Why Is My Aging Parent Refusing to Go to the Doctor?

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Reasons Your Loved One Refuses to See the Doctor in Centennial, CO

Seniors need to visit their primary doctors at least once a year because annual physicals are essential for preventing, diagnosing, and treating various health conditions. For some aging adults, the thought of going to the doctor can cause a great deal of anxiety. When it comes to scheduling their annual physicals or other necessary doctor visits, older adults may avoid the topic or refuse to go altogether. One of the most frustrating ordeals family caregivers endure is their aging loved ones’ refusal to go to the doctor. If you want to convince your elderly parent to see his or her doctor, you first need to figure out why he or she is acting this way. Here are a few reasons older adults may not want to see their physicians, some of which may be surprising.


Seniors may feel anxious in the presence of physicians or be frightened of a potential diagnosis, or they may skip medical appointments as a way to protect themselves from receiving devastating news. For instance, a senior may notice changes in his or her physical abilities and put off a regular doctor appointment to avoid being diagnosed with a related condition, such as arthritis.

Loss of Control

It’s very difficult for aging adults who were once in command of their families and working lives to suddenly become dependent on the children they raised. Refusing to go to the doctor at the bidding of their children may simply be outward acts of defiance aimed to show everyone they’re still in control.

If your loved one refuses to allow you to take him or her to a doctor’s appointment, it might help to hire a professional caregiver to provide transportation and support. Centennial elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.


Altered perceptions may lead some seniors to believe their family members or other caregivers are plotting against them, and going to the doctor may be perceived as a part of a malicious conspiracy. This is particularly common among seniors in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related conditions.

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted home care service provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.


Most older adults live on fixed incomes, and they may fear going to the doctor will cost them more than they can afford. Seniors may also worry they’ll receive diagnoses during their appointments that will end up draining their finances. Surgery, expensive medication regimens, and diabetic testing equipment and supplies are all very costly, but they’re necessary for those who need them.

By understanding some of the reasons your loved one is refusing to see his or her doctor, you can be better equipped to find creative ways to encourage him or her to attend medical appointments. Remember to be patient and to approach each conversation with your loved one as if you were in his or her shoes. This can show your loved one you’re there to provide encouragement and support, not to force his or her hand.

For seniors who want to stay healthy, it’s important to see their doctors for regular checkups as well as to address any health problems as they arise. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care Centennial, CO, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Home Care Assistance is here to help. To talk to one of our Care Managers, call (303) 957-3100 today.


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