How to get help from friends and family and keep living independently

Neha AminHealth & WellnessNovember 24, 2016
Caregiving 2

As you get older, your friends and family probably want to make life easier for you but they might not know how to help or even how to bring up the topic.  You can stay independent and get some help by letting your loved ones  know what you need.  If you're clear about what you need, your family will know what to do (and spend less time trying to help you do things you don't need help with!)


Here are some ideas for letting your loved ones help you out: 


Provide transportation. As you grow older, it may become increasingly difficult to get around.  If you can’t drive, you’ll need adequate transportation to pursue social activities and prevent feelings of isolation. Your family can help you by taking you places or by teaching you how to use local public transportation. You’ll be able to maintain relationships with friends and feel in charge or your own life. Be sure to consider community agencies that provide transportation for seniors.


Encourage you. Your loved ones can help you focus on things that are meaningful to you.  They should support your participation in the community and in hobbies that you like. This will help keep you motivated, boosting your confidence, while helping you to enjoy your life and social connections. Volunteering is a great way for you to remain active – you can interact with other volunteers and gain an added sense of purpose. Don’t forget that your family can cheer you on in your efforts to fully enjoy your changing life.


Boost your self-esteem. Are you feeling self-conscious or worried about your image?  Aging is not easy, and your family should be there to support you. Positive comments and compliments from your loved ones can go a long way in making you feel better. Your family should not be a source of criticism, but rather a reservoir of care.  This can encourage you to keep up your appearance, take good care of yourself and banish negative feelings. Encouragement is invaluable when you are trying to make positive steps like losing weight, exercising more or pursuing new interests. Remember your loved ones are there for you when you’re feeling low or overwhelmed and can certainly help when you face new challenges.


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