Can a person start expecting too much help?

3 answers | Last updated: Sep 30, 2016
Franstanat asked...

But can a person start expecting too much help?


Expert Answers

Kay Paggi, GCM, LPC, CGC, MA, is in private practice as a geriatric care manager and is on the advisory board for the Emeritus Program at Richland College. She has worked with seniors for nearly 20 years as a licensed professional counselor, certified gerontological counselor, and certified geriatric care manager.

Yes, definitely. This often happens as a result of family doing for an elder things they are capable of doing themselves. After a while, the elder then expects these things done for them. When caregivers do too much, they may rob an older person of dignity and self respect. It's better to let the care receiver do what they can for themselves, and gradually add a little support as it is needed, rather than assuming they can't do for themselves.

This happens after an illness or hospitalization, too, when the older person really cannot do for themselves. Family get in the habit of doing things for them, and continue to do them long after the elder could do these tasks without assistance.


Community Answers

Later answered...

definately YES. My dad broke his wrist and hurt his hip in a fall. He was very dependent on help for mobility and hygiene and eating. Now that he has started physical therapy and has a walker, he can get around but still wants meals delivered and dishes picked up as soon as he's finished eating. With a little planning - we've gotten better at having dinner on the table and inviting him to eat with us instead. It's also kind of ironic that the things with which he needs help are the things he tried to do by himself - like walking without the walker or taking a shower by himself - where the consequences of something going wrong are more costly.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Funny, i have the two extremes, my mother after hip replacement surgery would accept no help from anyone. I finally told the part time care-giver to bring her homework with her since my mom's response to any offer of help is "no honey, I'll get it." On the other hand, my father-in-law has been spoiled all his life and will not do anything for himself. First his wife, and now a live-in "cleaning lady." so if he wants a cup of coffee, he stays in his easy chair, holds the cup up and yells "coffee." He claims he is incapable of turning on the coffee maker himself even if someone else has added the water and coffee the night before. The live-in cleaning lady moved it because it would be SO much better if she could be there early to get the water going, pick the grapes off of the stem for him, etc....