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Why Doesn't My Elderly Parent Trust Doctors?

Our elderly loved ones, like everyone, have fears that are not easily expressed with their primary care provider or doctor.

elderly man speaking to nurse
They may look to you as their caregiver, all the while being scared of what may potentially happen next. Your loved one’s doctor might be caught in the mix, only receiving lip service rather than follow-through when it comes to their directions.
It’s kind of like the first time that you brought up the idea of the senior emergency alert system. Your elderly loved one might have been resistant, primarily because they didn’t feel that it was time for one. You had to convince them that the senior emergency alert system was a good thing, just like you’re going to have to convince them that their doctor is on their side.
There are a number of reasons why your elderly loved one might not follow through on their doctor’s orders by taking the medicine or following the diet. Here are just a few, though we’d love to see more in the comments.

Lack of Respect

Yes, we know that we’re coming right out of the box with this one, but ageism happens from the other end, too. You see, your elderly loved one might be expecting someone who’s older than them – after all, when they first started with doctors many years ago, they were all older. Like their first encounter with the senior emergency alert system, this might be an opportunity to come to terms with being older.

Living in Denial

Your loved one might not want to admit that they need the type of care and treatment that their doctor is suggesting. The doctors are there to help, of course, but your parent or loved one just might not be listening to them. That denial is unfortunately usually broken down through harsh reality.

Simply Stubborn

Your loved one might be one of those stubborn oppositional-defiant types who loves to do whatever is contrary to the best advice that they receive. That stubbornness, unfortunately, is also overcome by the introduction of declining health or a bad situation coming up. Hopefully, it won’t take a fall before listening to doctors or getting a senior emergency alert system.
We have to trust the fact that our loved one’s primary care doctor and all of the other doctors have our elderly loved one’s best interests at heart. It’s necessary to believe that all of the training that they received went toward that moment of taking care of the people you hold so very dear.
That said, the best way that you’re going to get your parents to be on board with their doctors is if they make the revelations about the doctor’s advice on their own. It’s your job as the caretaker to make sure that there is plenty of reading material and a variety of sources available that would let them learn without being coerced into learning.
Unfortunately, a lot of our loved ones must experience that declining health, the fall, or something worse to take the advice about living situations and doctor’s orders to heart. Just like you can’t force them to wear a senior emergency alert system bracelet, you can’t force them to go in and see the doctor unless there’s a modicum of trust.

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