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Doctor Recommends Social Wellness for Dad but He's Hesitant to Leave the House

"Great! Dad's doctor recommends that he join a companionship social club to get him out of the house and interact with peers of his age to reduce his depression. Dad is hesitant to change his routine. What do I do?"

Tip #1 - The Roles are Reversed. You're now the adult child who is in charge of dad's healthcare and wellness. It's a new role that demands careful consideration, empathy, and effective communication to strike a balance between respecting the autonomy and dignity of parents while safeguarding their overall health and welfare. It's up to you to encourage and direct your dad to what is best for him and provide him with information so that he's concerns are being addressed and his anxiety is reduced.

Tip #2 - Before Talking with Dad Understand the Definition of Social Wellness

Social wellness refers to the quality and quantity of social interactions and relationships that individuals have, as well as their sense of belonging and connection to others. It is considered a crucial aspect of overall well-being and can significantly impact physical and mental health, particularly in older adults.

Tip #3 - Tell Him Why Doctor Says It's Good for His Overall Health

Explain to dad that physicians are increasingly recognizing the importance of social wellness as part of healthy aging, especially after Covid-19. Numerous studies have highlighted the positive effects of social engagement on various health outcomes in older adults that have shown reduced risk of chronic diseases, improved cognitive function, enhanced immune system function, better mental health, and increased longevity.

Tip #3 Address Potential Concerns

Your dad may be hesitant to join a social club due to concerns or misconceptions. Address his worries compassionately and honestly. Common concerns may include cost or the fear of not fitting in. Offer reassurance and provide practical solutions, such as exploring membership discounts, or accompanying them initially until they feel more comfortable.

Tip #4 Focus on the Positive

Explain how social clubs provide him with the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and build new friendships and be a part of stimulating activities to keep his mind sharp and active. Let him know that you will accompany him for the first few hours of his initial visit.

Tip #5 Arrange a Visit:

Bring dad to visit the social club you've researched. Include him in the initial meeting with the administrator and staff and let him interact. You can both ask questions and get a feel of the environment.

Tip #6 Enlist Support of Other Family Members or Close Friends.

Sometimes, hearing from individuals with whom they have existing relationships can be more influential and persuasive to help dad make the decision to join a social club.

We hope these tips may have helped you in encouraging Dad or Mom to visit Bon Jour Social & Leisure Center. Afterall, our common purpose is to ensure their happiness, well-being, and a strong sense of belonging in their golden years.

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