Loved One Doesn't Want Help

How to Help When A Loved One Doesn’t Want Help!

If you are trying to help a parent who needs help but doesn’t want help, the following may resonate with you. Here are samples of some of the real-life dilemmas that real-life caregivers are currently struggling with:

  1. Mobility Issues
  2. Personal Care/Hygiene
  3. Driving
  4. Medication
  5. Meals

Mobility Issues

Mom refuses to use a cane or a walker. As such, she limits her walking excursions only as far as a trip to the bathroom and back. With some limited assistance (cane or walker) she could walk more, but she refuses.

Personal Care/Hygiene

One common issue in personal hygiene is clipping toenails. The podiatrist charged $70 for the last visit, which Mom can easily afford, but she refuses to pay for professional services. Mom has diabetes and is on a blood thinner. The ends of her toes are now bloodied and are getting worse.


Dad has a recent scrape on all four corners of his car and occasionally gets lost in his small town. He refuses to quit driving and tells the Adult Kids “to mind their own business”.


Mom has a medication box, which daughter has carefully stocked with her daily meds. After two days, the medication levels either will not have changed at all OR the box will be completely empty.


Son and his wife not only grocery shop for Mom, but stock the shelves and bring freshly cooked meals a few times per week to place in Mom’s refrigerator. It is clear that Mom is not using any of her groceries and is not eating any of her meals. Instead, she prefers peanut butter and gummy bears.


What all of these situations have in common is that Mom or Dad needs help but doesn’t want help. In each of these situations (based on additional info provided), Mom or Dad appears to be in the “In-Between Zone”. That is, Mom is “herself” enough to be able to carry on a short conversation and cause casual friends to think she is perfectly OK. (Find out what Momma really wants)

But she (in each of the examples) is not OK to carry out the activities of daily living without some minimal assistance. Additionally, in each of the above examples, when the Kids offered and even insisted on providing assistance, they were met with considerable push-back.

Next Step

Is your Loved One in the “In-Between Zone”? If so, please let us know the challenge you are facing and how you handle it in the Comments below.

A few results from caregivers and a few ideas will be offered in our next post. We are just looking for ideas and a few of the “work-arounds” that real-life caregivers are using in these situations.

If you have a similar obstacle but haven’t figured out a solution yet, please also let us know as well. The goal of the online Caregiver Community is to give care to the Caregivers! 

Thanks for your help.  Many folks are struggling with this so any input will help us all.

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Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!

About the Author

Doug & his wife Cindy have not only helped hundreds of families with their estate planning and elder law needs over the years, but have personal experience as caregivers and advocates for their Loved Ones as well.

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