Being a caregiver is hard work and sometimes you need to take a break, but what happens when your elderly family member refuses that idea? If you’re the only person that she allows to help her, that can put a big wrench in your plans.
This Isn’t Unusual
Needing help from other people is embarrassing and your elderly family member may have come to terms with the fact that you’ll help her. But that doesn’t make this easier for you. It’s tough to be someone’s only caregiver, no matter how flattering it might be at first. The bottom line is that you need to get down into the nitty gritty of why she’s feeling this way and what you can do about it.
Listen to Your Senior’s Concerns
Really listen to what your elderly family member is telling you about why you’re the only one who can help her. There may be some jewels in there that can help you to understand where her fear or apprehension is coming from so that you can offer solutions. She may not even fully understand why she feels the way that she does.
Explain Why You Need Help
When it makes sense to do so, let your senior know why you need help. Be open and honest with her about the fact that you’re only one person and that you can only do so much. If you’ve got other family members and friends who have tried to help and have been rebuffed, try to get their help in explaining your needs, too. Sometimes seeing things from your point of view can help your senior to see the need for a shift.
Ask Her What Will Work for Her
Find out from your senior what sort of compromise will work for her in this situation. There has to be a middle ground between no help at all unless it is from you and allowing other people to help. Perhaps giving homecare providers a limited trial run can help her to see how things could be with outside help. Regardless, if she can’t share with you what will work for her, you might be at a temporary impasse.
If your elderly family member still resists help from anyone else, you may need to keep having conversations like this one. Sometimes your elderly family member needs a little more time to drill down to the real issues for her with this situation. Ultimately, you’re going to have to find a compromise because you can’t do this all on your own.
Excerpt: It’s not fair to you, but sometimes your senior only wants your help. Now what?