How to motivate mom and dad?
December 13, 2007 2:25 PM Subscribe
How do you motivate older people to do things that are good for them?
posted by barrakuda to human relations (21 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
In particular, I mean my parents who are both about 60. Both quite successful in their careers (both are self-employed) but at the same time both completely incapable of eating healthy, exercising, keeping the house clean (as in: not messy - for the record the house is not dirty just very messy). I would like them to start eating healthier but most of all to start eating less - they keep eating even when they are not hungry anymore, it seems to me like pure gluttony. They are not hugely obese or anything - but they should lose some weight (especially my dad who has heart problems). They do not exercise - they bought an exercise bike and an elliptical some 10 years ago but so far the two stand in their bedroom and serve as coat hangers. Finally, they are both highly unorganized.
I would like to introduce some positive changes in their life, and namely, convince them that the portions they are ingesting are huge and too fatty. That they should do some exercise, at least in a form of a daily walk - we did this for a week when we were all on vacation, and they loved it and promised they would continue when back at home - but nothing came out of it).
I'm just looking for ideas on how to help them change these thins, how to inspire and motivate them. One constraint is: I do not live in the same city as them, another: as most older people, they think they are too old to change, and finally they are devoid of self-discipline. But, in any case, feel free to give any sort of advice, whether it's empirically tested or not.