Many of the Daytona Beach and Volusia County households that care for a senior are trying to help an aging relative who'd rather not have help. Home Instead Senior Care Daytona Beach offers and online resource to provide support.
Daytona Beach, FL (1888PressRelease) September 29, 2011 - Just when you thought that a family caregiver's job couldn't get more difficult, consider this: Many of the Daytona Beach and Volusia County households that care for a senior are trying to help an aging relative who'd rather not have help.
A study of family caregivers who responded to a survey on caregiverstress.com, conducted for the Home Instead Senior CareŽ network, revealed that more than half of the respondents (51 percent) said that their aging relative was very resistant to care. These seniors often object to help whether it's from a family caregiver or a professional who tries to come into their homes to assist.
"This is a real problem for family caregivers worried about the safety of a senior loved one who might be forgetting food on the stove or neglecting to take their medications," said Susan Miller, owner of the Home Instead Senior CareŽ office serving Daytona Beach and Volusia County. "Some seniors are so resistant I've heard stories of them calling the police when their family members have arranged for a caregiver to visit their home."
But experts say that keeping fiercely independent seniors safe at home isn't a lost cause; there are solutions for them and their family caregivers. That's why the Home Instead Senior Care is providing an online resource for families facing this challenge.
This family caregiver online resource addresses senior resistance to care and features a variety of topics such as choosing an in-home care provider, the signs of aging, long distance caregiving and communicating with aging parents. Materials are available at http://inhomecaredaytona.com/caregiver-resources-2/
Why do seniors resist help? "If seniors admit they need help, they feel their independence is in question," said Susan Miller. "Seniors believe that once they acknowledge they need help, they'll lose control of their affairs. They are trying to maintain dignity. Unless they feel they can trust someone, they resist change. I believe it's the fear that life as they've known it will be taken away from them."
Sometimes seniors only want help from a son or daughter, which can put undue pressure on that family caregiver who feels he or she can't call for professional help. Most caregivers can go into "crisis mode" to rally around a loved one in the short-term, "but you can't be totally immersed in a crisis mode long-term without your own family, work and health suffering," according to family caregiving consultant Dr. Amy D'Aprix, who holds a Ph.D. and master's degree in social work and is author of From Surviving to Thriving: Transforming Your Caregiving Experience.
The strain can take a particular toll on working family caregivers. The Home Instead Senior Care study revealed that 42 percent of caregivers spend more than 30 hours a week caregiving. That's the equivalent of a second full-time job.
And that's what makes countering that resistance to assistance so important. "Many times family caregivers make assumptions but never ask: 'Mom, I've noticed that every time I bring up having someone come in to assist, you don't want help. Why is that?' Sometimes the parent doesn't realize they're being resistant," D'Aprix added.
"Also, reassuring a senior loved one that you have the same goal in mind will help," D'Aprix said. "Start with: 'My goal for you is to be independent, too. You know I can't be here all the time. A little extra assistance will help you stay at home.'"
Susan Miller said the battle to turn resistance into assistance can be fierce, like seniors who call police when a professional caregiver shows up. "Education can help arm family caregivers with the tools they need to create a win-win for everyone."
About Home Instead Senior Care - Volusia County and Daytona Beach, Florida.
Care You Can Trust. Susan Miller (owner), the office administrators, and CAREGiversSM all share a passion for improving the quality of life for seniors and families in the community. Here in Volusia County and Daytona Beach, we offer a range of non-medical services that can be customized to your needs so you'll get exactly the help you need. Our CAREGivers are area residents who are kind, compassionate and truly enjoy working with seniors. They are professionals, extensively trained in elder care, and all are screened, insured and bonded.