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Looking for a hand up in our community

Updated on May 7, 2015

Where to look for the help we want?

There are many things happening but one that is not changing is we are aging. And there are more people over the age of 50 than ever before. The problem this brings up is not everyone has or will have a network of friends to help out. Many of us are in a situation where we are the last of our family and many times our friends as well. Or we just don’t want to bother our family and friends, so what can we do.

We can hire a hire services from a number of resources or we can band together with friends to form a group of people helping each other. There are services in our community, which meet this need. Especially when living on a low-income, hiring the help may just be too difficult. Where can we go for this help? A Geriatric Case Manager is one way, a private social worker is one way, and our religion leader may be willing to give us direction for the necessary services. Before we go any further what are the services we need? The best way is to take a look at our day-to-day life ad our community. Asking ourselves questions about getting through one month, taking it day to day will provide a very good level of service.

These are keys to help formulate the questions and answers:

  1. How do we get the food we eat?
    1. Grocery Store
    2. Community Market
    3. Have common eat venue
    4. Order from one of the large grocery chains
  2. How do we pay our bills?
    1. Write checks and mail them
    2. Pay on line
    3. Pay in cash
    4. Have a person who delivers our payments
  3. What do we do for entertainment?
    1. Go to visit with friends
    2. Go to community entertainment venues (theaters, concerts, etc.)
    3. Go for walks in our neighborhood
    4. Go ‘Mall Walking’ prior to the stores opening
    5. Stay in and read, watch TV, make handy items for gifts

You are getting the idea. Grab a piece of paper and begin your list. The reason why this is so important is – we need to look at the services we need and how to meet that need. Social Workers and Community Health Experts will tell us that one of the major keys to living a long, healthy and happy life is to get out of our house every day.

Using the list look at the necessary major services. Need use of an automobile (Y/N). If we would only use an automobile occasionally, what are the alternatives? Public transportation, are you aware of door-to-door service within the public transportation system in our community? Not owning an automobile could be a large savings monthly. Are there services which make deliveries from pharmacies, grocery stores and alike?

This is a list of needs, services and helpers that only we, as an individual, can make. Once we have looked at this list and objectively without any emotion made our decisions, look carefully at community resources. While accomplishing getting to know our community resources, keep our list(s)in plain sight. What should come to light as we are searching is there are more resources than we knew about. How we feel about this is completely individual likes and dislikes. What will probably come to light is there are some services which we had no idea was available to help us. This is good, now we can ad this to our basket of resources. We now have a great foundation to help with our decisions. We must always keep in mind these decisions are our own and we can incorporate them or not.

  • Make these decisions prior to the time of need, we will feel better and safer by doing so.
  • There is safety in numbers, if possible evaluate the resources in a group of friends. Likely we will find we have friends that are trying to accomplish the same set of goals for themselves.
  • When looking at resources, make a list of what our priorities are and use this list as a guide.
  • Ask for references and then follow thru, and phrase our questions to those references with ‘if you were looking at this person or agency or retirement living for your mother would you still make this choice’. Then listen to the answer carefully. If your answer is generic, there is most likely something you are not being told.

The bottom line is this is our retirement and golden years; we can live them as we like.

Next week: To drive or not to drive, who makes this decision.


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    • MGWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Marsha Caldwell 

      3 years ago from Western Washington State

      Look around, talk to family and friends it is possible you will be surprised at the number of elders banning together to meet needs.


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