Keeping Your Head Above Water When a Dependent Parent Refuses Senior Care
When a Dependent Parent Refuses Senior Care
During adulthood, once we pass a certain age, we begin to grow increasingly concerned with the well-being of our parents. This is unsettling, of course, since our parents are the ones who tended to us during our years of total dependence. The degenerative mental and physical state of an elderly parent can put a significant strain on their loved ones.
It's natural instinct for loving children to dedicate a part of their lives to supporting their parents, visiting their homes daily, doing chores, making sure they are well, when they could otherwise be working , spending quality time with them or their own children.
This is an admirable gesture, but the self-sacrifice here won’t benefit your parent in the long-run if their needs demand a volume of time and presence that you can’t offer.
It's important to keep in mind that exist for these exact situations, and they can take a significant weight off your shoulders if your parent is willing to accept their help.
Understand Their Reluctance to Senior Care
While it's perfectly reasonable for you to act toward providing the professional, long term care that your parent needs, it would be unwise to do so blindly, without acknowledging the trials that your parent is facing.
From a senior's perspective, once they pass a certain age, it's only a matter of time until their capabilities begin to dwindle. While this situation represents a aged persons by and large still show reluctance to the idea of transitioning to care home services.
In order for family members to start reconciling their elderly loved one's needs with the needs and desires of their own lives, the first step is to show some empathy. What the senior needs from their family is support, perhaps now more than ever.
It’s also important for those involved to know that an adult child seeking professional care services is not showing a lack of compassion for their parents, but the very opposite. They’re simply making sure that everyone is cared for properly.
As a Caregiver, Don’t Set Yourself Aside
The key here is to find balance, reconciling your own life with the needs of your parent. Even if the senior is adamant in denying their dependence, they surely understand what they’re putting their children through.
This exemplifies the delicateness of the situation; despite what the senior’s conscience tells them, accepting one’s growing dependence is a singularly tough pill to swallow. Moreover, a parent understands, on a fundamental level, that their child would not be taking advantage of the life they were gifted with by allocating most of their free time to serve as caregiver.
If you’re feeling guilty over the thought of leaving the needs of your loved one in the hands of senior care, it helps to keep that in mind. Loving children will do anything to help their parents when they’re in need, which is as it should be. At a certain point, however, tending to a parent who would be better served by a professional caregiver benefits no one at all.
Your Senior Parent Has a Legal Right to Their independence
The fact is that, short of guardianship, seniors are protected under rule of law to refuse long term care. Fundamentally, a senior retains their right to be “stubborn” regardless of their condition.
Even if your parent desperately needs it; even if their well-being demands a significant portion of your time and energy, their own vote is the only thing that can get them started on a home caring program.
You Have a Family Support System - Use It
If the parent is adamant in their refusal for senior care - and if this is occurring in tandem with their physical or mental state worsening by the week - now is the time to call upon the senior’s personal network for some well-needed help.
Aside from family, this support system should include close friends as well as anyone the senior respects enough to lend a focused ear to. Sometimes, despite good intentions from their children, seniors are much more likely to listen to someone their age, with a more personal understanding of what they're going through. Who knows - maybe a stern word of advice from a lifelong friend is enough to snap a senior out of their self-subterfuge, and finally start paying attention to their health.
As a grand, albeit risky gesture, you can also try organizing an intervention for the senior, allowing each of their friends and loved ones to express themselves. At any rate, understand that you aren't in this situation alone - there's a system of people within reach to help support you and your parent.
When All Else Fails, We’re Here to Help and Support
At Home Instead, we understand the subtleties involved here. Indeed, we base our services on alleviating them. When you've tried everything you can think of, and your parent still refuses to take a step toward senior care, give us a call today to see how we can help.
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