There could be many reasons why your parent or loved one may not ask for help. But, the simple answer is they don’t want to be a burden on their children.
We’ll start with this one because it is the most common reason. As your parent ages, certain things, for example, taking the garbage cans out to the curb, become more and more difficult. At first, it’s just a little inconvenient, but it becomes quite the chore over time. Finally, if they are lucky, the neighbor boy notices the cans out front and puts them back in their spot after pick-up.
What happens is that our parent knows just how busy their children are. So how could they complain that they are finding certain things difficult? Is it expected that a son or daughter will drop everything and come right over so that they can place the garbage cans at the curb or figure out how to set the timer on a light?
So keep this in mind when you are over for a visit. See if you can notice things that may be more difficult for them to manage and develop a solution or offer assistance. For example, something my father was always great at, changing the time on the light timers around the house has become difficult for him.
Because he can’t see the tiny numbers anymore. We make a point of adjusting the times on his timers (and yes, he has quite a few) as the daylight hours shorten or lengthen depending on the season.
Another reason a parent may not ask for help is because they don’t even realize that their health and safety are in jeopardy, especially if they’re experiencing small cognitive changes. So again, be on the lookout for anything that doesn’t seem quite right.
Another reason a parent doesn’t ask for help is simply denial.
There are explanations for everything. For example, your parent drove over the rose bush driving to their home, but they told themselves that the neighbor left the garbage can too close to the driveway, so they had no choice but to swipe the bush.
They burn a pot on the stove, almost catching on fire but not because it was their fault but because the knob on the stove is faulty. Please pay attention to any signs of distress or when too many excuses are used, possibly to cover up the truth.
And this leads to probably the most vulnerable reason your parent or loved one won’t ask you for help.
They fear they will be hustled out of their home and into a facility if they dare admit they are having trouble living on their own in the family home.
So please be gentle with your loved one and broach the subject carefully. We all know there will come a time that it may make the most sense for your loved one to transition to a safer environment where they can have friends and assistance. There are so many great options out there for senior living arrangements, so make sure to research all the possibilities.
For more information about helping an aging parent or loved one, my course, Vibrant Senior Living Core Program, might be right for you. I would love to have a chat with you to find out if my course would be right for you. So book a clarity call today!