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Coping With Resistance When Caring for an Elderly Relative

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Caring for An Elderly Relative

Growing old is a challenge that we all have to overcome one day. But it isn’t always easy to accept help from others. We’re stubborn and proud, and don’t want to admit that we might no longer be able to take care of ourselves. This can be heartbreaking, especially if you’re trying to do your best for an elderly relative and they’re refusing your help. You may not know exactly how to approach the situation, so this guide is intended to help you cope with resistance to caring for an elderly relative.

Your relative may be resistant to your help for a myriad of reasons. Everyone is different, with their own unique feelings. While some may simply refuse to accept that they’re no longer capable of fending for themselves, others may be afraid of change. You’ll have to work at getting to the root of the problem if you’re going to overcome it. Don’t forget that your relative is almost definitely experiencing a form of mourning. Whether it’s the loss of their independence or something else, be sympathetic to their plight when trying to get to the bottom of things.

Control is a major factor in determining how open they are to change. Nobody likes to feel like they’re losing control of a situation, especially when they may already be in a vulnerable position. It’s best for you to try and piece together exactly what help they may need before you approach them. Then, start the conversation when both of you are relaxed and open to discussion. Make sure that you listen to their preferences carefully and take them into consideration. That can help bridge the gap to regaining control for them.

coping to resistance for caring for an elderly relative main imageFrom Flickr

There are a lot of horror stories about retirement homes if that is the option you are both considering. This can lead to fear, or even resentment of the topic is broached. You may find it more helpful if you scout out potential retirement homes ahead of time. Take a tour of the premises first and get to grips with what they can offer. You’ll need to determine how hands-on they’ll be in relation to your relative’s needs. They may, for example, need to make allowances for assisted living rather than just a place to stay safely.

It’s important that you try not to go through this process alone. It can be stressful trying to arrange everything by yourself, and that stress can lead you to make rash decisions. Instead, try to get the whole family involved. They all have your relative’s best interests at heart. Joining together will ease the burden. And maybe help convince your otherwise stubborn relative about the benefits on offer.

Remember that your relative being resistant does not mean that they’ve ruled out the idea entirely. Persistence is key, provided you approach it in the right way. They may need time to come to terms with the future that lies ahead of them. Don’t put any unnecessary pressure or duress on them. Let them come around in their own time and you’ll find that they’re a lot more compliant.

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