What Can You Do if Your Senior Won’t Do Something She Needs to Do?

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

July 26, 2018

Your aging adult is a person in her own right and that might mean that now and again you want her to do something for her own good and she turns you down flat. Well, now what?

Elderly Care in Robinson Twp. VA: Caregiving Compromises
Elderly Care in Robinson Twp. VA: Caregiving Compromises

Feel What You’re Feeling
Lots of caregivers get even more upset about how this situation makes them feel. That’s because when your elderly family member refuses to do something that she needs to do, you’re likely to start feeling angry, frustrated, or other emotions that you would categorize as negative. It’s difficult to reconcile that sometimes because you care about your senior and you don’t want to admit that you’re feeling this way. But it’s important to acknowledge those feelings and to allow yourself to work through them. They don’t mean you don’t love your senior or that you’re going to be mad at her forever.
Listen to What Your Senior Is Saying
As you’re calming down a bit, listen to what your senior is really telling you. She might be refusing to do something that she needs to do out of fear or because she doesn’t feel in control. That’s a normal response. She may need to take time to come to the same understanding you’ve reached. Or she may simply have a different idea about how to handle the situation than you do.
Is This Dangerous?
One big consideration is how dangerous this situation is. If this is something that puts your elderly family member into immediate danger, you may have to handle the situation and sort out the rest later. Most of these types of situations aren’t as dangerous as you might think, though, which is where the frustration and the dilemma come in.
Give Your Senior Autonomy and Help
Ultimately, you’re walking a fine line between helping your aging adult as much as you can and giving her the autonomy that she needs and wants. It can help to have a neutral person helping out, too, such as elderly care providers. This is a way to ensure your senior has some help available but allows you some distance so that you can manage how you’re feeling and how you’re reacting.
As much as you might want to try to make your elderly family member do certain things, that’s just not how this works. You’re there to support her, to help her to stay as safe as possible, and to be her advocate, but that doesn’t mean you’re the only voice in this situation.
If you are considering Elderly Care in Robinson Twp., VA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care. Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551.