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Asking for help may mean persuasion

28th September 2006

A study from the University of Wales has made innovative suggestions as to how older people can be persuaded to accept help.

According to the research, the media in particular have an important role to play in encouraging those who need care and assistance to speak out.

"One of the main recommendations from these interviews is that, for this generation of older people to be able to ask for assistance or support, there needs to be a shift in their attitude towards accepting help," said Vanessa Burholt, director of the university's Centre for Social Policy and Development.

"It would be useful for this group to think it was acceptable to ask for help – that would help older people living alone, or catering for spouses or for more aged parents," she added.

Dr Burholt noted that for some older people, asking for help is associated with some sense of shame and that a widespread campaign to counteract this could be helpful in shifting attitudes.

The study was funded by the Big Lottery Fund, particularly to look at supporting older people in rural areas.