14 September 2021

“My Elderly Relative Needs Help But Won’t Accept It”

As we get older, tasks that we used to take in our stride start to become a bit harder. This is a normal feature of the ageing process. With things like DIY, home improvements and decorating it seems easy and normal to accept that there are jobs we used to do ourselves that we now pay somebody to do for us.

When it comes to personal care sometimes we’re a bit more reluctant to accept that we need help. There are many reasons for this. If you have an elderly relative who is adamant that they ‘can cope just fine, thank you very much,’ even when you can plainly see they can’t, it’s quite normal.

If you see it from their perspective it can feel a bit like giving in. Ageing and a decline in physical (or mental) capacity can be a hard thing to accept. Hiring a carer, even for just a few hours a week, can feel like giving up your independence. It can even feel like one step closer to leaving your own home and going into residential care.

But there’s no reason why older people should have to struggle with everyday tasks. A care at home service can make a huge difference to their quality of life. Getting a relative to accept the help they need often depends on how you handle the discussion.

Introduce the Idea Gently

Going in with both feet and expecting somebody to instantly accept that they need a care at home service will probably be counterproductive. They are more likely to dig their heels in.

It’s a good idea to introduce the idea gradually and maybe steer clear of terms like care service. Perhaps have a more general conversation about how they see the future. Talk about the possibility of getting somebody to help around the house rather than a carer. Give them time to get used to the idea.

Focus on the positives and talk about more enjoyable ways that they could spend their time rather than on doing things that are a struggle.

Don’t Take Over

Exasperation is a normal reaction when somebody refuses to accept help. But ultimately it’s their decision – unless social services decide that they are incapable of caring for themselves. You can’t decide for them and shouldn’t try to. Concentrate on being supportive and making sure that they feel they are in control. 

If you have any questions about the best way to broach the subject of getting support from a care at home service, the team at Altogether Care will be happy to answer them. Please visit https://altogethercare.co.uk/care-at-home/ or call 01305 300 161 for more details.

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