What kinds of help do you really need?

Before you start thinking about who to approach for help, nursing or support, you should first consider the kind of assistance you need now or what you expect to need in the future. Also, talk things through with relatives or other people you trust.

Coping with day-to-day life: services available in the home

If performing everyday tasks involves increasing effort, but you can otherwise manage well on your own and are not dependent on nursing care, you can call upon a wide range of services that can simplify everyday life. Sometimes, it can be shopping or cleaning that you need help with, or perhaps getting to the doctor is proving difficult to organise. If you need help, you must be able to request it, either from relatives, volunteers or professionals. There is a wide range of services that you can call upon to give you the help you need at home.

Checklist: What kinds of help do I really need?

  • Do you need help with housework (e.g. cleaning, washing and ironing, cooking and preparing meals)?
  • Do you need help in performing specific activities (e.g. washing, bathing or showering, dressing/undressing)?
  • Are there family members or other people you trust who can either take over or help you with these?
  • Using your notes, get an overall idea of the kind of help and nursing care you need. Go through a typical day in your mind and note, say over the course of a week, the times when you need help and the kind of help you need at those specific times.

Also give thought to things like shopping or grocery delivery services and assisted visits to the doctor. Think about where family members and friends can help now or at a later date, and where it might be better to have professional help, either now or in the future.


Do the “1-week test”
Make a daily note of the amount of help you need when going about specific tasks. Be honest with yourself when thinking about this. If you are unsure, talk to people you trust and who are able to understand and assess your needs.

What kinds of help do I really need - PDF, 888 KB