Hanh Brown – How to Maintain the Safety and Wellbeing of an Aging Parent Who Refuses Care

EPISODE 166

As we age, the ability to take care of ourselves and make decisions about our healthcare can become more difficult. It is natural for us to want to maintain our autonomy and independence, but sometimes our decisions can put our safety and well-being at risk. This can be especially challenging for caregivers of aging parents who refuse medical or home care.

If you find yourself in this situation, you may be feeling frustrated and uncertain about how to safeguard your parent’s health. In this podcast episode, we will discuss strategies for maintaining the safety and well-being of an aging parent who refuses medical or home care. We will explore the reasons behind a parent’s refusal of care, and offer tips and strategies for navigating this challenging situation.

One important aspect to consider is advanced care planning. Having a conversation with your parent about their wishes for end-of-life care can help ensure that their preferences are respected, even if they are unable to communicate with them later on. A capacity assessment can also be helpful in determining if a parent is capable of making decisions about their own care.

For parents dealing with dementia or other cognitive decline, it may be necessary to consider substitute decision-making, such as a power of attorney, to ensure that their healthcare needs are met.

We will also discuss the importance of compassionate communication and family interventions, as well as the use of mediation to resolve any conflicts. It is important to consider the ethical considerations and mental health of all involved parties, including the aging parent and the caregiver.

Furthermore, we will explore the benefits of hospice and palliative care, which can provide much-needed support to both the aging parent and the caregiver. Additionally, we will discuss how to manage resistance to care and the importance of care coordination and multidisciplinary teams. Lastly, we will also provide information about community resources that can help in this situation.

By the end of this podcast episode, you will have a better understanding of how to approach this situation with compassion and sensitivity, while also advocating for your parent’s health and safety.

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Episode Transcript

EPISODE 166

00:00:00
Hi, I’m Hanh Brown, the host of the Boomer Living Broadcast. Thanks for stopping by. Have you ever found yourself struggling to get an aging parent to accept medical or home care? It’s a common problem, and one that can be very difficult and challenging for caregivers. Well, as we age, it can become more difficult to take care of ourselves in the decisions about our health care. And while it’s natural for us to want to maintain our independence and autonomy, sometimes our decisions can put our safety and well-being at risk. Well, if you have an aging parent who refuses medical or home care, you may be feeling frustrated and uncertain about how to protect their health. So in this video, we’ll be discussing strategies for maintaining the safety and well-being of an aging parent

00:00:50
who refuses medical and home care. We’ll explore the reasons behind a parent’s refusal of care and offer tips and strategies for navigating this challenging situation. And by the end of the video, you have a better understanding of how to approach the situation with compassion and sensitivity, while also advocating for your parent’s health and safety. Well, first, communicate openly and honestly with your parent about their care needs and concerns. It can be very challenging to have an honest and open conversation about your parent’s care needs, especially if they are resisting to accepting health. However, effective communication is an important part of ensuring the safety and well-being of your parent. So here are some examples of how you can communicate openly and honestly with your parent about their care needs and concerns. Start the conversation early.

00:01:47
Caring for an aging parent is an important responsibility in its best not to wait until a crisis arises to discuss their care needs. Starting the conversation early allows you to be better prepared and make decisions together. An open and honest dialogue enables trust between you and your parent, while also allowing choice and autonomy. Consider asking such questions like how do you prefer to handle medical care or what do you want in terms of long-term living options. These conversations can help avoid misunderstandings and give them control over decisions about their life now rather than leaving it for another time. So encourage discussions, acknowledge fears, and celebrate goals of continuing independence. And whenever possible, listen actively. When discussing your parent’s care needs, it’s important to listen to them with an open mind. Be active listeners and make an effort to see things through their eyes. It’s critical not to interrupt or argue with them, but rather to validate their feelings and concerns.

00:02:55
When communicating about their concerns, try to use words like eye statements to help create a non-confrontational atmosphere. This method requires practice, and it can make the conversation more productive and less stressful. Remember, be patient. Talking to an aging parent about their care needs can be very difficult, but it’s very critical to approach a conversation with patients and understanding. Understanding where a parent is coming from, what their feelings are about, their care needs, and how they would like them for dress will help ensure that everyone feels respected and heard. Being patient during these conversations allow us to develop solutions to address both safety concerns and emotional well-being, so that everyone feels satisfied at the end of the discussion. Second consideration. Seek the guidance of healthcare professional or social worker to help address any underlying concerns or issues that may be contributing to your parent’s refusal of care. With this knowledge, these dedicated professionals can come up with strategies and solutions to improve the situation.

00:04:06
They may suggest how to interact with your parent or how to explain why they need medical care or home care. Therapy and counseling can help create an understanding atmosphere between you and your parent, which can go along ways in helping them understand why medical treatment is needed. Guidance from a healthcare professional or social worker is so important if you’re having trouble getting your parent to accept medical care or home care. Well, they can help you identify underlying concerns or issues causing your parent’s refusal of care. This could include things like fear of falling, fear of losing independence, or concerns about the cost of care. They might not want to burden you. They’re afraid of losing their independence. They don’t want to give up their home. Perhaps they’re worried about, again, the cost of care. They don’t want to burden the healthcare system. And they’re worried about being away from familiar faces and places, and they’re concerned about changes in their routine. Parents don’t want to give up their pets, for example. Remember to offer solutions and support.

00:05:12
Once the underlying concerns have been identified, a healthcare professional or social worker can work with you and your parent to identify solutions and provide support. This could involve finding alternative care options, such as adult care, assisted living, nursing home, hospice care, respite care, home health aids, talk to a geriatrician or senior centers. Healthcare professionals and social workers can offer a unique perspective to families caring for elderly, relative. So it’s important to provide care while balancing one’s own life. And these trained experts understand how stressful it can be, so they can offer guidance in navigating this overwhelming situation. They can help families create long-term care plans, explain potential consequences of refusing care, and reassure caregivers that their efforts will benefit your loved one. And they also offer emotional support, which is very invaluable during this difficult time. Third, consider involving other family members or trusted friends in the discussion. When it comes to discussing your parent’s care needs, involving other family members or trusted friends can make a big difference. Having different perspectives and insight can help you provide more effective support and assistance for your parent, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with the care refusal.

00:06:44
Their emotional guidance can be invaluable in helping you defuse any tension or conflict. So getting others involved can help ensure that conversations about the care are focused on what’s best for your parent’s safety and well-being. Fourth, consideration. Stay informed about your parent’s health and well-being and be proactive in addressing any potential issues or concerns. Take charge of your parent’s health and well-being if they aren’t following following medical advice. Keep track of medications, monitor physical and mental health, and create a care plan that addresses all issues. So stay in touch with their health care providers to keep them updated and their health and address any new issues. So all of this, you can help provide the best possible support whether they accept it or not. Fifth, remember to work with your parent to create a care plan that addresses their needs and preferences. When you involve your parent, this ensures that their needs and wishes are considered.

00:07:52
So by listening to what they want and need and considering their preferences about living arrangements, care options or other aspects of future care, you can honor their autonomy. If your parent is refusing medical or home care, speaking with a health care professional or social worker to help address these underlying issues or concerns, explore alternative care options that respect your parent’s independence and choice to solve the current challenge. Sixth, consideration. Ensure that your parent’s safety and well-being by creating a safe and supportive living environment. So to create an environment which keeps them safe, it may be necessary to install safety features or make repairs within the home. It’s also important to consider provisions such as access to transportation or groceries, allowing them independence and sufficient nutrition. Regular check-ins and support can help keep any of these issues from escalating. If further assistance is needed, health care professionals can assess underlying concerns and develop a plan accordingly. And by taking these actions, you can ensure that your parent is safe, healthy and supported.

00:09:08
Now, seventh, consideration. Encourage your parent to engage in activities that promote physical and mental well-being, such as exercise and socialization. It’s important to advocate for your parent’s physical and mental well-being. Remind them to exercise, socialize and have some hobbies. Exercise strengthens bones and muscles while reducing stress, allowing your parent to feel more confident and energetic. And socializing creates a sense of connectedness that enhances cognitive function and helps them manage life’s challenges. And pursuing hobbies sparks joy and can lead to new friendships. This is important as people age and have fewer social opportunities. Finally, it’s important to practice stress management techniques like mindfulness, meditation or deep breathing, because chronic stress will harm physical and mental health. Aging can be difficult and complicated, especially when it comes to maintaining safety and well-being of a parent who refuses medical or home care.

00:10:17
As the adult child or the caregiver, it can be very challenging to navigate the situation and remember to protect your parent’s health and well-being. So this video discusses strategies for maintaining the safety and well-being of your age and parent. So we explore why your parent may refuse care and offer tips and strategies for finding solutions. So we hope that these strategies have been helpful and given you some guidance and how to navigate this challenging situation. Remember to prioritize the safety and well-being of your parent while respecting their autonomy and decision-making abilities. Thank you so much for watching and I hope that you found this helpful and remember to watch the next one. Thank you for listening to another episode of the Boomer Living Broadcast. I know you have a lot of options when it comes to podcasts and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen this one. Please share this podcast with your friends and family. Write a review on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.

00:11:21
It helps others discover the show. You can also contact us at 734-635-0684 to leave a review and request content for the show. We love hearing from our listeners. Check out our TikTok, Instagram and YouTube channel Aging Media Show and subscribe to weekly tips on how to best serve the senior population. We want to help them have a great experience as they age. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time…

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