- Your Mom refuses to stop standing on the step stool while she puts away the groceries but she doesn’t want help.
- Your Dad continually forgets to take his medications but he doesn’t want help.
- Your parent’s home is dirty and their clothes don’t look all that clean either but they don’t want help.
These scenarios are all too familiar for many families with seniors. The signs are all there – they need help BUT they don’t want it.
It’s a difficult situation for sure but there are some things that you can do to prepare and encourage your senior loved one to accept and even welcome the outside “help” that they need:
- Don’t thrust the idea of getting outside help on them too quickly. Start to have the conversation early when it is apparent that their situation and needs are starting to change yet you still have a little time before you have to take any action. Waiting to have “the talk” when you have to take action “immediately” is bound to be disruptive and upsetting.
- Give the senior the opportunity to explain why they don’t want to have a helper and, in fact, encourage them to be honest and forthcoming about their hesitancy. Is it a matter of privacy, a fear of the unknown or just a reluctance to accept their encroaching frailties? There is an answer and solution for all.
- Attempt to offer them options so that you can arrive at a mutually acceptable arrangement. There are many different courses of action and as much as possible you should allow the senior to be involved in the decision-making.
- Be careful about the words that you say and be sensitive to their feelings. “You’re too old to take care of the house,” “you aren’t able to drive anymore,” and other such statements are insensitive and will lead to arguments and family strife.
- Help the senior to get used to the helper and be present the first few times they are in the home to make certain that the introduction and transition goes smoothly.
- Make certain that all family members are on the same page. You don’t want relatives to be disparaging about the decision to bring in help and undermine what you are trying to accomplish on behalf of your senior loved one.
And remember, it’s a difficult situation, especially when you are dealing with your parents. For them you are always their CHILD regardless of how old you are, and they feel that it is up to them to be in control and make the decisions.
Be patient and gentle and eventually they will see the wisdom of your advice and decision to bring in help.
For suggestions on who can help your loved ones don’t hesitate to contact us at (516) 528-0206.
Visit us at www.lkmoneymgmt.com.