Building Your Support Network
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Perhaps you are new in town or in your apartment or room in assisted living.
How do you reach out? Here are some suggestions:
- Give the gift of time and attention. Everyone appreciates a friendly ear.
- Plan special times. Invite neighbors, coworkers, or someone down the hall
that lives alone to join you.
- If you are able to get a pet, it will provide you a way to get out into
the neighborhood and meet people as you walk your pet.
- Join an activity group that interests you to become connected with a group
of individuals with common interests.
- Become a volunteer for an organization in need or if you are living in an
assisted living center, ask for jobs to do.
The family is the original support group, yet often we fail to communicate
effectively with our loved ones. Here are a few tips:
- Be there whenever possible to spend time with your family
- Make time. Set aside a special period of time each day to relax and talk.
- Show interest. Listen and give support to what your adult children and/or
spouse tell you.
- Reserve Judgement. As long as they are not hurting themselves, perhaps you
donít have to approve of your kids/grand kids music, fashions, or
hairstyles, or tattoos.
- Do things together.
- Share common interests.
- Show respect. All family members are individuals with their own views and
- Take the responsibility for developing your support network.
Nina Chen, ChenN@missouri.edu
Regional Specialist, Human Development
Jackson County, Missouri
University of Missouri Extension