March 20, 2019 by
Let’s face it: many of us put off going to the doctor’s office. It can be uncomfortable at best, and downright frightening when something’s wrong and we’re facing the prospect of an unwanted diagnosis. Yet we know it’s wise to do what’s best for our health and to be diligent about obtaining necessary medical care.
For older adults, a variety of additional factors come into play as well, often resulting in the decision to forego that check-up or follow-up appointment, even when it’s clearly not in their best interest. When an older adult digs in her heels, refusing to see the doctor, it’s helpful to first understand why the resistance is occurring, to address those concerns, and then to know how best to provide encouragement.
One of the main reasons seniors avoid medical appointments and procedures is fear. It may seem safer and easier to simply ignore symptoms and hope they’ll resolve themselves on their own. For others, the concern may be financial. Or they may want to avoid the embarrassment of being reminded of a weight problem, or to admit to living an unhealthy lifestyle.
Whatever the root cause, the bottom line is that it’s important for older adults to take care of their health, which requires routine medical examinations and being proactive in bringing to light any concerns. So as an adult child, how can you best help overcome your parent’s objections to seeing the doctor?
At Home Independent Living has found that one of the most successful ways to persuade aging parents to take care of themselves is through their adult children sharing what it means to them. Our parents have cared for us all of our lives, and want what is best for us. Sharing your point of view can go a long way towards convincing them of the necessity and ultimately helping them to stay healthy. For instance, try initiating the conversation like this:
“Mom, the pain you’ve been having in your wrist is really concerning me. Can we go and have that looked at so that I can stop worrying?”
You may be surprised at how readily your aging parent will agree, knowing that it will help you. If you continue to struggle with helping your loved one understand the need for appropriate medical care, call on At Home Independent Living. We’re experienced in helping families navigate the often difficult transition to accepting help at home, and sometimes the recommendation of a professional, non-objective third party can make a world of difference in easing concerns and shifting the focus to the many positives of in-home care in Syracuse and surrounding areas. Contact us online or call us any time at (315) 579-HOME (4663).