Caregiving is never easy, but it can be especially difficult when your senior loved one is stubborn or unwilling to receive aid. Thankfully, there are ways to help a stubborn senior. Here are five tactics caregivers can use when confronted with stubborn behavior.
1. Remain Positive
When communicating with a stubborn senior, becoming visibly distressed only adds to the negative atmosphere. Whenever possible, try to remain calm and positive. Always discuss the assistance you provide in positive terms. Don’t make your loved one feel like a nuisance, as this could encourage him or her to act out. Instead, describe everyday duties in upbeat language. Try complimenting the food at mealtimes, and provide positive reinforcement as your loved one gets dressed.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elderly home care, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Choose Battles Wisely
Sometimes seniors can’t be talked out of a bad mood. In some cases, it’s better to allow them to process their negative emotions on their own. Instead of turning minor issues into major battles, try to understand your loved one’s point of view. While the behavior might not be logical, especially if it’s influenced by dementia or Alzheimer’s, your loved one is entitled to his or her emotions. If an issue doesn’t affect your loved one’s health or wellbeing, you can choose to let it go.
3. Use the “Three Tries” Rule
Caregivers should try to coax stubborn seniors three times before giving up. With each new request, vary your wording slightly so your loved one is more likely to comply. For example, if you want your loved one to eat vegetables, start by simply saying “Please eat these green beans.” If the first request is unsuccessful, switch tactics. Something like “Remember how much you used to love green bean casserole?” might be more effective. As a last resort, you can try bribery: “If you eat these green beans, we can watch your favorite movie before you go to sleep.”
For some families, caring for a loved one can be overwhelming at times. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Rocklin, CA, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
4. Don’t Ask Yes or No Questions
When caregivers ask yes or no questions, it’s easy for seniors to decline. Instead of presenting questions in yes or no terms, offer options. Instead of saying “Will you eat your green beans?” say “Would you rather have green beans or carrots with dinner tonight?”
5. Treat Your Loved One Like an Adult
When seniors sense they’re being treated like children, they often act out. Allow your loved one to retain a greater level of autonomy, and the stubborn behavior may decrease. Treat your parent like an adult by respecting his or her emotions and decisions. Being patronizing is rarely persuasive. Your loved one is more likely to respond positively to love and respect.
As your loved one faces new challenges and age-related changes, he or she may accept some forms of care and refuse others. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Rocklin families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (916) 226-3737 today.