Uprooting an elderly loved one and moving them into your home is
difficult enough, but add to that the resistance you may receive, and the
caregiving becomes an all-encompassing activity. Your loved one's
natural tendency is to resist care and assistance, if only because they do
not want to think of themselves as old. Often caregivers will become
easily angered and irritated at the thought of a loved one refusing care
and this conflict can be very damaging to the entire caregiver-care
recipient experience. Understanding the stress and loss of independence
your relative faces when they give up their home is the first step in
easing the tense situation. Here are a few other ideas that may be helpful
if you are experiencing any resistance in your daily caregiving.
Allow the loved one to have a part in the
decision making process surrounding their care and well-being. Do not
let them feel they have no part in their future, and allow them the
chance to voice their view about they care they would like to receive.
The senior may want to start a fight or bring up
past actions that occurred, but remain focused on the matter of their
care, and do not take part and say anything you may regret later.
Remember to think of your own needs, and set
limits in the amount of work your willing to take on. Perhaps you
provide the in-home care for them, but are unwilling to bathe them,
yet your loved one refuses to allow a home-care aide to assist you.
Explaining your feelings to your relative and being honest with what
your willing to help with can allow you the control of the situation.
Be willing to work with the senior in order to
find some kind of agreement. Whether they refuse full-time care and
you disagree entirely, consider alternatives such as a weekly visit
from a health aide and Meals on Wheels service that may ease tension
and be agreed upon by both of you.
Realize that they are more than likely not going
to be happy about the situation, and focus on maintaining the quality
of care. They may not look forward to having someone bathe them and
cook for them, but you can see a difference in their care and let the
senior in time grow accustom to the change.
Do not make the situation entirely about them,
instead allow them to see it through your eyes to get an idea the work
you put forth. Tell them the stress and workload you face and their
understanding and willingness to resist you in the future may be
lessened. They will look at it as an opportunity to help you in the
process of them receiving the aid.
Work up to changing your loved ones life and
do not suddenly start changing everything they have grown accustomed
to over the years. Alert them to any fears you may have, prepare them
for any changes, and be as calm and positive as possible to reassure
them it is for the best.
Plan ahead in case of a sudden decline in health or
hospitalization, because it is at these moments where you may face
little resistance and can alter their daily care in the manner you see
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