What are the most effective strategies for managing resistance to care?

To encourage cooperation, you might:

  • Suggest a trial run. Don't ask your loved one to make a final decision about the kind of care he or she receives right away. A trial run will give a hesitant loved one a chance to test the waters and experience the benefits of assistance.
  • Describe care in a positive way. Refer to respite care as an activity your loved one likes. Talk about a home care provider as a friend. You might also call elder care a club, or refer to your loved one as a volunteer or helper at the center.
  • Explain your needs. Consider asking your loved one to accept care to make your life a little easier. Remind your loved one that sometimes you'll both need to compromise on certain issues.
  • Address cost. Your loved one might resist care out of concern about the cost. If your loved one's care is covered by Medicaid or other funding, share that information to help ease his or her worries.
  • Pick your battles. Do your best to understand your loved one's point of view, and focus on the big picture. Avoid fighting with your loved one about minor issues related to his or her care.

Keep in mind that these strategies might not be appropriate when dealing with a loved one who has dementia.

What else can be done?

If your loved one continues to resist care and is endangering himself or herself, enlist the help of a professional. Your loved one might be more willing to listen to the advice of a doctor, lawyer or care manager about the importance of receiving care.

Resistance to care is a challenge that many caregivers face. By keeping your loved one involved in decisions about his or her care and explaining the benefits of assistance, you might be able to help your loved one feel more comfortable about accepting help.

March 04, 2017 See more In-depth