What to Do When Your Loved One Won’t Accept Help from an Outside Caregiver

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If you’ve determined that you or another family member cannot take care of your ill or aging loved one, an outside caregiver may seem like the best option. Often, however, it can be difficult for our loved ones to accept the need for outside care. If this is a struggle you’re currently facing, here’s what we recommend: 

  1. Take the time to understand your loved one’s point-of-view: Especially if your loved one is mentally healthy, they have every right to refuse outside care. However, more often than not, refusal of care is due to underlying fear, such as fear of losing independence or even fear of strangers. Whatever the case may be, take the time to understand your loved one’s point of view rather than forcing your own upon them. 
  1. Explain why you believe outside care is the best option: Sometimes, seniors confuse the decision to seek outside care with family not wanting the responsibility of caring for them, which generally isn’t the case. So, be sure to assure your loved one that the outside caregiver is necessary because you need help but that you’ll still be very much involved with ensuring their well-being.  
  1. If you’re set in the decision to hire an outside caregiver, be confident in who you hire: Whether you hire an outside caregiver through a palliative, hospice, or a home care program, you’ll want to interview your options to ensure that whoever you choose to care for your loved one is a good match. 

Finally, if your mentally competent loved one still refuses help, respect their decision and let them know that the option to get outside help is always available to them. When appropriate, allowing your loved one to come around independently may be the best way to ensure that outside care is accepted by all involved.

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