Everyone needs a little bit of help from time to time. Even the most independent, resourceful person can’t do it all. However, there’s a difference between asking for help on something like a work project and needing help with daily tasks. Many people would have no issue asking for help with the first, but there are some people who don’t want to seek assistance with things they feel they should be able to do even when facing mobility issues, making these some of the most difficult conversations you might ever have. 

Reliant Home Care Services can assist your loved one with dressing, bathing, preparing meals, and more, but it does become challenging if your loved one doesn’t want any of this help. They may refuse to cooperate with their care provider or even refuse them entry to their home. If your loved one needs some form of home care but is resistant to even discussing it, what can you do? It’s a difficult conversation to have, and it can be frustrating, but there are some logical points you can make to help your loved one understand that they can ask for help.


a group of seniors sitting in a circle and clapping


Who Doesn’t Want Help?

If you haven’t encountered a loved one who refuses to ask for help, you may wonder why anyone would resist getting assistance if they need it. While many people are open to help, even if they initially balk at the idea, there are some types of people who are more likely to shut down the idea. These people often served in jobs where they provided care or protection to others. Veterans, for example, may feel that they should be the ones offering protection and help rather than receiving it. Police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and others who worked in similar roles may also have a hard time transitioning from being a care provider to being a care receiver. 

Even those who weren’t in one of these professions may feel that they are asking too much. Some parents do feel that they should never be a burden on their children, and they see asking for help to be a burden. They may not want to take up their children’s time or financial resources. Even those who are able to cover the cost of caregivers themselves may feel that they are taking away help from someone who, in their eyes, is more in need than they are. 


Signs Someone Needs Help

If your loved one isn’t receptive to asking for help, they are not going to admit when they need it. You will need to listen carefully and observe their daily life. This can be difficult if you don’t live with them. However, there are a few things you can look for to determine if they need help.

  • There are tasks left undone. If you see lightbulbs that are burnt out, laundry that has piled up, a sink full of dishes, and other chores that haven’t been done, it could be a sign that your loved one is having difficulty moving around, bending down, reaching, or performing other movements necessary to complete these tasks.
  • Your loved one takes a few tries to get up. If you can see that they’re struggling to get up once, it might be an early warning sign that they will need help soon. If it becomes a regular issue, it’s time to discuss getting help now.
  • They’ve fallen. Again, a singular fall can be a one-off incident, but it’s still a sign that your loved one may be physically declining. Look into what caused the fall and take steps to prevent future falls. If your loved one has fallen several times, especially if those falls were the result of losing their balance, it’s a sign that they need home care.
  • Your loved one forgets to eat, take medication, bathe, etc. This is a sign that their memory is becoming faulty due to a condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. If they forget your name or are showing major signs of mental decline, home care may not be enough. 


Starting the Conversation

With someone who may be combative about receiving help, it’s important to have specific incidents or health concerns to bring up when discussing home care. You will need to logically lay out your argument, pointing out how your loved one has been hurt or is unable to handle basic tasks or home upkeep. Your loved one is likely to argue that they are capable of doing these things, even when you can show that they have not. They may wave away any falls or other accidents as being clumsy or blaming it on something like a sliding rug or slippery tile. 

It’s important that you remain calm during this conversation. Getting angry, yelling, or trying to force your loved one into accepting help is not going to work. They will only get angry in return and refuse all help. Those with dementia may not respond to logical arguments at all, so be prepared for this response.

If your loved one is still able to handle daily tasks (dressing, standing, preparing meals), they may only need help occasionally. You, other family, and friends may be able to provide help on the weekends or in the evening. Someone can come by to mow the yard, change lightbulbs, and do laundry. However, if your loved one needs more help than this, it may be time to consider home care.


Home Care Doesn’t Mean Your Loved One Has No Agency

Some people do push back on home care because they believe it will leave them with no say in anything. At Reliant, that is not our approach. We work with your loved one, not against them, to ensure that they’re safe and healthy while also being respected. 

One of the first things our care coordinator will do is a home safety audit. This audit is designed to help your loved one remain as independent as possible by identifying and removing or modifying things that could cause slips and other accidents. We may highlight areas that need grab bars, spaces that need decluttered, and other problems that need to be adjusted to protect your loved one. Again, you and your loved one have the final say in all of these suggestions—we’re never going to tell someone what they must do to their home.

We also carefully work with you and your loved one to determine how much help your loved one truly needs. If they’re able to stand and move around on their own, they may not need someone to help them dress or bathe. However, they may have worsening eyesight and need help with tasks that require reading. We tailor all of our services to your loved one’s needs. We don’t want them to feel overwhelmed with people coming every day to do tasks your loved one is capable of doing themselves.


two women, one blonde and one white-haired, looking at a laptop screen


We’re Here to Help Facilitate the Conversation

If your loved one is open to talking to one of our care coordinators, we’re more than happy to sit down and have a discussion. If they’re not to this point yet, we can provide you with further resources and talking points so you can continue the conversation. 

Remember, Reliant is here to help anyone—veterans, the elderly, those with special needs, even individuals who are recovering from injuries. We also assist caregivers with respite care and resources to help them provide the best care possible. To learn more about how to approach a loved one who needs help or about our services, reach out to Reliant today.