Hello All - I am having a dilemma with my 92 yr old mother who is still sharp mentally, but almost blind. I have been her main caregiver for over 6 yrs now and although she is almost blind, she is still mobile and still lives in her own home. She still cooks simple meals for herself too. I take her to all her doctor appts, take her food shopping, take her for haircuts and other errands when she needs things. All this for over 6 yrs. Of course she wants to get out more for entertainment purposes like the movies, lunch, dinner etc. But all the other errands we do are getting to be too much for me now. I have health problems, I care for my grandson in the afternoon after school, and I have little time for me. I am currently looking into volunteer groups that may have someone to be a companion for her, and although she is not thrilled that I am not going too, she is willing to try to have outings with other people. My only thought of course is that she needs guidance everywhere she goes because she can’t see the ground well and she can’t see well inside. The desire is there to do things, but she is 92 and not that mobile because of her sight. She uses a cane to steady herself. She does have balance problems. Can anyone think of what I need to do to match her up with the right person to take her out occasionally? Is this a doable thing? Or is it hazardous for her? I’ve called churches, but I haven’t found any such volunteers. Senior centers are out for her because she can’t see well in the buildings and she can’t hear well with all the chatter and certainly can’t read the bingo cards etc. Anyone with any experience with this? I’m just not sure we are being realistic in believing this is a good idea.

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I get exhausted just thinking about everything she needs at this point. She had p/t recently due to her balance problems and she had a few sessions and then she felt she had enough, so she told him not to come back. (In a nice way of course). Since her sight just took a downturn for the worst, I contacted the Assoc for the Visually Impaired and they are going to send someone to assess her for o/t around her home. She had a volunteer coming to the house last year to take her out and about and “all of a sudden” the woman had to take care of her grandkids, so she was “gone”. Who knows what happened to her? Lol. My mother always feels she has to entertain volunteers, so she reaches a limit and then she’s done! All you’re suggestions were great. I am going to see what the people from the AVI say and then I will see if they have someone who is visually impaired savvy to take her out. I also have my friend who belongs to a church researching some groups for her. I’ll keep you posted. If something comes up and she doesn’t want to do it anymore, I can’t keep spending time trying so hard. I let it go when she first got here and didn’t want to do anything I looked into, and if she does it again, well then I’m done. Giving it one last shot here. TY for your response!
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I think it’s a fantastic idea. You are wonderful to be working to give your mom her best life. As I read your post I remembered my SIL’s grandmother. Mom-mee she called her. She was French Acadian. She was diabetic and blind. Very self sufficient. Did her own cooking etc. Lived alone. She also used a cane. She was social. I’m not sure about her hearing but she enjoyed being wherever people were gathered. Perhaps it was the energy she enjoyed. Strong coffee. A sweet lady.
About the balance problems. Ask your mom’s doctor to order her a PT evaluation. PT helps with balance and increases confidence and gives her another person to interact with. Perhaps she is already getting therapy? I’m thinking both PT and OT might be beneficial. Contrary to what some may believe, in home therapy is excellent. Medicare will pay for it. Be there for the first session to assure yourself and her that all is well.
The part of your post that is going to be difficult is “volunteer”. But call your Area Agency on Aging and see if they can help.
I think it would be great to hire her a companion to be with her a few hours every week.
At 92 that she still wants to be out and about is great. My aunt (91) is very fit, uses a cane, but wants life to come to her.
Also check with any nearby universities that have a nursing program. You might be able to find a student volunteer. Plus check with any large industry in your area that might have a volunteer program. I heard on the news that some companies are paying employees to volunteer.
Could you invite other seniors to her home once a month for a social? Perhaps help her to make new friends?
I hope you are taking care of yourself. I know you want to visit with your grandson. Remember that your mom can help you entertain him. Make up questions to ask her and him. Record them. You would be making a great memory for him.
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