Helping Seniors Accept the Help They Need
It is not easy for anyone to accept help, but especially hard for seniors. At other life stages, receiving help can be temporary – recovery from surgery, help with a new baby – but for seniors
accepting help can seem like losing independence, leading to an increase in dependence.
Here are some of the reasons that seniors may resist help, with suggestions on how to convince them that a Medical Alert Service can actually increase their independence.
- They may not understand what a “medical alarm system” is. It can seem confusing.
- What to do: Explain medical alarm systems in simple language: how it works and how much it might cost.
- They don’t want to give up their privacy. They might think that a medical alarm system means someone is ‘spying’ on them.
- What to do: Reinforce that medical alarm systems monitor from a distance and only contact the Subscriber or help when a problem is identified.
- Fear of losing independence. Studies show seniors fear losing their independence more than they fear death.
- What to do: Highlight that accepting help enables them to continue living in their home, while reassuring them that they are safe if they ever do need help.
- Pride. Admitting you need help can be interpreted as admitting you don’t have what it takes to live on your own anymore.
- What to do: Acknowledge that it is difficult for anyone to accept help and suggest that accepting this kind of help is common. Knowing they aren’t the only ones can sometimes break down barriers.
- Denial. Nobody likes to admit that their health is failing, but it is even more distressing when it is inevitable. This denial can prevent someone from taking a very necessary action.
- What to do: Without making it personal, help them to understand that most people in a similar situation need some kind of help.
Lifeline reduces the risks for your patients, enabling them to remain in their homes. As their healthcare provider; they trust you to help them understand the value of the service.
Just making the call to Philips Lifeline can be daunting for some seniors. If you provide their contact information, we can call them. We can even set up a free no-obligation demonstration in their home. Ask your Lifeline Community Representative for a Direct Referral Form or more information.