What To Do When a Parent With Dementia Refuses Help

Coping with a parent who has dementia and refuses help can be incredibly challenging and emotional. Many families find themselves in this difficult situation, unsure of how to proceed. It’s important to approach this issue with patience, empathy, and the right information. At Abbots Care, we can offer advice for families seeking help for their parent with dementia, especially when that parent feels strongly that they do not need help. Understanding the underlying reasons behind their refusal is key to effectively managing the situation, and being aware of the range of specialised dementia care options available empowers families to approach the situation with confidence and clarity.

Understanding the Challenges

There are several common reasons why a parent with dementia may refuse help. Denial is often a factor, as they may not fully recognise the extent of their condition. Accepting help can be daunting as it symbolises a loss of independence, so fear can play a significant role. Additionally, cognitive impairments can lead to confusion, making new people and routines overwhelming. You may have a parent who might feel embarrassed or ashamed to admit they need assistance. Understanding these underlying emotions is crucial in addressing their resistance and finding effective ways to provide support.

Communicate with Empathy

When discussing the need for help with your parent who has dementia, it’s essential to communicate with empathy and understanding. Use simple, clear language to explain why assistance is necessary, focusing on specific examples of how it can improve their quality of life. Reassure them that their feelings are valid and understandable. By acknowledging their emotions, you can build trust and rapport, making them more receptive to accepting assistance.

Additionally, be patient and understanding if they struggle to express themselves or become agitated during the conversation. Dementia can affect communication skills and emotional regulation, so it’s essential to approach these discussions with patience and compassion.

Involve Them in Decisions

Involving a parent in the decision-making process can provide them with a sense of control and autonomy, which is particularly important when they are dealing with dementia. Start by having an open and honest conversation about the different types of help available. Explain the benefits and purposes of each option clearly, and be sure to actively listen to their concerns and preferences. This approach not only respects their independence but also helps them feel valued and heard.

Offer them choices by presenting various care options, such as in-home care, live-in care, or periodic visiting care. Discuss the specific services each option provides, like assistance with daily activities, medical support, or companionship. You can then mix different types of care to create a routine that they find comfortable. For instance, they might feel ok with daily visits for assistance with household tasks and then weekly sessions for medical check-ups or physical therapy. Promoting a sense of partnership and trust, makes the transition to receiving help smoother and more positive. Overall, this inclusive approach fosters a supportive environment where a parent can feel empowered and respected.

Introduce Help Gradually

Introducing help gradually is a gentle and effective way to ease a parent into accepting assistance, especially if they are resistant at first. By starting with small, non-intrusive forms of support, you can gradually build their confidence and trust in the care process. Begin by identifying areas where they may need assistance but would be less resistant to receiving help. This could include tasks such as light housekeeping or meal preparation. Approach these tasks as collaborative efforts, involving them in the process as much as possible. For example, you can ask for their input on meal planning or involve them in simple household chores. As your parent becomes more comfortable with the idea of receiving help, gradually increase the level of support provided. This could involve introducing additional services such as personal care assistance, medication management, or companionship visits. It’s important to move at their pace and respect their boundaries. If they express discomfort or resistance to a particular form of help, take a step back and reassess. Patience and flexibility are key as you navigate this transition together.

Seek Professional Guidance

Consulting with healthcare professionals who specialise in dementia care can provide valuable insights and strategies for when a parent with dementia refuses help. These specialists have extensive experience and can offer practical advice on how to communicate effectively with someone who has dementia, ensuring that your interactions are as positive and productive as possible.

Get Help Just for You

Professional guidance often includes access to support groups and resources for families, fostering a community of shared experiences and solutions. This network can be invaluable, providing emotional support and practical tips from others who understand the unique challenges of caring for a parent with dementia. By seeking professional guidance, you can ensure that you are equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary to provide the best possible care for your loved one. At Abbots Care, we provide specialised educational workshop sessions to help families cope with all aspects of dementia and the emotional toll it can take.

The Right Choices For Your Family

Choosing the right approach when a parent with dementia refuses help can significantly enhance their quality of life and your peace of mind. By understanding the challenges, communicating empathetically, involving them in decisions, and gradually introducing help, you can navigate this difficult situation more effectively. Exploring options like live-in care, flexible visiting care, or overnight care ensures that your parent can receive the support they need in a manner that respects their dignity and preferences.

Try a Week of Complimentary Care

We believe that trying our service is the best way to see if it’s the right choice for you or your loved one, so we are offering the unique opportunity to experience two weeks of live-in care with one week at no cost. During this trial, you’ll receive a custom care plan designed to meet your specific needs, along with 24/7 support from our care team. Contact us today to discuss your care needs and arrange a care assessment.

Let Us Help

Contact Abbots Care today to learn more about how we can assist you in finding the best care solution for your loved one. Our made-to-measure service, free home visits, and personalised quotations ensure that you receive the perfect care plan tailored to your specific needs. Our services are CQC regulated, ensuring high standards of care and safety. Additionally, we provide a wide range of services, including complex care, dementia care, palliative care, support for learning disabilities, and care for children. This comprehensive approach ensures that we can meet diverse needs with tailored, high-quality care solutions.

For more information and to take advantage of our current offer of a week’s free live-in care, visit Abbots Care Live-In Care Service.