Senior Fears: Avoiding the Doctor

By Pete Lane, 7:20 pm on

Children rarely want to visit the doctor. Some even dread the trip, making excuses on why they shouldn’t have to go. As a caregiver to an aging loved one, you may begin to notice that your parent or grandparent is starting to exhibit the same behaviors, and is likely doing so because of the same reasons you once did as a child: fear.

As a provider of senior home care in Centennial, we know that fear of the unknown can be particularly difficult for the elderly to cope with, making it easy to understand how a senior could easily develop an aversion to visiting the doctor. If your aging loved one is making excuses or is skipping doctor’s appointments, put yourself in their position and try to consider the possible reasons for them to not want to go.

  • Peer Fear. As your aging loved one ages, the stakes for each injury or illness increases. They begin to watch their lifelong friends struggle with daily activities after a fall or a bout with a disease or condition, and it makes sense that they would rather subscribe to the “No News is Good News Journal.” Maintain open lines of communication you’re your loved one and keep up with their outside relationships to see if you can detect any patterns.
  • Real Fear. If your parent has encountered new challenges physically or mentally, it isn’t unreasonable for them to fear the worst. Reacting emotionally, they want to avoid dealing with the problem, hoping it will go away without having to confront it. However, denial is likely to lead to missing something that might help prevent a smaller issue from worsening. Help your loved one understand it is important to stay ahead of problems rather than deny them and provide them with support along the way.
  • Fear of the Lack of Control. Your loved one might worry that you are taking over their health care because they are not able to do so themselves. Whether this is true or not, each time they feel they are giving up something, they feel less in control and independent. Sit down and have a discussion with them about how they would like to control their medical appointments, prescription pick-ups and follow up appointments. If they would prefer you not to be involved, suggest the help of a Centennial caregiver. This can be a great way to ensure they receive the care they need without overstepping your boundaries as their family member.

Are you concerned about the health of an aging parent or loved one? Contact Home Care Assistance of Centennial and speak with a Care Manager about our flexible in-home care plans for seniors. In addition to help with activities of daily living, personal care and transportation, we also offer dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s care Centennial families can trust. Schedule your free, no obligation consultation by dialing 303-957-3100 today.

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