When we first brought up the subject of bringing in home care my aging mother in law was resistant.She dug in her heel proclaiming, “I don’t need any help’ she cried “I am perfectly alright taking care of myself.” Of course you are I told her, but don’t you think you deserve some help. You took care of your family for so many years and I think that when someone gets to a certain age they deserve special treatment and I want to make sure you have it. I put special emphasis on the word deserve.
As she pondered this I could see a shift. “Don’t you think you are worth it?” I gently prodded. She replied, “Well yes I am!”
Instead of arguing with Pat that she did indeed need help and trying to get her to accept something she was resistant against I simply turned the care into something she wanted and felt she had earned and now deserved.
It is natural for someone who is beginning to lose some of their abilities to care for them self to try desperately to hang on to the life they once had. The fear of becoming dependent on our children or a caregiver for our basic needs can bring about a stubborn streak in any aging adult.we all want to have control over our lives and when we feel as if we are losing that control we often behave poorly.
Clients often call me in frustration because mom will not let caregivers into her home or Dad refuses to let someone help him with his finances. Most of the time families are going about it all wrong. Emotions get in the way and we argue and fight and then throw our hands in the air in utter frustration.
Part of the problem is that it is simply hard for many parents to accept ideas and suggestions from their adult child. I suggest that the family bring in an outside party. Someone your parent trusts is usually a good place to start. Their pastor or doctor or even a good friend are some of the possibilities. I call this person your influencer. Talk to your influencer about what is going on and why you feel that help needs to be brought in. Ask them not to mention your conversation but to talk to your parent and see if they can find out what is causing the resistance. You will probably find that your parent will relax and be able to talk about what is bothering them without you around. Often parents want to appear strong for their children and needing help in their eyes is a sign of weakness.
Always remember that this is not about you. Your parent is not trying to make your life harder by being stubborn they are simply trying to hold on to the life they have had. Find the right person who can talk to your parent and help them to accept the help they need.
Whether you need help figuring out the next care option for your parent or need help dealing with what is happening, Kathryn can help. Email today to schedule a time that is right for you.Let's set up a planning and strategy session.