When Seniors Refuse the Care They Need Due to Cost Misperceptions
Many of today’s seniors were raised during the Great Depression. They lived through a period of time when the nation was pinching pennies and cutting corners. Frugality was ingrained in many of them while very young and frequently remains firmly in place for a lifetime.
So, how do you handle an older adult who is in need of in home care, has the financial means to pay for it, but still won’t spend their money on the needed care?
First, empathize. Remember that the older adult’s perspective is valid and heavily influenced by past life experiences. In the event seniors refuse care because they’re hesitant about spending money for the care they need, remind yourself of the emotions behind the behaviors. An added layer of difficulty might be in simply accepting the need for care altogether, something which is beyond mere frugality.
Spend some time shopping with the older adult. Compared to when seniors were young adults, costs are now significantly more expensive for everything from a gallon of milk to a new car. If the older adult has not had the opportunity to go shopping lately, go online to show them current pricing for a variety of items. Or take a look at this inflation calculator that shows you the value of $100 between one year and another. (For example, $100 in 1950 is the equivalent of $1,153.54 today!) This can help if a senior loved one is experiencing “sticker shock” at the cost for care services.
Allow ample time for discussions. Accepting home care services means welcoming in a life-altering change that frequently requires several conversations, especially for seniors who refuse care presently. Engage in discussions with a frugal senior concerning the cost-cutting measures they have proudly adhered to through the years. Utilize these strengths to compromise if needed on covering the cost for care needs. For instance, it could be that instead of full-time care, the senior would accept a couple of hours of care every week for assistance with necessary tasks at home. They may be more open to increasing care services once they become comfortable with their caregiver and see what a difference home care makes.
Additionally, it could be helpful to enlist the help of a third party – a person the senior trusts and respects, for example, their attorney, religious leader, primary care physician, or a close friend. Opening up a conversation with this person about the benefits of a home care helper might help alleviate any concerns about cost.
When a senior is ready to explore home care services, reach out to the home care experts at The Care Company online or at 416-422-2273 to hear more about our elderly care in Toronto and the surrounding areas. We will be happy to discuss options with you.