Why is your parent resisting evaluation for guardianship?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Elder Law |

As parent ages, a possible need to have a conversation about their well-being and potential need for additional support draws nearer. Suppose you bring up this issue but they resist an evaluation; you may wonder what to do next.

The solution likely lies in understanding why you were met with resistance in the first place. They most likely don’t want to undergo an evaluation primarily because it brings the unsettling reality of losing their independence to the forefront.

The emotional impact of losing independence

Picture this: you’ve always been a self-sufficient individual and take pride in meeting your personal needs without needing external assistance. However, as you age, you start noticing yourself losing the ability to do simple things that never used to take much effort. Suppose this is your parent’s current predicament; you can understand why they may be resisting evaluation.

It’s crucial to understand that for senior loved ones, their independence is deeply intertwined with their sense of identity and self-worth. The thought of relinquishing control over their lives, whether due to physical or cognitive decline, can be deeply unsettling or even frightening.

When you approach this situation from this perspective, you can understand that their resistance doesn’t mean they don’t want assistance. They’re simply guarding their identity and self-worth. With this in mind, you can better demonstrate that guardianship is in their best interest.

Identifying the signs of resistance

Resistance to guardianship evaluation can present itself in various ways. Your parent might:

  • Openly refuse to participate in evaluations
  • Avoid discussions about it
  • Downplay their struggles
  • Become defensive

Recognizing these signs early is vital. It’s important to approach the situation with patience and understanding, acknowledging their fears and concerns without immediate judgment or pressure.

Remind yourself that your parent’s resistance to evaluation is not simply stubbornness or denial. It’s a symptom of deeper anxieties and concerns. Some other common fears that may be driving this resistance may include fear of institutionalization. The possibility of being placed in an assisted living facility can be a major source of anxiety for your parent.

While your parent’s resistance to an evaluation can be frustrating, it’s important to remember that it’s often driven by a deep fear of losing independence. By approaching the situation with the assistance of a seasoned legal team, you can potentially establish guardianship (if appropriate) that helps ensure your parent’s well-being while respecting their autonomy as much as possible.