What to do when an Aging Loved One Refuses to Visit the Doctor

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Overcoming a Loved One’s Refusal to Visit the Doctor

By Ted Holmgren, 7:47 pm on April 18, 2014

Stubbornness and agitation are fairly common, albeit unpleasant, behaviors for many aging seniors. While we can often skirt around the ‘hot button’ issues, refusal to attend doctor appointments is a serious obstacle that a family caregiver must overcome. Although there is no sure fire tactic to convince a loved one of your stance, the process is not without hope. To move forward, you must begin with understanding.

If your aging loved one has been arguing for any length of time, you’ve probably heard some variation of the root cause. The argument can seem vague. Flat refusal could indicate a feeling of powerlessness. Maybe someone in the office was curt with them, which ballooned to a hatred of the entire office. Perhaps the doctor wasn’t attentive, or had trouble understanding their concerns. Any of these hiccups could leave a patient frustrated.

Once the cause of the resistance has been identified, address the concern. If your loved one had complaints against the hospital/nurse/doctor they are visiting, don’t hesitate to call the office and discuss it with the team. If the patient is afraid of a procedure, ask for another consultation or appointment with the doctor. If the patient is seeking control, involve them in scheduling. Make sure the care team understands this person requires special accommodations. If a doctor’s office isn’t willing to meet these requests, look for a Scottsdale senior care specialist who will.

Even after coming to an agreement, you may find yourself encountering the same argument again. It is entirely common – and entirely frustrating at times – to feel as though you’ve lost all the ground you had won. However, stick to your plan. Repeat everything you went over and discuss the changes you’ve made to address their concerns. Also, write the appointment on the calendar and remind your loved one of the upcoming appointment often. Doing so can help make what once seemed forbidding feel like a normal task that is simply part of the day.

As one of the leading home care agencies in Scottsdale, we understand how trying it can be for a caregiver to discuss the same arguments with their aging loved one, however when the topic of discussion revolves around their health, it is of the utmost importance that the necessary steps are taken to resolve the issue. Doing so can help promote a higher quality of life and happiness for your aging loved one.