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Getting an Elderly Loved One to Accept Help

ecember 08, 2014

Aging is a natural process that can affect an individual physically, mentally and/or emotionally. Despite the various medical and physical problems endured by the elderly, many elderly people try to maintain their independence by not accepting help. The elderly do not wish to lose their independence by being placed in a nursing home or in an assisted living arrangement. People are most comfortable around their common surroundings. Therefore, it is important for elderly people to remain living in their home for as long as they are physically able.

If you have experienced a similar situation, where an elderly family member refuses any help or assistance in living, you will truly understand what I mean. While this situation may be trying or frustrating it is important to acknowledge that the elderly have valid reasons for wanting to resist assisted living. It is important to be patient and understanding in these situations. Before we start coaxing our seniors into accepting help, it is important that we understand the reasons and the logic behind each of their potential feelings or inhibitions about assisted living.
  • Dealing with a loss of independence: People naturally embrace their independence. Independence is not something that a person would easily give up. When a person has to forego that independence and rely on others for even a simple task, it becomes disheartening to them. For instance, even when we are young and are bedridden due to an injury, we do not naturally and readily accept help, despite our injured state. Under similar circumstances, a senior who has had years of independence will not readily accept help if it means losing their freedom to live on their own terms.

    Understanding this insecurity and addressing it maturely will go a long way in ensuring that the elderly person accepts help. A simple solution to this problem is to purchase a medical alert system for your elderly loved one. It's perfect for those who value their independence and do not wish to compromise on their safety. These systems allow the individual to live independently while ensuring that they have someone to reach out to, in case of an emergency.

  • Lack of privacy: Another reason why most elderly people tend to avoid accepting help is the resultant intrusion on their privacy. All of us value our privacy and love the comfort zone of our homes. In the case of elders who have lost the ability to live independently due to diseases or injuries, having to live under the care of a stranger diminishes their privacy. Whether the senior in question lives in a nursing home or in an assisted living arrangement in their home, their privacy is encroached. Under these circumstances, resistance to lose their privacy could be another reason why elderly people shy away from accepting help from others. Here again, the use of senior medical alerts is a great choice. These systems allow seniors to live in relative privacy.

  • Guilt of becoming a burden: I know many families in which the elderly members do not share their problems with others. In some cases, even when they are suffering from certain health problems, they would prefer to handle it on their own and denounce any help given to them. This is largely because of a residual guilt that exists in their mind about becoming a burden to their family members. What the elderly person may not consider is how this potentially may affect the various family members. In these instances, elderly people may feel they are a burden due to their need to "inconvenience" their family members for even the simplest task.

    While this behavior and reasoning is extremely common and understandable, it becomes essential to reason with the elderly person to accept help. When you utilize a medical alert system, you can be assured that the safety and health of your senior family member is not compromised and they can be assured that they are not a burden to you or other family members.

  • Attitude and stubborn nature: It is often seen that the elderly, despite their increasing age, can be quite stubborn. Some elderly people share the notion that accepting assistance may be a sign of weakness or incompetence. For this reason, they maintain an unyielding disdain for admitting to need help. In other words, most elderly people refuse help because they feel it would mean accepting and admitting their weakness.

    In reality, accepting the notion that assistance is required will help in the long run especially with regard to ensuring their overall health and safety. Again, with the help of medical alert systems, this can be achieved without much ado. In fact, these systems are perfect because they do not show any visible sign of weakness in the eyes of the elderly. The system will simply be available to them at the time of an emergency.

  • Costs of treatment: Finally, most senior citizens refuse to accept help because of the costs associated with medical attention in a nursing home or assisted living arrangement. Luckily, medical alert systems have been designed to be reliable and cost effective when it comes to requiring immediate medical attention.

In conclusion, when dealing with a senior that refuses help, the best way to take on the task of providing help to them is to openly communicate their reservations on accepting help. As a senior, it is important for you to sit with your family and discuss with them all your issues in order to reach the root of the problem and take steps to overcome it and live a happy and healthy life.

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