Both of my parents are retired. My dad is active and wants to travel, keep busy and enjoy his retirement. My mom is 65 and won't do anything, mainly because she doesn't like to walk. She is so out of shape that she will take a few steps before she wants to sit down and rest. She sits at a kitchen table all day and won't do anything. She won't clean, cook, do any type of work around the house. The only thing she will do is get in the car and go to the casino where she sits at the closest slot machine to the door and won't move until it's time to go. She's stopped wanting to visit relatives and family because she doesn't want to walk to the car or walk to their house from the car. She is overweight. Her previous complaint was her knee bothered her but She had both knees replaced and said they feel so much better, but still won't walk or be active. She has always been a bit lazy but now it is more extreme. She has a very upbeat mood and seems mentally clear. When we ask her to go for a walk or to do more she says she doesn't want to. My personal opinion is she needs a trainer or physical therapist to get her to move more. I'm not sure what to ask her doctor for or what process I could take. My dad is growing frustrated and doesn't know what to do. He does things on his own but he's like to have his wife enjoy retirement with him. Any advice?

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Did she do therapy when she had her knees replaced? Did she participate? Did she have both knees done at the same time requiring a lot of anesthesia? She sounds like a lovely person who may not realize she is making life threatening decisions with her current choices.
Does your dad go to the casino with her? Maybe he should stop. It sounds like she is going to need one of those motorized wheel chairs soon. My friends aunt gave up on exercising at around 70. She had several surgeries but didn't want to do therapy. She got a device called a Jazzy. Her son, a paraplegic, warned her to stay out of the chair. She didn't listen. She became more and more dependent on it. The last year of her life she discovered she had pulmonary disease. I'm not trying to suggest that the chair caused the disease but her sedentary lifestyle enabled her to ignore health issues she might have otherwise discovered and had treated. You can buy a oximeter at the drug store and check her blood oxygen to see how that's going. Do her legs and feet swell? Do you know how to check for edema? Is her blood pressure good? Does she wheeze when she walks? Are her feet hurting? Is she wearing proper shoes? Does she have broken veins in her legs? Did the weight come on recently or has she always been heavy? When did you notice that she was becoming more sedentary? Did she work and recently retire? Did your dad just retire? 65 is young BUT it is a significant milestone in our lives. Has she had friends or relatives pass away recently? Is she diabetic? Does she smoke? Is she overweight, obese or morbidly obese? Check her BMI. Many of us are shocked to learn we are obese when we think we are a little overweight. A good physical, a trip to a therapist and a moratorium on casino trips (to test for addiction) would be a good place to start. It might be inconvenient and lonely for your dad for her not to accompany him but it's a larger problem. She needs to respond to her inactivity as a life threatening disease as it literally can be. I hope you can convince her to take her situation seriously. If you are overreacting at least it's on the side of precaution.
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FF, we do indeed and I will defend to the death anybody's right to melt into the sofa if that's really what they choose to do. But this lady is only 65, and she has a nice lively husband whose interests are such as many a retired woman would give her right arm to see in her spouse, and there are a couple of things that make one narrow one's eyes and think "oh-oh."

Those dam' slot machines for a start. They are designed to be highly addictive, and so they are. And it's not just the unspeakable con that they represent - it's also the monstrous way they hook you in and make anything else - all the real pleasures in life - seem dull. They are the highly coloured junk food/crack cocaine of pastimes.

I speak as one who would like back the hours I wasted on FreeCell. Well, I say hours - anyone else whose fallen into this trap will know the truth of it. It's not hours. It's weeks. Months. Could be years, even; I daren't add up. I don't play computer games of any sort any more, and this isn't virtue, it's fear. You have to know yourself. I Know I can't play them moderately.

Husky, I honestly think the approach to this should be along the lines of managing an addiction. The rush your mother gets from focusing on slot machines is real, fast and undemanding. It needs breaking - ask your GP to recommend a therapist who can help with that.

Then, with the fitness, I think the right personal trainer would be a great idea. Ask around and see who's available near you - with luck, there will be a person who understands what motivation your mother needs far better than we can guess at.

Your poor Dad! I'm not suggesting you try this as a shock tactic on your mother, but what's going to happen if he does bump into someone who is a lot more fun and lot more in tune with his interests, hmmm??? Praise him for his patience, stay good-humoured, affectionate and non-critical with your mother, and if she makes any baby steps in the right direction be her chief cheer-leader.

Best of luck with this, you all have my heartfelt sympathy.
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I don't know if you mean that she is obese when you mentioned her being overweight. If she is, the most helpful therapy for your mother would be to lose some weight. Maybe her doctor will work with her on a program or refer her to a bariatric specialist. This will help her move about and lower her risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. It's hard to tote around extra weight. It wrecks the joints and hurts. Being overweight is hardest on older people, since their joints are already worn down from life.

BTW, I am also 65. The only time you'll find me sitting down is when I'm on the computer or eating dinner. I don't expect people to slow down until they get around 80. Even then, some are more active than I am.
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I"d encourage your dad to go and do things without mom. Boundaries, you see. If he wants to go out and do, or go to the beach, or to the mountains, he should - with whomever will go with him! Mom can be lazy by herself and he should not allow her to control his life. Maybe taking her to visit assisted living places would break through her shell.
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I think we tend to reach an age where we are just plain tuckered out. And if one hasn't been walking on a regular basis, it is so very hard to get back into that exercise. Prior to your Mom getting her knees replaced, did she have any serious illness or other surgeries. Was she taking care of her own parents or in-laws?

Hubands will retire, but stay at home wives do not as there is still the grocery shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, etc.

So many things can trigger the stop of exercise. For me it was surgery for cancer. I went from being able to hike 20+ miles on a two day trip to barely able to walk around the block. Then came caregiving for my parents.

Yes, a personal trainer will work if your Mom knows she will be paying whether she shows up or not. No one likes to waste money skipping an appointment.

Proper shoes would help.
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