Most people deeply value their independence, asking for help is difficult because it can feel like a loss of independence. At CiminoCare we understand how hard asking for help and changing roles can be for everyone.
There’s no doubt that many Senior adults need varying levels of assistance with daily activities. A recent study from the National Center for Health Statistics says approximately one in five seniors, age 75 and older, need help with day-to-day tasks such as shopping, doing household chores, handling finances, and managing medications, according to the study.
For caregivers and Senior adults, these conflicts—which may escalate over time—can result in a standoff in which the older adult will turn away from any advice, suggestions, or offers of help from caregivers.
What strategies can caregivers use to encourage seniors to accept assistance, especially when it is obviously needed?
Understand their motivations.
Try to discover why the older adult is resisting. Does he or she resent the changed power dynamic? Is she denying the realities of growing older or losing independence? Is there depression or confusion? Try to ascertain what the older adult is afraid of. Listen to his or her concerns without judgment.
Choose your battles.
How important is the matter? Is it a critical health or safety issue? Or it is something that’s irritating you—but not, in the overall scheme, consequential?
Accept the situation.
If senior adults are not endangering themselves or others, step aside and let them make their own choices. They may find innovation ways to solve a problem or once they exhaust their approaches they may be more inclined to allow your assistance in the future. They may even ask for help!
Ask them to help you.
Explain to senior adults how much it would mean to you if they would allow you to be useful to them. Aging adults proclaim that they don’t want to be a burden, which is understandable—but let them know that you want to feel needed. Assure them that asking for help can be a sign of strength and trust. The fact that they are letting you give back to them is a gift to you.