5 Tips to Encourage Accepting Care

January 29, 2015

Broaching the subject of finding a caregiver or assisted living retirement community for your loved one can be an anxiety-causing and challenging task, especially if the person you care about is hesitant, stubborn, or even gets angry at the idea. But if your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, allowing this discussion to go unheard may be putting them at risk. Though your loved one may feel you’re asking them to give up their independence, in reality, you want to ensure they are in good care.

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If your loved one is particularly against the idea, don’t get discouraged – here are five tips for starting and continuing this difficult conversation with your loved one:

1. Determine your options

Before you try to convince the person you care about they need help, research the wide range of available care options. For seniors who want to maintain a sense of independence, discussing senior care day services may prove more productive than immediately bringing up moving to an assisted living home. The Mayo Clinic recommends suggesting a trial run to your loved one – that way, you can see how a specific care option goes before making a final decision. The source notes that a trial run ideally will make your loved one less reticent to receive assistance and provide them an opportunity to see the benefits.

2. Work with your loved one’s physicians

AARP advises developing a close relationship with your loved one’s primary physician. This will allow you to build a support network for talking with your loved one and enable you to better understand their condition. A physician can walk you through the potential side effects if your loved one is on specific medications. Understanding your loved one’s condition in more depth will make explaining why you believe they need care easier.

3. Ask for help from friends and family

If you always try to lead the conversation, you’re bound to get burned out and emotionally fatigued. However, there’s always strength in numbers. Your loved one may need to hear that he or she needs care from multiple people before taking it seriously. Enlist family members and close friends who have known your loved one for a long time. They’ll best be able to speak to how your loved one’s behavior has changed and also likely have the biggest impact.

“Be patient and don’t give up, and hopefully, your loved one will warm up to the idea in the long run.”


4. Be persistent

The odds are that this conversation won’t take place in one sitting. Convincing your loved one they need help, whether moving to an assisted living retirement community or getting extra help around the house, will take time and persistence. If your first conversation doesn’t go particularly well, allow your loved one some time to cool off and then readdress the situation. The Alzheimer’s Association notes that your loved one may experience fear or denial when approached with the possibility of receiving care, and it may take a while for them to get comfortable with the idea. Be patient and don’t give up; hopefully, your loved one will warm up to the idea in the long run.

5. Focus on the positives

The Mayo Clinic recommends talking about receiving care in a positive light. After all, assisted living retirement communities offer various activities and opportunities to socialize. Given a chance, your loved one may find that being surrounded by others in their age group is less isolating and more active.

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