For some elderly loved ones, accepting help from you or from others is beyond difficult. How you approach the situation can make it a far more successful situation for both of you.
Observe for a Bit
You already believe that your elderly loved one needs some help, possibly some specialized help at that. Before you push the issue with her, take the time to observe what’s going on with her. If she’s having difficulty with the specific tasks that you’re considering helping with, this backs up what you’ve been saying. If she’s actually doing well despite having a small amount of difficulty, you might want to hold off for a little while.
Make Suggestions, Not Mandates
When you do determine that your loved one would benefit from the help you want to offer, keep in mind that you’re making a suggestion. Jumping in with both feet and assuming that your loved one is going to fall in line is more a decree than it is a suggestion. You may find that a suggestion goes over much better than a command.
Watch Your Phrasing
How you offer help is almost more important than even noting whether the help is necessary at all. If you tell your loved one that it’s raining so she can’t drive with her cataracts, she’s more likely to dig in her heels and try to do just that. Instead, try telling her that you’ve got some time and you’d love to go along with her. Keeping the suggestion low key can make a big difference.
Use Trial Periods
If you’re offering options for help such as elder care providers who come in and tackle housekeeping duties, you might want to include trial periods in the offer. Making an open-ended offer makes it sound as if the elder care providers are going to be with your loved one from now on, no matter what. Giving her a trial period to test out the situation leaves her a measure of control in the decision.
Follow up your words with actions. If you make your loved one regret accepting your help, she’s going to resist even harder next time around.
Have questions about elder care in Oahu, HI? Contact the caring staff at All Care Hawaii today. Call Oahu (808) 206-8409 or Maui (808) 664-3853. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
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