6 Tips for When a Loved One Resists Personal Care Help

Sad looking older man sitting in a wheelchair with a caregiver standing behind him.

It’s difficult to watch an aging parent decline to the point where they can no longer dress, groom, bathe and complete other activities of daily living without help.

In these cases, many families turn to personal care services. These long-term care services help seniors live at home longer by assisting with hygiene, chores, mobility, meal preparation and more. Personal care services can be a literal lifesaver for seniors, helping them avoid self-neglect and fatal accidents (such as slips in the tub).

Personal care services can provide an improved quality of life for seniors, yet many resist accepting this help due to feelings of embarrassment or discomfort. This is completely understandable, and most of us would feel the same way if we needed help with such basic—yet vulnerable—tasks.

Are you hiring a personal care service for your aging parent, but they’re resistant to receiving help? We’re here for you. First, we’re going to share three tips that may help you and your aging parent see eye to eye on caregiving. Then, we’ll share three strategies to help facilitate caregiving so it’s a less stressful experience for your parent.

Get information about the costs of long-term care.

Guaranteed acceptance life insurance without medical exams, health questions, or rate increases.

Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance

Coverage options starting at $9.95 a month!


How to See Eye to Eye With Your Aging Parent Regarding Caregiving

Does your aging parent insist they don’t need help from a personal care service? Here are three tips that may help you and your parent come to an understanding. You may also want to read our blog 6 Reasons Why Long-Term Care Planning Needs to Happen Before a Crisis

1. Listen and Empathize

When your aging parent is resistant to what you know is best for their well-being, it’s easy to get frustrated. However, raising your voice or talking to them like a child will only leave them feeling patronized and resentful. These frustrations could spill over onto your hired caregiver and impact the quality of care they’re able to provide.

Instead of meeting your aging parent with frustration, take a step back and listen. Validate your parent’s discomfort and make them feel heard. Calmly remind your parent that with a caregiver’s help, they can live in their own home longer, and that their safety is your top priority.

2. Get a Mediator if Needed

Have you listened and tried to have calm conversations, but your parent is still resistant to receiving help from a personal care service? It might be time to bring in a third-party professional mediator. A physician, care agency professional or family therapist can help facilitate these difficult—and often awkward—conversations and help alleviate feelings of embarrassment that your parent may have.

3. Vet Caregivers and Find a Good Match

Sometimes finding the right caregiver is all it takes to help your aging parent accept care. Maybe it’s someone with a calming presence, or someone who makes your parent laugh. The right caregiver can make a world of difference. If you need help navigating your options, consider using a caregiver agency or asking for recommendations from people you trust.

Learn how to cope with caregiver fatigue with these tips.

How to Reduce Your Aging Parent’s Discomfort With Care

Once you settle on a caregiver and it’s time for your parent to start receiving help, these three simple strategies will help reduce your parent’s feelings of discomfort and embarrassment.

1. Make Care Predictable

Uncertainty and anticipation about caregiving may fuel your parent’s negative feelings toward it. You can help reduce their anxiety by making caregiving predictable. For example, schedule care so it happens at the same time every day or week and mark it on the calendar. Have care services performed in the same way by the same person each time, so your parent knows what to expect.

2. Make Sure Everything is Accessible and Organized

If the caregiver can’t find soap, then bathing might drag on. Or if the caregiver can’t find matching socks, dressing becomes more frustrating. That’s why it’s important for needed supplies to be easily accessible. When items are organized, personal care services can be performed swiftly and with less stress.

3. Consider Your Parent’s Wardrobe

If your parent needs help with dressing and toileting, it might be time to consider adaptive clothing, such as Velcro fly pants, magnetic button shirts, and slip-on shoes. There are many options online for attractive clothes that are easy to put on and remove. Also get a robe and extra towels to help preserve modesty before and after bathing.

Thinking About Your Own Future

Do your parent’s caregiving needs have you reflecting on your own future? Are you wondering how you’ll be able to afford the care you might need? It might be time to consider long-term care insurance, a product that’s designed to help you maintain control of where you receive care while safeguarding your savings. Learn more about how to be prepared for long-term care.

Want more? Check out our 8 Tips For Talking About Final Wishes with Your Loved Ones

Colonial Penn is here for you!

Colonial Penn has specialized in making life insurance simple and accessible by offering it directly to consumers since 1957. Click here to learn more.

Related Articles

Get a quick insurance quote now!

Pressed for time? We get it! Select your State to see which of our plans fit your needs and are available to you.