My Parent Has Dementia but Is Refusing Care – What Do I Do?

Feb 19, 2024 | Caregivers

One of the challenges that many people caring for a parent with dementia face at some point is their parent’s refusal to accept care. When this happens to you, it might feel like your parent just wants to be difficult, but this resistance actually comes from the symptoms of dementia and the accompanying impaired mental functions. What comes off as stubbornness is often confusion, fear, stress or anxiety. It’s a frustrating experience, to be sure, but there are a few steps you can take to alleviate your parent’s concerns and make caregiving a more positive experience for you both. 

Why Your Parent With Dementia Is Refusing Care

Some of the reasons individuals with dementia refuse care include:

  • Memory loss – They may not remember who you are or why you’re doing the things you’re doing
  • Communication difficulties – your parent may be unable to express themself or ask questions about what’s going on around them
  • Reasoning and judgment – your parent may still have a level of independence – they might know how to take care of themself, but be unable to, leading to feelings of frustration. They may also exhibit poor judgment, leading them to have differing ideas of how to care for themself

Someone With Dementia Is Still Their Own Person

Despite their diagnosis, your parent is still a unique person, with their own life experiences, opinions, beliefs and personality. These factors, combined with the cognitive decline associated with dementia, can often lead to a refusal of care.

Getting to Know Your Parent Better Will Help You to Be the Best Possible Caregiver

You might think you know your parent pretty well, but many adult children find that as they get older, they’re still learning new things about their parent’s life experiences and personal preferences. This is especially true for those who become their parent’s caregiver. Take it slow, ask for help when you need it and try to enjoy this time you have with your parent as much as possible. 

Sundara Was Founded on One Simple Question – What Would We Want for Our Own Parents?

We focus on what matters. What mattered to us when we founded Sundara was one simple question – what would we want for our own parents? That’s why we made Sundara different – smaller, more intimate, more real. When it comes to caregiving, ask yourself “What matters?” At the end of the day, will a few moments of frustration really matter? Or that your parent’s fear or confusion was met with understanding, compassion and love?

Related: Finding Joy in Life With Dementia

It’s Ok to Ask For Help

Dementia can be scary for you, your parent and the whole family, but we can help. If you or your parent live in the Round Rock or North Austin area, we are here to answer your questions and guide you through your memory care journey.

Schedule your visit online or call us at 512-399-5080.

Watch the video to learn more.