It’s really difficult sometimes to help your senior in the ways you know would truly be helpful to her. Sometimes that happens because you’re not sure exactly what she needs, but often that happens when she continues to turn down your offers of help. Here are some ideas for dealing with this problem.
Make Sure You’re Clear on What Help Would Truly Help
If you’re unclear or off base at all about the types of help your senior truly needs, she’s going to resist that help. It just makes sense, right? She is going to be far more likely to accept help if it’s actually going to solve some of the problems that she’s facing. It becomes essential at that point for you to make sure you know precisely what she needs and how she would best be served.
Set Aside Some Time to Talk with Your Senior
You and your senior need to talk. But the big caveat is that you need to talk at exactly the right time and in the way that your elderly family member needs you to have that talk. You’re going to be nervous, she might be uncomfortable or irritable and everything relies on the exact right timing. Try to make sure you’re ready to listen and that she’s in the best possible frame of mind. If it turns out that this is the wrong time, backtrack and try again.
Avoid Veering Off Target
It’s tempting to use any time that you have your senior’s full attention for any of the small issues that you still have to discuss with her, but you can’t do that. If either of you are dragged off course, you’re going to end up way too derailed to solve any of the problems that are brewing. Stick to just the one issue, in this case the help that she needs, and save other conversations for another time.
Talk to Other Family Members and See What Options Are Available
It might be time to open up the conversation to other family members. Ask them what they’ve seen and experienced with your senior. They may be able to share some insights that you weren’t aware of. They may also be able to help in ways you didn’t consider. Having these conversations with an open mind really helps everyone involved to stick with what needs to be solved.
Something else to consider is that sometimes aging adults are particularly resistant to help from the people closest to them. This doesn’t always make sense, but the easy answer is to bring in senior care providers. They can give your senior the help she needs and reduce the friction as well.