Carefrontation Can Help With Challenges Seniors Face

Carefrontation Helps Seniors Find Their Own Truth - bjwebbiz
Carefrontation Helps Seniors Find Their Own Truth – bjwebbiz
Carefrontation, as opposed to confrontation, can be a great aid in working through challenges of senior living. It’s not always easy to find one’s truth.

The term “carefrontation” was originally used in theology circles, and has spread to the counseling field, especially as regards addiction. However, it can be a useful tool for seniors and those who love them in dealing with the constantly changing panorama of senior citizens’ lives.

Working Definition of the Term Carefrontation

Carefrontation is an effective term for a process needed in many spheres of society. It involves gently but clearly helping a person find their own truth. This is different from confrontation, wherein the target person is presented firmly with the truth as other people see it. Carefrontation might involve I statements in a caring mode as opposed to arguing facts.

This distinction between carefrontation and confrontation is similar to the difference between being assertive and aggressive. Carefrontation could involve looking a loved one in the eye, sometimes with an arm around them, and communicating in a gentle and loving way the concern which needs discussion. Carefrontation is not the same as interfering since it treats both parties as equals, thus having more chance of bringing about the needed changes.

Carefrontation for Seniors and Those Who Love Them

This process is not the same as interfering but could be equated to kind but caring attention to matters at hand rather than avoiding them. Seniors face many issues where carefrontation can play an important role. Here are just a few:

  • Driving – Older people often limit their driving a bit as they age, and at some time a few find they or their spouse needs to stop driving altogether. Sometimes it takes clear and caring words from a loved one to make the needed decision happen.
  • Relationships – There are several issues here. Letting go of people who’ve passed on is not always an easy task. This also can involve letting go of people who do not have a senior’s best interest at heart, which can be a tough call since loneliness may be an ever-present companion in the lives of some elderly people.
  • Increasing possessions – Growing stacks of “stuff” can pose a safety problem for seniors, and there may be a time that those who love seniors may need to counsel them in finding a way to reduce the things surrounding them by deciding to get organized and maintain an organized lifestyle.
  • Expressing and accepting the negative of everyday life – If a senior can notice the negative yet let it go there is more chance of reducing stress while using problem solving to deal with life’s challenges.
  • Medications – Sometimes there is a need to change the manner in which medications are handled. It may be a spouse or a friend, but a senior may come to a time when the current system either isn’t safe or isn’t easy enough to be done on a regular basis. Since people are often loyal to current habits, carefrontation may be needed to get appropriate changes made.
  • Life Insurance and other end-of-life choices – It may be hard to get started, but once a person has begun to deal with these issues, they usually feel quite good about their life and legacy. Yet there are times when it needs to be brought up in a carefronting manner by a loved one to get things started.
  • Lifestyle Issues – It may be about exercise or moving on a regular basis, or working to change a habit of too much sitting. At times it may be helpful to have a conversation about giving up or changing the approach to a hobby, interest or habit which may, as aging continues, be a threat to health or safety.

Carefrontation presents an assertive way of helping older people and others deal with the many issues faced by an aging population. This can include medications, daily habits, end of life decisions,relationship situations, driving, and a myriad of other lifestyle issues including moving on a daily basis. Finding ways to stay encouraged among the difficult challenges and griefs which seniors face can be a challenge in and of itself. Carefrontation can be used by spouses, friends, family or anyone who cares for an older adult. As the techniques are learned and mastered, some even use carefrontation on themselves! Consider carefrontation the next time you feel like confronting a loved one about an important issue.

Copyright by Hildra Tague.  Obtain permission for use online or in print. First published at


About grantutor

Career educator in both public and private schools. Has tutored all ages. Writes about education, parenting, & seniors. Sings harmony with folk/rock group and a choir. Caregiver for spouse who dealt with Stage IV cancer. Happy person committed to nature and conservation of a green world.
This entry was posted in Grief Tearbook, Organizing and Downsizing, Savor Our Seniors to Grow Bold Along With Me – The Rest is Yet to Come and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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