Author Topic: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)  (Read 1924 times)

JoJo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1762
Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« on: July 02, 2020, 03:11:49 PM »
My parents are in their mid-80s and have other obvious risks for COVID.

Since the state opened up a couple weeks ago, Dad is going to coffee (indoor restaurant) almost everyday with his buddies, they're going to church, bible study, occasional restaurant meals out, way too much shopping (like go to one grocery to get specials there, and then another grocery for those specials).    They do try to wear masks but I especially think my dad is lax and he's not good at washing hands.     

The fact that new cases are skyrocketing, their county has gone from 70 to 81 cases in less than a week.    Has anyone been successful in convincing loved ones not to go out?   What did you do/say?

Frugal Lizard

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3733
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 03:26:30 PM »
I didn't do it alone - my siblings and their spouses all did a group gang up.

BNgarden

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 336
  • Location: Alberta
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2020, 03:29:50 PM »
Likewise, 3 siblings each using similar arguments with the most listened to one having multiple conversations.  However, luckily, they also live in a place with one case only in the past month+.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4346
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2020, 07:38:42 PM »
Yea I think the more people you can have telling them not to go out the better. My two older brothers and I have tried to tell my mom but she's extremely stubborn and will just go out anyway, then justify it by saying the stores were empty, she was careful, she didn't touch anything etc etc etc. The worst part is that she drags my dad along, who is definitely higher risk. In her situation it's a catch-22, because my dad is suffering from anxiety and depression and may have dementia. She has been couped up at home with the guy for the past several months since COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders. She normally would have an outlet of working for the school district but can't even do that, but even if COVID-19 weren't here she would still feel obligated to stay at home and babysit my dad. So the solution to her problem is to go run errands at the grocery store, etc. smh... I guess you do what you have to do but I think there are probably better ways they can cope without putting themselves at risk (how about driving to the area behind where they live that overlooks the bay/water and where they can take a long walk  together any time of the day?). Nope, she has to actively be engaged in something, and shopping is one of those things.

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 792
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2020, 07:52:07 PM »
I'm across the country so I use a combo of information sharing, cajoling and outright fright.  It's a delicate balance, if I go too far with monitoring/fear tactics, my mother rebels.  For example I'm her remote tech help and set up her Android phone.  When she found out I could see where and how often she was going out via Google--she stopped taking it with her when she ventured out.  And I had to learn to step back and bite my tongue because her going out without anyway to communicate was not ideal either.

On the other hand, she started taking her phone again because my brother was absolutely livid when we couldn't reach her during the protests/curfew period and we were frantic with worry.  When he found her, he read her the riot act and then also informed the entire family via the family group chat, embarrassing her.  So sometimes, we have to be ultra aggressive to get her to do something that is good for her.

In other words, you do what you can but at the end of the day, they're adults.  My mom likes to go to the casinos--I'm telling myself to not blow my top when she inevitably makes her first trip in our new normal times. In mean time, I drop info nuggets why places likes casinos are death traps in Covid times.  I send her info and I also try to be more available for chats. The going out is mainly just something to do for a retired senior who worked really hard all her life and now doesn't really have a social network and any meaningful hobbies/interests aside from watching TV. 

ReadySetMillionaire

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1688
  • Location: The Buckeye State
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2020, 08:23:24 AM »
I had a similar situation. My mom is younger (mid-60s) but is just recovering from surgery. She is immunocompromised for multiple other reasons. Starting in end of May she said she just could not do the stay at home anymore, and that life was not worth living.

We discussed the age-related statistics regarding morbidity. I told her she was at much greater risk.

We had a deep conversation about her history with mental illness. She was adamant that she understood the risks and would rather go on living. She said staying at home for an indefinite period of time and not seeing her grandchildren was too much to bear.

I did notice that she was gaining significant weight. Our phone conversations were shorter and she was consistently not really engaged. She FaceTimed less (it was fun at first).

At the end of the day, it cannot be COVID or bust. My mom's health was deteriorating before my eyes; I can imagine that lack of in-person social interaction is absolutely awful for an octogenarian's health.

I share all this to just say, sometimes, you have to let people exercise their own agency. Advise of best practices, inform them, and let them do what they wish.

JoJo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1762
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2020, 08:49:20 AM »
Well, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.  I saw how quickly their older siblings went downhill (two passed away in the last year), and trying to get them to stay at home when they don't have many years of health/enjoyment left is difficult.  On top of this, my mom is losing her eyesight.  Mom really wants me to take them a trip down to Branson to see an indoors production play about Noah.  I said absolutely not. 
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 08:51:48 AM by JoJo »

tweezers

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2020, 08:57:09 AM »
If my elderly, immune-compromised mother became ill it would likely be extremely serious and require hospitalization.  Reminding her that we would be unable to see her in the hospital and that she could possibly die alone was an effective come-to-Jesus moment that informed her socialization decisions.

ctuser1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1741
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2020, 09:44:51 AM »
YMMV..

But I have found that when I need to convince my aging (and very stubborn) parents to do something that they don't want to do, then I try to get my sister to team up with me and talk to them together. I also have a brother, but he generally disagrees that we should try to convince our parents like this.

I try to use this very sparingly.

Generally, I and my sister banding together and going to them works. One time in the past we have had to resort to what I would term as "emotional blackmailing" to convince them when they were being particularly stubborn. 

I envy DW because her mom is much more easily convinced.

the_fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1176
  • Location: Colorado
  • mind on my money money on my mind
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2020, 09:35:19 PM »
My mom and my wifeís dad are both in a risk group and we have offered to help them to order curbside, delivered groceries and so forth but they still go out and do things including my FIL going back to work this fall driving school busses.

It was frustrating.

However we have a couple of groups of friends that are over 80 that we always see at breakfast during normal times. We were texting with them and checking up on them and offering to do errands if they needed some assistance.

They told us that they appreciate the offer but they were fine and that they were going to the store and being careful and living life the best they could.

My first thought was that they are at such a huge risk due to their age and I wanted to call them and try to talk them into letting us help them then I realized something.

Honestly if I were 80 or 80+ years old I would go about living my life and enjoy the time I have as it would suck to spend the last year or two of your good years locked up in the house.

After thinking about it I made peace with my mom and FILís decision to still do stuff, it is their life and i can offer help and support but at the end of the day it is their choice.

It is hard, you want to take care of them and swoop in but they are going to live how they like in the end.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Wrenchturner

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1341
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Canada
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2020, 12:38:49 AM »
My mom and my wifeís dad are both in a risk group and we have offered to help them to order curbside, delivered groceries and so forth but they still go out and do things including my FIL going back to work this fall driving school busses.

It was frustrating.

However we have a couple of groups of friends that are over 80 that we always see at breakfast during normal times. We were texting with them and checking up on them and offering to do errands if they needed some assistance.

They told us that they appreciate the offer but they were fine and that they were going to the store and being careful and living life the best they could.

My first thought was that they are at such a huge risk due to their age and I wanted to call them and try to talk them into letting us help them then I realized something.

Honestly if I were 80 or 80+ years old I would go about living my life and enjoy the time I have as it would suck to spend the last year or two of your good years locked up in the house.

After thinking about it I made peace with my mom and FILís decision to still do stuff, it is their life and i can offer help and support but at the end of the day it is their choice.

It is hard, you want to take care of them and swoop in but they are going to live how they like in the end.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Perhaps the tasks that younger people consider to be boring--like getting groceries--are actually important and meaningful for people in advanced age.  I am having similar dilemmas with some older people in my family.

Although my grandmother was given the option to be taken out of the retirement community to live at a farm with her son and their family, several months ago, and she declined.

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 792
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2020, 09:02:30 AM »
Whelp...my mom returned to her part time retail job this weekend...

I don't know how to approach it.  She's obviously past gentle cajoling.

ixtap

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3184
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2020, 09:27:11 AM »
MIL gave us a littany of the viruses her grandkids have managed to catch with the limited contact they have, and then informed us they are tired of this and going to start having the grandkids over again. After all, only about 9 people in her own area have it. Never mind that the football players in the nearby university have 3x that number all to themselves. Or that the hospitals near the bigger group of grandkids are nearly to capacity.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7008
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2020, 03:21:07 PM »
We are 65 and retired. My oldest son and his wife are totally staying home. Their groceries are delivered. When restaurants opened 5/22 we resumed eating out once a week. We also started seeing our friends but not in large groups. We have lost 5 friends to cancer between 59-67 so life can be short.  The other kids think my oldest is paranoid. Our cases are skyrocketing in Nevada. We only grocery shop twice a month, wear masks and are careful.

Cranky

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3047
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2020, 06:57:16 PM »
I think people have to prioritize their risk.

Personally, I am willing to take 0 risk to eat out, because I donít enjoy that in the first place.
Iím willing to take a little risk to visit with friends outside.
I am will to take a moderate risk to drive to Wisconsin next week and stay with my daughter and her family for a week, because we all feel like if we donít see each other now it may well be a long time as things will probably be worse this winter.

What I very much donít want to do is put anyone else at risk, so I always wear a mask if I go into a store - the people who work there are doing their jobs because they need the money, and itís not right for me to endanger them.

So maybe the best approach is to encourage your parents to meet friends outside, wear masks whenever possible, etc. Be kind to others, rather than ďsave yourselves at all cost.Ē

FLBiker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1332
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Canada
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2020, 08:45:14 AM »
This thread is an interesting read.  Personally, I don't burn a lot of calories trying to convince my parents (or anyone else, for that matter) to do things.  I might be more interested if I had a better track record, but I haven't found it to be a particularly effective behavior modifier.  I don't try to convince my parents (or my wife's parents) to change how they spend their money, to eat better, to drink less, to watch less TV, etc., and I haven't tried to change anything around COVID, either.  If people ask for advice (like my inlaws have occasionally around investing) I'm happy to give it, but I have no expectation they'll actually follow it.  COVID is just one of many areas where people I care about make decisions different from the ones I make.

Sibley

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5363
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2020, 08:58:25 AM »
I can't control others. I can only control myself. So I respect other people's choices, and I make my own. Where there's a conflict, it defaults to the stricter set of restrictions.

And quite frankly, if someone doesn't want to stay home or wear a mask or whatever and they get sick and die, well, that was their choice, and part of being an adult is accepting and dealing with the consequences of their choices. I will reserve my sympathy for those who were left behind.

Frugal Lizard

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3733
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2020, 10:28:15 AM »
The thing I found with this is:  My elderly mom and ultra elderly GG (94 years old) were not making an informed consent.  Their information was coming from dodgey talk radio that they can barely hear and the nutbars at cards. 

We were all worried that they were not getting the right information and would also compromise our health in our isolation bubble. We were fully prepared to support them by picking up the groceries and helping them with the hair care and foot care (by wearing masks) and coming to their garden to say hello and doing the online ordering so that they got their hearing aid batteries and such. But we needed to make sure that doing chores and supporting them wouldn't compromise my DH's elderly parents as we were doing the same for them.

blue_green_sparks

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2020, 11:00:06 AM »
Ahh tell them to come down here to Florida, we are just packing 'em into the tiki bar and we don't need no stinking masks. We don't have 5G yet so it's fine.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 11:31:24 AM by blue_green_sparks »

JoJo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1762
Re: Convincing parents to not go out (COVID)
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2020, 11:15:44 AM »
Well, we basically have concluded they are going to continue to go out.  They are wearing a mask when they go into stores and we've been able to talk them out of a couple really stupid things  (They reeeeeally want to go to a pizza buffet restaurant, a place the love).