What if my parents refuse care?

Your parent’s health has deteriorated and you can see that they need help.  You’re helping them around the clock but you know you need extra support.  As your parents get older, it can become extremely apparent that they need some additional assistance.  But whilst it may be obvious to you, it can take a while for them to realise, or admit it.  So what can you do if your parents are resistant to the idea of care

Start the conversation early

Potential health issues in old age can actually make the subject of care more difficult to discuss, so if you can, try to have the conversation with your parents before they actually need help. 

Try questions such as “Have you thought about getting someone in to help you around the house?” or “where do you see yourself when you are older?”  Leading questions can help to strike up a conversation and will give you an idea of how they feel about care and support and may help you to understand why they may not like the idea of having care.

Be understanding

Whilst some people take getting older in their stride, it can be pretty daunting to others.  Some people may be in denial about getting older.  Others may realise and acknowledge what their capabilities are but anger can spring from parents thinking that their children don’t fully understand about their situation. Be sensitive when having the conversation with mum or dad and ensure that you are considering all their needs – not just physical but emotional too.

Give it time

If you start the conversation about care and it brings up an angry reaction, do bear with them.  Having care is a huge change in someone’s life and it can take a lot to process what that means and to get used to the idea.  It may need a few conversations on the topic before your parents are agreeable to the situation.

Discuss the options

Suggesting that your mum and dad have care at home can seem like they are having their freedom taken from them.  They may feel like they are not being given any choice in the matter.   But there are a number of different ways that care at home can work from a few hours of companionship every week to daily visits and even live-in care.  Chat to them and ask them how much support do they think they need, and what their preferences are.  Put together a list of priorities of what they might like help with and what they wouldn’t.  Explaining that a caregiver isn’t there to tell them what to do, or take over the jobs that they can still do can be helpful. 

Seek expert advice

Whilst you may know your parents better than anyone, and the signs that they need help may be obvious to all, sometimes your mum or dad may just need to hear it from someone else who isn’t so close to home.  Often it may take the advice of a GP, social worker or other health professional.   It’s an emotive topic so having someone in a professional capacity who can explain things can often take out the emotional aspect and make it much easier for your parents to accept the situation.

As part of our care consultation we will sit down with you and your loved one to discuss your options and explain things as clearly as possible.  All our care packages our tailored to the individual so we will always take into consideration someone’s needs, wants and preferences.   If you are worried how your mum or dad may react to the suggestion of care, or how to broach the subject with them, please just give us a call and we’ll be able to support you. 

For more information on our home care services, please contact our friendly team.