How to Manage When an Elderly Loved One Refuses Help

by iupilon

Our bodies experience many changes as we age. Hormone levels shift, we lose muscle mass, and our brains change too. It’s no wonder that elderly people seem moody and irritable sometimes. They may need help from family or caregivers, but they may be reluctant to ask for it. Maybe they’re worried about being a burden, or they don’t want to admit that they’re not as independent as they used to be.

As a caregiver, you should know that these are common signs when an elderly refuse your help:

Understand Their Perspective

You shouldn’t be pushy about it, but if you notice that your elderly loved one is having difficulty getting around or doing everyday tasks, offer to help. Like most people, they’ll probably say no at first but keep trying. Understand their perspective as well.

If they’re used to doing things independently, it might be difficult for them to accept help from a family member or friend. Sometimes people need a little push to get over the hump, especially when they’re depressed. So keep trying in a subtle way until they accept, and if they still refuse, you have to leave it alone.

Respect Their Wishes

If your elderly loved one refuses your help and tells you to leave, don’t be offended or pushy. Just respect their wishes and give them space. When your elderly loved one is depressed, they will probably want to spend more time alone. They may not be in the mood to do things that require a lot of effort. So back off and let them have their space. You can still be there for them; give them time to sort things out independently, without any unnecessary intrusions.

Don’t Judge Them

Talk about what they’re feeling without judgment. It’s important for you to be there for them as a friend and supporter rather than a person who is judging and trying to reason with them. If your loved one is depressed, they might feel like a failure. But you could be the one to help them turn things around. Listen to them when they need a friend the most. They might not be able to see it, but you are the one who can help them during this challenging time.

Try a Different Approach

Respect their wishes while still providing patient care. If your loved one thinks you are condescending, they might shut down and refuse to see a doctor. It can be devastating for them. If this happens, you mustn’t get angry with them.

Instead, try to understand that they are feeling vulnerable and hurt. It might take some time, but you can eventually help them see the doctor without making them feel like you are pushing them.

Try a different approach and buy your loved one some new clothes, including a new outfit to wear to the doctor’s office. You can even add a few pairs of socks and shoes to the mix. This is a small way that you can make them feel better about themselves.

The Photo from Depositphotos


It’s important to try and understand why the elderly loved one is refusing help. There may be a reason behind it that can be worked out. The key is to understand the reasons why they are resisting help. If you can get them to understand that you are trying to help in a non-threatening way, then they may be more willing to accept it. It may take some time for the elderly loved one to come around and accept help. In the meantime, do what you can to make their lives easier and more comfortable.

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