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Rule: Don't Think "Safe at Home" is Enough for Our Parents

They need to get out and stay connected to really thrive as they age.

· Aging Awareness

If your kids no longer trust you to check their homework (like mine), it doesn’t mean your school days are over. Now’s the time to educate yourself about the successful aging of your parents.

One simple way to stay informed is to find a single source that covers a range of senior-related topics. My favorite is Next Avenue, which I follow on Twitter. From an article this week, I found this nugget:

“The scientific community is abuzz with the health detriments of isolation. Brigham Young University researchers found isolation is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. What’s more, there is a 64 percent increase in risk of dementia for those who are isolated and lonely.”

Of all the things you can do to help your parents, getting them out is Job 1. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money. Invest in educating yourself about local opportunities for them now, and that effort is highly likely to result in a longer, happier, healthier life for your mom and dad.

At Thrive Westshore, we can be your partner in isolation-busting. Over the last couple of months we’ve enjoyed taking our clients to popular Cleveland attractions like the Botanical Garden, Great Lakes Science Center and the West Side Market.

We’ve had a blast at the area’s amazing senior centers:

— Seeing movies and playing musical Bingo in Bay Village

— Taking watercolor painting classes in Westlake

— Shopping at the legendary Holiday Craft Fair in Rocky River

— Playing Bingo in Avon

— Hearing a lecture about Cleveland’s mob era in Fairview

And sometimes we make it up as we go, driving around to find the best neighborhoods for Fall Foliage or Christmas lights, shopping at Whole Foods and at local farmers markets, or grabbing lunch before or after a salon appointment.

Remember all those days locked in your basement growing up? Neither do I. Get your mom and dad out now, the way they got you to school, practice, birthday parties, vacations, the zoo, the library, Cedar Point, Baskin-Robbins, summer camp and lots more. It's our turn to find ways to keep life interesting for our parents. I guarantee you won't regret a minute of it.

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