Facing Denial from the Family When a Senior Needs Care

Here’s how to handle a family member’s denial that a senior needs care.

It’s not uncommon for a senior who needs home care to be hesitant to the idea of accepting help. After all, admitting the necessity for assistance is not easy, particularly for a person who values their privacy and independence. However, what do you do when another family member is in denial that a senior needs care?

Why Is My Family Member Denying the Need for Care at Home?

As a coping mechanism, denial can be used to guard against feelings of helplessness or anxiety about an upcoming change. Your family member may feel more comfortable sticking their head in the sand in order to maintain status quo, even though they see clearly that the senior needs care. Or, they may not be as familiar with the day-to-day care of the person as you are, so they’re not seeing the exact same concerns.

Whatever the cause for denial may be, there are strategies that will help you see eye to eye and ensure the person you both love receives the necessary care and support.

Listen. Communication works both ways, so it’s important to listen at least as much as you’re expressing your own thoughts and concerns. Recognize and validate the person’s feelings. Try to the very best of your ability to keep the discussion calm and on an even keel, avoiding sarcasm, anger, and comments you might later regret.

Educate. While your perspective is surely valid on its own, looking for trustworthy resources to help support your opinion could be helpful. Research information on the progression of a particular health issue the individual is managing. Learn together about the challenges of getting older, the risks of senior falls, when it might be time to hand over the car keys, etc., and utilize that education as the springboard for a discussion on the best way to ensure safety and comfort for the senior.

Reinforce. Bring in a professional third party to reinforce the key benefits of home care in your specific situation. Make a scheduled appointment to consult with the older adult’s healthcare provider together. Often, hearing firsthand information from a healthcare expert is all that is needed to help a family member in denial change their viewpoint.

Remember to keep in mind that it can often be helpful to start small and build your way up when it comes to home care services. For instance, when a senior needs care, JFS Care can begin with light housekeeping, preparing meals, and running errands or providing transportation initially. As the caregiver and senior create a bond of trust and companionship and the benefits of home care services become more apparent, it’s then very easy to add in more hours or extra care tasks, such as assistance with bathing and personal care needs.

Whenever you’re ready to receive more information about home care services, we’re here to speak with you and your family about solutions and to answer any questions you might have. We are available to address any concerns a member of your family is feeling about starting home care during a complimentary consultation, right in the comfort of home.

Get in touch with JFS Care online or at 213-383-2273 any time to find out more or to get started. Visit our Service Area page to see if we offer care in your area!