5 Strategies for Helping an Older Loved One Who Is in Denial

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Helping an Older Loved One Who Is in Denial in Roseville, CA


The later years of life can be wonderful and rewarding. At the same time, there may be times when pressing health and/or care-related needs have to be addressed. However, if your senior parent isn’t yet ready to accept this type of assistance, you may find yourself facing confrontations or firm assertions that everything is just fine. Thankfully, there are some ways you can help an elderly parent who’s in denial.

1. Discover Reasons for the Denial

Your parent may be hesitant to discuss concerns about needing some extra help, whether it’s with health matters or daily living activities. Rather than admitting this, some seniors default to denial to avoid addressing the situation. If you suspect this is the case, have calm conversations to discover what’s bothering your loved one. For instance, your parent may be hesitant to have a stranger in the home if in-home care is being discussed. If this is the case, remind your loved one that most reputable agencies give clients a chance to meet their caregivers before home care decisions are made.

If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

2. Keep Conversations Positive

It’s not healthy or productive to give your parent a long list of things that could happen without appropriate help. Keep the conversation open and positive by emphasizing the benefits your loved one could enjoy from the right approach to care-related assistance. For example, you might say “A professional caregiver can help you get out more during the day when I’m not here to help.”

3. Make Adjustments Gradually

Some seniors are instinctively resistant to anything that shakes up their regular routines or lifestyle preferences. If this is what’s at the heart of your parent’s denial, try a slow and gradual approach. For example, you might encourage smaller adjustments in diet and exercise habits or arrange for professional care one or two days a week to start.

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. Rocklin families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s 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.

4. Explore Options Together

Break down barriers and help your parent become more receptive to receiving the help he or she needs by making decisions together. Take a moment to explain your concerns, then come up with possible solutions. Clearly discuss each option and go over the pros and cons of each one. You can even make a list together so everything can be reviewed one more time. But leave the final decision up to your parent while also emphasizing that doing nothing isn’t safe or healthy.

5. Get Backup from Other Trusted Adults

You may be running into a wall of denial simply because your parent doesn’t give that much weight to advice from his or her own child. If this applies to your situation, get some backup from friends, neighbors, family members, or other trusted adults. You don’t want to make your mom or dad feel like you’re ganging up on him or her, but this approach can be handled in a way that provides some gentle nudging. 

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. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737 to learn more about our customized care plans


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