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How to Help Your Elderly Loved One When They Won’t Get Out of Bed

Many families experience similar problems regarding their elderly loved one’s condition. Although everyone has their own story, we all share one common thing: time. Life moves incredibly fast, and before you know it, you are thrust into the role of a caretaker for a parent, grandparent, or another family member. 

On its own, caregiving will likely be the hardest job you’ll ever do. Meeting the needs of an elderly loved one that’s chronically ill can be even more challenging. Caregiving comes with tons of responsibilities and daily necessities to ensure your loved one is well taken care of, but what happens if they won’t get out of bed? This, and the uncertainty that follows, is one of many roadblocks that family caregivers face. Let’s first explore the reasons behind elderly refusal to get out of bed, and then we’ll introduce strategies that might help. 

Reasons Why Your Loved One Won’t Get Out of Bed 

There’s a difference between not wanting to get out of bed and being unable to get out of bed. It’s not uncommon for elders to have a hard time getting up simply because they are aging and tired. They lack energy, muscle mass, and strength. However, other reasons beyond just old age might contribute to the unwillingness to get out of bed. These include: 

  • Lack of sleep 
  • Physical issues
  • Illness 
  • Medications 
  • Dementia 
  • Anxiety 
  • Fatigue 

Considering all these potential causes and the ways each of them interact, many experts agree that elderly disinterest in basic life activities often stems from depression. Depression is a serious illness prevalent among elders who are experiencing sudden changes in their lives. If left undetected, depression can speed up the aging process and be harmful to your loved one’s health. 

Strategies to Encourage and Support Your Loved One 

Now that you understand some of the potential explanations for why your loved one may resist getting out of bed, what can you do to reverse that? Identifying their triggers is only the first step, and it can take some time and professional medical assistance to get to the bottom of it. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to encourage and support your loved one:

  • Don’t assume. Mind reading and making false assumptions about what your loved one is going through won’t be helpful. Rather, try talking to them. 
  • Be there. Just being present in your loved one’s life can make all the difference. 
  • Make a plan. Without a plan, or at least an activity that interests your loved one, it will be more difficult to motivate them to get moving. 
  • Offer help. Schedule an appointment to see a doctor and tag along. Tell your loved one you’ll be right by their side. 
  • Don’t react. It’s not easy to stay calm when you’re frustrated, but saying or doing something hurtful will only worsen the situation. 
  • Reframe your words. Instead of just looking on the outside, try to understand the triggers that come from within. Change “what’s wrong with you?” to “are you okay? 

Talk to an NYC Elder Abuse Attorney for Help 

Sometimes, caregiving becomes too much. It’s not that you don’t care, but you have your own obligations, and you’re not medically trained nor qualified to care for an aging loved one. Although you always knew in your heart that you’d primarily care for your loved one, the responsible thing to do is enroll your loved one in long-term care or research elderly programs, services, and resources in NYC. 

Once your loved one is placed in the care of someone else, your family has the right to expect that they will be adequately cared for. When nursing homes and caregivers fail to meet quality care standards, the nursing home abuse lawyers Dalli & Marino know how to hold them accountable. 

At Dalli & Marino, we represent clients throughout New York City and surrounding areas. Throughout our firm’s history, our cases have reached local coverage, highlighting the millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts we’ve won on behalf of families and their loved ones. If you need help with any care-related issues, call 888-465-8790 or complete our contact form for a free case evaluation.