Is Shut-in Syndrome really such a problem for Seniors?

by convenor on 13/09/2012

As convenor of a project that is aimed at addressing the plight of Sydney Hills Shut-in Seniors, I am often asked this question.

And the answer I usually give is … “Not unless you ask?”

As they age, most Seniors are “happy” to accept what others tell them are the available services. But if you ask, as I do, if they want the option of getting out and about more often and to places they can’t normally visit, you will hear what they are missing in their lives. It might be a visit to the movies in an adjoining suburb or in the City. It could be visiting the Art Gallery or a shopping centre across town, where a grand daughter works. One woman, who sadly is no longer with us, told me she missed her monthly Astrology Society meetings that were held at night.

Recently, I was talking with a person who told me that most people who live in Independent Living Units (in retirement villages) don’t have much interest in going anywhere other than the shops and medical appointments. They are after the quiet life, I was told. This was not my experience of how the elderly thought about themselves and their prospects. So I asked if it was possible to gauge the level of interest that residents might have. Sure enough, I have over 20 people from that village wanting to talk to me about HillsCarPal; a talk that is scheduled to happen next week.

So the complete answer to this question really is, “It all comes down to whether we are driven by our stereotypes or whether we stop and ASK”.

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