We spend the first few years of our lives being cared for by our parents and loved ones. But one day the time comes in our lives when the roles are reversed, and it may be our time to look after parents and loved ones.
Having this role reversal accepted by elderly parents can be extremely challenging; many do not want to lose their independence or freedom and want to continue doing things alone, even if they are struggling. This means that our suggestions for help are often dismissed, even if they could make life for your parents much better.
At Momentum Healthcare, we understand how important it is to ensure elderly and those with limited mobility are given the aid they require, while maintaining their independance and freedom of choice. Here are our top tips to help your elderly parents to accept help.
Why do some elderly parents refuse help, even if they need it?
Losing control and freedom is something that many elderly people fear, especially if they have been self-reliant their whole life. Coming to terms with the fact that they may not be able to do things they used to can be difficult, and accepting help can almost seem like surrendering or giving up. It is important to be there for your elderly parents and let them know they are not alone when it comes to accepting help.
Start the conversation at the right time
The timing of your conversation can make all the difference to the outcome. The best time to start a conversation suggesting help to elderly parents is when they are happy, relaxed and in a calm environment. Trying to suggest help when things are stressful or there are other people around may not be the best idea when it comes to convincing.
Remain positive and empathetic
We could all do with some understanding in life, which is why you should be positive and empathetic to show that you not only care about your parents, but you also understand why they have the reservations they do. Taking the time to speak with them and understand their concerns can be a great way to breaking down a barrier. You may feel frustrated at times if you feel your parents aren’t listening to you, but it is important to remain positive or you could end up making things worse.
Offer multiple suggestions and let them make the decision
Rather than asking your parent to consider one option, it is better to approach them with multiple suggestions so that they have the freedom to choose what works best for them. Sometimes it is about the small steps; having your loved one accept some sort of help can be a great start. Suggesting one thing can cause elderly parents to feel like they have no choice, and ultimately take their feeling of control away.
Ask questions and listen carefully
If you’re going to start a conversation with elderly parents about getting help, it should be a longer and more serious conversation rather than a quick mention while out and about. Sit your loved one down and discuss concerns with them, ask questions and show that you truly care about how they are feeling and want to help them, rather than go against them.
Let them know how much it would mean to you
Even if you have mentioned help to your elderly parent multiple times, they may not realise how much it would actually mean to you. Make sure you communicate that them getting help would make you feel much better, and stop you from worrying so much. Approaching the conversation from this angle can suggest to your elderly parent that they don’t need help but it would be a favour to you if they did get it.
Momentum Healthcare: Ireland’s Leading Wheelchair Experts
At Momentum Healthcare, we work with a range of people every day to provide them with the help they need. Whether this is in the form of a wheelchair, therapy aid, mobility scooter or buggy, we take the time to understand our customer’s needs so that we can make a difference in their life. Browse our products online today at www.momentumhealthcare.ie.