What to Do When Your Elderly Parent Refuses Help

Eventually, we reach a point where we need help from our children, other family members, or even professional companion care services to care for our needs. Sadly, some elderly individuals are reluctant to accept the help offered to them. If your senior parent refuses assistance, it can be difficult to know what to do.

Our tips can help you handle the situation in a respectful and caring way.

Tips on Dealing With a Senior Parent Who Refuses Help

1. Understand Why They Don’t Want Help

Firstly, understand why they don’t want help. Do they feel like they are imposing on your time? Are they scared of losing their independence? Or do they just don’t know how to ask for help?

Talk to them about their feelings and try to understand the root of the issue.

2. Listen to Their Concerns

Seniors often worry about being a burden or that accepting help will make them appear weak or dependent. Respectfully listen to all their concerns so you can address any issues that may be causing resistance.

3. Involve Them in Deciding What Type of Support Is Needed

Put yourself in their shoes and try to find the best arrangement for them. Invite them to be part of the decision-making process so they don’t feel their autonomy is being taken away.

Explain that in order for you both to get through this difficult situation, it will require help from outside sources—either family or personal care aide.

4. Encourage Them to Try It Out

Once you’ve got a plan of action in place, encourage your elderly parent to try it. Assure them they could always return if it doesn’t work out as expected.

5. Be Patient and Understanding

When your senior parent refuses assistance, it can be frustrating and difficult not knowing how best to proceed. But it’s important to remain patient and understanding. Instead, demonstrate your love and care compassionately so they know you just want what’s best for them.

6. Offer Practical Solutions

Provide practical solutions rather than simply telling them what to do. Offer different options about the type of help needed and how it is provided. For example, if they feel uncomfortable with a stranger (caregiver) coming into their home, suggest they go to an adult day care center instead. In-home respite care, such as Karma Care, can also be a good alternative. This works by getting substitute caregivers for primary caregivers, helping to reduce stress and burnout.

How to Know if Your Elderly Parent Needs Help?

Here are some signs your elderly parents need help:

  • They take too long to get dressed or have difficulty doing their own laundry.
  • They are struggling to do the grocery shopping on their own as they can’t carry heavy items.
  • They have difficulty taking medication as prescribed or forget to take it at all.
  • Their home is in disarray due to clutter, dust, and dirt build-up.
  • They are struggling to manage their finances.
  • They often suffer from falls, balance issues, dizziness, or mobility problems.

If your elderly parents display any of these signs and refuse help, you may need to take matters into your own hands for their safety and well-being. Speak with a doctor or other family members. Having a senior parent who refuses assistance can be challenging, but understanding their needs and finding the right solution is key.