Learn about finding others who can help

If one person tries to help an older adult with everything, they may become stressed and even burn out. Having a team of helpers can be better for the older adult, too.

People who might be able to help include an older adult’s:

  • Family members, both those who live nearby and farther away

  • Friends and neighbors

  • Co-workers, from current or former jobs

  • People from the faith, community, service or social groups that the older adult belongs to

Groups that might be able to provide support include:

  • Neighborhood, nonprofit or volunteer organizations

  • Local senior or community centers

  • Support groups for family caregivers

  • Groups that focus on specific conditions, like the Alzheimer’s Association or American Cancer Society

  • The local Aging Unit, Area Agency on Aging or Aging and Disability Resource Center

  • Degree or certificate programs for nurses, social workers or care aides

  • Respite care, adult day care, paid personal care, housekeeping or other in-home service

There are many different ways that people can help older adults, such as:

  • Walking their dog or mowing their lawn

  • Driving them to appointments or for errands

  • Shopping for groceries, helping with cooking or delivering meals

  • Looking up information or checking references

  • Calling, visiting or going to activities together

  • Organizing, cleaning or fixing things around their home

People are more likely to help an older adult if they:

  • Are asked to help with specific tasks

  • Understand the older adult’s situation and needs

  • Are asked directly, by phone or in person

  • See how their skills and time can make a difference for the older adult

  • Are encouraged to set healthy limits and avoid trying to do too much

  • Know who they can go to with questions or for support

  • Are able to share information with other helpers