Identify areas where help is needed. Take time to observe and document how well your relative functions in their current environment. Self- neglect with personal care, wearing the same clothes daily, not taking medication, dramatic loss of weight, confusion and increased isolation are just a few changes in condition that effect overall health and lead to physical and mental decline. How easy are these tasks managed independently? Is their dignity being jeopardized? Now is the time to take action.
Choose the best person & time to talk about change. Sometimes there is one family members who the relative may be more willing to listen to about a concerning situation. Whether it is you, a close friend or their primary physician, being objective and planting seeds will open the door to more conversation.
Introducing ideas slowly may increase the chances for acceptance. There may be several reasons why your relative may refuse help. Try to understand their feelings and fear around change. They may be in denial with their current challenges. Is their fear related to finance or overwhelm about leaving one’s home? Are they against having a stranger (caregiver) in the house or are fearful of losing their independence?
These are only a few objections you may face. Start with one small change at a time and negotiate a trial period. Be sensitive to your relative’s thoughts and feelings on accepting help. Listen to their perspective while offering positive transition solutions. It is important they understand this is the entire family making a transition and that they will not alone during the process.