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What to Do When Your Senior Parent Refuses Help

At some point in time, we all need help. This can be small, like someone running errands for us, or much bigger, like needing to move in with family or have them look after our healthcare. For seniors, recognizing and accepting the need for help can be difficult. In their eyes, admitting they can no longer take care of themselves feels like admitting defeat. 

For their family, it can be heartbreaking and frustrating to watch their loved one struggle and slowly deteriorate. They may even be putting themselves at greater risk by refusing to accept the help you want to give. If your senior parent needs help but won’t so much as hear you out, this article is for you. Below are a few ways you can go about opening the conversation and providing the assistance they need.

Focus on Their Priorities

Don’t try to swoop in and begin telling your parent what they can and can’t do. This will likely fuel their resistance, and it will only lead to conflict. If your parent is stubborn already, having someone push against their free will and independence will only make them become defensive. Instead, focus on what you can do to help them keep living independently. You should be there as a companion who offers support, not a warden who only brings rules and restrictions into their lives.

Give Them Choices

Choices empower people, and your parents deserve to have options when it comes to their care. Whenever you want to make some changes in their life, bring up several possible solutions. Discuss each one with them, and make suggestions rather than orders. This can create a collaborative bond that makes it much easier for both of you to cooperate.

Understand Your Legal Duties

Filial responsibility laws determine how much financial support an adult has to provide to their aging parent. These vary by state, and age limitations are not as strict as you think. What really matters is that adult children who have the means to support impoverished parents do so to the best of their abilities. You can read a free guide on filial responsibility laws, how they work and what you should know. Remember that in some cases, even if you want to help out, you can’t force your parents to comply. The only time you need to take additional steps, like collaborating with a medical doctor, is if they are jeopardizing themselves or others.

Consider Hiring Home Care

Sometimes, seniors have trouble letting loved ones look after them, but they may be okay with a routine home aide. This is because the home aide is a nurse or certified caretaker whose job is to offer assistance. In a senior’s mind, this can be drastically different from having their child take care of them. It helps them maintain their independence and sense of dignity. Ask your parents if they would allow this, and make sure they know they have control over what the person can and cannot do.

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