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  • Writer's pictureThe Care Company

What Happens When Family Denies Senior Care Is Needed

Updated: May 31, 2023

lady concerned about senior care for loved one

When you begin to detect the warning signs that care in the home is required for someone you love, it’s rather common for the person to balk at the idea. After all, acknowledging that senior care is needed is not easy, especially for an individual who prizes their independence and privacy. Yet what do you do when another family member is the one pushing back? If you’ve come to an impasse within your family in regards to the need for senior care, there’s one probable culprit to consider: denial.

Why Would a Family Member Deny That Senior Care Is Needed?

Denial is a coping mechanism utilized to guard against feelings of helplessness or fear of an impending change. Your family member may feel more comfortable sticking their head in the sand in order to maintain status quo. Or, they may not be as familiar with the day-to-day care of the senior as you are, so they’re not seeing exactly the same concerns.

Regardless of the basis for the denial, there are various strategies that can help you see eye to eye and ensure the person you both love receives the necessary support and care.

  1. Educate. Rather than arguing from your perspective, look to trusted resources to validate your opinion. Research details on the progression of a specific health condition the older adult is managing. Learn together about the challenges of growing older, the risks of senior falls, when it might be time to give up the car keys, etc., and use that education as the jumping-off point for a discussion on how best to ensure safety and comfort for the older adult.

  2. Listen. Communication is a two-way street, so make sure to listen at least as much as you’re presenting your own concerns and thoughts. Recognize and validate the person’s feelings. Try to the best of your ability to keep the conversation calm and on an even keel, avoiding anger, sarcasm, and comments you may later regret.

  3. Reinforce. Bring in a professional third party to bolster the key benefits of home care in your particular situation. Make an appointment to talk to the older adult's doctor together. Sometimes, hearing firsthand information from a healthcare expert is all that is necessary to help a family member in denial change their viewpoint.

Also, keep in mind it may be beneficial to begin home care services gradually and slowly and build up to more services over time. For instance, The Care Company can begin with preparing meals, light housekeeping, and running errands or providing transportation initially. As the senior and caregiver form a bond of trust and companionship and the advantages of home care become more apparent, it is then very easy to add in more hours or extra care tasks, for example, help with bathing and personal care needs.

When you’re ready to explore home care services for someone you love, we’re here to consult with you and your family about choices and to answer any questions you may have. We can address any concerns a family member is feeling about starting home care during a complimentary consultation, right in the comfort of home.

Reach out to The Care Company at (416) 422-2273 any time to find out more information or to get started.

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