October 2, 2013

Small steps to happier lives: How to help your loved one accept care

Written by Sarah Bauer

As a family caregiver, you might be ready to accept that you can’t do it all on your own. But is your loved one ready to accept some extra help from a homecare provider?

Maybe yes, but maybe no. One of the toughest challenges you can face when caring for an aging loved one is resistance to care.

There are steps you can take to make it easier for your loved one to accept care, without adding stress or creating unnecessary conflict.

It starts by recognizing that you are just one person, and it’s OK to ask for help. From there, you can begin to foster acceptance of care in the mind of your loved one, so you can all get back to enjoying your time together as family.

Here’s what you can do to help your loved one accept care:

  1. Recognize why help is hard to accept.

    Before you can create a new strategy for introducing homecare to a loved one, you need to understand what’s causing resistance to it in the first place.

    Is your loved one dealing with physical or mental loss? Does he or she feel vulnerable, angry, or guilty for needing help? Or perhaps there is fear of becoming a burden to family and friends? Do the associated costs weigh heavy on his or her mind?

    There are so many possible reasons for why your loved one feels unwilling to accept help, and it might be more complicated than you imagine. Start asking questions to uncover the root issues, and be open-minded to whatever your loved one has to say.

  2. Explain your needs.

    Take a minute to consider your own quality of life right now. How would things change if your loved one had a little help around the home?

    Whether you’re the primary caregiver, or watching helplessly from the sidelines as your loved one struggles without help, stress and health detriment has likely affected your day-to-day. And that’s not fair.

    Tell your loved one how you feel. Perhaps you are overwhelmed with your responsibilities and carry guilt for not always providing the care you know the person needs. Perhaps your own health requires some extra attention.

    Be honest in explaining that you want a bit of help so that you can get back to enjoying time spent with him or her. Appeal to how accepting care would make life easier for you, too.

    Taking the focus off the person who requires care during this conversation could alleviate feelings of pressure and guilt, and make it more convincing to accept help.

  3. Start small.

    The term “homecare provider” can conjure up all kinds of invasive associations in people’s minds. It can seem like a big, life-changing step to have someone new in your home, “taking over” things you used to do yourself.

    But that’s not the way it has to be. The Homecare Gals encourage clients to start small, and position services accordingly.

    For instance, your loved one may be more willing to accept a ‘housekeeper’ in the home 2-4 hours a week to take care of vacuuming and other tasks. Once he or she grows accustomed to the person, it could be easier to suggest additional assistance, such as personal grooming or meal preparation.

  4. Take care of you.

    Even if you take all the right steps to helping your loved one accept care, you might still be up against resistance. And that can be stressful and exhausting.

    Throughout the process, remember to take care of your needs. When you could use a little assistance around the home, the Homecare Gals are here to help. Take a look at the solutions we offer for making your caregiver responsibilities easier by clicking here.

    You deserve to make the most of each day, too.

Let us answer your questions about introducing homecare services to a loved one. Leave a comment below or click here to send an email!


“Caring for the elderly: Dealing with resistance.” 16 December 2010. Mayoclinic.com: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/caring-for-the-elderly/MY01436

“How to Discuss Long-Term Care.” 4 April 2012. Aarp.org: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-04-2012/talking-parent-caregiving.html

Santamaria, Judy. “Help! My Aging Mom Won’t Accept Help From Anyone but ME!” 17 May 2013. Huffingtonpost.com: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judy-santamaria/help-my-aging-mom-wont-accept-help_b_3288377.html

Sarah Bauer

For Sarah Bauer, writing is 'it'. As a freelance writer living in Vancouver, she has the most fun when she's working with people who are passionate about their businesses and projects. She also likes to talk, mostly about Bob Dylan and great food. You can check out some of her work at www.sarahbauer.ca