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Tips for When an Elderly Parent Refuses Help

For many, their aging parents have been independent, strong, and able to advocate for them. During these times, initiating conversations about when to take on a supporting role is wise. What if you have begun to notice changes in your elderly parents and never discussed supporting them in these times? Changing roles can be challenging. Communication skills need to be honed before attempting to communicate concerns. What can an adult child resort to if an elderly parent refuses help?

According to a study by Penn State researchers, seventy-seven percent of adult children state their parents stubbornly resist their advice and help with daily tasks. Stepping back to research this situation can provide a fresh outlook on available options if an elderly parent refuses help. In addition, when concerns communicate with love and respect, the results can help to form a deeper bond. Now is the time to temper your stress, frustration, and anxiety.  Remaining calm and rational makes communicating easier.

When Is It Time to be Concerned about Elderly Parents?

Aging is a normal process. The decline in cognitive and functioning abilities will happen to a certain degree. Elderly parents facing the stress and emotions of losing close friends due to age is challenging. Physical ailments, limitations in strength, and financial pressures add up and cause doubts to formulate. Your elderly parents may begin to voice their concerns about taking care of themselves. But when an elderly parent refuses help, the adult child must evaluate the truth of the situation.

The following signs and symptoms found in aging are significant reasons for concern.  If you see these issues, you should start formulating a plan of action to support your parents. You can also find a plan B if your elderly parent refuses help. Take time and patience in developing methods of action.

  • Weight loss is a significant concern.
  • Poor hygiene can be a sign of depression.
  • A messy home can be a significant health and safety risk.
  • Vehicle damage could indicate a need to check eyesight.
  • Low energy is the cause of medical investigation.
  • More frequent falls could indicate a balance problem.
  • They are making jokes about getting lost but could signal disorientation.
  • A cluttered medicine cabinet could contain expired medications.

As these concerns arise, reflect on the possibilities for the causes. Set a time with your parents to calmly discuss and negotiate any help that can be extended and accepted. When an elderly parent refuses help, they may offer clues if you listen to what they are saying. It may be beneficial to leave the issue open for further discussion so they can think about it and you can reflect upon the initial conversation.

Communication Tips for Helping Elderly Parents

Monitoring the behaviors and lifestyles of aging parents are forging new territory. An adult child may need help understanding the causes for issues that are beginning to appear in once confident and independent adult parents. First, it is essential to rule out physical and mental problems. Then, after eliminating health issues, it’s vital to form an open ally of communication. Learning the best ways to communicate with respect, empathy and compassion may help when an elderly parent refuses help.

  • Understanding Motivations. Do not jump to conclusions and make judgments concerning the motivation for certain behaviors. Asking yourself questions concerning all possible causes will temper your anxiety and lead to quality communication. If your elderly parent refuses help, try to find the root cause of their feelings.
  • Accepting Situations. When elderly parent refuses help, it might be because they believe they can handle their problems. On the other hand, an adult child might get frustrated and feel stressed if the parent doesn’t want their help. It is in these times that the adult child has to come to an acceptance of this. Respecting the parent enough to discuss this respectfully with the parent can strengthen the bond and open a door for some negotiations.
  • Choosing Battles. Adult children with elderly parents should be familiar with this factor if they have children. Selecting the most important issues causing the most significant concern for health and safety to intervene in can be essential in building trust. For example, an elderly parent refuses help when they feel like their child is nagging and trying to intimidate them. Discuss future resolutions and ask for input.
  • Be Kind to Yourself. Remember, there will be times when you do everything you can to control a situation to make it safe for your elderly parents, but they refuse help. Be kind to yourself when things don’t work out, and you must go above and beyond to fix a challenging situation. When an elderly parent refuses help, sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Do not blame yourself and get upset with yourself.
  • Find a Shoulder to Cry On. Finding a safe place to vent and speak your mind when an elderly parent refuses help is essential to keep your sanity. Support groups, therapists, online support agencies, or a special friend will help keep your head straight. Sometimes you just need to release frustrations, fears, and anxieties. Positive coping mechanisms need to be put into practice.

Effective Communication Practices

Finally, using practical, positive, and empathetic communication with your parents is critical in finding a way to assist them with their lifestyle when they need help. Showing respect at all times is a vital factor in getting your point across. When an elderly parent refuses help, sometimes you need to put your foot down, but do it carefully. Sometimes if things are critical to interfere, a third party can help prove your point. Always be loving and remember that your parents want to remain independent.

Find Help When your Elderly Parent Refuses Help in Tennessee

If you are finding yourself feeling intense frustration, we understand your position. Lux Home Care in Nashville is experienced with the problems adult children face when their elderly parent refuses help. Our counselors and care guides can project your concerns and answer objections with solid, attractive, and inviting reasoning. We have options available in our community for all levels of care. Contact us today to visit our facility.

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