Home Instead Blog

My 70 year old parents were really active in their younger years. Now they think they're too "old" to continue the activities they once enjoyed. How do I convince them otherwise?
Aug 31, 2011

This Family CAREGiver Q&A has been answered by Noeleen Cronin, Managing Director of Home Instead Senior Care Cork.

Noeleen Cronin, Managing Director of Home Instead Senior Care Cork

Show them it's not true! A lifestyle-interest survey (conducted by Del Webb Communities)  demonstrated that active recreational pursuits - even adventurous endeavours such as hiking and river rafting - have become favourite lifestyle interests for the over-55 crowd. In fact, the activities that topped the study's list were health and fitness related, including strength training and cardio workouts.


Study participants ranked swimming (55 percent), golf (49 percent), bowling (34 percent), fishing (30 percent), and canoeing/kayaking (26 percent) to be "extremely important," while hiking, climbing, rappelling and river rafting demonstrated a definite popularity increase. Walking (82 percent) and cardiovascular equipment workouts (nearly 79 percent) were two of the most frequently pursued health and fitness activities.


While not all older people are going to be inspired to undertake an afternoon of river rafting or hiking, knowing that many do might provide some much-needed encouragement for less-active older adults to resume some of the pursuits they used to enjoy and at some point lost touch with - like bowling or fishing.


If your parents might feel more confident having a doctor's physical prior to undertaking an increased activity schedule, then suggest that they schedule one.  If the doctor deems your parents fit enough to pursue favourite activities, then that may be all the reassurance required.


Do your parents friends or other family members enjoy similar pastimes? If so, suggest that he or she contact them to schedule an activity. In addition, neighbours, your local senior citizen center or church are also excellent sources of companionship.


Another option is to hire a companion helper. Home Instead Senior Care's specially trained CAREGivers are screened, trained, insured and perfectly equipped to help keep seniors continue to live independently.  Every effort is made to match clients with CAREGivers who share similar interests, and CAREGivers enjoy spending time with clients and participating in favourite activities and hobbies. Contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office for more information.