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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.

Stuart96 Sat 01-Aug-20 21:10:58

My MIL is 95 and still able to get herself down to the shops and doesn't want to know about Covid. It's very difficult trying to protect her but she makes a valid point that having survived being bombed by Hitler she is not going to be reduced to a quivering wreck by a tiny bug.

Seakay Sat 01-Aug-20 20:46:02

is there some reason that you think that your mother is incapable of making sensible decisions about distancing, mask wearing etc? If not then I think it's up to her

BazingaGranny Sat 01-Aug-20 13:46:24

Please let your mum do what she wants, her group sounds pretty organised and enjoyable.

My dad is 97 and goes out on his own three times a week to the shops etc. I wouldn’t for one second ‘stop’ him, in the same way I wouldn’t expect him to stop me going out. He used to go to church every day, but has decided not to go back for the time being - and that was his decision entirely

We’ve talked about the risks and what is best evidence re masks, social distancing, etc., for us both.

Please ‘let’ your mum be a grown up!

CassieJ Sat 01-Aug-20 09:06:30

My mum has been shielding the whole time, she is mid 80's. She hasn't been out at all due to her health conditions.

There is no way I would tell her not to go out! She is very sensible and knows to take precautions. Just let your mum start enjoying life again.

jacalpad Sat 01-Aug-20 09:01:03

When this problem comes up again, perhaps in a few weeks, could you pop along to or ring the club to ask what the procedures will be? If you think it sounds reasonable, could you take sanitiser and wipes and join your mum for a little outing? She might love to take you along and show you off to her friends. This could of course only work if you live close enough!

Eloethan Sat 01-Aug-20 00:57:23

My Mum's physical and mental health has deteriorated greatly during lockdown, even though I have continued to visit her. However, I have stayed for only an hour and have had to keep my distance. Her friend who normally visits every week has been unable to do so, although I think she has started again now.

At an advanced age, isn't it more important that elderly people are able to have meaningful contact with people? I have never seen my mum go downhill so quickly.

There must be a point at which an educated risk is taken, otherwise it seems to me that elderly people may be forever locked in their homes and locked out of society.

GreenGran78 Fri 31-Jul-20 20:46:43

I’m sure that the bingo club will take all sensible precautions, and your Mum will be delighted to get back to her friends and fun. Just let her get on with it, while she’s still able.
My family know that I would rather die of anything, rather than possibly ending up senile and incontinent in a nursing home. I’m lucky to be still active and healthy, at 81. I have taken sensible measures during the outbreak, but it hasn’t stopped me from enjoying life. I will be taking part in my usual hobbies and activities as soon as they get going again, and my family wouldn’t dream (or dare) to try stopping me.
I have told my son, in all seriousness, that if he ever comes home and finds me in the middle of a heart-attack or stroke to go for a walk around the block before calling an ambulance. I know that he wouldn’t do that, but I don’t want to linger on incapacitated.

phoenix Fri 31-Jul-20 20:07:11

Sound like today's new rules have sorted that issue!

grannypiper Fri 31-Jul-20 20:05:33

My Dad is nearly 90, he has C.O.P.D, he understands the risks but has returned to his club twice a week. I would like him to live forever but as we know that is not possible so i just remind myself that he needs human contact.
Your Mum needs more than 4 walls and the television, let her enjoy what time she has left.

Nanniejude Fri 31-Jul-20 19:52:43

Let your mum go, give her a face mask and hand sanitizer to take. Obviously this depends where you live as the COVID-19 rates are higher in some areas

Joesoap Fri 31-Jul-20 18:31:24

The Bingo hall will have all safety protections in place before they open, so let your Mum go, it will do her the world of good.Make sure she has the appropriate safety things with her, mask, hand sanitiser.She will have a wonderful time,her mental health will benefit too.

icanhandthemback Fri 31-Jul-20 16:10:35

My Mum is 78 and in ill health with my stepfather (he's a couple of years younger) laying down the law as to what is safe and what isn't. Now, I know he looks after her but the other day I got a mouthful because I had arranged for a paper to be delivered and I was told that we were determined to introduce the virus to the house. My Mum isn't allowed a takeaway, foods that come into the house have to be quarantined for at least 72 hours and he tried to stop any visitors coming to sit in the garden. My Mum just wants to live, not be stuck inside with nothing to do. I expect OP's mother will feel the same. Better a shorter, happy life than a long, miserable one.

Kim19 Fri 31-Jul-20 16:05:05

Excellent outcome all round. This is so good. My friends and I have just made a similarly disappointing decision for a function we so wanted to attend and it's in October.

GirlyGran Fri 31-Jul-20 15:30:12

Incidentally I mention local councillor as my Mum thinks this lady is far more knowledgeable about whats going on locally than anyone else including family!

GirlyGran Fri 31-Jul-20 15:27:52

Kim19 thanks for your comments and please note I do respect my Mum's choices and wishes which is why I have tried to seek out opinions prior to discussing my concerns.
However new development today. Mum had a call from her 2 best friends who feel its too soon to go back and another friend who is the wife of the local councillor isn't keen either which has in my Mum's words put the lid on it. So again thanks for the welcome advice all. Much appreciated to have so many viewpoints.

Sawsage2 Fri 31-Jul-20 15:14:43

I agree to let her make her own decision, but Covid is a horrible way to die.😢

Kim19 Fri 31-Jul-20 14:50:11

'It's really about me and my feelings'. 'She is a sensible person with capacity' 'It is me who's worrying on Mum's behalf'. 'Definitely going to the club to check their procedures'. GirlyGirl, you obviously love and care for your Mum a lot. Terrific. If we add the word respect to your above comments you might manage with a little more ease (we all have areas of concern and awareness). Does it occur to you that your Mum with her 'capacity' will perhaps already have checked out the club's procedures? I know there is a huge age related concern with Covid but be assured that the oldies I know are equally concerned about their children and grandchildren. We tend not to voice it though. This is not a criticism of you. Certainly not. It is my experience that those of us who have managed maturity pretty unscathed are incredibly grateful for that and usually have designs on keeping it that way. Try not to overdo the concern. I know it's difficult but we're all groping our way through this new experience to some degree or other. Well done you.

Bluecat Fri 31-Jul-20 14:17:57

Frankly, I wouldn't be keen on her going. This virus has not gone, however much we want it to be, and groups of people indoors are amongst the highest risk. And those in their 80s and 90s are the most vulnerable.

Best to make the most of summer and stick to socialising in the garden or park.

Clevedon Fri 31-Jul-20 13:28:20

My parents are 89 and 87 and I know how you feel but dad has told me straight he is doing what he wants and to be honest when you are their age, what can I say.

Tooyoungytobeagrandma Fri 31-Jul-20 13:24:38

Bloody hell if I get to 89 and am still fit enough to go out I would go. Non of us know how long we have left and having watched my father wither away with altzheimers I intend to do as much as I can as safely as I can. Life is short, definately rather enjoy another year doing things /going places than more staying in scared to go out.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.