Six Tips on Asking for Help

Most of us don’t like asking for help.   We like to think we can do everything for ourselves, and we don’t want others to feel obliged to take the time and effort to help us out.  But sometimes we all need a helping hand.  Here are six tips on how to ask.

·         Plan ahead.  It may not always be possible, but having conversations about the future early on can reduce uncertainty and prevent unnecessary stress and frustration.

·         Don’t be embarrassed to ask:   There’s no shame in asking someone to help alleviate a potentially stressful or unsafe situation.   They’ll probably be happy you asked.

·         Ask someone you trust:   It may be someone you’re quite comfortable with, or who’s dealt with the same issue themselves in the past, or both.

·         State clearly what you need:   Never assume others know exactly what you want or need.   Most people want to help.   They’re just unsure of what to do.

·         Try to stay positive:   The person you asked may not be able to solve the problem immediately, but they’re doing what they can to help.

·         Be Appreciative:  Say “thank you”, no matter how it turns out.   If their attempt to help didn’t go well, try to have a polite conversation to prevent the same thing from happening again.

Need more information on who to ask for services for an aging parent, or tips on how to communicate with a loved one about their care options?   Or maybe you could use a few reassuring words to help manage the physical and emotional aspects of caring for others.

That’s when you should Ask Elizabeth, a free service offered by Saint Elizabeth Health Care.  Anyone can call 1-855-Ask-Eliz (275-3549) or chat online through our web site (, to connect with a qualified health professional and gain confidential and practical information.

Ask Elizabeth is part of Saint Elizabeth’s Aging Well @ Home Institute, which draws on the wealth of our experience in research, education, innovation and caregiving support.   At Saint Elizabeth, we are constantly striving to make health better, especially for seniors.