At LifeStream at Glendale, we provide several care choices to meet residents’ needs. For many individuals, independent living is a convenient option that allows them to enjoy privacy and independence without the hassles and worries of living alone. Even in this maintenance-free environment, activities that used to be easy, such as bathing, dressing and driving to doctor’s appointments, eventually become more difficult.
Regardless of the season of life we’re in, none of us are completely self-sufficient and independent. We all depend on our communities to help us overcome physical and emotional challenges. Asking for help is a healthy way to build social connections, avoid feeling overwhelmed and maintain independence.
Reaching out for help doesn’t come easily to everyone. To explore this challenge, Dr. Lee A. Lindquist, who specializes in geriatrics, conducted a study on why older adults, in particular, are reluctant to ask for assistance. In the study, she surveyed 68 adults aged 65 and over in rural, suburban and urban communities in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Chicago, Illinois. Her research turned up four main reasons seniors have difficulty accepting help, including:
For many older adults, fear of losing their independence makes them very reluctant to accept help. It may create a perception that because they’re unable to easily complete tasks such as running errands, preparing meals or completing routine home maintenance and housecleaning chores, they're forced to rely on other people in all areas of their lives.
The truth is that accepting help doesn’t result in you losing your independence. Instead, it’s a great way for you to maintain it. By getting the help you need, you can remain in the least intensive care environment possible, allowing you to continue enjoying your privacy and control over your lifestyle and schedule.
You have friends and family who’ve asked what they can do for you. So why is it so hard to accept their help? For many older adults, the desire not to be a burden on others makes it difficult to ensure their own needs are taken care of. However, it’s important to remember that most people enjoy providing help and value the sense of satisfaction it brings. By letting someone help you with a task, you’re giving them that gift.
People are busy, and while friends and family may have a genuine desire to take difficult tasks off your plate, the reality is that schedules don’t always allow for that. Fortunately, as a resident at LifeStream at Glendale, you have the support of a staff of caregivers who provide personalized wellness services.
Even after you’ve decided to seek help, knowing where to get that help isn’t always obvious. Every week, we seem to hear about some new scam targeting older adults, and many people can recount a time when someone took advantage of their vulnerability. Even relatives can have ulterior motives for offering help, so reluctance to ask for assistance makes sense.
Fortunately, living in an independent living and assisted living community means every caregiver you encounter has been carefully screened and thoroughly trained. You’re free to ask for the assistance you need without fear of being harmed or taken advantage of.
Letting someone else take over tasks such as managing your bills, driving you to medical appointments or planning and preparing your meals can initially feel like losing control of certain parts of your life. However, accepting help is actually an effective way of maintaining control; it’s simply a different strategy for managing your needs.
If you still feel reluctant to ask for help, there are a few things you can do to make it easier.
If independence is defined by not needing anything from anyone, none of us would be able to consider ourselves independent. We all rely on someone for emotional support and taking care of difficult tasks. By asking for help, you’re not giving up your independence; you’re embracing the give-and-take relationship you have with your loved ones.
There’s a misconception that by accepting help from friends and family, you simply take problems off your plate and put them on someone else's. However, the benefits of helping others are widely documented, with studies showing that helpers gain a sense of purpose and belonging and improved self-esteem, which can greatly improve their quality of life. Recognizing these benefits may make you feel a little less guilty about reaching out.
The first time you ask for help will probably be the hardest. However, it gets easier over time, especially as you realize that it doesn’t require you to give up control and that people really are happy to assist where they can.
It’s not always easy to determine the areas of your life where you’d most benefit from a helping hand. We conduct thorough move-in assessments to ensure you have access to the services you need while still preserving your independence.