Although I’m not into New Year resolutions, I am into a new commandment for myself. It is: “When you need help, ask for it.”

Previously, that commandment was unnecessary. I had no trouble getting new eyeglasses when my vision changed, and when I felt my driving was becoming less safe, I turned my car over to my daughter. Now, she does my grocery shopping and delivers it to me. Another assist for me and other non-drivers is the new TriMet service that is available in our area.

Social interaction, according to gerontologists, is a requirement of successful aging and living in a senior living community answers that need. The major challenge is that these communities require asking questions, and I find that a snag. For example, we are urged to invite people to join us for dinner, whether or not you had met them. I grew up with a mother who was very concerned with Emily Post and proper behavior. That meant inviting people that you hadn’t met previously to join you for dinner. That was a major violation of proper etiquette.

Now, I’m ready to adopt new ideas of proper behavior with an assist from a flier on social services from the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center. A headline states: “Help when you need it. Call on us.”

In the past I appreciated regular blood pressure checks and I have some experience with some of their programs— like Sit and Be Fit (seated aerobics) and blood pressure checks. Although it’s been years since my participation in the Sit and Be Fit program, two of us who shared that experience continue to have lunch together once a month.

Other topics that fit into my new rule worked for me when my dad sold his Mercedes. Although I was his caregiver, my demanding and full-time job in Clackamas County didn’t allow for lunch breaks long enough to rush home to provide lunch. Fortunately, I was able to use the Meals Delivered to Housebound service for both my dad and his caregiver.

Some of the other “call if you need it” services are especially timely now. AARP Income Tax Assistance and free consultation with an attorney are available now. To make appointments, call 503-635-3758. Although this information on where to call focuses on Lake Oswego, similar assistance is available throughout our area. An example is a publication in my files titled “Retirement Connection Guide: Greater Portland/Vancouver.” It is a 5-by-7-inch book, 176 pages, dated 2010, updated regularly and free of charge.

If you have questions that need answers, this might be a good source. My copy states contact can be made at and 1-800-296-6404. And good luck with “when you need help ask for It.”

Stories for Positive Aging is a semi-monthly column on senior issues written by Lake Oswego resident Ardis Stevenson, author of “Facing Age, Finding Answers” and “Dusty’s War.” She can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by regular mail at 17440 Holy Names Drive, Lake Oswego, OR 97034.

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