Recognizing The Need for Help
The golden years. They can be a time of joy and pleasure, filled with laughing grandchildren, golf or other activities, social time with friends and family, and more. They can also be a time of change, a time of uncertainty, as the memory begins playing tricks on us, and once simple tasks become more difficult. And, while sometimes the changes are gradual, occasionally they spring upon us, particularly in the wake of an illness or accident.
With this in mind, older adults must stay ahead of the game to ensure their safety during all of life’s transitions. A key example is being able to recognize when it is time to turn to others for assistance or support within your home.
There are several warning signs that serve as good indicators that it might be time to seek outside support to meet the needs of yourself or a spouse. If you find yourself forgetting to pay bills or overpaying on them, missing doses of your daily medication or taking it incorrectly, finding that a chronic illness is prohibiting you from doing daily tasks like preparing meals, housekeeping or driving, or are witnessing a reoccurrence of falling - it might be time to consider turning to others for help.
Whether you could benefit from having your daughter come over one afternoon a week to help with household chores and paying the bills or need daily assistance with activities ranging from bathing to transportation, it’s important to realize that it is okay to ask for help.
You will likely be pleasantly surprised to find just how willing others are to lend a hand, from family members and friends to neighbors or members of your church. It can be both a comfort and blessing to have regular visits by these friends and loved ones, as they can meet your emotional needs at a level no one else can. In addition to this existing network, a variety of helpful community resources are also available to help enhance the quality of life for older adults.
There are also a number of trained professionals, social workers and experienced geriatric Care Managers in the area who can assist you with planning, decision-making and the selection and placement of appropriate resources. They can provide you with educational information on vital aging and caregiver topics, placement services to help determine when a change in living arrangements is the best choice, direct services to provide care and support in your home and much more.
If you think you could benefit from such resources but are unsure on where to start, a good place to turn to is St. Andrew’s Senior Solutions call today (314) 726-5766. We’d be happy to point you in the right direction.
Ann Bannes is vice president of home and community-based services for St. Andrew’s Senior Solutions, a local non-profit organization that serves the needs of the elderly and their caregivers (314) 802-2192.