary

If you are still having trouble convincing them, the next step is to involve some trusted outsiders like a doctor, faith leader, or close friend. A geriatric care manager can also do a complete health assessment and make recommendations to the group while your elderly loved one is present.

Share “real-world” examples

Share examples of retired friends or neighbors who benefited from having a “personal assistant” around the home. Point out family members who have used in-home care over the years and how it allowed them to continue living independently rather than going into a long-term care facility.

Discuss the benefits

If Mom is lonely, mention how your presence could help cheer her up. If she’s having trouble getting around, discuss specific ways that you could lend assistance. Once you have a dialogue going, it’s easier to be blunt and honest with your loved one. While you have her attention, mention again the advantages of remaining at home versus moving into an assisted living retirement community.

Start slowly

Another good strategy is to slowly ease your loved one into the idea of receiving care for only a few hours per week. For example, volunteer to take Mom to her medical appointments or clean her house. After she’s gotten used to having someone around— and reaped the rewards— you can usually convince even the most stubborn senior to accept help from their newfound “personal assistant!”

Flexible Home Care Solutions for Seniors in Washington, DC

Once they’ve agreed to accept home care, finding the right caregiver to look after your loved one isn’t always easy. At Help at Home in Chevy Chase, we’ve provided personalized in-home care to families in the greater Washington, DC, area for over 20 years. Our mission is delivering the most comprehensive and compassionate senior home care possible, using a unique, hands-on approach with every client and family we serve.

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our in-home services include personal care, transitional care, respite care, geriatric care, end-of-life care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, holiday companion care, and more. To learn more about our top-quality home care services or schedule an initial assessment for a senior in our service area today, please visit www.helpathomecare.com.