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This is unfair to dad. Because she is now so de-conditioned she has fallen several times and recently had a procedure to inject cement between her L-11 & L-12 disk, and is confined to limited activity and walking with a walker. My concern is for my dad who is a very active outdoor guy. Two of his loves in life are to work in his garden and yard, and to go fishing. This has been ongoing for a couple of yrs already and I have seen my dad deteriorate. Any suggestions?

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If your mom has always been sedentary, she has probably developed osteoporosis and a compression fracture, the probable reason for the vertebroplasty. Hopefully the light duty and walker are short term, while she is recuperating. If she is falling, though, it is good for her to use a walker to help her stay upright. It's nice that you are sticking up for your dad, but don't put all the blame on Mom. If he wanted to continue with his activities he would find a way to do it. Certainly Mom can sit outside while he gardens, and whether he uses a boat or sits on the dock, she could accompany him. Dad is aging too. Maybe he's ready to slow down. Two years ago I could do a lot more gardening than I feel like doing now. Just sayin'.

Anyway, it's already been suggested that you help out with Mom so that Dad can do what he wants, and it's been suggested that an aide or companion be hired. So really, I'm just going to ditto the above suggestions and say that I agree those are really good, reasonable ideas.
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Make sure mom has a pendant call button--you can buy them and no need to do monthly rental-- that way you can program it to call 3 or 4 people, if she needs help, and dad can go garden and forget about having to "watch" mom so much.
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One thought is to encourage your Dad to go fishing and offer to visit with Mom while he is doing that. Similarly, he should be able to do gardening after he sets Mom up in a comfortable and safe location. He may feel he has to be within reaching distance of your Mom but other arrangements can be made. He can hire a companion to sit and visit with her while he goes to the nursery for supplies and gets a change of scenery. Can you provide more info --- do you all live together? How old are they? Have you asked the M.D. to order in-home physical therapy? etc.
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Has your father asked you for your help/input? Because I would hesitate to inject yourself into their problems otherwise.

In terms of spurring your mother to greater independence/activity, I think that ship has probably sailed. Getting older people to work at improving their functioning, if they're not motivated from within, seems to generally be a lost cause. It sounds like her doctor is also advising her to keep her activity limited at this point, rather than suggesting rehab or physical therapy for her mobility issues.

One suggestion for your Dad (if he's open to suggestions) is to get a home helper to wait on your mother so he isn't tied to the house. Or call on other friends/relatives who might be willing to hang out with your mother for a few hours so your Dad can get out.
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