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Mom is on a rollator and has not been able to go to the store without having someone with her since September when she moved in with me. Yesterday I had some errands to run and she asked if I would drop her off at CVS* so she could buy a few things. I said sure. So I left her at the store and went about my business. About 30 minutes later I returned and she had all the things she wanted to buy and we checked out. It made her very happy to be able to do this, and she wants to do it again. She wants to go to a local outlet store and spend maybe an hour there. I'm all for it, but wanted to get some other opinions. Does this sound like a good idea?


* CVS is a chain of drug stores in the U.S.

From your profile, I really see no problem. The first outing worked out. Maybe increments. Tell her lets work up to an hour. With a rollator, she has a seat. Tell her to make sure she uses it. Now the weather is getting warmer, take her for little walks. I believe to let them be as independent as possible.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Sounds like a great plan.

Make sure you put a slip of paper with your cell number and address in her pocket, purse etc. That way if she needs help you can easily be reached.
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Reply to Tothill
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If you're really anxious about it, you could always take her and trail her discreetly for the first time or two. Trilby hat, sunglasses and trench coat optional.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I think it's a great idea. My dad could spend 3 hours in CVS, just looking at all the different everything they carry.

I used to take him to Costco or Sam's club for exercise, helped him talk to anyone that would listen and build his stamina. He pushed the cart (no walker, no way) because I live in AZ and stores have seating throughout because we are a large retirement and snowbird destination.

It helped him regain his confidence and independence to a large degree. He was tickled pink to do it alone.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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NewandTrying May 10, 2019
I live in FL, so same thing. An old lady w/a walker is not exactly an uncommon sight.
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She could fall, or have her purse stolen. An outing is a great idea!
If not you, can someone stay with her, keep an eye out for her?
But also give her some space?
It is a very good sign that she wants to go places still. And actually
was able to ask you for that. imo.
It does not need to be you that takes her. Hire a friend, or senior companion.
A moments respite for you, because you are going to need it.
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Reply to Sendhelp
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NewandTrying May 6, 2019
Sendhelp, the very thing that she enjoyed so much was the fact that there was no one-me or anyone else-hanging around. She was shopping by herself, just like before she broke her hip.
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Giving your mom these outings (and the associated independence) will help keep her mind strong in addition to giving you the needed break.

To build her confidence (and your confidence in her) do what you can to get her to exercise and further strengthen her endurance.

It sounds like your mom has had great physical therapy. She probably has exhausted the benefits, but if she hasn’t, see if you can get more—so she can continue to get even stronger and more independent with her new hip (and walker). You might see if you can extend the benefits— if they work with her (for example) on a cane. (I’m not suggesting she get rid of the walker, just that she get as much therapy as possible and this might be an avenue).

Aungment this therapy by helping her grow even more independent. if you can, take her to shopping malls and build her endurance (slowly) by walking with her as far as she comfortably can. Take breaks as needed and continue as long as reasonable.

I did this with each of my parents (since it worked with one parent, I also did this with the other). We went from bench to bench and sat down. The first day our breaks were long. I liked the idea of going to an indoor mall because it eliminated weather excuses and the surface was very flat and smooth. (If they wanted to take a walk outside, we would get in our routine “mall walk” first). They were not using a walker, but were heavily leaning on me. If they wanted to go in a shop, we waited until after the “workout.” Within weeks for each, we had built up to miles without a break. It was amazing (a miracle to me)!

If you build up your Mom’s endurance, you will feel increasingly comfortable dropping her off. You will know exactly how long she can go without needing a long break. Walking (with you) at the mall will give her more experience navigating crowds successfully with her walker.

Start with empty malls - build up to crowded ones. You will be amazed by her progress.

Thank you, sincerely, for caring for your mother. I loved taking care of my parents—wasn’t always easy, but this was very important to me. Whenever I see someone like you, out with their parent, it lifts my heart.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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NeedHelpWithMom May 14, 2019
Simply walking is excellent exercise. My mom who is 93 and uses a walker was told by her occupational and physical therapist to walk around the house for a few minutes every hour. When she did home health I noticed an improvement with her physically and mentally. Exercise releases endorphins.

Having Parkinson's disease is a struggle for her. Being a neurological disease her brain will say go but her body can't always follow. I surely hope I don't get it. It's a tough situation for Parkinson's patients.
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As long as she's physically and mentally up to the outing, I think it's a wonderful idea!
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Reply to TiredSue
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I would keep the store visit to 30 minutes, work up to an hour. If after 30 minutes she is still finding "treasures" give her more time but she may be done and would have to wait around for a while if you waited an hour.
Does she have a phone that she could contact you? If so then an hour might be fine. But when you drop her off I would stay within a 5 or 10 minute time frame to come get her.
I would probably stay away from Malls just in case she decides to stop in at the next store...then the next...and so on. (Unless she has a phone or watch so you can track her.)
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Yes.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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Yes!! Outings are an excellent way to get needed physical exercise and mental stimulation! I am not comfortable leaving my 86 year old mother who has dementia, but you are the best judge about her capacity for indepence. I love spending time with Mom on outings she is able to tolerate the exersion! She is happy and that's the most important part of caring for her! I enjoy seeing her enjoy herself, even when she wants to straighten up the aisle or the restroom we visit!

When she seems able, I think giving her one or two choices in places to go or what she wants to eat is great. When she seems more confused, I just decide for her. God bless you for taking the time to spend to be with her! 💓
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