It’s so frustrating when your elderly family member won’t just let you help her. You can see what needs to be done, but she keeps fighting you. That’s more common than you think, and it is something you might need to dig deeper into.
Stop and Observe for a Bit
You might need to take a step back and look objectively at what’s going on. Your senior might be turning down help for a variety of different reasons. Even if she’s struggling, she might still want the opportunity to try whatever is giving her trouble. There may be times when you’re stepping in to help and she really can do whatever she’s trying to do. Struggling is not necessarily a bad thing. You should still step in if safety is at risk, but otherwise, you may need to back off.
Listening Is as Important as Talking
When you talk to your senior about these sorts of issues, it’s just as important that you listen to her as it is for you to have your say. Make it a point to be obvious about your desire to listen. If you don’t, she may not believe what you’re trying to do. Try using active listening skills. One way to do this is to rephrase what she’s said to you, starting out with, “What I hear you saying is…” This can be a good way for you to check your understanding and to validate what she’s saying.
Your Tone Might Be Talking for You
You and your senior might have had plenty of arguments about your tone of voice when you were a lot younger and it can still be an issue now. You don’t want to use any sort of fake voice or tone with your senior, but if you sound exasperated or angry, that’s definitely going to come through for her. It might not be what you’re saying when you offer to help, but how you’re saying it. Rephrasing and double checking your tone can make a big difference.
Forcing Help Won’t Work
There’s never a time where forcing your senior to accept your help is going to turn out well. You can offer help all day long, but if she is adamant that she doesn’t want your help, you may need to honor that. Make a deal that you’ll offer help but wait for her acknowledgement before stepping in unless her safety is at risk.
Independence is a big deal for your senior. If you’re both still struggling with this, hiring elder care providers can help. They can show you how to help without compromising your senior’s independence at all.
Excerpt: Does your senior sometimes act like she doesn’t want your help?
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Redondo Beach, CA please contact the caring staff at American Geriatric Care Management, LLC today at (310) 648-0614.