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How to help my mother make friends?

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Old 20th January 2018, 1:33 PM   #1
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How to help my mother make friends?

My mother doesn't really have may friends. She is retired early because of a medical condition and doesn't have much contact outside of the house other than going to church once a week.

I want to help her make friends because I don't want her to feel lonely.
I was thinking about having her volunteer but she isn't very mobile and isn't into technology so isn't something she would be comfortable doing.

What are some good volunteering options for people that can't stand for long periods of time or travel very far?

It puts a lot of pressure on me to one of her only forms of human interaction (while I love my mother, I also want to build a friend group my own age, which is hard since I graduated.)

Any advice?
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Old 20th January 2018, 1:45 PM   #2
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It’s sweet that you’re showing concern for your mom but do you think she’s feeling lonely? What does she like to do?
Attraction is a reflex, not a choice.
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Old 20th January 2018, 5:08 PM   #3
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There must be some women's groups at church, if she is interested.

What does she enjoy - cooking, knitting, quilting, cards...

How old is your mother. Often there are groups for 55+ that are great opportunities for those who are isolated to get out and socialize. Look for an age and opportunity centre or community centre.
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Old 20th January 2018, 5:55 PM   #4
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Yes I love my mother very much.
So my sister and I have gotten her into knitting which I think is better than her just watching youtube videos alone all day.

She mostly likes church. I have asked her if there is anything that interests her and she told me she doesn't find anything interesting.

I told her if she doesn't tell me about something she finds interesting that I am going to get her a dog...It would at least give her something to do and give her affection. But I don't wanna force her to take care of something either and that doesn't replace human interaction.

I know she misses working (the social part) because she mentioned it once.
She isn't really good at social interactions and has always been very shy her entire life (I am the same), but I don't think its healthy for her to be alone all the time.

I tried a community center once and it wouldn't let her in because you need to be 65 and older.

My mother is 58.
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Old 20th January 2018, 6:24 PM   #5
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I wouldn't get her a dog, Crunchy, unless she expresses a strong desire for one. Dogs and disabled people might not mix too well. (Side note, my 76 year old other was terrified I was going to get her a dog for Christmas because I mentioned a few times that a dog would be good for her and I also told her several times that I was excited to give her what I got for her for Christmas because I knew she'd love it, I would never get her a dog.....she falls enough all on her own without a leash to get tangled up in! I got her an Eagles sweatshirt lol).

Anyway. Your mom is at an age that could be hard to make friends because most 58 year olds aren't retired yet or hanging out at senior centers. Over 55 living communities have clubhouses and lots of activities, but you have to live there, or be friends with someone who does to get invited.

First, your mom has to desire to get out and make friends. Since she likes church, could she start there? Is it a big church? Are there ladies groups or Bible studies? How about women's retreats? That's a great way to meet people. I'm going to one next Saturday with my own mom .

Do YOU go to church?

If you live in the USA, call 2-1-1 if your community has it. Most communities do. This is a free referral service for human service needs, but they'd be able to refer you to either some perfect volunteer opportunities for your mom, or direct you to your local Volunteer Center. There are so many volunteer opportunities out there that don't require standing. Some communities even have programs where you can hold/rock babies in the NICU, and in some areas that need is growing due to the number of babies being born addicted to Opiates. Speaking of kids, if she likes children, she could become a CASA volunteer (Google that if you don't know what it is). There are really endless things she could do if she has the desire.

I don't know the age minimum, and your mom may be too young, but some school districts have programs where seniors can volunteer for the District and receive a tax cut at the end of the year if they get so many hours in. My mother did this for a couple of years and her job was to fingerprint people who were getting their child abuse clearances to either work or volunteer at the district. All sitting .

Lots of schools hold night classes, too, and that's a great way to meet people. If she's interested in painting at all, I took a painting class last spring at the local high school (It was 6 or 8 weeks) and the class was full of older ladies. My friend and I were the youngest ones in there.

Good luck!
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Old 22nd January 2018, 5:44 AM   #6
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Well, my mother lived through something similar when she was retired, but she was younger and didn't have a medical condition. We're a big family and both my granparents from my mom's side and my aunts live nearby. So when nobody was there, focusing on family made her feel better. Then she started working out and made friends in the GYM. They talk and hangout even though they go to different GYMs at the moment. Also my mother's going to knitting with my aunts so they get to spend more time with each other. Currently, both me and my brother are living with our parents so they don't feel lonely. The point is, spend time with her, make your relatives spend time with her (maybe arrange a family dinner?), help her finding a social hobby, etcetera.
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