Doctor Marion

Question: I have an elderly mother declining in health and she requires care during the day. The difficult situation is that she does not want anyone but my father to help. Any suggestions on how to get her to accept assistance from others whether it is a family member or a hired companion? Thank you for your assistance. -Ann Marie, Florida

Answer: Nobody wants to give up their independence or have strangers in their home. Your mother might also greatly fear being put in an institutional setting. The issues and concerns need to be discussed openly in a calm environment so that both sides can listen to each other. Communication and truly listening are so important here.

Your mother needs to know and fully understand the negative impact she’s creating for her husband, you, and any other family members. Discuss her fears and concerns with her. They don’t have to be rationale. She also needs to clearly understand the potential negative impact forgoing extra help will have on your father. Your job is to listen. Then you can let her know your feelings and your desire to get her outside help.

Top Tip

Hire help for the most common tasks such as cleaning the home, handyman work, and taking care of trash disposal. You can hire help on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, all depending on your needs, financial ability, and your elder’s wishes. Search out community and government services as well as family aides and religious organizations.

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