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It is part of most people’s nature to want to help others. On the flip side, for most of us — regardless of age or capabilities — accepting help is difficult.  It is easier to offer help than to accept help yourself.

It is not surprising that seniors or others experiencing health needs are resistant to asking for or even accepting help.  Those who care about them will recognize that they need help, while the individual may be so overwhelmed with their current situation that they can not see that a little assistance can make for a better day.

When loved ones suggest that we consider some help, we are resistant.  For some, it is our sense of pride.  It could also be because we feel it may be a sign of weakness or a sense of losing control, that we are reluctant to accept support when it is needed the most.  Whatever the reason, it is important that anyone trying to arrange assistance for a loved one to acknowledge the reluctance and find ways to encourage acceptance of the current situation.  A little help can go a long way to making for a better day.

If you or a loved one is resistant to help, it may help to ask a few key questions…

Why so uncomfortable asking or accepting help?  Is it just pride? A bad experience of not getting the help the way you wanted in the past when you did ask for assistance?  Like most situations, if you can understand why, then you are better equipped to solve the problem.  In this case, if you can figure out why you or your loved one is resisting help, you can then start to change the perspective.

Consider the other side, namely the person who is offering the support.  As humans, it is natural for us to reach out to someone in need but harder to accept help.  When we offer assistance, we are usually offering with good intentions of making someone’s day just a little bit easier.  If you are someone who normally enjoys and takes pride in helping people, remember that when others feel you may need assistance, think of accepting that support as giving them an opportunity to feel useful.

For individuals with mental health issues like dementia or anxiety/depression, accepting help is always a challenge.  In these cases, having a professional and objective caregiver to provide support is usually the best option.  Having a professional caregiver can be better accepted or tolerated by your loved one as it is not family providing the support on a regular basis.

It takes incredible strength to accept that we cannot do everything on our own, and great humility to ask for and accept help in our time of need. Finding ways to accept help graciously is vital to mental and physical well-being, especially as we age and our needs increase.

If you or a loved one is having difficulty accepting help from family and friends, perhaps reaching out for support from our friendly and professional staff here at CSS is exactly what you need.