We have all heard the Beatles song “When I was younger, so much younger than today…” “Help me if you can….” And this song brings to mind that the definition of help has many meanings. To give help and to receive help are two very different things. We all have a tendency to offer our help but are reluctant to ask for help. Now why is that!! We can’t help each other if no one ever asks for assistance.
What’s so hard about asking? We don’t want to bother anyone. We don’t want to be a burden. We can do everything! All of the time! All by ourselves!
Now how ridiculous is that statement!! We need doctors, electricians, plumbers, accountants, mailmen, and on and on. We need services, assistance and relief in many different ways from the time we are born until the time we die.
We accept, hire, allow support and services every day. We just don’t term it as “help”. Reconsider all of those things. Perhaps it will assist you in redefining the word “help”.
And then we want to step forward, chip in and offer a lending hand to others. It might be cutting our neighbors grass, picking something up for a friend, giving a ride so your sister can drop her car of at the dealership. Doing these things makes us feel good. We want to volunteer. Maybe at the school, the senior center, the library, for scouts, as a fireman or EMT. We want to help others.
We by nature are very giving. It’s easy to offer but remember others can’t give if you don’t ask. And your ask doesn’t have to be big. It can be as simple as “Can you bring me back a coffee when you get yours?” So, the next time someone asks if they can do anything for you… say YES! Both of you will feel good about it.
Time has a way of passing much faster than we realize. I think they – whoever they are – steal time as we sleep. Haven’t you been shocked when you look in the mirror and see how time has passed. Or looked at your children and been surprised how many years have flown by? And it doesn’t seem possible for all those years have gone by. If you close your eyes and look at yourself as you feel you are, you’re much younger than that darn mirror tells you.
Recently I came across photographer Tom Hussey’s work “Reflections” which shows elderly people looking in the mirror and seeing who they were many years before. A fireman, a nurse, the scholar, the pharmacist, a new mother, a welder.
“Reflections” was inspired by a World War II veteran who said, “I can’t believe I am going to be 80, I feel like I just came back from the war. I look in the mirror and I see this old guy.”
It brings to mind that with retirement and age we lose a big part of our identity. As we enter adulthood we are often asked “What do you want to be?”
But seldom after we retire are, we asked “So what did you used to do?” “Who were you before?”
We have been a big part of building our towns and cities. We have served in many positions be it elected or volunteer. We have been the scout leaders, the umpire, the coaches, the committee member.
And for those of us who feel we might be losing our identity lets share the stories of our past, volunteer to teach others, once again become that committee member, volunteer at the local school, senior center or hospital. Continue to be an active part of the community.
And for those who haven’t reached those later years, the next time you encounter the elders in your community be it at the grocery store, at your place of business or just in passing take a few minutes to find out more about who they are and who they were. You will be surprised just who you are talking to!
How it can assist us in ways we never imagined!!
At every age we want to feel safe and independent. And as we age those around us become more and more concerned about our wellbeing. With today’s technology there are devices that can help us know what’s going on around us, monitor what we are doing, learn from us and help us.
Doorbells now can have wi-fi cameras so with your smart phone you can see who is at the door and you can talk to them.
Thermostats can be programmed and hooked to your Wi-Fi. They can learn when you are home or away and adjust the temperature. You can adjust the thermostat with your smart phone.
Smart phones can do a huge number of tasks from making phone calls, storing information, reminding you to do any number of things. They have calendars, timers, alarms, calculators, cameras plus more. A smart phone is actually a full-fledged computer that you put in your pocket! They can connect to any number of devices using your wi-fi.
Home Security System – smart sensors and security cameras can be set up inside or outdoors. With wi-fi we can see if anyone or anything is out there. Used indoors our loved ones can see if we are ok, up and about. They can track activity, the fridge door, the medicine cabinet. Some you can even talk to.
Smart speakers are great because they respond to our voice. We can ask “what time is it” “play the Beatles” “what’s the joke of the day” or any question. Of course, the speaker is not going to always know the answer. The speaker can remind you to take your meds, an appointment, etc.
Timers – as simple as turning the living room light on every evening and then again in the morning. To those passing by it looks as if someone is home. For us its light when we get up and go to bed and reduces the change of tripping.
Smart TVs – who knew!! I can now talk to my TV. I don’t even need to know the channel that the game is on. I just say, “Patriots game” and it shows me. The TV also shows me who’s calling me on my phone before the phone rings.
Emergency pendants – We all remember “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” commercials now they can also detect falls. The device knows if you fall and alerts the company. Plus, we can activate these devises, tell them what has happened and get help.
Tracking chips can be attached to the dog’s collar, so we know where he ran off to. Put on our key rings so we can find them, and we can have them in our loved one’s pocket so if they get lost, we can find them. We could even attach it to their smart phone, emergency pendant or key ring even.
Smart pillbox – medicine reminders, dispensers – notifies a smart phone if you forgot to take your pills or if you take the wrong ones. And who doesn’t forget to take their meds from time to time!
Now why might I need some of these things?
To be and feel safe
To be able to get help if I need it
To be independent
Not such bad things….
Now let’s reassess how we feel about all of this…..