News release from Dorian Maples & Associates:
Survey: Experts Provide Holiday Tips for Families Trying to Help Aging Parents
(December 19, 2014) – As Americans get ready to visit family and friends over the upcoming holidays, a new survey reveals experts’ top tips for overcoming a common and difficult family problem — when aging parents refuse the help they need. Experts surveyed by the National Association of Geriatric Care Managers say that emphasizing that receiving help can help maintain self-sufficiency and continue living independently is the best strategy.
This release comes on the heels of findings by NAPGCM that 80% of geriatric care managers report regularly encountering cases where seniors are resisting needed help/ declining assistance from their children or loved ones. NAPGCM found that the 3 types of help care managers most often find seniors resisting or declining are: decisions about whether to continue driving (cited by 67% of those surveyed), getting needed home health care (62%) and assistance with household chores like cooking, shopping and cleaning (60%).
Here are the top 6 tips cited by elder care experts for overcoming aging parents’ resistance to needed help (from a survey of 335 professional geriatric care managers nationwide between November 7-11, 2014):
- Emphasize that receiving help can help them maintain their self-sufficiency and allow them to continue to live independently
- Acknowledge their fears/concerns and talk about what might ease their mind.
- Be sure to start slow with caregiving – even if you know they need many more hours of help. Prepare the caregiver with your parent’s likes and dislikes and prepare them for possible resistance.
- Tell them nothing is written in stone. The help they will get is “a trial period.”
- Figure out which family member(s) should have the conversation with your parent/ who are they most likely to listen to on a matter like this.
- If a parent has a dementia, it is best to consult with a professional care manager on strategies that might work.
“With the aging of our population, more and more families in our community have seniors who need help,” said NAPGCM President Emily Saltz. “Our survey found that acknowledging your parents’ fears and emphasizing that help can keep them independent are good steps to overcome any resistance they may have the help they need.”
The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) was formed in 1985 to advance dignified care for older adults and their families. Geriatric Care Managers are professionals who have extensive training and experience working with older people, people with disabilities and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. They assist older adults who wish to remain in their homes, or can help families in the search for a suitable nursing home placement or extended care if the need occurs. For more information and a list of care managers in your area please visit https://www.caremanager.org
About Dorian Maples & Associates
Dorian Maples & Associates, locally owned and operated, provide professional geriatric care management in nine counties of Northeast Indiana. We work with clients, their families, and/or guardians to make decisions about living arrangements, coordinate services, and provide ongoing support around the various challenges associated with aging, bringing peace of mind to you and your family.