What to do when an Elderly loved one Resists In-Home Care

Resisting in-home care is a common issue among elderly people who fear losing control over their lives.  Deciding that they need help is a very difficult decision for them to make. As well as when to have the “talk” with your loved one regarding a homecare aid. But what do you do when they are resisting in-home care? What do you do when they won’t accept help at all?

PSN believes that you should start by explaining what your goal is? Let them know you want to provide respite for them. Make sure they understand that you want to provide them quality care  so they can live a quality life. Even though your intentions are wonderful, you can still be resisting in-home care. Be patient, and explain it to them so they can understand you have their best interest in mind.

Understanding why they are Resisting In-Home Care

If your loved one is giving you a hard time, you need to determine the real reason for their lack of cooperation. It is important to do so, so that you can find a way to remedy the situation. The last thing you want, is to have the caregiver met with anger or aggression.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fear of the unknown is usually at the foundation of the senior’s reluctance and often disrespect for the caregiver. Fear of getting older, fear of the unknown, fear of losing their independence and fear of losing their dignity. Most of all, fear of losing control.

Remember it is hard for anyone to accept help with things that they used to be able to do themselves. They begin to feel vulnerable about their own inability to do things that in the past they didn’t need assistance with.

Loss of Independence can contribute to their Resisting In-home Care

No one, young or old likes changes. When unwanted and unwelcome changes are thrust upon them, like the aging process, it is extremely difficult. One of the hardest things for a person who is getting older, is the realization that they are losing their independence. Aging is a hard reality for many people and this just reinforces their feelings.

Dementia or Cognitive Impairment Contributes to Fear

If your loved one is of sound mind and is having a hard time accepting help, imagine the difficulty if dementia is involved. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can make the acceptance of help even more challenging. Always make sure that the caregiver understands all levels of dementia and can handle your loved ones needs.

Allowing them to retain a bit of Control

Trust issues as well as fear of strangers can also be very difficult to accept. Many times it can trigger anxiety in seniors. As we get older, we seem to fear change more often. The thought of a professional caregiver (aka stranger) in their home to care for them can cause stress and fear to anyone, The best way to reduce these worries is to allow them (if they are capable) to take an active role in the hiring process. A sense of involvement and the ability to have a say, can reduce apprehension.

Involve them in the Hiring Process

As much as possible, allow your elderly loved one to contribute to the process. This will elevate a bit of their discomfort and anxiety. It will show them that they still have a say and control over their lives. It is an important step to introduce a potential caregiver before they begin caring for the patient who is apprehensive or uncooperative. See how both parties get along is a very valuable step that can alleviate problems later on. Since many Dementia patients’ moods and capabilities can fluctuate from day to day, have patience when they are getting to know potential caregivers.

If the senior is of sound mind, you should emphasize that home care enables them to continue living safely in their own home. Allowing them to “Age in Place” is a huge symbol of independence. Make sure that the new caregiver understands their strong desire to be self-sufficient. Ask them to provide assistance in ways that allow the senior to retain as much control and routine as possible.

If you’re loved one has symptoms of dementia, make sure the potential caregiver is experienced  and knows how to communicate with cognitively impaired patients. It is always a good idea to have a family member present during the first few shifts. This allows everyone gets to know each other and will reassure your senior that they are safe and in good hands.

Be mindful that a senior with or without dementia may not ever be comfortable with a particular caregiver. Even if you feel that this caregiver is  doing everything right, it might just not be a good fit. Regardless of the reason, some matches just do not work.  The care team may have to simply request another caregiver.

Overcoming Their Resisting of Care

You and you alone, know your loved one the best. Explain to them that although they might need help with everyday activities, they are still in charge. Let them know that you are still their primary caregiver, and will be watching over this new arrangement. Reinforce that the caregiver is there to assist both of you and that you will be closely monitoring their wellbeing.

Time to Adjust

Adjusting to their in-home care will go much smoother when the family is confident in the hire. Make sure you convey that confidence to your loved one.  Let them know how very much you love them and how happy you are with their decision to live fully with the help of their home health caregiver.