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How might the person you're worried about be feeling?

If you can, put yourself in the shoes of the other person. How might they be feeling about the situation? What could be making them act the way they are?

When we spoke to people who were struggling with challenges as they got older, we found some common themes.

Don’t want to ask for or accept help

Perhaps they don’t want to admit there’s a problem, feel ashamed of becoming a burden or don’t like the idea of losing control. Or perhaps they don’t feel safe raising their worries.

"I could do with a cleaner but I just don't like the idea of someone coming in."

Not feeling motivated

They might feel like it’s just too much effort to make changes or keep up with things the way they used to.

"Lack of energy is the worst...I find I don't have a lot."

Not knowing how to make changes

Are they feeling resigned to how things are now, or like they’re not able to change?

"I think my life has just got stuck in a rut really."

Feeling like nothing matters

Sometimes people can start to feel like life doesn’t have meaning anymore, or that they’ve become a burden.

"I feel life would be easier for my son. I didn't bring him into this world to look after me."

It can be deeply unsettling to think of someone, particularly someone you love, feeling like this. And it's OK to feel upset, confused or even angry. Your emotions matter too.  

Let's recap

  1. How someone feels about themselves and the situation is really important. 
  2. Understanding what could be behind their behaviour might help you start the conversation that helps them.

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Last updated: Oct 22 2019

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