My mother and father are both 78 years old. He is active (works out 3x/week) but she is not, never has been. Her exercise was working/volunteering. She is extremely stubborn and will not exercise (although 2 years ago she did go to a local senior center and walked on the treadmill 2x/week for a few months). She is very vain, wants to "lose weight" and have her clothes fit better. She is 5'4" and probably weighs around 125. (She also is an avid sun-worshipper, but that's another story). She eats VERY little, mostly cereal, yogurt and ice cream after dinner. She is a great cook but now has very little interest in food. I'm in the Midwest and she is in the NE, and my brother who was visiting expressed concern today on how little she is eating, while she is waiting for her second hip replacement surgery in March. I know she is bored, probably lonely and depressed. What can I do from here? I'm upset that her slew of doctors have not urged her to eat better or exercise (although she is VERY selective regarding what directions she'll follow or not). I don't think she has dementia, she is an avid reader (fiction, daily newspapers) and is pretty lucid when I talk to her, but all she has done for the past few years is just have one doctor's appt. after another, for everything from breast cancer to diverticulitis. Next up is two cataract surgeries. My mother seems to have lost the will to live... yet I'm sure is very afraid of dying. I'm really at a loss here. I am going to stay with them next week while my father recovers from his own back surgery. What do you suggest i do or say while I'm visiting.

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I bet your mother gets a lot of exercise doing housework :) We tend to forget how much energy it does take to do that chore day in and day out.... then repeat the following week... it never comes to an end.

If your Mom had breast cancer, that can knock the wind out of you for years on end, it can drain every ounce of energy you have and you rarely get that energy back. Plus the meds that one needs to take for 5 years [now it is recommended to take those meds for 10 years] have terrible side effects. And with breast cancer you are always looking over your shoulder wondering when it will come back. I was a gym rat before I had breast cancer, now it's an effort just walking up the stairs :P The older you are, the worse it can be.

Oh, my Mom eats like a bird... she's 95 lbs and just under 5' tall.... and she's 97 years old and still going strong. So I never try to change my Mom's eating habits, apparently she's been doing something right.
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