My father is a veteran, having served during the Vietnam War. He used to talk about his service with some reverence, about the men and women with whom he served and how he did so many things during his time in the Army, and in his life. Now that he’s in his 80s and showing signs of having trouble with some basic needs, he refuses help.
At first, I assumed that he was refusing help because he didn’t want to spend the money for any type of home care, even though he was a veteran and I was sure that he would be able to get some special rates. I was wrong about that being his reasoning.
He also didn’t refuse help because he didn’t think that he was having any trouble; he was well aware of the issues and challenges that he was facing. The truth was that he refused help because he had never been the kind of person who could accept help easily. He was an independent person who would do whatever he could to help just about everyone else, but when it came time to get help himself, he was like the proverbial fish out of water; he didn’t know what to do.
Convincing a loved one to accept help
When a person reaches an advanced age, they will generally have a lot of experiences behind them and they will tend to be fixed in their ways. If the elderly individual has never had a habit of asking others for help, then they’re not likely going to start when they’re in their 70s or 80s, or even if they are older.
Another factor is that some people don’t want to ask for help because they don’t want to acknowledge that they need help. The moment that they ask for help is a very vulnerable situation for them and it can lead to feelings of helplessness when relying on someone else.
For my father, as a veteran who, in my honest opinion, should have used home care and other options that were available to him for help, he refused. I tried to find other solutions, but honestly if the elderly individual refuses, aside from taking them to court to have them rule incompetent to tend to their own care, there isn’t much you can do. It’s a shame, too, because the VA offers the Aid and Attendance Benefit that could pay for home care for veterans who qualify.
For more information and to learn about Veterans Home Care Visits, contact Veteran’s Home Care at (888) 314-6075.