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What To Do When an Aging Parent Won’t Accept Help

Caring for elderly parents is something you might do at some point. However, it may also prove one of the most challenging responsibilities, especially if your loved one doesn’t accept help from family or senior living facilities. Don’t despair or give up on them. Read on for tips to help you deal with care resistance from your elderly.

Understand Why They Don’t Want Help

An aging parent fears losing independence. They get worried that accepting help will leave them dependent on others for the rest of their lives. They may also fear losing some control over their choices or decisions, making them vulnerable.

Your elderly parent may also get embarrassed by the state of their home or apartment. Some seniors feel ashamed of their living situation. They don’t want anyone else to see how messy things are. Others might feel embarrassed about how much time has passed since the last cleaning. If you can understand why your parent is resistant, it will help you know how best to approach the situation.

Focus on Positives

If you’re the only one in the family who tries to help, don’t feel guilty. Instead, focus on positivity. Try to make life easier for your parent by doing the following:

  • ┬áMake sure they know how proud you are of them even if they’re not doing everything perfectly anymore.

  • Tell them how much you enjoy spending time together and how much they mean to you.

Also, consider ways to get others involved. Suppose a sibling or other relative isn’t helping, ask them to pitch in. For example, if your mom refuses help with cleaning the house but won’t let you hire someone else for the task, ask your brother if he’ll pitch in instead.

Emphasize That You are Acting Out of Love and Concern

Another step is to remind your aging parent that you act out of love and concern. You should clarify that you don’t want to control their lives or undermine their confidence. This move helps them see things from your perspective.

Don’t give up. If you’re helping with something and your parents refuse your offer, continue offering help until they change their mind. You may have to repeat yourself several times before they accept your help.

Be patient and consistent. It may take time for your parent to come around and accept assisted living. Be patient with this process and keep offering aid until your elderly parent understands what’s going on. Once they’ve accepted help once or twice, it will become easier for them to do so again.

Consider a Professional Intervention

If you have tried to convince your parent to accept help but continue to refuse help, you should seek professional help. A geriatric care manager can work with your parent and help them understand why having someone to assist them might benefit everyone involved. Then, when they co-operate, you can take them to senior living facilities.

Involve Them in the Decision-Making Process

When you talk with your parent about your concerns, don’t just tell them what you think is best. Instead, you can offer them two or three choices to feel like they’re part of the decision-making process. For example:

“We could hire someone to come in and cook dinner every night while I’m at work.” Or, “you could hire someone to come in once a week for an hour or so to help with housekeeping.”

This way, they’ll feel independent.


You might find it hard to accept that your parent is losing their independence and becoming more dependent on you. But it’s important to remember that this isn’t about you, but about them and their needs. To help you find a way to approach and take care of your aging parents through family assistance or senior living care, contact us at Park Central in Amarillo, TX. We’re here to give the best love and support possible.