Mark your calendars:  As part of National Caregiver's Month and National Alzheimer's Awareness Month UK Elder Care is hosting a Senior Resource Fair and Lunch & Learn on Friday November 18, 2016 at the Hilary J Boone Center from 11:00am to 1:30pm. Here you can find community agencies that can help you with your caregiving responsibilities. Dr. Gregory Jicha, Professor- Department of Neurology and Sanders Brown Center on Aging, will lead our Lunch & Learn in an informal discussion on Alzheimer's disease, dementia and caregiving. This will be a unique opportunity for you to learn about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in addition to the caregiving tools needed for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Please help spread the word about our upcoming Senior Resource Fair and Lunch & Learn with family, friends, and colleagues.

Why Do Our Loved Ones Refuse to Accept Help?

I think we can all agree that caring for an elderly loved one can be difficult. It can be especially challenging if your loved one is resistant to care and change. How do you help someone who doesn't want, or resists, your help? As caregivers we walk a fine line between making sure our loved one is safe and taken care of without unnecessarily restricting their independence. But there may come a time when they are no longer able to care for themselves or make good life choices. At that point we have to step in. It becomes our job to protect our loved ones. And that can become a struggle of wills. We will need help.



Loss of physical and/or mental acuity leads to the need for care. Accepting care can lead to a loss of independence and privacy, and may create a fear of financial loss. Our loved one may be feeling frightened, vulnerable, angry and or guilty that they are no longer able to care for themselves and see themselves as a burden to their families. It is also possible that our loved ones just do not see the need for help, no matter how obvious the signs may be to us. If you think that your loved one will be hesitant or resistant to care here are some things to keep in mind.

 



  1. Remember, this is going to be a process. It will take several conversations to learn your loved one's concerns, wants and needs. Start the process now!

  2. Determine what help is needed. Before jumping in with suggestions, take time to observe how they are doing. What are they capable of and what do they struggle with. Make an assessment of what kind of help your loved one needs and which services might work. Focus only on what they are having difficulties with - meal preparation, laundry, cleaning. Everyone needs a purpose and the more they can contribute to their own well- being the less resistant they will be in accepting help for the things they can no longer do.

  3. Ask them what their preferences are for the type of cares services they want. It's important to get their input and make every effort to incorporate those preferences into the care plan.

  4. Only talk when your loved one is at their best.

  5. If you know they are going to resist change it may be wise to call in a trusted family member or friend, clergy member, or doctor who can act as a "buffer" as you explain why they need to make changes in their life.

  6. It might be easier to give them limited options - "Mom, we either need to do this or that...choose one.

  7. It's not what you say, but how you say it. Making sure that the conversation is coming from a place of respect and love can keep the conversation going. If they sense the 'I know better attitude' the conversation will stop and you will have taken 2 steps backward.

  8. Explain your needs. You may have to ask your loved one to accept help to make your life easier. Explain that you need to be assured that they are safe so you can engage in your life responsibilities.

  9. If all attempts fail in convincing them that help is needed it might come down to 'tough love'. You might just have to take a stance on what needs to be done. Then do it.

  10. Sometimes it takes a major setback or crisis to get our loved ones to open their eyes to the reality of the situation. This is a sad and frightening truth. Be prepared with emergency plans, contact numbers and resources.


To let our loved one go without the help they need, just because they don’t want it, is unacceptable. Especially when that help is close by and easily accessible. UK Elder Care and the folks at the upcoming Senior Resource Fair can help you prepare, plan and execute a care plan for your loved one. See you at the Fair!