How can I get more social interaction for my father as his health condition worsens?

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My father is on oxygen and had been able to go just about anywhere, but he now has a swallowing problem which cuts down on his going out to eat and going to people's homes to eat. I'm looking for a way for him to be around people his own age and have some social interaction. With his increased medical problems, I'm noticing people are starting to pull away from him and I'm concerned about his being too isolated. He used to play cards with some friends, but lately they keep canceling plans and it's been very hard to reschedule with them. He really misses this activity. He needs something to look forward to. His retirees organization goes a lot of places he cannot go due to his oxygen (i.e. bus trips) and they have lots of luncheons and now he is unable to participate in those. Again, he misses these activities.

Any ideas will be appreciated.

Answers 1 to 5 of 5
Expert Answer
3930 helpful answers
Your dad is an idea candidate for adult day care. Call it a club or whatever, if need be. But good ADCs offer lots of social interaction. That is one of their strong points. If transportation is an issue, many offer pickup.
In-home caregivers can be hired for companionship, and some areas have free senior companions through RSVP (formerly the Retired Senior Volunteer Service). However, if he'd give ADC a try, he could benefit greatly. Most are very flexible to scheduling (how many hours/days, etc.).
Take care,
I cared for a friend's wife along time ago and he had stop going out when she had similar issue. She could swallow when we added thicken agent to liquids and I had to make all her food like baby food. He was feeding her baby food and she did not like it. Wonder why! Bland no taste. I used a process and feed her the same things he was eating and she loved it. He could see a change when he sat down and ate a meal with her. Meat, pototes with grave and veg. just like him and for liquids just add thick-it purchase at Wal-mart or ask your Dr. it makes liquids more like pudding. Also for swallowing I would help her mind by gentle finger soft rub on her cheak or neck at the throat and say swallow. She not only started gaining weight she seemed enjoy meal time which was difficult time before. Good luck. Remember season food and then use a food process or magic jet blender to make it the consistance that they can tollerate. God Bless
I had a problem swallowing and I don't know if it is any where close to what your father experiences, but I have almost passed out. I found that if I take a little apple cider vinegar with water I can swallow fine. I have had my throat close up around the food and it wouldn't go up or down, but if I remember to take the apple cider vinegar and water I don't have that problem. I take about 1 tsp of vinegar to 1/4 cup of water. Some take it with honey added to that to make it taste better. Always check with a doctor, I would say, too!
My husband has the same problem, we either have a bowl of soup before we go out or we order something really small at the restaurant. Also see if the hostess can serve crackers and cheese that your father can chew and swallow. It will become worse and you need to be able to avoid isolation. There are many remedies that can assist your father, check with the doctor as there may be other issues. Good luck Vickie
Just puree the food especially the meat before he eats it. Watch everything on his plate. When you are out to dinner, or at someone's home, reach over and mash the food with the back of your fork. Simple.

Bad food: spinach, large pieces of lettuce....... some pastries and bread!, that is muffins, Texas toast, peanut butter ( a no no ) , and anything else that may get stuck in the esophogus. No need for alarm. Just mash it up.

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