How to Help Elderly Parents Who Don’t Want Help

how to help elderly parents who don't want help

Watching a parent grow old is one of the hardest things children have to go through. It’s hard to see someone you love lose their independence because of age.

To make matters worse, many seniors refuse help, and it can be difficult to know how to help elderly parents who don’t want help.

There are varying degrees of needs that seniors have. But it is possible to help every elderly parent get the help they need — no matter how much they refuse or dismiss it.

If you’re currently dealing with an elderly parent who is refusing your help, stress no more. In this article, we’re going to talk about what you can do and how to help elderly parents who don’t want help!

Understand Their Behavior

First, you need to try to understand why your parents are refusing help.

Sometimes seniors refuse help because of their personalities. Some people are easily irritated or are naturally independent.
Other times, stubborn behavior is due to underlying issues, like dementia or depression. Many times, people simply become more stubborn with age.

Other times seniors are stubborn because they’ve lost independence.

Has your parent recently experienced a loss of independence? Did they lose the ability to do things they once loved? Can your parent no longer drive or manage their finances?

It’s crucial to determine whether their behaviors are becoming a safety issue.

Knowing why your elderly parents are refusing help will create the best solution. Understanding their personalities will help you have more constructive conversations with them.

Treat Them Like an Adult

No matter what, your parents want to feel treated equally. That means treating them like adults despite the severity of their needs.

Remember: How you talk to them will speak more than what you say.

Part of how you can do this is to be open to hearing their side of things. Ask them where they see themselves and how they feel about hiring help. Ask them about what they feel is best for their situation, and what they’re comfortable with and not.

You also want to ask them how they think their situation is affecting those around them. Is their aging becoming hard on their spouse, on you, or the grandchildren?

Approach the conversation slowly. You don’t want to overwhelm them. Make your intervention simple and more like a conversation rather than a lecture.

Help them to see the areas in which they need help. You can ask questions about how they feel in their day-to-day lives and about their stress levels.

Recognize their capabilities and acknowledge them. This will also help you determine how to address their specific needs.

You don’t want to limit their independence more than you have to. When it comes to outside help, allow your parents to be independent when possible. You can be there for them, but you can also be there to watch them do things themselves.

Above all, you need to be patient with them.

Accept the Situation Without Blaming Yourself

It’s important that you have someone to vent to during this time. This is an especially stressful time for you, and you need to be able to talk about this.

Confide in your spouse, friends, other family members, a support group, or with a counselor. The person you vent to cannot be the parents themselves.

You can alleviate your stress levels by prioritizing their needs. In doing so, you can also make note of the steps you’ve taken. This can better prepare you for if, and when, you need to seek outside help.

Part of this process is acknowledging your own limits. You don’t want to take more independence away from your parents than you need to. But putting more responsibility on them can help them realize the extent of their own needs.

How to Help Elderly Parents Who Don’t Want Help

Seeing parents age is one of the hardest things people have to go through.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. Learn more about how to help elderly parents who don’t want help!

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