How to Deal with Resistance from our Aging Loved Ones

As caregivers, we take on the responsibility of supporting our aging loved ones as they progress into the next stages of life. However, not all senior citizens want to be cared for or looked after. How should you approach a resisting loved one and what strategies are most effective?


Find What’s Causing the Resistance:

The first goal to remedy resistance is to figure out where the issues are coming from. When you don’t know the specifics of why your loved one is dissatisfied, then it will be nearly impossible for you both to come to a fair compromise. For example, you might think your senior is upset about needing a helping hand to bake their famous pie, when in reality, they’re worried about the cost of their outside care.


Have an Open Conversation:

It’s important to approach the conversation without any preconceived notions. After all, your loved one’s resistance to care might be related to something you had no idea was troubling them! A calm, open conversation is best so everyone’s concerns can be heard. Make a conscious effort to keep this dialogue from becoming a lecture. Then you can gain some real understanding so everyone feels better.


Determine What Type of Help is Needed:

If your senior is having trouble with their balance, then you may not want them to walk to the end of the driveway to collect the mail. Or, if you’re noticing that they’re forgetting to take their medication, then you might want them to have another caregiver offer friendly reminders. Giving specific examples of your hopes and fears for their care is a good way to start the conversation of possibly moving to a new home—where your loved one can receive all the support they need.


Discuss Their Preferences:

Every individual has their own perception of what’s going well and what needs improvement. This happens in every relationship. Asking about your senior’s preferences can help ensure that everyone is coming to a reasonable care plan. While you may not be able to accommodate all of their wishes, it will be easier to come to a mutual agreement when you know what their priorities are for care.


Pick Your Battles:

You may not be able to resolve every disagreement. Knowing when to let go of the little problems can help both of you (and the rest of the family) focus on the big picture. When you can’t make allowance for those bigger issues, you might suggest a “trial run” for new care services. This can help dispel any resistance by easing in to the process. For example, you might utilize help with dressing before making the transition to bathing care, just so no one feels rushed.


Don’t Give Up:

We all have our good days and bad days. When the care conversation isn’t going in the right direction, it might be better to drop the discussion and pick it up at a later date. Remaining cool and collected will help these difficult talks go smoother. There’s nothing wrong with putting the conversation on hold if you need to pump the brakes. Remember to not give up, and you’re sure to reach a solid resolution.


If Needed, Contact a Professional:

Sometimes having an outside party can help you navigate the conversations and any resistance you’re experiencing with your loved one. Care is a very personal process, but hearing concerns from a medical professional might help your senior understand your concerns in a new way. The same thing can happen when you’re discussing a possible move—that’s why Harmony Senior Relocation Services is here to help you navigate the senior moving arrangements.


With a little extra help, you can ensure that the downsizing process goes smoothly by planning, purging, packing, and placing their belongings. Our professionals carefully comb through all of your loved one’s favorite pieces of furniture and personal items to ensure they remain with them in their new space. We work to make moves as stress-free as possible, and always strive to make new homes feel comfortable with a familiar setup.


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