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Advice welcomed

(71 Posts)
GirlyGran Thu 30-Jul-20 10:01:30

My Mother is a fairly fit 89 year old. Prior to lockdown she had a bit of a social life and particularly enjoyed a weekly bingo session in a local private club.
Said club is reopening and I am worried for Mother to attend. All others going are of similar age group there is a bar for drinks which could encourage possible lack of distancing and letting guard down. AIBU to suggest strongly I prefer she doesn't go. I am so worried about covid-19 and the risk of spreading it.

MerylStreep Thu 30-Jul-20 17:48:20

Girlygran How many 80 years old + do you see getting off their face while playing bingo.
annep I don't know how old you are but this 74 yr old hasn't stopped going out from day one. That's when I wasn't painting all the woodwork and the outside of our bungalow.
Plus I've been doing 2 other people's gardens and about to start a third next week.
A neighbour of mine was sectioned during this time. If he'd listened to me instead of hanging onto every news item this wouldn't have happened. I don't know what they said to him in the psychiatric unit but he is a different man now. He has been out and about for a couple of months.

annep1 Thu 30-Jul-20 18:48:31

I've been careful * MerylStreep* but I certainly haven't taken any orders to stay in .
You sound so fit and energetic. Well done you .
As for your neighbour that could be my husband. Luckily we have our own televisions and news is banned from mine. A sure way to get depressed!

Lolo81 Thu 30-Jul-20 20:28:29

I’m not sure where you’re based, but I’m north of the border and actually work in a social club.
We’ve got things mapped out with tape for the 2m distance, have put locks on the toilets to allow a 1 in 1 out policy, have wipes and gel at every bar, entrance and toilet, have propped open all other doors so no one has to touch them, are recording names/numbers for track and trace, have screens at the tills and increased cleaning schedules. This is all in addition to head count maximums for each area.

My advice is to call the club and ask what procedures they have in place. I know we’ve tried hard to meet all the guidelines for everyone’s safety. I’ve been back at work for 3 weeks now and am pleased to say that all of our customers (the vast majority of whom are older) have been very vigilant and receptive to the changes and have been thrilled to catch up with friends etc after such a long period of isolation. Many have said how much it’s helped their mood.

I hope knowing some of the precautions being taken help ease your worries.

GirlyGran Thu 30-Jul-20 21:28:50

Lolo81 thank you for your post. Very reassuring.
It is me who is worrying on my Mum's behalf. I haven't even had the conversation with her yet and she is a sensible person with capacity in answer to another poster!

Lolo81 Thu 30-Jul-20 22:51:24

No problem, I would add that worrying is perfectly normal, especially acknowledging it the way you have. I think we’ve all had a little bit of extra anxiety given the situation. I hope your mum enjoys her day out whenever she feels safe to do so.

52bright Thu 30-Jul-20 23:18:11

My mum is 89. She is longing for her social dance clubs to start up again. She has all of her faculties so whatever she decides when they kick off again is her choice. It is natural to worry but at the end of the day, as others have said, our elderly parents don't have that many active years left and must make their own choices, if the still have all of their faculties, regarding what risks they are prepared to take.

Where my mum is concerned, I have pointed out that face to face dancing brings with it certain risks and it is therefore advisable to wear a mask if she chooses to go. After that it is up to her and I will drop her off at her club if she wants to go.

welbeck Thu 30-Jul-20 23:28:29

i read that clients of amsterdam's red light district must wear masks, also the workers.

welbeck Thu 30-Jul-20 23:29:59

i mean, if one really wants to dance, or whatever, having to wear a mask is small potatoes.

sodapop Fri 31-Jul-20 08:50:47

MerylStreep you made me laugh at the thought of all the bingo players getting " off their faces" and whooping it up down at the Bingo.grin

Calendargirl Fri 31-Jul-20 08:59:02

Probably it won’t be as busy as usual anyhow, as there are bound to be some who just aren’t ready to go out yet.

Xrgran Fri 31-Jul-20 09:50:33

If your mother isn’t also having close contact regularly with family then if she takes hand Sanitizer and mask and remind her about using loos! That will be the best you can do.

If she is also in close contact with the family and wants to hug grandchildren etc then I think it’s up to you to decide if you want that to continue once she is going to this club.

Is the building well ventilated? Older people tend to love heating and avoiding having windows open which is not good.

polnan Fri 31-Jul-20 09:54:58

I am 84,, and I do not like admitting to that.. with this lockdown I feel as though I have aged 20 years, in that previously, I was a very young, and active 80 year old.. o.k. 83 year old
now I feel my age....
so.. lack of meeting with people, I am convinced.. and yes, I think, and again, do not like admitting it, but I think if I wasn`t responsible for my cat, who is very good company, I would seriously think of ending it all... what is there? nothing.
I do not have the energy to clean and do things in the house can`t read for long, tv!! BORING!

thankfully, church friends have encouraged me to get out, and meeting some of them, wow, the difference in me is amazing.. just hope it stays..

I have a friend who has Parkinsons, would n`t you think that would make her shielded? apparently not and she has been going out and about, and shopping etc....

and others I know of,,, praps a few years younger than me,,

... I will stop there... can anyone tell me why it is the number of years we have been since born that decides us how long we have to live? some of us 80 year olds could be here for another 20 years,, and some of the people so much younger than we are, could be dead in ... a far less than 20 years...

I find this strange.... just me ho hum.

maddyone Fri 31-Jul-20 09:57:30

I agree with the others, let your mother decide for herself. I understand your concern but your mother is now 89 and fairly fit, and she obviously craves some normality back in her life. Perhaps you could simply advise her to take some hand gel, wear a mask, don’t sit too near to anyone else. And then let her enjoy her life while she can.

Dibbydod Fri 31-Jul-20 10:07:41

My advice would be to let her go as all places that are opening are doing so by government guidelines anyway . Also, we can’t just sit at home wrapped up in cotton wool forever , scared of what’s outside the front door . Life is for living , and your mum is lucky that she can go if that’s what makes her happy , there are many OAPs that don’t have that luxury as not well enough .
Let her go, let her make her own decisions, much better for her mental health than being stuck at home , in fact I’d feel very sad for her if she did stay at home while all her friends be going to Bingo and enjoying theirselves, we are only here once .

jaylucy Fri 31-Jul-20 10:10:29

All venues that are opening have to follow guidelines, including distancing.
My friend went last night with her father in law as it was his birthday. She said that they were allowed to sit on the same table, but others had to have at least one chair between them, and they were advised that face coverings were to be worn.
They had table service for drinks - staff (apart from the bingo caller who was behind a screen) all wore either face masks or face shields.
Why not contact her bingo hall to see if they have similar arrangements in place?

Jillybird Fri 31-Jul-20 11:03:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gwenisgreat1 Fri 31-Jul-20 11:08:26

What is more important to her quality of life? Being bored to tears, or going out for a bit of fun?

vickya Fri 31-Jul-20 11:44:14

My health club, a David Lloyd, reopened the outdoor and indoor pool last Saturday. Before lockdown I swam every morning for the last 15 years, I mentioned to both daughters I wanted to swim and missed it and second daughter didn't replay to that email but older one said do not swim, it is not safe.

I have swum daily since last Saturday anyway, but didn't tell her. I will when I see them, socially distanced, next Sunday for the 5 year old's delayed birthday picnic in the park with 2 friends. smile.

I swim first thing, before 8.a.m and some of each swim I am the only one in the indoor pool. Today for the first time there were more than 3 in at a time. It feels safe, as do the changing areas, as every other locker is distancing and almost nobody has been in the showers or changing area.

Aepgirl Fri 31-Jul-20 12:02:42

I can understand your worry, GirlyGran. I'm finding that the over 80s are the ones who are ignoring social distancing, etc, with the excuse 'well, I've had my life'. My answer is 'Mine's not over yet, and I'd rather you kept your distance as you may infect me'.

Perhaps if you told your mother that if she goes to Bingo, she can't see you for 2 weeks!

I heard an elderly lady on our local radio the other day say that she has totally isolated since mid-March, except for a 4-day stay at her son's house an hour's drive away, and her weekly trip to the supermarket to do her shopping - that's not total isolation, but she couldn't seem to understand that.

luluaugust Fri 31-Jul-20 12:05:00

I think everybody just has to work out the risk of what they want to do and get on with it, I shall be having a socially distanced, small get together for my birthday, weather permitting, in the garden. Other people I know have been out to lunch, entertained at home and visited a NT garden, nobody has got back to the gym yet. Enjoy your swim vickya

Thecatshatontgemat Fri 31-Jul-20 12:10:45

She is 89, and presumably not an idiot.
Reassure yourself that the place she is visiting is complying with distancing etc, then send her off with a happy wave, and a mask in her handbag.
Let her enjoy life.

Mapleleaf Fri 31-Jul-20 12:11:29

I think you need to take a step back, and allow your Mum to make her own decision. I understand your concern, that is natural, but your Mum cannot be kept wrapped in cotton wool, and if the safety precautions are thorough, and I'm certain they will be, then the good of being able to get out and be amongst others will far outweigh endless days of being shut in and seeing hardly anyone.
Here's a poem sent to me , written by a lady called Iris Hesselden, that I think is relevant to the situation we are all in at the moment:

keep Stepping

Sometimes we need to take a step
That's very hard to do.
But going forward steadily
One step turns into two.
And sometimes when we look ahead
The future's looking bleak,
But going forward steadily,
We find the path we seek.
So take a step, a little step,
And tiptoe if you must,
But never look too far ahead
And learn to hope and trust.
Leave yesterday behind you now,
This day has all you need.
So keep on stepping steadily
And know you will succeed

Iris Hesselden.

CrazyGrandma2 Fri 31-Jul-20 12:14:00

I agree with luluaugust we have to risk assess for ourselves and make decisions accordingly, taking into account the need not to endanger others.

Vicykya I started swimming again this week - such a delight. Not allowed to use the showers or lockers, but they have gone to extraordinary lengths to make it safe. As someone said the pool is a very safe place to be considering the chemicals in the water!

Since taking the decision not to live in fear but to apply caution I feel so much better both physically and mentally. I hope the OP's mother gets to enjoy her club soon.

Maggiemaybe Fri 31-Jul-20 12:52:37


I am 67 and go to a knitting club where a lot of the members are a lot older. They have decided to reopen in Sept and sent a letter with a short questionnaire about whether members would go back or not explaining how they would make it safe. One of the questions was “ will your family allow you to return”? I replied “yes, my choice “I think maybe you must allow your mum to do the same!

I would be having a word with whoever decided that older people now have to ask permission from their family to do anything, TwiceAsNice! How patronising.

Mealybug Fri 31-Jul-20 13:16:57

The guidance for businesses such as this is very strict and they get regular visits to ensure they are complying with the rules. I think your Mum would really enjoy having a bit of social life again so wouldn't put her off going.