3 Ways to Deal with Family In Denial About Seniors Needing Help

Mother & daughter on the couch

Watching your parents or loved ones get older can be difficult, in particular, if they are becoming less independent. But realizing they need care and actually getting them care are two different things.

If your other siblings or family members don’t think there is a problem, or if your loved ones who need the care are refusing, a challenging situation can become even more so through denial.

These opposing views can cause a lot of problems within a family. Fighting, anger, stress, and even falling out can occur when trying to get everyone on board. Here are a few tips to manage your way through it.

Tips to Manage Sensitive Situations

1. Bring in an Expert

Whether your loved one is having physical or mental concerns, it’s important that you have them diagnosed. This is the best way to back up your side of the issue.

If you need to get a second opinion, then do that. The more official information you have, the better you will be to present your side of the issue. It’s harder for people to argue what’s right in front of them.

A medical professional can also supply you with other materials that will help explain the situation more clearly for your family. When people see things written out, they may be more easily convinced.

Even if not everyone is on side, at least you have planted the seeds. It’s hard to argue against medical proof that your loved one is in decline and is in need of some extra help.

2. Stay Calm

Fighting and screaming with your family won’t solve anything. Let them have their say and listen to them. Very often those in denial are just afraid of what is to become of your parents or family members.

They just want to have their say. Ultimately, it comes down to what is best for the person who needs the help. The family members in denial are often doing so strictly out of fear.

Ask them why they are fighting it so hard. They may have a logical reason but it won’t seem that way to you. Fear and expense might be issues they have but it’s no argument against getting the help they need.

Let them vent and they may actually realize that they are just afraid and don’t want to believe that what is happening is true. If you come armed with medical facts, they will often come around.

3. Spend Time With The Senior

Ask the person or family members who are in denial about the need for care to actually spend time with the senior. Chances are, the reasons you are seeking a caregiver will become apparent.

Slow disease or illness can be hard to detect but if you are around them enough, then it should become obvious to even the staunchest deniers. Once they see your loved one struggling, they often will change their minds, as they don’t want to see them suffering.

The proof will be right in front of them and much more difficult to defend their point of view. If they are not living close to the person needing help, engage them in a video chat so they can see for themselves.

Presenting medical facts with the loved one who is coping with the issues should ultimately be ruled out. If not, you may need to make an executive decision and overrule them, come what may.

Start Slow

A great way to start is with a medical alert system. This can give everyone the peace of mind they need before launching into anything more involved. If your loved one can still get about on their own, a medical alert system is perfect.

Even for people who may have a caregiver for a few hours a week or day, the medical alert system can bring peace of mind to the senior and their family, knowing that they have access to the help they need at the press of a button at any time.