As our parents age, it can be difficult to watch them decline. Whether their health is failing or you notice they are less active and mobile, it’s frustrating to observe these changes. It often means that you have to become more active in their life and begin to monitor their health, finances, home and more.
But what about when mom just doesn’t seem like she wants to do anything anymore? She still seems pretty healthy but she has lost interest or willingness to participate in things that previously brought her joy or were necessary to daily living like grocery shopping. There could be a number of underlying reasons that you may want to try to delicately uncover.
- She may be having trouble hearing. People with hearing loss are sometimes embarrassed and they find it difficult to participate in conversations. Rather than face the challenge and admit they can’t hear as well as they once could, avoidance becomes easier for some.
- She may be depressed. Long winters can keep seniors indoors more than usual, loss of friends or a spouse and many other situations can create sadness and depression.
- She may be having bladder issues and is afraid of having an “accident” while out in public. It’s likely that she is even too embarrassed to talk about it.
- She could be in the early stages of dementia and afraid of what might happen while out and is worried about the future.
- She may have recently fallen and feels as though she is losing her balance. In this case, she may worry about going out in public and falling again.
Strike up a conversation and gently discuss how she is feeling & what’s going on in her life to try to uncover the reason she is pulling back from her normal interests. You may find that she is anxious to have the discussion and together you can find ways to address the issues. You may discover you need to set an appointment with her doctor or that a medical alert system with fall detection and gps can help increase her mobility again, particularly if she is afraid of falling or leaving home. Getting the conversation started may be difficult but the ability to find solutions to help her live a vibrant life again will be worth it.