Fighting Resistance From Seniors

Uprooting an elderly loved one and moving them into your home is difficult enough, but add to that the resistance you may receive, and the caregiving becomes an all-encompassing activity. Your loved one’s natural tendency is to resist care and assistance, if only because they do not want to think of themselves as “old.” Often caregivers will become easily angered and irritated at the thought of a loved one refusing care and this conflict can be very damaging to the entire caregiver-care recipient experience. Understanding the stress and loss of independence your relative faces when they give up their home is the first step in easing the tense situation. Here are a few other ideas that may be helpful if you are experiencing any resistance in your daily caregiving.

  • Allow the loved one to have a part in the decision making process surrounding their care and well-being. Do not let them feel they have no part in their future, and allow them the chance to voice their view about they care they would like to receive.

  • The senior may want to start a fight or bring up past actions that occurred, but remain focused on the matter of their care, and do not take part and say anything you may regret later.

  • Remember to think of your own needs, and set limits in the amount of work your willing to take on. Perhaps you provide the in-home care for them, but are unwilling to bathe them, yet your loved one refuses to allow a home-care aide to assist you. Explaining your feelings to your relative and being honest with what your willing to help with can allow you the control of the situation.

  • Be willing to work with the senior in order to find some kind of agreement. Whether they refuse full-time care and you disagree entirely, consider alternatives such as a weekly visit from a health aide and Meals on Wheels service that may ease tension and be agreed upon by both of you.

  • Realize that they are more than likely not going to be happy about the situation, and focus on maintaining the quality of care. They may not look forward to having someone bathe them and cook for them, but you can see a difference in their care and let the senior in time grow accustom to the change.

  • Do not make the situation entirely about them, instead allow them to see it through your eyes to get an idea the work you put forth. Tell them the stress and workload you face and their understanding and willingness to resist you in the future may be lessened. They will look at it as an opportunity to help you in the process of them receiving the aid.

  • Work up to changing your loved one’s life and do not suddenly start changing everything they have grown accustomed to over the years. Alert them to any fears you may have, prepare them for any changes, and be as calm and positive as possible to reassure them it is for the best.
    · Plan ahead in case of a sudden decline in health or hospitalization, because it is at these moments where you may face little resistance and can alter their daily care in the manner you see appropriate.


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