Caring for the elderly: Dealing with resistance

(Mayo Clinic Staff) – Caring for the elderly can be challenging — particularly if a loved one is resistant to care. Understand what’s causing your loved one’s resistance and how you can encourage cooperation.

One of the toughest challenges you can face when caring for the elderly is resistance to care. How do you help a loved one who doesn’t want help? Understand how resistance to care can develop and strategies for fostering cooperation when caring for the elderly.

What causes resistance to care?

If your loved one is in need of care, he or she is likely dealing with loss — physical loss, mental loss, the loss of independence. Accepting care may mean relinquishing privacy and adjusting to new routines. As a result, your loved one may feel frightened and vulnerable, angry that he or she needs help or guilty about the idea of becoming a burden to family and friends. In addition, your loved one may be stubborn, have mental health concerns or simply think it’s a sign of weakness to accept help. He or she might also be worried about any associated costs.

Read the Mayo Clinic article

Quick Tips

  • Choose a time when you and your loved one are relaxed.
  • Ask questions about your loved one’s preferences.
  • Enlist the help of family members.
  • Don’t assume that your loved one is unable to discuss care preferences.
  • Don’t give up.
  • Suggest a trial run.
  • Enlist the help of a professional.
  • Explain your needs.
  • Pick your battles.
  • Explain how care may prolong independence.
  • Help your loved one cope with the loss of independence.
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