What to Do When an Older Adult Refuses to Pay for Care
Many of today’s older adults grew up during the Great Depression. They lived through a time when the country was cutting corners and pinching pennies. Frugality was embedded in many of them at an early age and quite often remains firmly in place for life.
So what can you do when an older adult refuses to pay for care, even though they clearly are in need of care at home and have the financial ability to pay for the care?
First, empathize. Understand that the person’s perspective is valid and determined by past life experiences. If the older adult seems to be resistant to the idea of spending money for the care they need, remind yourself of the emotions behind the behaviors. An additional layer of difficulty may be in simply accepting the need for care altogether, something that is above and beyond mere frugality.
Spend some time shopping with the senior. Costs were far different years ago than they are today, for everything from a loaf of bread to a new car. If the older adult hasn’t had the opportunity to go shopping lately, go online to show them current pricing for items in general. Or take a look at this inflation calculator that shows you the value of $100 between one year and another. (For instance, $100 in 1950 is the equivalent of $1,166.59 today!) This can help if a senior is experiencing “sticker shock” at the cost for care services.
Plan plenty of time for discussions. The determination to accept home care services is a life-altering one that often requires more than one conversation. Engage in discussions with a frugal older adult about the cost-cutting measures they’ve proudly followed over the years. Utilize these strengths to compromise if necessary on covering the cost for care needs. For example, it may be that rather than full-time care, the senior would accept a few hours of care each week for assistance with necessary tasks at home. Once the person is comfortable with their caregiver and sees what a significant difference home care makes, they may be more responsive to increasing services.
Additionally, it may be beneficial to engage assistance from a third party – a person the older adult trusts, such as their attorney, religious leader, physician, or a close friend. Engaging in a discussion with this individual concerning the benefits to be attained through a home care helper often helps minimize any doubts about cost.
When a senior is ready to investigate home care, get in touch with our home care professionals at (866) 940-4343. We’ll be happy to discuss options with you that help you discover the one that is most effective. Our services are available in Novato, Napa, Sonoma, and throughout the surrounding areas.