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What should I do when my mom refuses help, even when she needs it? Caregiver advice.

Hampton Manor Assisted Living at DeerwoodDear Kim,

My mom refuses to get help in her home even though she needs it!  What do you suggest I do?

-Very Frustrated and Busy Daughter

 

Dear Frustrated Daughter,

I’m sorry that you’re feeling frustrated. Trying to get someone to do what they clearly don’t want to do will always take us to our breaking point… even when it’s for their own good. Your good intentions are admirable; however, your mom may feel your frustration and push back on your suggestion to get someone in her home to help her. She may feel the need to control what is happening in her own home. Here are a couple of ideas for you to explore:

  1. Acknowledging the things mom can do well helps her hear your suggestions. For example, “Mom, you are so good at getting dressed, putting on your make-up, and fixing your meals, but did you ever wonder what it would be like to have someone take you food shopping, clean the house, and fold the laundry?” By asking for her opinion you may get a more cooperative response. At least that is a good start.
  2. Give mom time to think. We often make a suggestion and think that the other person will like it right away. The reality is that they might like it, but not as much as you do. Try making a suggestion and giving mom time to think about it. For example, “Mom, I was hoping you would let someone come into the house to do the cleaning and the laundry. Is this something you would consider? Would you like to think about it and revisit the idea in a week?”

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