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My mother and father lived for a number of years in a small town, as their health issues grew worse I moved them closer to me and my children so that they could have better health care and family support around them. My father is very angry about the move even though he initially agreed to it. In addition both he and Mom have refused to get to know any of the other seniors in their building and have isolated themselves in their apartment. (They live in a senior building)

Although we are in daily contact with them and I and my husband have offered to take them out to events which they might enjoy they have both refused to join life again. Mom was the one who complained constantly about the small town life and wanted to move here yet I cannot get her to do anything. She just wants to sit and read books or watch television. She has gained a tremendous amount of weight and won't listen to her doctors, family or anyone tell her that she must start some sort of activity.

My father on the other hand gripes that the big city is too much for him and he no longer has any friends. In truth all of his friends have passed away so there is nothing I can do about that except offer him the opportunity to meet new ones. I realize that change is terrifying for seniors but this has been going on for three years now and I'm at my wits end. How can I help my parents to live again? Is this usual for seniors? Has anyone else gone through this? Help!

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I'm glad it all worked out for her and your family :-)
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She went into a NH. There was a granddaughter, within 30 minutes and an elderly son in law, still near by.

But it was just the move from the midwest to the desert, that turned out to be awful. Oh, and she was moved from an apartment to her son and DIL's trailer. The nursing home was nice and she had people her own age, there.
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Did your grandma have family in IL still?
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Our family learned the hard way, not to move older people away from their familiar surroundings. We had to move grandma back to IL. from AZ. A move is just too much for a lot of senior citizens.
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Oh let me make a correction, my son reminded me that it has only been 2 years. Maybe I'm suffering from dementia! lol And I think someone asked me; I'm 48 years old my parents are in their late 70's. Dad was initially very resistant to moving but finally after a long time of silence on the subject he says out of the blue, "Yeah, we definitely need to move!" Then he was a big part of getting them ready to go. The move itself was a frightful experience! Thank you all so much for the encouraging words. I don't think it will come down to moving them back though there is nowhere to move them back to they lived in an apartment that is so rundown now with drug dealers the town is about to raze it to the ground! Their friends are gone and no one is around to help them. Their health is also being taken care of now and even Dad is grateful to be here for that. So it's not so bad that I could ever move them back. I don't think I ever realized how difficult it is to take care of your parents until now. I am so grateful to have found this website!
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I moved my parents from a small town to an independent living in a big city 2 years ago, because they could no longer manage their home of 3200 square feet and acreage to take care of. They were excited about the opportunity to meet new people and get involved in activities with people their own age and similar interests. Well, Dad always complained that he didn't have anything to do, because he didn't have any yard work anymore. Mom complained that if Dad didn't go do things, she didn't want to go alone. So, they were isolated, just like in the small town. Come to find out, they both have dementia and my dad had lung cancer (which is why he never felt like doing anything), and he passed away last September. Now, my mom is very depressed and is still isolated, so we are having to bring in a personal caretaker or move her into assisted living. Life happens. We make the best decision we can at the time for our parents.
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I am in the exact same boat, except my parents have only been here 6 months. I am accused by my father, almost everyday, of destroying their lives. Mom wanted to move here, but Dad came grudgingly. Man can he hold a grudge! Anyway, I am getting close to moving them into an assisted living place mainly so they will have a chance to socialize. I guess I have to be prepared for the fact that they may not - ever - its their call. I know it is so hard to see them unhappy, but they are in charge of that. Hugs.
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Yesthey are isolating themselves.Yes you might havetomovethemback. When upin ageyou moresettle inyourways andthey donotlike tochge. My mother stay in herbackroomfor 9 years whilemy father waslivingand didnotgetout much. She had plenty of visitor tocomeby. Onceimoveherinwith me she goes toalots of place now. I dress herwego.
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As above posters said, change is hard for elders, especially if they are self reinforcing elders (i.e, two peas in a pod who can agree that everything is wrong and it's all YOUR fault, lol!) Is there dementia going on? Are you the person who takes them to dr's appts? You are doing all that you can do at this point, but you could point out their isolation to their doc. It's quite amazing how elders will latch on to what a "professional" says.
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How old are your folks, I couldn't tell from your profile whether you're 48 or that's their age. Like Eyerishlass says, you've done what you can, it's up to your parents to make the best of the situation. If they've always been unhappy and complainers, it sounds like that is continuing.

My mom lives in independent living and after being there for 13 years, she's tired of trying to meet new people (they keep moving away or dying), so she's happy to just read and stay in her room most of the time. I tried to get her out more, but finally realized she's an adult and it's her life to live. Same with your folks. Until your parents want to reconnect, there's not much you can do except change your own belief that it's your job to make/keep them happy and engaged. That's their job.
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Thank you so much! I needed to hear that you're absolutely right. I think I wonder at times whether I do enough for them and the guilt while normal is overwhelming at times. Thank you so much for your kind words.
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Change is difficult for elderly people but it's been 3 years now. It's not "change" anymore, it's "normal".

Your mom never liked the country. Your dad was on board about moving. Then they get settled in and decide they don't like it. You don't want to move them back because 1.) they're closer to you now and you can keep an eye on them and 2.) if they did move back chances are they wouldn't be happy there either.

You've done everything you can do. There's nothing you can do help them "live again". You've offered to take them out and they've refused. They live in a senior community where they would most likely have a lot in common with their neighbors but they isolate themselves. You can't force them to socialize or to meet new people.

You are not responsible for them isolating themselves. I'm sure the move (that was 3 years ago) was discussed between all of you. They obviously wanted to move. There's nothing you can do about this except move them back but then you wouldn't be as close to them and they wanted to move to begin with. Going back wouldn't make them any happier. It'd be different if you had uprooted them away from lots of friends and family but that doesn't sound like the case.

Don't blame yourself. And don't drive yourself crazy anymore either. It is what it is. They have an entire community at their disposal and if they don't want to make friends so be it.
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