Senior Care Resources and Information in Charlotte, NC

What Can You Do When a Parent Is Unsafe but Refuses Help?

It is incredibly frustrating to deal with stubborn people, isn’t it? Parents and teenagers know this all too well. Of course, their parents won’t give them much consolation or sympathy because they were once teenagers themselves and probably quite stubborn. When an adult child, though, is witnessing their aging parent being unsafe because of diminished strength, health issues, or other physical limitations, they might offer advice that seems to fall on deaf ears.

Senior Home Safety in Salisbury NC: What to Do When a Parent is Unsafe

Senior Home Safety in Salisbury NC: What to Do When a Parent is Unsafe

When safety is a concern, what can an adult child do when their mother or father refuses help?

There’s really not much a person can actually do. Some people might believe it’s their responsibility to force their parent to accept help or changes. In reality, though, as long as that senior has full autonomy, legally and morally, they have every right to decide what happens in their life. The adult child doesn’t have to agree with the decision, but they should certainly respect it.

“But they are putting themselves at risk!”

They may very well be doing just that. Unfortunately, anything that an adult child, spouse, or other family member tries to force on a senior in this type of situation is going to be met with resistance. If that adult child visits with his or her mother or father and notices them having extreme difficulty getting up from a chair, they can only imagine how much of a struggle it is to go up and down stairs, get out of bed, or even take a shower.

Maybe they’ve noticed personal hygiene issues.

It’s clear to the younger family member that this senior is not bathing properly, is not doing the laundry as often, and is not keeping up with the general cleanliness of the house. These observations are easy to make, but is there anything that can be done to help?

If a person refuses help, there’s really not much any family member can do. If they keep pushing the issue, beyond the point of getting into arguments constantly about it, it’s only going to force that senior to put up a wall, refuse to answer the phone, and not open the door when that family member shows up.

The best thing is to wait, offer advice, not get engaged in an argument or long drawn out discussion, and try to explain the value in putting safety first. Eventually, most people come around to realize they do need help and when that happens, they will ask for it. It’s frustrating for the rest of the family to simply sit and wait, but that may be all they can do in the interim.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to improve senior home safety in Salisbury, NC, contact the caring professionals at TenderHearted Home Care today. Call us at 704-612-4132

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Renee Gray

Founder, Owner, President at TenderHearted Home Care
As Founder, Owner & President of TenderHearted Home Care, I have always had a heart for helping others. I started with babysitting while a teenager, assisting the mentally disabled in a work environment for 10 years, homeschooling my two sons, serving others for 9 years while employed through the local hospital and since 2011 have been focused on helping seniors to maintain their independence in the comfort of their own home. I am a Certified Senior Care Manager (CSCM) as designated by the Association of Care Services At Home (

I have enjoyed volunteering my time as the President of the Rowan County Home School Association, assisting with the Parkinson’s Support Group, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Pregnancy Support Center, MOPS International, Capstone Recovery Center, Kairos Outside, Celebrate Recovery, various church committees and going on a mission trip to Moldova. I am a member of the Rowan County Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels board member, REACH of Rowan County, HIPSS of Davidson County, Second Tuesday Business Group and several Christian Business Life Groups.

I am passionate about serving others and providing the most compassionate care possible, as I would want for my own family. I love relaxing with my husband, Peter, and my two dogs, Yoyo and Terra Cotta.

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