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REACHING OUT …. WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST – Most of us hold on to our independence with fierce determination as a sign of ‘we’re OK’ and we are still coping with life. But we can’t always maintain that independence when illness or tragedy strikes, and we should learn to accept that is perfectly fine to wave your arms about and ask for assistance. For some this may be a permanent shift, whereas others it may only be temporary until you are able to regain your independence again.
You may need support with household tasks, such as house cleaning, ironing, shopping and bill paying, that you are struggling with or simply no longer able to complete. Research has shown that those that have some support in domestic activities to have a beneficial health effect, even for the frail and elderly. Usually whilst the patient is recovering from illness or accident, they can relax and minimise the stress of the day-to-day activities just by knowing that someone else is taking care of it for them and that their independence could be returned to them one day.
Sometimes during periods of illness, disability or frailty you are unable to do your own personal care tasks and therefore reaching out to seek assistance will ensure that you are still hygienic and supported when you need it most. Again, it assists in the recovery time of the patient. This service may be provided on a daily, weekly or fortnightly basis, dependent on your assessed needs.
Breaking down the barrier
Often it is our own mental stubbornness that prevents us from reaching out and seeking help. We all have a bit of fear of losing control and our independence. One of the biggest hurdles is the ability to recognise the symptoms and acknowledge there is a problem that may benefit from intervention from someone else. Sometimes you may not realise that you have reached that point and therefore it may come as a surprise that it is suggested by a family member, a friend or health professional.
Sometimes there is a stigma or embarrassment for seeking help. People wonder what others may think of them, often the younger generation are highly concerned about what others think.
Another area of concern is the lack of trust with respect to the potential source of help and any breach of confidentiality. In the extreme cases, it may be the fear of hopelessness that may prevent someone from reaching out and being judged as weak.
Generally, those patients that have had a positive experience on a previous occasional when they sought help or support will be less fearful to ask again.
What’s been your experience with breaking the barrier to reaching out for help?