In some cases, older people refuse help because they don’t want to feel burdensome. In others, they’re afraid of change, a loss of independence, or being viewed as incompetent. Once you understand your parent’s motivations, you can frame your suggestions in a way that’s more likely to lead to productive discussion.
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Why Seniors Might Resist Care Most seniors experience change in their surroundings or abilities, and a loss of things familiar to them, to some degree or another. All of these changes can lead seniors to resist help from those around them.
These laws, called filial responsibility laws, obligate adult children to provide necessities like food, clothing, housing, and medical attention for their indigent parents.
How to move forward if an elderly parent refuses help
Get Legal Support. If your loved one absolutely refuses assisted living but is in danger, you may need to get outside support. An elder care lawyer can help you review your options, advise you about seeking guardianship, or even refer you to a geriatric social worker who can help. Your loved one may be angry and hurt.
But, if there is an underlying cause that can be addressed, it may be possible to improve their behavior and your relationship with them.
A person must consent to moving into a nursing home When she tried to put her husband into a nursing home, she couldn’t because he would not give his consent. “Unless the person has lost capacity, you can’t put a person into care without their consent,” she said. “ You can’t force a person against their will.”
What are the most effective strategies for managing resistance to care?
The refusal of the aging parent to accept help is typically based in fear: no one want to lose control over one’s life and a helper is the beginning of loss of control.
How to Communicate With Difficult Seniors and Older Adults
Legally, some states (28 of them) have Filial Responsibility Laws on the books requiring adult children to financially care for aging parents. Morally, many adult children feel obligated to care for their parents as they age but family dynamics and psychological issues may impede that moral compass.
In the U.S., requiring that children care for their elderly parents is a state by state issue. Other states don’t require an obligation from the children of older adults. Currently, 27 states have filial responsibility laws. However, in Wisconsin, children are not legally liable for their elderly parents’ care.
And if siblings refuse to help, seek help from community resources, friends, or hire professional help. Some siblings in the family may refuse to help care for your parents or may stop helping at some point. If they aren’t willing to work on resolving the issues, the best approach may be for you to just let it go.