How to Help a Senior in Denial Realize the Benefits of Home Care

mature-lady-discussing-care-needsWhen you begin to notice the warning signs that care in the home is needed for someone you love, it’s very common for the person to balk at the idea. After all, admitting the need for help is not easy, particularly for a person who prizes their independence and privacy. Yet what do you do when another member of the family is the one pushing back? In the event that you’ve reached an impasse within your family concerning the need for senior care, there’s one likely culprit to consider: denial.

Why Would a Family Member Deny the Need for Care in the Home?

Denial is a coping mechanism utilized to guard against feelings of helplessness or anxiety about an impending change. Your family member may feel more comfortable sticking their head in the sand in order to maintain status quo. Or, they may not be as familiar with the day-to-day care of the senior as you are, so they are not seeing the exact same concerns.

Whatever the basis for the denial, there are a number of strategies that may help you see eye to eye and make certain the older adult you both love receives the necessary support and care.

  • Educate. Instead of arguing from your own perspective, turn to trusted resources to validate your opinion. Research details on the progression of a specific health issue the senior is managing. Learn together about the challenges of getting older, the risks of senior falls, when it might be time to hand over the car keys, etc., and use that education as the jumping-off point for a discussion on how best to ensure comfort and safety for the senior.
  • Listen. Communication is a two-way street, so make sure to listen at least as much as you’re presenting your personal thoughts and concerns. Recognize and validate the person’s feelings. Try to the very best of your ability to keep the conversation calm and on an even keel, avoiding anger, sarcasm, and comments you could later regret.
  • Reinforce. Bring in a professional third party to bolster the advantages of home care in your particular situation. Make a scheduled appointment to talk to the individual’s doctor together. At times, hearing firsthand information from a healthcare expert is all that is needed to help a family member in denial change their viewpoint.

Also, be aware that it may be helpful to start home care services gradually and slowly work up to more services over time. For example, Generations at Home can begin with preparing meals, light housekeeping, and running errands or providing transportation initially. As the senior and caregiver form a bond of trust and companionship and the benefits of home care become more apparent, it’s then easy to add in more hours or extra care tasks, such as assistance with bathing and personal care needs.

When you are ready to explore home care services for someone you love, we’re here to consult with you and your family about solutions and to answer any questions you may have. We can address any concerns a member of your family is feeling about initiating home care services during a complimentary consultation, right in the comfort of home.

Connect with Generations at Home at 727-940-3414 any time to find out more information or to get started.