One of our greatest worries is witnessing the vicissitudes of age catch up with our parents. We fret about our loved ones’ health and fluster when they simply brush our concerns off. Perhaps you notice that your loved ones seem absent-minded, or have shed too many pounds. You may be anxious and feel that something is not right. You want to know what’s going on and find a solution swiftly. Have your loved ones consulted a doctor? Or maybe they just don’t want to?
Moving into their twilight years can be daunting for your loved ones. Some elderly choose to stay ignorant rather than discover any possible serious health conditions. Aging folks resist doctors’ visits and medical appointments especially when they sense that something is wrong and fear to face it. As a concerned adult child, what can you do to convince your parent to see the doctor?
Try to Empathize Why
Foremostly, you can try to empathize with why your parent is wary of going to the doctor. Understanding where your loved one is coming from can lead you in the right direction. Your parent might confide in things like: “I don’t understand my doctor’s terminology.” or “My doctor always tells me it’s normal, I’m old.”. These may be signs of communication barriers and it might be helpful to introduce a doctor who understands elderly patients.
Offer to Find a Suitable Doctor
Most of us visit our family doctor when we are under the weather. However, as we age, our general practitioner might not be the most appropriate anymore. Offering to find a new doctor and accompanying your loved ones in this pathway can mitigate their fears and uncertainties. At the same time, you can also be sure that your parent is getting the necessary care. Geriatricians might be your best bet as they are specialized in the care of the elderly.
Treat It As a Date
Why not try to entice your loved one to visit the doctor with rewards. Make it sound like a date. For example, suggest a special lunch around the corner after the medical appointment. Or visit a museum and have a high-tea together. Reassure your loved one that doctors’ visits are only occasional and only when necessary.
Make It Your Problem
If the above approaches still don’t convince your parent, maybe this pitch will work. Let your loved one know that you are very worried. Parents love their children and this unconditional love empowers them. Our happiness is their aspiration and the last thing they want is to burden us. This approach might successfully motivate them towards a doctor’s visit.
Ask Someone Else to Reach Out to Your Parent
Still turning away? It might be time to ask another family member or friend for help. Your parent might be concerned with your reaction in regards to the doctor’s diagnosis but does not wish to voice it out. If your loved one is residing in a community for the elderly, you can try speaking to on-site skilled nurses who might be able to change their minds.
At some point, it would be more constructive to accept and respect your parent’s decision. Forcing it through might damage your relationship and make it harder for your loved one to open up. With your love and support, who knows, maybe one day you will be surprised when you try again.