Sorting out which eldercare options will best fit your family member(s) can feel like a full time job. But just when you think the hard part is over, after researching and selecting an affordable care option for mom or dad, you will likely find that your elderly parent is refusing the very help you worked so hard to put in place! A common challenge for adult children, whether it be adding help at home or moving their parent into an assisted living or nursing home, is resistance from the person who needs the care. Often, this resistance can be strong and can trigger feelings of guilt and frustration for both parties.
The role reversal from parents caring for their children to adult children caring for their aging parents is a difficult one. It represents loss of freedom, capability and control on the part of the parent and loss of the old parent/child relationship on the part of the adult child. The elderly parent may face feelings of helplessness and may only be accustomed to giving help – not receiving it. Feelings of anger can also accompany this natural loss of independence.
Talking candidly to each other is a good first step for families. If both parent and child feel heard and respected, it is easier to appreciate each other’s perspective. Ask the person in need of care what their preferences are so efforts can be made to accommodate their wishes as much as is realistically possible. Involve other family members to confirm the need for care and to diffuse the potentially volatile parent/child relationship. Make the change feel gradual by agreeing to a trial run. Finally, don’t give up! Just as you wouldn’t give in to the pleas of a small child for something ultimately dangerous for them, you must stay strong when you know that care is needed and necessary to preserve your elderly loved-one’s safety and longevity.
Home Care Solutions’ professional Aging Life Care Managers are available to help families work through these issues.