3 Creative Ways to Get a Loved One to Accept Help

Is your loved one resistant to having any kind of help from "outsiders" (often, anyone who isn't you)? Sometimes the person you're trying to help can be your biggest impediment to help!

Here are three strategies to get around that block:

1. Consider what kind of help the person traditionally made an exception for. So, for example, someone who never hired help but always followed the advice of clergy or a doctor might be open to hearing the need for certain kinds of assistance from one of these professionals. Or someone who grew up with cleaning help or a cook may be open to that kind of household help, which would at least free you up for caregiving chores.

2. Make the presence of help sound commonplace. Some people are more accepting if they know it's what their peers do: "Jane's parents have a maid, Mom" (even if that person is really a personal aide).

3. Appeal to prestige interests. Some people are swayed by exclusivity or impressive credentials: "This is the best neurologist/geriatric care manager/moving consultant in town, Dad." Or, "It usually takes six months to get an appointment with this doctor, but she has an unexpected opening and can see you next week."


almost 3 years ago, said...

Other tactics sometimes work. Grandmother was open to having a family member stay with her to take care of her but had an aversion to "strangers." None of the family could move in though. So she was given two options to choose from: (1) move into the home of a family member; (2) accept a live-in helper. She reluctantly chose the latter. After the first week, the live-in was no longer a stranger and was fully accepted. When she originally resisted the 2 choices, wanting the unacceptable 3rd option (no help), uncle responded, "Yeah well, I want a million bucks. Neither of us gets what we want." Father strongly resisted having any help. Mother desperately needed help caring for him. Family went ahead and arranged for the help, originally telling father that we would just try it for a little while, for mother's sake. Father was upset with being "babysat" and urged mother to get rid of the helper. We got mother to respond that it was out of her hands as the children had arranged it. He would have to talk to us to get rid of the helper. For some reason, he never carried his complaints to us kids. Sometimes you can play one person against the other. Mother accepts outside assistance for father's sake; father accepts it for mother's sake. Even though each believes he/she is handling things just fine alone. When mother leaves father with outside help, he wants nothing to do with it, wanting mother and only her. But she comes up with a compelling reason why she HAS to go and says SHE needs someone at home with him while she's gone because she would worry about him being alone. He insists he would be fine. She tells him, "I know you would, but it will make me feel better to have someone with you." He reluctantly agrees to it for mother's sake.


over 3 years ago, said...

Presentation is vital to the patient. This shows you are listening to them. They will take a helper better if they realize it will benefit the care giver. Balance and respect are the key to a more peaceful transition.


over 3 years ago, said...

Has given me some ideas which I will try. Thanks-I need help.


over 3 years ago, said...

more info on what to say to my loved one. He only wants ME there.


over 3 years ago, said...

My mother is resistant as she doesn't feel she needs help, including from us, even though she grudgingly accepts it. Prestige & peers hasn't worked. I will try involving the doctor,


almost 4 years ago, said...

I am full time carer for my wife with AD. She is 70 and I am 75. She will not have outside carers for even a day so I can have some respite. Any suggestions?


almost 4 years ago, said...

My husband is not ready to see the depth of his confusion or the rants he gets into. He refuses to see the nuerologist he was referred to by our family doctor. He is 81 and has gone back to work full time+. He has owned a landscape construction co. for 60 yrs. I am afraid for him for MANY reasons. Paranoia makes it difficult for him to trust advice or direction. He is a very proud man and very difficult to sway in the direction of a doctor. I am at a loss at this point. It's much too early for me to be at a loss.... :) Suggestions?


almost 4 years ago, said...

These are ideas that I had not ever thought of before.


about 4 years ago, said...

Farmcat has thought of your helpful comments but, for some reason, could not initiate all of them. ALL of them are good and NECESSARY and I won't feel guilt for carrying them out. REALLY GOOD esp. the "presteige"one. YEP! THANKS.


over 4 years ago, said...

A kind neighbour takes my husband to an art class, and they both enjoy painting pictures to give away, sell or hang in their homes. At the moment, my husband still drives, and they take it in turns t o go to art class.


over 4 years ago, said...

Nothing it seems can sway my mother from receiving help from anyone but me. There have to be more than three strategies. Would like to know if there are other strategies other than these three.


almost 5 years ago, said...

Too early just yet to need any help, but I am always willing to learn all I can to help in the future. Thank you.