Research Finds 4 Main Reasons Older Adults Refuse Elder Care at Home

Research shows that 76 percent of older adults want to age in place.

Yet, it’s not uncommon for seniors to have physical ailments or cognitive problems that make it difficult or unsafe for them to live at home. So, why do they sometimes give family members such a hard time when the idea of accepting elder care is brought up? Dr. Lee Lindquist, the chief of geriatrics at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, wondered the same thing. She and her research team held focus groups with seniors in and near Chicago and Fort Wayne, Ind. to find out the most common reasons older adults refuse to accept help.


Homecare in Aurora : Seniors Refuse Elder Care

Homecare in Aurora : Seniors Refuse Elder Care


4 Reasons Help is Refused

While listening to older adults who attended the focus groups, Dr. Lindquist and her team identified some common themes that seniors brought up. The reasons they say they don’t want elder care are:


Loss of Independence: Focus group participants said they were worried that once they accepted help with some basic tasks around the house, it might lead to losing more of their independence. Many even expressed concern that they would eventually be sent to a long-term care facility.


Fear of Being a Burden: Older adults worry that when they ask for help, they’ll be adding even more responsibility to the lives of their family members who are already busy.


Trust Issues: Some seniors said that they feared to allow an elder care provider or someone else into their home opened them up to being taken advantage of.


Loss of Control: Many participants said that they believed if they allowed someone to take over some duties, they would be cut out of that area of their life. For example, they worried that if they let someone go grocery shopping for them, they’d have no control of the task.


Tips to Get Seniors to Accept Help

Although the worries of older adults about accepting help are common, if you approach the conversation armed with information, you may have more success. Some information to share is:

-Having an elder care provider can actually help them to maintain their independence. Elder care can allow them to live safely at home when their only other option might be to enter a long-term care facility.

-Elder care can prevent seniors from feeling like a burden to their family members. Elder care providers are professionals who are paid to assist them, so there’s no need to worry that they have other things to do.

-Elder care agencies carefully screen their employees to ensure the staff member they send to the senior’s home is trustworthy.

When it is time to talk to your aging relative about accepting help, remember to do so when the mood is calm. Trying to approach the subject during an argument or when feelings are otherwise heightened will be counterproductive.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Healthcare in Aurora, please contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.


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