Encouraging Dad to be active

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I encourage my dad to stay active, but he’d rather sit at home and watch TV. I just bought him a walker to help him get out, but he won’t use it. How can I encourage him to use it?

Your dad may not be using his walker for many reasons. For example, he may feel that he doesn’t need the walker. Or he may feel that the walker makes him look “old” or “weak” to other people.

Was the walker fitted by a trained professional? If not, he may find using it to be uncomfortable. Has your father been evaluated by his doctor for any possible physical problems (e.g., arthritis) that may make walker use difficult?

As for staying home, he may be lonely and feels that the TV provides him with company. Having someone visit on a regular basis—whether a volunteer from his church, government-funded staff or private pay staff—can also help him stay social and feel more energetic. These visitors may also encourage your father to use his walker and stay active.

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