Dealing With Resistance

Being a caregiver can be challenging. One of the most challenging issues is dealing with a loved one who resists much needed care. Understanding some of the reasons behind a loved one’s resistance can make it easier to manage – and ultimately help reduce that resistance.

Address Fears of Losing Independence

Your loved one may resist care because he or she fears a loss of independence. Discuss possible types of care your loved one may need, emphasizing that the purpose is to maximize the ability to carry on with daily life as much as possible. If your loved one is generally in good health, try explaining that accepting care does not mean becoming helpless or independent. If your loved one is suffering from serious health issues or needs memory care, be sympathetic, but honest and firm. Emphasize that without proper care; his or her wellbeing will suffer significantly, resulting in diminished independence.

Ease Financial Worry

Your loved one may resist care due to concerns about the cost. This is one area where candidness and honesty are essential. Ideally, sufficient financial resources will be available to finance your loved one’s care, though either retirement savings or a long-term care insurance policy. Medicaid may also provide needed funding. Some support facilities offer financing assistance as well. In any event, cost should not stand as a deterrent to your loved one receiving the care he or she needs.

Enlist Help and Support for Yourself

If you are your loved one’s primary caregiver, you may feel guilty about pursuing long-term care options. Don’t allow unnecessary guilt to stop you from seeking and obtaining supportive care for your loved one. If you fail to obtain necessary caregiving support, you may burn out and become unable to provide adequate care to your loved one. This is especially true if you are juggling caregiving with full-time work or your own family.

Address Your Loved One’s Preferences

Even if it has become evident that your loved one needs supportive care, involve him or her in determining what form that care will take to the extent of your loved one’s capacities. For instance, he or she may prefer a specific facility or wish to move in with a particular family member. However, if your loved one’s preferences are impossible to fulfill, explain the circumstances and attempt to come up with a compromise that all parties can live with.

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