Hanh Brown – How to Support an Aging Parent Who Refuses Medical Assistance

EPISODE 168

In this podcast episode, we delve into the complex topic of why a parent may refuse medical or home care. We understand that dealing with elderly care resistance can be an emotional and challenging task for caregivers, but understanding the root causes of a parent’s refusal of care is crucial in finding ways to support their well-being and maintain their autonomy and dignity.

We will explore some of the common reasons for aging parent refusal of care, such as dementia and medical refusal, and provide strategies for supporting a stubborn elderly parent and dealing with resistant elderly parents. We’ll also cover important topics such as medical assistance refusal in aging adults, home care refusal, and coping with a resistant elderly parent. Join us as we dive into understanding and supporting aging parents who refuse care.

This podcast episode:

– Aims to help caregivers understand the various reasons why a parent may refuse medical or home care. It highlights that a parent’s refusal of care can have many root causes, such as a lack of understanding, fear of the unknown, or a desire to maintain independence.

– Emphasizes the importance of taking the time to understand the cause behind such a decision before trying to force them into care they may not understand or feel comfortable with.

– Mentions that past experiences can have a profound effect on a parent’s decision-making, particularly when it comes to healthcare.

– Highlights that cognitive decline can make it hard for aging adults to understand and accept medical care.

– Mentions that people’s beliefs can strongly influence their refusal of care. Religious beliefs, belief in alternative medicine, and cultural beliefs can cause someone to refuse certain medical treatments or procedures.

It’s important for caregivers to be aware of this and show an understanding of what the patient’s beliefs are and how they influence their healthcare decisions. Caregivers should be respectful of patients’ beliefs and preferences and make sure their treatment plan aligns with them as much as possible.

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Episode Transcript

EPISODE 168

00:00:00
Hello, I’m Hanh Brown, the host of the Boomer Living Broadcast. Welcome. Welcome to our YouTube channel. Today, we’ll be discussing the topic of why a parent may refuse medical or home care. Well, this is often a very complex and emotional issue that can be very difficult for caregivers to navigate. Understanding the root causes of a parent’s refusal of care can be a very important step in finding ways to support their well-being and maintain their dignity. So in this video, we’ll explore some of the common reasons why a parent may refuse care and will offer some strategies for helping them to understand the importance of care and overcome their reluctance to accept it.

00:00:45
So we hope that you find this information helpful and informative, so let’s get started. Well, first, a parent’s refusal of care can have many root causes. It could be a lack of understanding, fear of the unknown, or a desire to maintain independence. As healthcare providers, a caregiver, you as the adult child, it’s important to take the time to understand the cause behind such a decision before trying to force them into a care they may not understand or feel uncomfortable with. So this could range from providing information and education about the care being offered, helping them overcome fears and anxieties with empathy, or simply giving reassurance that their health and well-being will remain uncompromised. So by taking this approach, your parent can make informed decisions about their care,

00:01:40
based on knowledge and trust. So another consideration, past experiences can have a profound effect on a parent’s decision-making. When it comes to healthcare, a parent who has had negative experiences in the past may be reluctant to accept medical treatment or follow through with recommended care. Negative past experiences such as mistreatment or misdiagnosis can make a parent distrustful of the healthcare professionals and hesitant to seek medical care. Previous experiences with illnesses or injuries that resulted in poor outcome can make a parent hesitant to seek medical help. So your parent may be hesitant to seek medical treatment due to financial concerns, such as the high cause of care in the financial strain it caused in the past.

00:02:35
This may lead to avoiding seeking medical help altogether. Now, if they have been caught in an unpleasant living arrangement before, they might be hesitant to accept home care or move into an assisted living. So as a caregiver and the adult child, you have to understand your parent’s past experience, it is key in order to develop strategies to provide them with the tailored care that meets their needs and preferences. Another consideration, cognitive decline can make it very hard for an older adult to understand and accept medical care. This is especially difficult for parents who may not realize the extent of their cognitive decline or the harm it can cause without proper medical care. Memory impairment can make it hard for your parent to follow medical instructions.

00:03:34
For instance, they may have trouble remembering to take their medications or understand treatment side effects. Executive function decline can make it harder for your parent to make complex decisions like weighing the pros and cons of medical procedure. Well, for instance, they may struggle to weigh the pros and cons of different treatment options or understand the consequences of not receiving care. So older adults may struggle to focus on the health discussions or process of new medical information due to the attention issues. This can make it hard for them to understand the diagnosis or home care instructions. So in these situations, you as a caregiver must try to be understanding, sensitive, and patient. You should explain how accepting care improves the quality of life in a way that your loved one can understand. Since one of the main goals of care is to help people stay independent,

00:04:35
so involving your loved one in the care decision as much as possible is so important. So this means that even with cognitive decline, healthcare professionals, you as a caregiver should respect your loved one’s voice and preferences. This approach supports their autonomy and quality of life and makes the care process more person centered, which may improve outcomes and reduce patient resistance. Another consideration, people’s beliefs can strongly influence the refusal of care. Religious beliefs can strongly influence a person’s refusal of medical care. Some people refuse blood transfusions because they believe it violates their religion. And because of their belief in alternative medicine, which for some people may refuse certain medical treatments, they may think natural remedies like acupuncture or herbal supplements are better than conventional medicine. Cultural beliefs can cause someone to refuse care.

00:05:42
Some people refuse organ transplants or autopsies because they think it is disrespectful to their bodies and against their culture. So it’s important as a caregiver to be aware of this and show understanding of why someone might refuse care. You should provide accurate information about the available options so that your loved one can make informed decisions and respect their beliefs and address their health concerns. Knowing who you’re caring for and being sensitive to the cultural and personal preferences can help them feel respected in the health care decisions. Another consideration, independence often plays a big role in why a parent may refuse care. We can understand why this is so. Life changes as we age, which can make independent living difficult or even impossible without health. Well, unfortunately, the fear of losing control can be a major barrier to accepting necessary support. Seniors may be hesitant to ask for assistance

00:06:46
with daily tasks such as dressing or bathing because they do not want to lose their independence. So when a parent is seriously ill or disabled, they may be worried about losing control over their treatment and care. So this fear make it very difficult for them to agree to medical treatments. The fear of losing control of one’s body or physical ability can make accepting physical therapy or rehabilitation after an injury or illness very difficult. So this can lead to a senior avoiding the assistance they require, making recovery more difficult and time consuming. So the best way of dealing with this is by approaching the subject respectfully, understanding the importance of independence and giving honest replies. This will ensure that autonomy and safety are both respected and maintained. You as a caregiver, the adult child should always take the parent’s reluctance into account and providing support to help increase their

00:07:51
satisfaction and improve their safety. Another consideration. When a parent is considering refusing care, financial concerns may play a significant role. The cost of treatment may be a significant financial burden for a parent and their family. This may make them hesitant to proceed with the treatment or refuse it entirely in order to avoid incurring the expense. So a parent may be concerned about the long-term financial implications of their illness or injury, such as the cost of ongoing care or loss of income due to inability to work. So the cost of medication and other necessities that come with a treatment may also play a significant role in the parent’s decision to refuse care, as they might not be able to afford it in a word about additional expenses. So you as a caregiver should try to understand these concerns and do your best to provide support and alleviate these worries.

00:08:52
Take some time to understand the parent’s financial situation and make an effort to help them to address it. It’s important for you as a caregiver to be sensitive and compassionate towards your loved ones’ concerns and the cost associated with that and to work together in final solution. Well, we’ll go through some strategies for helping a parent understand the importance of care and overcoming the reluctance to accept it. First, build trust. Building trust in having a positive relationship with a parent is so important for delivering the best form of care. Clear and easy to understand language should be used to explain procedures and routines. We’re also allowing the parent to remain autonomous in their decision-making process. Going beyond physical care, it’s important to provide emotional support through active listening or comfort to ensure that all needs are met appropriately. So visual aids can be very useful when

00:09:53
explaining difficult concepts or emphasizing the need for care. Last but not least, you as a caregiver must remember to take care of yourself by seeking additional support from friends or family members as well as specialists who are trained in social work and therapy. So we hope that you gain some insight from this video and thank you so much for watching. Remember, each person’s experience with caregiving is unique and it’s important to be patient, understanding and respectful when working with a parent who is resistant to care. And by building trust involving the parent in a care decision and offering emotional support, you can help to ensure that the parent’s needs are met and their dignity is maintained. If you have any questions, please reach out or seek additional support from friends, family or professional resources. And thank you again for watching and please

00:10:50
make sure 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. 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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