When An Aging Loved One Insists “I’m Fine and I don’t Need Help!”

For family caregivers looking after an aging parent or loved one, reaching out to a senior care organization like Seniors At Home can feel like a betrayal of trust. Their loved one’s physical and mental condition is an increasing worry, yet they may keep insisting, “I’m fine and I don’t need help!”


When Jonah called about his 86-year-old mother, he had finally realized that she needed more than his check-in calls and cross-country quarterly visits. “I was alarmed that she’d been slowed by arthritis and depression.” He knew approaching his mother about getting help would be a delicate proposition. Jonah needed an expert to assess his mother’s situation and speak with her compassionately about how some extra assistance would improve her life. That is where JFCS’ Seniors At Home comes in. As the premiere provider of care management services to older adults in Northern California, Seniors At Home has decades of experience helping families with transitions.

Finding Middle Ground

Traci Dobronravova, MSW, Seniors At Home Associate Director, often finds that families are hesitant to ask for help with the care of their aging parent or loved one. She says, “Once family members realize what personal and professional care can bring to the table and the opportunities they have for help, it can suddenly be a huge relief.”

When caregivers call Seniors At Home, the first thing that is provided is a personalized intake interview. That way questions, concerns, and expectations are addressed right away. Soon after an in-home assessment will be scheduled so that a geriatric care manager can examine:

  • Physical and emotional health and social activities
  • Home safety and maintenance needs
  • Needs for transportation, housekeeping, meal preparation, errand running, bathing and dressing, etc.
  • Financial resources and needs for assistance managing finances

Making a Plan and Executing It Quickly

Once the in-home assessment is completed, a personalized plan for care is developed and reviewed together. The plan will outline specific areas of concern and identify any recommended actions such as caregiver support, home care, counseling, meals, transportation, money management, volunteer companionship, and referrals, to name a few. Since Seniors At Home is a “one-stop shop” with comprehensive services all housed in one location, the assessment can move to quick action.

Seniors At Home provides regular progress calls to update the family, caregivers, and/or medical providers. The status of the senior, as well as any problems or new concerns, is conveyed quickly to those responsible for care.

Since Jonah called Seniors At Home he says, “My mother’s health has improved dramatically over the past six months.” She has benefited from a few hours of home care each week, a weekly check-in with her care manager, and being matched with a JFCS volunteer with whom she gets together weekly for coffee and conversation. He notes, “It’s a relief that Seniors At Home is there when I can’t be. My mom is part of a community now and not alone.”

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