When you begin to detect the warning signs that care in the home is needed for someone you love, it is very common for the individual to resist the idea. After all, admitting the need for help isn’t easy, especially for a person who prizes their independence and privacy. Yet what do you do when another family member is the one pushing back? If you’re having trouble with getting family to agree about the need for senior care, there’s one potential culprit to consider: denial.
Why Would a Family Member Deny the Need for Care at Home?
Denial is a coping mechanism utilized to safeguard against feelings of helplessness or fear of an upcoming change. Your family member may feel much more comfortable sticking their head in the sand in order to maintain status quo. Or, they may not be as familiar with the day-to-day care of the senior as you are, so they’re not seeing the same concerns.
Whatever the cause of the denial, there are strategies that can help you see eye to eye and ensure the individual you both love receives the necessary care and support.
- Educate. As opposed to arguing from your own perspective, look to trusted resources to validate your opinion. Research details on the progression of a particular health condition the individual is managing. Learn together about the challenges of growing older, the risks of senior falls, when it may be time to give up the car keys, etc., and use that education as the jumping-off point for a discussion about how to ensure comfort and safety for the older adult.
- Listen. Communication is a two-way street, so be sure to listen at least as much as you are presenting your personal concerns and thoughts. Acknowledge and validate the person’s feelings. Try to the very best of your ability to keep the discussion calm and on an even keel, avoiding sarcasm, anger, and comments you may later regret.
- Reinforce. Bring in a professional third party to bolster the benefits of home care in your particular situation. Make an appointment to talk to the individual’s doctor together. Sometimes, hearing firsthand information from a healthcare expert is all that is needed to help a family member in denial change their viewpoint.
Also, know that it may be beneficial to begin home care services slowly and build up to more services over time. For example, CareWorks Health Services can start with preparing meals, light housekeeping, and running errands or providing transportation initially. As the senior and caregiver form a bond of trust and companionship and the benefits of home care services become more evident, it is then very easy to add in more hours or extra care tasks, such as assistance with bathing and personal care needs.
When you’re ready to explore home care for someone you love, we are here to consult with you and your family about options and to answer any questions you might have. We are available to address any concerns and to help with getting family to agree about the need for senior care services during a complimentary consultation, right in the comfort of home.