Encourage Your Aging Parents to Get Out More Often to Reduce Isolation

Isolation and loneliness are serious challenges for senior caregivers who care for aging parents. Try to encourage your Mom or Dad to get out as much as possible. Whether its driving the car, getting taxis, the bus or the community transit-van- anything to keep them up and mobile.

  • One of my Dad's grandchildren knew he would enjoy playing with a kite. So he gave Dad one for his birthday. At age 80, Dad was out flying a kite.

  • 2 major factors are at play here. First of all, it is great for aging seniors to get out and be with people- their friends and neighbors- even meet new people; to go out shopping or to church or temple or for a coffee somewhere- just to be less isolated.

  • It is nice when Mom tells me that she went out to do a bit of shopping- whether by herself or with a friend. I know myself, sometimes I’m in all day at the computer and it is good to get out into the back yard for a break. Something that seems so minor is even more important for older seniors.

  • The other part is the danger of getting a broken hip. A fall is a serious setbacks that can happen to our aging parents. A “broken hip” has a terrible reputation of being hospitalized, often needing surgery, certainly being bedridden, sometimes needing placement and rehab, and sometimes even dying.

Sometimes, I wonder if it might be worth it to hire a private duty nurse in the hospital just to encourage Mom or Dad to move around and get up as quickly as possible before complications develop.

So moving around, even slowly, can help minimize this happening to your aging parent. Many broken hips occur with falling out of bed. Or they occur with a fall while getting up to the bathroom in the dark in the middle of the night.

Often, the broken leg is so painful when the person moves that they can’t get to a phone to call anyone. Of course, its better to try to prevent this, but here’s where an emergency alert bracelet or necklace if so important.

Sometimes a little stability muscle-building exercise can be helpful. Have Mom practice standing on 1 foot and then the other- near a piece of furniture to hold onto if necessary.

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To reduce your aging parents isolation, click here to return to the Emotional Health page