Create a personal safety net before walking the tight rope
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(NAPS)—Life can become a high-wire act as people age. Unfortunately, many are reluctant to ask for help when it comes to receiving the care and support they need. 

One of the best ways for older Americans and their caregivers to establish a sense of empowerment about aging is to create a “personal safety net.” Woven from relationships between home, family, friends, a primary care physician, community, and public and private services, a safety net can help older adults better manage their increasing health needs. 

“Many of us would rather not admit we need help. But as we age, we shouldn’t have to face challenges alone and we don’t have to,” said Rhonda Randall, D.O., a geriatrician and chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare, a business dedicated to helping people live healthier lives. “By recognizing the value of having a strong and diverse support system, seniors can help themselves stay as healthy as they can be or return to health when illness occurs.” 

Here are a few tips for older adults—and those who care for them—that can help build a comprehensive safety net to maximize their health and longevity: 

Mend any frayed relationships with family and friends whose support is needed. Talk openly and honestly about aging and the different ways they can help. 

Take advantage of community resources, including neighbors and volunteers from places of worship, civic associations and social organizations. 

Include public and private organizations in the net. The vital services they provide can take the strain off family, friends and loved ones. 

See your primary care physician to maintain good health and prevent illness. 

Create a plan so that all parties involved in the net understand the roles they play and who they can lean on for support when needed. 

If you care for an older adult now or anticipate taking on a caregiver role, you should know that tools and resources are available to help caregivers. To learn more and get the support you need today, visit www.WhatIs SolutionsForCaregivers.com or call (877) 765-4473. Services are available in all 50 states and can be tailored to meet specific needs.

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