We moved my mom in with us last spring (my dad is in long-term care). We are happy to have her, knowing she is safe, and seeing her enjoy her infant granddaughter. She has a caregiver several days a week who helps take her to appointments, run errands, and otherwise offers companionship. However, especially on the days without a caregiver, my mom stays in her room, either watching TV or sleeping. I've encouraged her to at least come to the living room to watch TV and the caregiver was going to add a diagram of the remote control to her personalized appliance instruction book. My mom says she prefers being in her room. I would also like to see my mom make friends. She was always shy, but difficulty with speech after a stroke makes her especially fearful of social events. I've recommended a senior center or even just a chair exercise class in town, but she says "Not now." Should I continue to encourage my mom to branch out more, and if so, how can I do this more successfully? Since my mom most likely won't agree to taking a senior shuttle to the center, do I have the caregiver bring her, or will that isolate her from other seniors (or will they ostracize her)? If I bring her, I don't want to bring my infant, because she'll get all the attention (or maybe that will make Mom more popular)? But this also means less time for me, or for baby and me activities. Thanks in advance for your help!

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How old is your mom? If you have a young infant, she must be pretty young herself, which might change my approach somewhat. My mom was a combination of being social but also liked her alone time. After my dad died, mom didn't see many people. She lived in Independent Living but I brought her meals, as she didn't get dressed most days. But my mom was in her 90s. For a while, I worried about it, but then realized mom could literally walk out her door and see people if she wanted to. She had some cognitive decline (no short-term memory) and I think it made her nervous to be around others. So after a while, I let it go. In my case, it was more a question of what I wanted for mom than what she wanted or needed.

If your mom is much younger, I wonder if you could see if there are some support groups for people who have had strokes, so she'd be around others with some impairments from their strokes? You could also visit the senior center and talk to the manager to see if there's a place your mom might fit in. I worked for a non-profit at a local senior center and they had all kinds of support groups and daily events. It was always a hive of busy activities. There were a variety of levels of functioning and a number of attendees came with their caregivers. So you could also try that.

You're a good daughter to try to do this for your mom. {{{Hugs}}}
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