The denial factor
There are times when families ask for senior home care for patients who are in denial about care needs. In such cases, the families often experience anger, helplessness and guilt while helping their loved one cope with frailty and loss of function that comes with old age.
Sreekala is a full-time chemistry lecturer. And she juggles many roles at home and at work. She is also a familial caregiver to her octogenarian mother-in-law Saraswatamma. Saraswatamma’s family has had to deal with anxiety on a daily basis to provide for her needs and keep her safe.
Reasons for being in denial
For Saraswatamma, seeking help involved allowing a stranger into her home and life to help her with the most intimate aspects of daily living. The thought of allowing such a stranger to influence what and when she ate, assist with personal hygiene, help her get dressed, using the bathroom, etc. must have felt disconcerting. She must have been bothered by the possibility of loss of privacy, fears about the cost of care, losing independence and having a stranger at home while the rest of the family is away at work.
When home nursing care provider Life Circle stepped in
Before approaching Life Circle, Sreekala hired caregivers from other service providers. But she was disappointed as she could not find a reliable caregiver. Without a doubt, senior home care for patients who are in denial about care needs can be tricky.
VijaySri , a professional home attendant from Life Circle has been caring for Saraswatamma for two years now. And she has been her constant companion. VijaySri understands Saraswatamma’s needs. She has settled the senior into a comfortable schedule.
Saraswatamma gets support, assistance and companionship during the day while the family is away at work. “It gives me peace of mind knowing that she’s safe. VijaySri is responsible, follows a schedule and gives all medications, insulin injections on time. She promptly reports any discomfort the patient experiences,” says Sreekala. As a result, Saraswatamma has transitioned from a non-compliant senior to someone who is fond of her caregiver.
Often, VijaySri takes Saraswatamma to a temple close by. And she honours Saraswatamma’s individuality by encouraging her to do things that she likes. In return, Sreekala values the thought and the gesture.
Sometimes, a senior loved one may be very resistant to accepting care. Continue to persuade him or her to consider accepting professional help. Do not give up. You can also help the senior understand the benefits of seeking assistance. Hire a caregiver for a short period and on a trial basis.