Oct 13th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Seniors Being Available to Others

There are two dimensions to this question.  One is the perpetually repeated one when faced with time on our hands and wonder about what we can do with ourselves.  The other occurs when met with a friend or family member(s)  who experience major difficulty in their lives. Such difficulties are a major health issue, e.g. having been diagnosed with a serious disease; having faced a terrible loss; a disaster that takes away one’s home and possessions or the death of a loved one;   or some other tragedy in which assistance, rescue and aid may be helpful.  It is then we ask “What can I do?”

It is a sensitive question.  Often it is spoken when there is little else to say.  Sometimes it is not well thought through.  Once in a while the person, who is asked may come up with a suggestion.  Often, when dealing with death the question comes to the fore.  Those asked might well be prepared with an answer.  Such possibilities include:  “You know, we have guests coming, could you put up my sister?”  or “My best suit is at the cleaners, would you mind picking it up before Thursday?” and the list of possibilities goes on.

Being Prepared for the Question

When asked, the “What can I do” query should be fortified with genuine willingness and sincerity to do something, perhaps to offer an idea, take the initiative, be specific.  Not everyone who asks would be willing to step up to the plate, but many are.  Adjustments that grow out of the circumstances that confront friends, family and neighbors usually surface right away.

Having a shoulder to lean on, a couple of hands to help, someone who lets you talk or cry or just sit in silence with you can be the best gifts of all. Sensitive caring is always welcome.  A casserole is a kind gesture, but using your presence to salve the pain or alleviate the pain may be what is needed most.  This then will address both dimensions to the “what can I do question.”  It gives the giver something to be doing and the receiver something significantly deserved.

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