What kind of activities are best for a depressed senior? How can we engage our mom and help her get back on her feet?

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She had a stroke in Sept and now can't walk independently or read, our father / her husband of 50+ yrs died in October and she is now in an assisted living facility. We are trying to balance what is best - stay there where there is more "activity" or come home w/one of her daughters (but all working families) so during the day it would be quiet. She does have financial means to support herself and pay for the "extras". My sister and I really struggling w/the right path.

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Can she ride in a car? Can you take her out and maybe go through the drive-thru, get something to eat and spend time that way? My mother-in-law and her husband my father-in-law used to travel the U.S. in their RV. So after he died, I decided to keep up the tradition by getting her in my car and drive! She pays my gas, and she's glad to do it too. What did she like to do before all these terrible things happened? Find her 'happy place' that used to make her happy, and go there with her. That would be my best advice.
It is hard to know the right path, isn't it? Realize that since your mother's losses are so new, she may not be significantly happier no matter where she is, at least until she has processed her grief and mourning.

A lot more change right now might be hard to cope with. Unless she hates it, I would think that staying put where she is might be the best course for the next 6 months or so. What if she has dinner with each of you once a week? How about joining her for a weekend meal? Getting together to go to a movie or museum or to garage sales -- whatever she enjoys? Try to combine the stability of continuing her present residence with the benefits of family interactions. Also encourage her to do activities and trips sponsored by her center. Be gentle about it. A new widow with new disabilities may not be ready to plunge into new social interactions.
If she can stay with you that would be wonderful. Later she may have to stay at an Assisted Living. At your home she can relax and enjoy the quiet when your are all working. Set her up with a puzzle table, craft table, cards, movies. Then when you get home she can enjoy the chatter of everyones day. She can go on car rides to grocery store or errands if she is able to do quick trips. Enjoy your time with her while you can. Tell mom this is for 3 months and we will see if this works. Then assess the situation to extend or find a better suited living arrangement.
Does she like to listen to music? Maybe some good ole music and maybe some kids tambourine or remember those shakers that we use to play in school in music class. She can still sit down and swing the instruments to the music and she will be getting activities as well and she may enjoy it too and that is what's important. You probable can find the instruments at a dollar store in toys area.

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