Seniors Tip: The Gracious Art of Giving and Receiving Help

Here’s a wonderful article from Laila Pera. It really gets to the point of not being afraid to ask for help when needed. Hope you enjoy.

Seniors cherish their independence. As age sneaks up and slowly erodes some abilities, the natural reaction can be to tighten your defences or learn ways to hide your challenges from those around you. We don’t want to appear infirm or unable to manage our own lives but these actions can lead to catastrophic results. Falls are a leading factor in injuries to seniors with results being as mild as a few bruises to severe head trauma. The wisdom of accepting or soliciting help is not only advisable; it will also provide comfort and peace of mind to a senior’s loved ones as well. The expression, “Pride goeth before a fall” was coined to describe an arrogant person’s imminent failure because of their boastful attitude but it also seems to accurately describe a person gambling their well being by refusing to accept an offer of assistance. Graciously accepting a helping hand can bring not only practical rewards that come from taking care of all the household chores and meeting all outside obligations but also can bring meaningful emotional support and a sense of connection and friendship.

Sensitivity is also important for those offering assistance. If you go in with care and respect, offering suggestions with tact, a senior is much more likely to be comfortable with the assistance. Remember, it’s still their life and they have a right to manage it.

We don’t all do things the same way but as long as there is a reasonably safe and satisfactory end result, everyone will benefit and sleep easier.  Have the courage to assess your abilities and your challenges objectively. Open your heart and mind to those that care about you. If you care, offer specific assistance instead of generalities or consider purchasing time from a home support service that the senior can use at their own discretion.  Also if you are a caregiver, be sure to frequently assess your own health and stress level. Home care giving can be very demanding and caregivers must be assured of adequate respite. Just a few hours of help a week can do immeasurable good. Reach out and ask for help. Think about your own parents and how you worried about them. Wouldn’t you wanted the best quality of life possible for them? We live in a wonderful community, be sure to be engaged and involved with all that it has to offer and you and your loved ones will enjoy a full and worry free life.

Article by Laila Pera, Reprinted due to request

Matt Del Vecchio is a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA).  He is the founder and president of Lianas - a company specializing in retirement residence search and senior transition support.

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