Having a conversation with an elderly loved one about getting extra care can be challenging. The time this conversation comes up is usually after the passing of a spouse or partner or a medical emergency that brings safety in the home to the attention of family members and the individual’s doctor. This discussion rarely happens under stress-free situations and requires some patience, understanding and persistence on the part of the friends and family of the person who needs care.
The Mayo Clinic suggests these strategies to manage resistance to care:
• Suggest a trial run. Don’t ask your loved one to make a final decision about the kind of care he or she receives right away. A trial run will give a hesitant loved one a chance to test the waters and experience the benefits of assistance.
• Describe care in a positive way. Refer to respite care as an activity your loved one likes. Talk about a home care provider as a friend. You might also call elder care a club, or refer to your loved one as a volunteer or helper at the center.
• Explain your needs. Consider asking your loved one to accept care to make your life a little easier. Remind your loved one that sometimes you’ll both need to compromise on certain issues.
• Address cost. Your loved one might resist care out of concern about the cost. If your loved one’s care is covered by Medicaid or other funding, share that information to help ease his or her worries.
• Pick your battles. Do your best to understand your loved one’s point of view, and focus on the big picture. Avoid fighting with your loved one about minor issues related to his or her care.
The strategies above, while possibly effective, might be not be appropriate for a loved one with Dementia.
To read this great article from the Mayo Clinic in its entirety, click here.