It might sound like an easy thing to do, but often asking for help can leave you feeling like a nuisance or embarrassed. Whether you find asking for help in the first place difficult, or you aren’t easily able to communicate your needs, our team has put together their top tips for asking for help, and crucially, getting it.
What are you asking for help with? Communicate clearly
Often we assume people should be thinking about us if we’re going through a difficult time or need support, and it can leave you feeling disappointed and hurt if a friend or loved one doesn’t automatically offer help.
If you’re left feeling like you want some support, be sure to ask. Sometimes those closest to us don’t mean to be insensitive – they could be extremely busy or don’t want to appear patronising or offensive by offering support where it’s not required.
Don’t beat around the bush – if you find it hard to venture outside or you’re falling at home, don’t simply mention the issue, ask outright for the help you require. For example, saying ‘I am finding it difficult to get my shopping since my recent fall, is there any way you could pick up a list of items for me this Tuesday?’ is far clearer than hinting ‘I don’t know what I am going to do about my shopping this week as I don’t know if I can get out.’
You may find that if you suffer from falls or worry about venturing out due to fragile health, that a lifeline support system could help you long term.
Prioritise and work out who may be able to help with what
Asking for help can make you feel like you’re bothering people, particularly if your family are very busy or don’t live close by. The reality is many people are happy to help when needed, but think about how you can make life easier for those who would be willing to help you.
Perhaps your partner drives and would be able to pick up a prescription or shopping for you, while maybe a close friend would be able to offer help on foot or closer to home such as preparing meals or walking your dog for you. If you need to book an appointment at the doctors, dentist or hairdressers for example, getting a few dates and times from someone who can take you in advance can help to make asking for help stress free.
Working out which needs are most pressing is also a good way to manage your life if you sometimes need additional help – perhaps one week you may have to go without venturing in to town for a coffee if your usual helper is busy, but your priority is being comfortable and having enough food in the house.
Be positive about how the request will help you and show gratitude
If you’re asking someone to help you with something, no matter how small, communicate the effect them completing the task will have on your life. For example, some younger members of your family or neighbours may not appreciate how difficult going to the shop is for you. Mentioning how you won’t need to stay awake worrying about doing a daily task and how thankful you are can help to make others more willing to offer again in future. It can also help people to see the value in what they’re doing.
Doing something unexpected in return no matter how small can also be a touching gesture – perhaps you have some great flowers in your garden that you’re picking or you’ve baked some cakes that you can share with someone as a way of thanking them for their support? Offering your help to someone else in their hour of need can make you feel better about asking for help too – it can be something as little as listening or offering advice to someone with a problem. Remember you have something to offer too!
Think about alternative means of getting help
Sometimes as much as someone close to you may want to help, they may not have the means to do so at a particular time. If you feel your support requirements are long term rather than just during a difficult period or recovery, it might be worth thinking about getting help from other sources.
Considering a lifeline support system that connects to 24 hour support could be an option, especially if you live alone and want to remain independent. If you need reminding to take medication but relatives work and aren’t always able to remind you at a specific time, a medication prompt device could be the support you need.
Don’t forget, if the support you need is not physical there are services that can help to combat loneliness and provide companionship which can make a huge difference.
To find out more about how Careium’s alarms could help you, please email us or call our friendly team who will discuss the best support for your needs on 0300 333 6511.