Mom (86) has severe osteo-arthritis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and (CHF) congestive heart failure. Her only concessions to this lethal disease cocktail are an earlier bedtime and no driving. She’s determined to continue her life with the same friends and activities she’s always enjoyed: church groups, garden club, babysitting grandchildren, and volunteering at the hospital. She sometimes exhausts herself to the point of needing a day in bed to recover. She refuses to stop these life-draining activities, saying, “Staying involved makes my life worthwhile and interesting.” Should I be worried?
- Barbara, PSL
You and Mom are both correct—“prevention” is necessary for good health. In addition to needing doctors, nurses, and medications to keep us healthy, scientific studies verify the amazing benefits of “holistic” preventive measures such as the state of a person’s mind, body, relationships, finances, and spirituality. As we age, we’re too often removed from these sources of community. Families are often realistically busy with their own lives, friends pass away, we may no longer drive, etc. With nothing else to do aches, pains, loneliness, and depression fill the vacuum. It’s critically important to help our elders avoid becoming isolated. Social/mental stimulation and a sense of connection/belonging are crucial for humans to function and flourish. They provide the relationships that give meaning to our lives. Mom’s lucky to have you as her advocate. Talk her doctor about her physical capacity and try to combine your vigilance with helping Mom maintain the human connection we all need.
Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services
Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©
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