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How can I help my relatives have a better quality of life?

Asked by Haleth (19511points) August 17th, 2010

About six months ago, I moved in with my aunt and my grandmother. My aunt is 55 and has been out of work on disability for about five years because she has bad arthritis. My grandmother is 78; we’ve just gotten her a walker and one of those chair lifts that takes her up and down the stairs, so she’s getting around better recently.

Both of them, if they’re left to their own devices, will spend all day sitting around watching TV or sleeping. I have some days here and there where I do that, and afterward I’m left feeling bored and restless. It really bothers me that this is their entire life. They go out for doctor’s appointments, but that’s about it.

My job keeps me really busy, but I try to do whatever I can. There are a lot of things (like lifting heavy stuff around the house or running errands) that I’m glad to do, but I think my help limits how active they are. I’ve offered to take my grandmother out to church or the library, but every time I have a day off, she says she’s not feeling well enough. My aunt is overweight, which keeps her from having an operation to mitigate her arthritis. I asked her if she wants to go swimming together, because it’s a low-impact exercise that won’t hurt her joints. She said she would think about it- we discussed this about three months ago. Whenever I can, I make healthy meals for us.

My grandmother is in her late 70s, so it’s natural that she’ll want to live a quiet life. My aunt has a medical degree and could be getting so much more out of life. This really upsets me, but I try to stay positive.

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