If you see a blind man having trouble crossing the street, offer him some assistance. Lending a hand is just one way of providing assistance.

Assistance is a noun that means to help or aid. It's the noun form for the verb to assist. Homes for the elderly are sometimes called "assisted living facilities" because they provide assistance to older folks who might need assistance getting in and out of bed, or feeding themselves. If you're in a store and no one is helping you, call a manager and ask for assistance. However, if you like to shop, you probably won't need any assistance spending money.

Definitions of assistance
  1. noun
    the activity of contributing to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose
    “could not walk without assistance
    synonyms: aid, assist, help
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    the act of helping or improving yourself without relying on anyone else
    act of assisting or making easier the progress or improvement of something
    hand, helping hand
    physical assistance
    recourse, refuge, resort
    act of turning to for assistance
    with the help of or owing to
    ministration, relief, succor, succour
    assistance in time of difficulty
    the act of giving temporary assistance
    an act of help or assistance
    the act of providing something (lodging or seat or food) to meet a need
    boost, encouragement
    the act of giving hope or support to someone
    assistance, such as that provided to an enemy or to a known criminal
    aiding the cause or policy or interests of
    the performance of duties by a waiter or servant
    child care, childcare
    a service involving care for other people's children
    community service
    an unpaid service for the benefit of the public that is performed by lawbreakers as part (or all) of their sentence
    community service, public service
    a service that is performed for the benefit of the public or its institutions
    help desk, helpdesk
    a service that provides information and assistance to the users of a computer network
    the service of ushering people to their seats
    morale booster, morale building
    anything that serves to increase morale
    comfort, consolation, solace
    the act of consoling; giving relief in affliction
    adherence, adhesion, attachment
    faithful support for a cause or political party or religion
    advocacy, protagonism
    active support of an idea or cause etc.; especially the act of pleading or arguing for something
    the act of sponsoring (either officially or financially)
    endorsement, indorsement
    the act of endorsing
    approval, approving, blessing
    the formal act of approving
    the act of reassuring; restoring someone's confidence
    alleviation of distress; showing great kindness toward the distressed
    type of:
    any specific behavior
  2. noun
    a resource
    synonyms: aid, help
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    type of:
    a source of aid or support that may be drawn upon when needed
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