When an aging parent does not want to visit the doctor, it can be tough to navigate the situation as their child. You only want what is best for them, but you also do not want to force them to go. We need to ensure we are approaching these conversations with the right mindset so that we can peacefully resolve the situation and give our parents the care they need without any feelings of resentment.

Here are a few helpful tips to navigate getting Mom or Dad to agree to visit the doctor when they need it:

Find Out Why They Are Saying No

This may seem like a “no-brainer,” but we can easily forget at the moment to take a step back and just ask Mom or Dad why they do not want to go to the doctor. Be sure and listen to them with an open mind. If you can find out why they do not want to go, you can work to find a solution for them that gets them to the doctor willingly. 

Make sure they know that you will do your best to advocate for them and ensure they only receive the best care. Sometimes we as humans just need to be reassured that we have someone looking out for us.

Ask Someone Else to Try

If it seems as though Mom or Dad just will not listen to you, try having a trusted relative or friend speak to them instead. The parent-child relationship can be tough when trying to convince Mom or Dad to go to the doctor, and having someone else they know well may help relieve the tension that's happening.

Give Them Some Space

People are stubborn, and it may seem like the conversation is going nowhere. If that is the case, give Mom or Dad some space and come back to the conversation at another time. If it is too urgent of an issue to give them a long break, you can try pausing the conversation for a brief time from 30 minutes to an hour. 

The most important thing is keeping the line of communication open. You never want to push too hard to the point that they shut down and just will not talk about it at all. 

Accept What You Cannot Change

It can be easy to take the situation personally and feel as if it is your role to get Mom or Dad to come around, and those feelings can begin to take a toll on you. As much as you might want them to make a certain decision, you have to remember that they are in charge of their care. 

It’s better for your health and your relationship with them if you remind yourself that you cannot force them to make the decision you want them to make. A healthy respect for their autonomy as adults can go a long way!

Still not sure what to do?

At Carolina Family Estate Planning, we have helped many families in your shoes! We understand the difficulties for your parents as they accept they need help and for you as a child that only wants the best for them. Our goal is to relieve stress by mapping the way through for you. 

Request a copy of our free guide Hope for Caregivers or call our office at 919-443-3035 to discuss the best way for you to navigate how to help them. 

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