What Do You Do When Your Caree Won't?


What Do You Do When Your Caree Won't?

wall-328628_640Last week, I presented at a conference for family caregivers in Oklahoma City. During my second presentation ("I'm Toast! Tips to Heal from Caregiving's Difficult Emotions"), an attendee posed a question:

My caree won't follow doctor's orders on diet and exercise. What do I do?

Her frustration was such that she expressed anger and then sadness about the situation. She invites him to join her on her morning walks, she prepares healthy meals, she encourages him and expresses her love for him. And, yet, his decisions compromise his health.

This afternoon, one of our members shared a similar situation.

My hubby is getting worse and worse about not trying to do anything. All he wants to do is sleep. He will do what PT tells him to while she is here but doesn’t continue.

You do so much and, yet, you can feel like the situation is sinking fast because of your caree's inaction. It's frustrating, exasperating, worrisome, demoralizing and heart-breaking.

So, I'd love to know: How did you manage when your caree wouldn't follow doctor's orders or a treatment regime? What did you do to cope? What did you try that worked? That didn't?

Please share your experiences in our comments section, below.

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Hmm...I'm kind of liking autocorrect's style on your comment, Pegi. Sometimes, you do have to laugh, just to avoid more crying. ;D


I think this is one of the most difficult situations for caregivers. My father is a diabetic and he loves to eat food that he knows he shouldn't be eating. Then he pays the consequences. I think part of the problem is that they want to feel \"normal\" and in control of their own life, which means making their own decisions, even when they are the wrong ones. I can't imagine everyone in your life telling you what to do and how to do it. The old saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink certainly applies to this situation. What I try to do is give him some control back in other areas of his life, such as picking out clothes, choosing how he wants to spend his day, giving him some little chores to do, like chopping vegetables, or folding clothes, so he can contribute and feel useful. I know everyone and every situation is different, but I think the bottom line is that they still need to have some ownership of their life and their opinions can still hold value.


Oh yeah...all the time. It's exhausting to say the least. One doesn't want to nag, but navigating can be tiring routine on its own, for both sides. The best thing I can say is the \"pick your battles\" line, compromise, and have patience. Focus on what does get done. Like...caree ate his peas today...had a good bm...etc. Encourage like you're trying to get a toddler to try something new and never say \"because such&such said so\". :)