Seniors Resist Asking For Help
“More than half of seniors resist asking for
help, even from their adult children, fearing it signals a neediness that could
land them in a nursing home, a new study shows. That fierce resistance is
playing out in so many family squabbles — from the silent treatment to bitter
turf wars between aging parents and their grown kids — that the home-care
agency Home Instead Senior Care has just launched a series of online self-help
videos, one of them focusing on communication. Fifty-one per cent of
24,147 adult caregivers surveyed across Canada and the U.S. by Home Instead
Senior Care from 2004 to 2009 say their aging relatives can be so reluctant to
accept help, they fear for their safety. Some worry their elderly parents are
forgetting to eat meals or take medications in a misguided bid to maintain
their independence. Others are managing to hobble along with considerable
help from elderly partners who are getting sick struggling to keep up
appearances that all is well, elder-care experts say.”
Seniors who have lived most of the past their lives thinking
they are, and should be independent, may view asking for help as a sign of
weakness and have guilt for not being able to take care of their loved one.
Along with allowing others to help, they need to learn to ask for help.
Also, the more difficult lesson to learn is that in
order to continue effectively providing care for their loved one, they must
take care of themselves. Often, professionals or others play important roles, giving
caregivers permission to take care of themselves first.