A Dissection of Old Age Grumpiness – Culprit #3

It’s been a busy month!  I’ve been pondering how much longer to continue this series because the number of things that can cause one to become grumpy can potentially be endlesssss. I’ve already talked about two other possible culprits (#1 and #2) and I thought of another one just the other day that must be mentioned. Let’s just dive in, shall we??

3. I Need Help!
The other day I was talking to an elderly neighbor. She is widowed and I was helping her with some little things.  While talking, she mentioned that one thing she is working on is asking others for help.  Asking for help is difficult at any age (do you agree?) yet I’ve come to believe that if you can ask for help, you really will be happier in old age.  Our society focuses so much on independence that when a person gets older and they no longer can do everything on their own, he or she struggles a lot.  So the lesson of today’s post is to practice asking for help now (whatever age you are) so that when old old age comes, your transition will be much smoother.

As your parent, your grandparent or your neighbor gets older, there are so many things they once were able to do on their own that they no longer can do. What once was easy becomes extremely difficult or even impossible.  For example, if your grandpa needed medicine, he might have walked or driven to CVS to get his prescription himself a few years back. Today, getting his prescription becomes an ordeal. He first has to call you or his other children/grandchildren, and then he’s got to wait until you are available to pick it up.  “Argghhhh…it would be so much easier if I could just drive again.”

Or let’s say your mom now has difficulty walking and now needs help everywhere she goes.  When once she was able to just get up and go, she now needs her walker (which someone has to get for her) or your assistance to get from the car to the house and so on.   As physical health declines, the “I need help” list can accumulate and as it gets longer and longer, your parent/grandparent/neighbor will likely get more and more frustrated.   Frustrated with asking for help and frustrated because he or she can’t do certain things on his own any longer.

When I was pregnant, I also had an “I need help” list that was pretty long. Sure, people are willing to help out a pregnant lady anyday but sometimes it gets tiring asking for help and sometimes the things on your “I need help” list are things you want and not really things you need.  So you ask for the things you need.  And then the things you want you have to forget about (and that’s a bummer). Thinking back, here were some of the requests on my “I need help” list during pregnancy.

My “I need help” list during pregnancy
Can you help me get the vacuum from upstairs?
I don’t have anymore socks. Can you do the laundry for me?
Can you help me move the groceries into the house?
Can you help me get the salad spinner off the top shelf?
I really just want to move the couch from here to there. Can you help me? (Okay, maybe that’s just a nesting or DIY addict question)
I can’t stand the mess in our place.  Can you clean up… NOW?
Umm..Can you tie my shoe laces?
I wish I could have some ice cream. Could you pick some Haagen Daaz up?

There you go. Another reason for old age or any age grumpiness. Have a great week everyone!