Many family caregivers run into the challenge of trying to assist an older adult who refuses to let them help. Sometimes they get defensive and insist they don’t need any help. That can be really worrisome when you know they cannot manage on their own and that their safety is at risk. If you’re facing this particular challenge, it can help to have some tips and strategies on hand that can help you convince your aging relative to accept your help. Below are some tips for responding to the challenge.

Listen and Validate

If your older family member doesn’t feel like you’re listening to their reasons for not accepting help, they may dig their heels in even harder. Take the time to have a conversation with them about why they are reluctant to let you help. Avoid arguing, though. It isn’t likely to convince them. Instead, let them know you’ve heard what they had to say and understand how they feel. Knowing they’ve gotten their point of view across may make them listen while you express yours.

Stress Empowerment

Many seniors feel like when they accept assistance they are losing some of their independence and control over their lives. When you talk to your aging relative about accepting help, it can help to focus on the ways in which having a home care provider and assistance from family caregivers can actually increase their independence and control. Without help from others, it may be impossible for them to live on their own, which could force them to move into assisted living or a long-term care facility.

Explain How it Helps You

It can be hard for seniors to accept home care for assistance because they may not like the idea of a stranger in their home. First, explain to the older adult that when they use a home care provider from an agency, the person has been carefully screened and has had a thorough background check, so there is no need to worry about safety. Then, it can be beneficial to tell them how them having a home care provider helps you. Tell them that it has been difficult for you to keep up with everything and how it impacts your relationships with others. Perhaps you’re having a difficult time making it to your child’s school activities or you aren’t seeing your spouse as much as you’d like. Chances are, your aging relative will want to make your life easier.


If you or an aging loved one is considering home care services in South Portland, ME, please contact the caring staff at CareTree Healthcare today. Call today! 207-899-0774.