Sunday, January 30, 2011

Elderly Parents and Hermiting!?!

Several of my friends and I have the same worries about the lifestyles our mothers are living.  Our moms are all around the 85 year mark and they are most comfortable at home.  They do not  interact much with anyone other than immediate family, don't take advantage of the gatherings offered at their condo complexes, or do much of anything really.  This is not a new problem, it has been going on for years. They are isolated by choice and have insulated themselves inside their homes.  I call this "The Hermit Syndrome" or just plain Hermiting.

My mom is a hermit.  I have tried for years to help her stay in contact with her friends and get out of the house.  One year I went so far as to provide her with Christmas cards with her name printed inside, and offered to address them all for her.  Sadly, for me, it was a "no-go".  This is one example of my many unsuccessful attempts, you get the picture, no need to provide more.

I have invited my mom to dinner at our house or to go out to dinner nine times in the last three and one-half weeks.  Although she still drives a car, we do all night and bad weather driving, yet her answer was "no" each time.  Mom often tells me how lonely she is, yet I have been unable to get her to do much of anything for years.  It wouldn't have to be anything spectacular, I wish she would just hang out at my house.  I don't think my mom sees this as a problem, but I do - the problem is that it is my problem, and it sure is rough dealing with it.  It is hard to accept that I cannot help her to not be so lonely, because she won't let me. I'm working on accepting  it.....and have been for years, and hopefully will be for years to come.

My conclusion is that there are few things  I can do for my Mom, but I can give her kindness, respect, consideration, love and TIME.  Maybe these are the most important things after all!