Aging Well Thought Piece: Caring Conversations

Part 1 – Self Awareness

As we all go along in life, our experiences shape us. We navigate each new surprise, good and bad, with the tools learned by living. If we are fortunate enough to grow old, there will be challenges related to age, that we must also face. One might be, “What if I can no longer do _________ myself.” It could be anything in the blank: drive, laundry, cook a meal, pay my bills.
The difficulty behind this question is clear. Asking for help may mean that I lose my independence, my sense of self. But what if we approached the question differently, ‘solution’ oriented. How can we ask for help in a way that gets us the support we need without sacrificing our sense of self?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when having this personal, emotional and important conversation.

Four Questions that can Change the Conversation:

1. Am I willing to accept help if it means I am able to stay in my home?
2. How can I acknowledge the areas I need help in, and those I am confident in?
3. Am I being realistic with myself about my potential limitations?
4. Am I being respectful of those that are caring for me or are concerned about me?

Becoming self aware in this conversation is a very important step. It is equally as important to reach out to other organizations or services that can help. Jefferson County Aging Well has a wealth of resources available at https://www.jeffco.us/2690/Aging-Well-Project.

Aging Well in Jefferson County is a strategic planning project focused on developing and implementing strategies to create inclusive, livable communities through sustainable partnerships and integrated services. The Caregiving & Supports Workgroup is one of six Workgroups addressing all aspects of life for aging residents in Jefferson County. For more information, contact Aging Well coordinator, Karin Stewart at 303-271-4251 or kstewart@jeffco.us.

Article by:
Morgan Leigh Jenkins, MA, Transition Director, Maintain Me
Senior Transition and Case Management Services
and Amanda Gregg, Director of Member Growth, A Little Help


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