Many of today’s seniors were raised during the Great Depression. They lived through a period when the nation was cutting corners and pinching pennies. Frugality was embedded in many of them at an early age and often remains firmly in place for life.
So, what is the best response when elderly parents refuse the help they need at home because they don’t want to spend the money necessary for that care?
First, empathize. Keep in mind that the person’s perspective is valid and determined by past life experiences. In the event the senior seems to be reluctant to the notion of spending money for the care they need, remind yourself of the emotions behind the behaviors. An added layer of difficulty may be in simply accepting the need for care altogether, something that is far beyond mere frugality and also a very common obstacle. There are several reasons elderly parents refuse help and it’s beneficial to understand the complicated layers of reasoning.
Spend some time shopping with the senior. Costs were much different years ago than they are today, for everything from a loaf of bread to a new car. If the senior has not had the opportunity to go shopping lately, go online to show them current pricing for items in general. Or check out this inflation calculator that shows you the value of $100 between one year and another. (For instance, $100 in 1950 is the equivalent of $1,166.59 today!) This will help if a senior loved one is experiencing “sticker shock” at the cost for care services.
Plan plenty of time for discussions. The choice to accept home care services is a life-altering one that often requires several collaborative conversations. When approaching these types of conversations with an older adult with frugal tendencies, discuss how cost-cutting measures they have proudly followed over the years can help them save for the care they need. Utilize these strengths to compromise if needed on covering the cost for care needs. For instance, it may be that rather than full-time care, they may be willing to try a few hours of care each week for assistance with necessary tasks at home. Once the person is more comfortable with their caregiver and sees what a significant difference home care makes, they may be more responsive to increasing services.
Additionally, it might be beneficial to engage assistance from a third party – someone the senior respects and trusts, such as their attorney, religious leader, primary care physician, or a close friend. Engaging in a conversation with this particular individual concerning the benefits to be gained through in-home care services often helps alleviate any doubts about cost.
When a family member is ready to explore home care services, reach out to the home care experts at JFS Care at 213-383-2273. We will be happy to discuss options with you and help you find one that works the best, beginning with a free in-home consultation to discuss options for in-home care services in Santa Monica and surrounding areas. Please see our full service area.