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Helping Older Adults Manage the Outside World

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Arrange for a responsible teenager to help your parent on shopping trips and other excursions.

Some local stores may offer home delivery: groceries, pharmacies, laundries, and the like. Use these services as freely as possible. Keep their phone numbers with you at all times.

Get to know the people who see your parent or grandparent every day -- the neighbors, store owners, and mail carriers. They can be a valuable source of information when you need it.

When waiters are especially kind and patient with your party, be sure your gratitude is reflected in your tip. 

"My daughter got her driver's license a few months ago, and of course she is always lobbying to borrow my car. We have a deal: if she takes her grandmother on an outing once a week (to the library or one of the other places Mom likes), then she gets the car for Saturday night. She's a pretty responsible driver anyway, but having my mother in the car reminds her to be extra careful. And while the museum with Grandma isn't as exciting as the movies with her friends, I think she and my mother both enjoy it."
- Rodney Banks

If Mom needs a walker but is too modest to make the change, she might just take a nice sturdy shopping cart with her when she goes out. It won't take the place of a walker, but she may come to realize she does need the extra support that a walker can provide.

Twenty Outing Suggestions

1.Visit the library.
2.Wander through a museum (one that has rooms with places to sit).
3.Take in a movie.
4.Go to the theater.
5.Visit an aquarium.
6.Volunteer together at a library or anywhere in the community.
7.Get a manicure together.
8.Visit a florist or nursery just to smell the roses.
9.Take a walk in the park.
10.Attend a lecture.
11.Visit a friend at a nursing home.
12.Go to the opera.
13.Attend religious services.
14.Walk a dog from the local humane society.
15.Visit a cemetery.
16.Go to a child's recital, even if you don't know the child all that well.
17.Browse through a flea market.
18.Go to an animal shelter to watch the puppies and kittens.
19.Shop at the mall (one that offers free wheelchairs).
20.Hang out at a neighborhood coffee shop where you're likely to meet up with other older adults.

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