When the need for home health care services arises adult children often meet resistance from their aging and frail parents. The most important first step is to learn the reasons that the elder is saying no to a service that will allow them to have the support and comfort of in home care.
Start by asking your loved one questions to understand more about why they are refusing care.
There are many different reasons for resistance. An increased understanding comes by asking questions and careful listening, to the elder. This approach makes open honest communication more likely.
Some of the more common reasons cited by elders:
- They don’t want a stranger in the home.
- They expect their adult children to do what is necessary.
- They don’t realize that they can no longer care for themselves.
- It will cost too much.
- When someone comes to the home as a guest they have to be taken care of like company.
- The house is not clean enough.
- There has not been enough up keep on the home.
- People in the community will see caregivers coming and leaving the home.
- Denial or sadness or anger about the loss of independence.
At times, Elders are reluctant to share their reasoning or have not really thought about why they are saying no to services they need. Sometimes adult children misunderstand the reasons behind resistance to in home care. Asking questions over time can elicit responses which lead to a meaningful dialog.
What is the elder worried about? Does the elder see the need for services? Is the elder fearful of a stranger coming to the home? Is the elder fearful that if they accept help from outside the family, they may loose control over their lives and decisions? When home health care assistants come into the home will they force them to go to a facility?
When the reason is identified continuing to talk helps the person verbalize what would happen and what is the worst thing that could happen if their specific worries are realized. For example, if the identified worry is “I don’t want a stranger in my house.” Ask What could happen if a stranger came to the house? Continue to ask what is the worst thing that could happen if a stranger came to the house.? When the issues are explored, the worry may become less valid to the individual. In this situation, a Best Home Care nurse may ask the potential client to meet just one carefully chosen aide and agree to have one or two days of service and then decide if they want to continue. In addition, the client and family are given specific information about the caregiver prior to their first visit.
When you and your aging parent have communicated openly to each other, a call can be made to a home health care agency to discuss the options most suited for your particular situation.
If the elder is extremely resistant, contact the home health care provider by phone to discuss the issues specific to your situation. At Best Home Care our nurses will offer additional tips that may help you and your elderly parent.
Finally make a plan with the home care nurse to have a free in home consultation.