What to Do When Your Older Loved One Won’t Accept Care

It’s common to receive a helping hand as we age. However, pride, nervousness, or cognitive decline can make it challenging for some people to accept the valuable care they need.

So, what should you do when your older loved one won’t agree to aged care? Here are a few tips to make the conversation a little bit easier.

Listen With Understanding

It’s confronting to accept that you’re unable to care for yourself the way you used to. First and foremost, practice sensitivity. Approach your elderly loved one with compassion, and really listen to why they’re refusing care. Is it because they’re scared to lose independence? Do they think their lifestyle will change dramatically? Do they feel like a burden? Or are they nervous about having a new person (like a support worker) in their home? If you listen to your loved one’s concerns with an open heart and open mind, you’ll have a better chance of addressing their worries in a helpful and meaningful way.

Treat Your Loved One with Respect

Even if your loved one is acting irrationally, they still deserve to be treated with respect and autonomy. Don’t offer ultimatums or push your loved one into accepting care; this can cause resentment and further refusal. Instead, discuss their care openly, and listen to their complaints or concerns. Involve them in the decision-making process and validate their feelings. Even if your loved one can’t make the best decisions due to cognitive decline, involving them in their care will help maintain feelings of control and independence.

Start Small

Most people don’t like change, especially when the change is dramatic and fast. It may be helpful to take a slow and strategic approach to organising your loved one’s aged care. Start by introducing ‘light’ care services, like domestic care or gardening, once or twice a week. With any luck, your loved one will slowly get used to the extra help, and will begin to see it as welcome assistance, rather than a result of their ‘lack of ability’. Then, if your loved one is comfortable enough, you can introduce further aged care services, to address all the areas where they could really use the help.

Enlist Some Help

If you’ve broached the idea of aged care a few times with no positive results, it may be time to enlist some help. Does your loved one have someone in their life they trust? Like an older family member or friend? Consider asking them to speak to your loved one about care. Sometimes hearing the same information from a different source can make a world of difference. Otherwise, it could also be helpful to bring in a professional, like a GP or aged care provider. Some people find it easier to trust the opinions of doctors and healthcare experts when making big decisions.

Could your ageing loved one use some help at home? Here at Simply Helping, we offer a full range of flexible home care services for older Australians! Click here to learn more, and contact us today.