Reluctant Parents

When Reluctant Parents Need a Little Push

Deciding that a senior is in need of assistance from a caregiver can be a delicate subject for both the adult child and the senior parent. Many senior women have raised several children and taken care of the house for years, and senior men have often taken care of their family financially for their entire adulthood. According to Vita Inc., this dynamic may cause your senior loved ones to be reluctant to care or outright refuse care.

Mary Leeds, a medical social worker who has worked extensively with seniors, suggests taking a step back to see where your senior loved one is coming from. Emphasize the freedom that they will have with a caregiver’s assistance. When a senior is unable to perform basic tasks such as driving to the store, bathing or cooking, a caregiver is able to give that freedom back to the senior.

Leeds said the best thing is for the adult children to recommend care slowly at first and let the senior have time to process the changes. Plant the seed and let it go for a while, she said. Talking to your senior parent in a comfortable place, such as his or her own home, is the best environment.

A senior parent may be reluctant to listen to his or her children but bringing in a professional senior care advocate can add a new perspective and a professional opinion can encourage the senior. In the most severe cases, where an elder parent is in danger of hurting himself or herself, the adult children are recommended to be as supportive as possible. It is difficult to force care on the parent, but adult children should express their concern clearly and lovingly in an effort to get the senior to buy in.