As we age it’s normal to want to remain in your own home and stay living independently for as long as possible. Unfortunately, due to mobility issues and illness, completing everyday tasks may become more difficult and it might be time to consider residential aged care.
But what happens if your loved one is resistant to receiving help and moving into residential aged care?
This reaction is more common than you think and is one of the hardest things about helping a loved one transition into aged care living. As a family member or friend you may feel tremendous guilt and really struggle to deal with the situation.
The team at our Gold Coast aged care homes have helped many families deal with this issue and have a few strategies to overcome resistance to moving into aged care living.
Helping a loved one who is feeling apprehensive about moving into aged care takes a lot of empathy and understanding. Finding out why they have this resistance will help you both moving forward.
The most important thing is to put yourself in their shoes. It’s normal to feel a variety of fears about moving out of your comfort zone and into aged care. Nobody wants to rely on anyone else for care or see their health deteriorate to a level where you need help with everyday tasks.
Encourage them to share their feelings, listen and understand their point of view. Once you understand their reasons you may be able to take steps to mitigate their fears and help them feel better about the decision to move into residential aged care.
Timing is everything. You should always try and avoid bringing up the move into residential aged care in a stressful situation. While it’s common for the decision to move into aged care to be induced by an emergency situation or illness, it’s not always the right time to bring up this solution and could cause further stress.
We recommend waiting for the dust to settle and for a moment when your loved one is calm and free from stress. This is a big decision and everyone needs to think about it with a clear mind.
Once you choose the right time, it’s vital to choose your words carefully, so as not to create further distress and increase your loved one’s resistance to moving into aged care.
Nobody wants to feel like their rights are being taken from them, so using forceful words and bossing your loved one around won’t be helpful. Words like ‘you have to’, or ‘you should’ will never go down well, and will come across as controlling and will put your loved one on the defensive right away.
Instead, ensure your words promote a collaborative and helpful approach, one that shows you are working together to achieve the best outcome for their health and wellbeing. While you need to be empathetic to their needs, you also need to speak your truth and remain candid with your communications.
Depending on your relationship with your loved one, the resistance may come from your past history. For them to accept your help they need to trust you and know your intentions are coming from a good place.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from other members of your family, a close friend of your loved one or even their general practitioner. Choose the person/s carefully and ensure it doesn’t appear like you’re ganging up on them by bringing too many people into the conversation.
In the end, you personally can’t force anyone to make the decision to move into aged care, even though you may have the best intentions. If they are of sound mind, they will make the final decision.
It’s important to do everything you can to empower your loved one to make the right decision and give them all the information they need to make the correct choice. You can suggest alternatives for the time being, and revisit the subject of moving into permanent residential aged care further down the track.
To make an informed decision you may require more information. You can request a callback from our residential aged homes in Merrimac and Ashmore, or book a tour and see HillView Care in person and we’ll show you around our beautiful facilities.