Aging seniors often reluctant to accept help

By Judy Horvath:               

There comes a time when all families must deal with what Mom and Dad NEED rather than what their parents think they need. Often this comes about suddenly because of a medical situation. Sometimes it is much more gradual and not as apparent. Usually, the adult sons and daughters know that Mom or dad need some help yet aging seniors are often reluctant to accept help unless it comes directly from their children or grandchildren. As much as we all would like to help our wonderful parents, it is not always possible to quit work and care for an aging parent.

As people age, they are usually less physically capable of handling many areas of everyday living, such as driving, bathing, grooming or just managing a household. Yet most do not want to leave their home of many years and want to insist they can handle the duties. Sometimes the seniors actually delude themselves and twist the truth to their children, saying they are managing quite well.

It is often their adult children who must take on the reverse role of caring for parents or insisting that they get help. How do you do this when they are reluctant to accept anyone’s help other than yours?

Here are a couple of suggestions. Talk often and casually about the possibilities for assistance that are out there. There are many options including independent retirement living, assisted living, board and care homes, and in-home care. Take them to various places to consider and talk to people who can guide you and them in making the correct decision. It is usually different for each person. It may start as simply as someone to drive them to appointments or shopping assistance and home chores. The important part is to consider the options before there is a crisis situation. Most important is to first make the call and then get help with your choices. The key factor is to have a positive experience with their first choice. Making a good match and good choice for their first experience is critical.

Judy Horvath, CSA, Certified Senior Advisor, is the owner operator of Tender Heart Home Care.

Tender Heart is headquartered in the Danville, San Ramon area and provides Seniors with in-home care. For further information, or to set up an in-home visit to discuss options with families at no charge, please call (925) 838-4444 or email [email protected]