My mother used to be very active and social before my father passed away last year. Now she’s withdrawn from a lot of her favorite clubs and pastimes. It’s tough to even get her to leave the house for her grandkids’ birthday parties!
I am concerned she is on the road to depression or to a health crisis of her own.
I thought Valentine’s Day might be a good time to help her host some of her old friends — many of whom are also widows — for a movie night.
Do you think that will help?
Dayna in Columbus
I think that sounds like a great idea! Valentine’s Day might be a tough night for her to be alone and the same may be true for her friends.
You are right to be concerned that her isolation may lead to health problems. Isolation among seniors is considered to be a very serious health risk. It makes older adults more likely to develop diabetes, obesity, depression and heart problems.
Planning a Movie Night for Older Adults
Helping your mom organize the first movie night might be just the spark she needs to re-engage with her friends and favorite activities. If she hasn’t done something like this on her own since your father passed away, her confidence may be a little low. But your support might help her overcome her insecurity.
Hosting a movie night at home can be an inexpensive way for her friends to gather once a month. Since February is Heart Month and Valentine’s Day, maybe help your mom track down a romantic comedy. If she doesn’t have access to a streaming service like NetFlix, she might be able to find a DVD at her local library or discount store.
Top Ten Romantic Comedies
According to a survey done by Rolling Stone magazine, the all-time top 10 romantic comedies are:
10. There’s Something About Mary
9. Notting Hill
8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
7. You’ve Got Mail
6. 50 First Dates
5. Say Anything
4. Love Actually
3. The Wedding Singer
2. Annie Hall
1. When Harry Met Sally
Heart-Healthy Snacks for Movie Night at Home
If you need some suggestions for heart-healthy snacks you and your mom can make together for movie night, here are a few that receive high marks from the American Heart Association:
- Angel food cake
- Frozen grapes
- Hummus and fresh vegetables
- A fresh fruit, nuts and bagel tray
- Baked apples
- Unsalted sunflower seeds mixed with raisins
Good luck with movie night, Dayna! I hope all goes well and your mom and her friends enjoy themselves!