Confronting a Loved One’s Denial about Needing Help

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When faced with a life-changing event or illness, it is not uncommon to slip into a state of denial. Seniors who are faced with deteriorating health, often deny that their safety is at risk. If you have an aging parent who clearly needs some level of senior care at home, but is resistant to accept help, here are three ways to tactfully approach the conversation.

  1. Maintain Your Patience – When your mother almost started a fire because she left the stove on, you were ready to immediately move her into your home. Understand that as scary as the situation is for you, it is for her as well. She is likely scared, concerned about losing her independence and freedom, and it’s important to empathize and see how she may feel. Maintain your patience and be sure to offer support, while also emphasizing your concern for her wellbeing and helping her come up with solutions to protect her safety.
  2. Explain the Facts – Sometimes denial is rooted in uncertainty, fear, and indecisiveness. Make sure your aging loved one understands the full scope of the problem at hand. This can be done by asking open-ended questions. “Mom, what would you do if the house started on fire and you were by yourself?” “Dad, what happens if you forget where you are driving on your way home one day?”
  3. Avoid Passing Judgments – When trying to talk to your aging loved one, don’t make accusations such as, “You’re going to burn the entire neighborhood to the ground!” Just keep stating the facts, without judgment or opinions. You don’t want to derail the conversation from the matter at hand.

It is also important to explain the options that your loved one has for assistance. Many people think that the only choice when a senior needs help with daily activities is to move to an assisted living facility or nursing home. Today, there are many options such as hourly and live-in care in Columbus which can offer the tailored level of support your loved one needs, without asking them to leave their home.

To learn more about in-home care in Columbus, reach out to Home Care Assistance at 614-481-8888. Our Care Managers are available 24/7 and can answer any questions you may have about home care or can help you schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.


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