During the holiday season, many families have a chance to interact with elderly loved ones who may be in need of medical treatment or care. Resistance to care among the elderly is a common challenge faced by children and other family members. This can be a result of reasons such as fear, forgetfulness and depression.
Fear: One reason for resistance to care could be due to fear, especially if the senior has never been seriously ill before or hospitalized. They may think that going to the doctor means they are dying. Fear combined with forgetfulness could lead them to believe that they already have whatever illness their doctor mentions. In this case it would be helpful for the caregiver to explain what’s going on in a way that puts them at ease and also gently remind them about appointments scheduled in advance.
Depression: If your loved one is feeling depressed they may have a hard time wanting to participate in their usual holiday traditions and celebrations. In these cases it’s important to get them involved in some activity that will spark their interest and bring on a more positive mood. This can be an outing to visit family members they haven’t seen in awhile, going out for lunch at their favorite restaurant or something involving creativity such as painting, drawing or visiting a favorite place.
Forgetfulness: Many seniors have trouble keeping track of their medications so not taking them on time or at all is a common problem. Senior adults with this issue could need help keeping up with daily life tasks such as eating, dressing and grooming themselves if possible. Sometimes they may forget to take their medication due to the fact that they are busy doing something else.
It may be helpful for your loved one to carry around some kind of pill reminder that can be set off by shaking it or opening the lid, whichever is more convenient for them. This can also benefit you because you wouldn’t have to worry about constantly reminding them about when to take their pills.
The main priority when caring for senior adults is making sure that they’re safe and comfortable at all times and helping them maintain independence as much as possible. Counseling and encouragement can also help families cope with resistance to care and other problems stemming from depression, fear and forgetfulness. Understanding why resistance to care might develop will allow you to better deal with the situation if it arises