As a Care Adviser, one of the trickier topics we encounter is when a loved one refuses to consider any of the care options their relative proposes. This could be a suggestion to consider downsizing to a property which is easier to manage or asking a visiting carer to provide domestic support a couple of times a week. At the far end of the scale, it may be speaking to the older person about moving into a care home.
It is important for us to consider both viewpoints, that of the older person and also that of the family member.
The older person may have many explanations for refusing to consider a change to their lifestyle. Some of the commonest reasons are:
- They are fearful of change
- They dread losing their independence
- Their personality traits lean towards an independent nature and, dare I mention, the word 'stubborn' is often used!
The family member almost always has the best interests of their relative in mind. They are often worried about:
- The older person having a fall and not being able to call for assistance
- The health of the older person being in a cycle of decline which will eventually lead to their requiring more care
- A relative becoming ill through the stress of caring for their loved one
- Their relative living so far away from them
I reiterate to my clients that their relative has the right to refuse care, however unwise this decision may appear. If they have the mental capacity to understand the choices they are making then there is little the family member can do but support the older person to live the life they wish. It is often the case that the older person has to go through some form of calamity before they will consider change.
- Be as patient as possible - The relative may just need time to get used to or adjust to the idea of accepting support
- Pick a good time and place to talk about a relative's health and care needs
- Try to understand how the older person may be feeling
When Grace Consulting receives enquires such as these, the Care Advisers offer a listening ear and independent advice. They always work in the best interests of the person needing care, helping older people and their families by quickly setting out real answers. A friendly, knowledgeable Care Adviser can take the strain and gently guide clients through difficult times so they are able to make the right choices.
If you are facing a care issue, do give Grace Consulting a call to see how we can help