“It’s a hand, not a shark.” That’s what the matronly Nora says as she extends her arm to the scared little boy Pete in Disney’s classic fantasy film, Pete’s Dragon. He really did need her help, but he was scared to take it. Support can be scary like that.
Seniors who are no longer able to completely care for themselves can have a hard time accepting outside help. I’ve known many aging parents who balk at their children’s offer to hire in-home health care or other forms of assisted living. Hands sometimes look a lot like sharks.
I recently came across an article in Forbes in which one woman explained how her ultra-stubborn mom finally acquiesced and accepted in-home senior care.
The elderly mother didn’t want the help in her own home, but she agreed that for a weeklong vacation away from family, it might not be a bad idea. As it turns out, the mother and the caregiver got along swimmingly. Maybe having someone around more frequently wasn’t such a bad thing after all, she decided.
The truth is that everybody needs a helping hand now and then, but our instincts may lead us to resist. Only you can decide what is best for your family, but I think it’s important to approach these decisions with patience and respect.
It takes a little time sometimes, but kindness and composure can produce the best resolutions.