Charlenej Asked December 2012

What activities would be appropriate to help my mom who has macular degeneration and is living at a Nursing Home? She is 91 yrs. old ?

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She has just been living there since October this yr. She had a stroke and heart attack and now is doing so much better except for sight. She doesn't want a TV in her room now and has trouble hearing even with hearing aids. She is on a floor with elderly men and woman whom don't talk to her much. She has gone through all her Physical therapy needed. Can now can use her arm and hands which were affected from stroke. The aides help her with a walker once a day and like most residential nursing homes there is not enough staff to help. She has days she gets mixed up in thoughts but for the most time she knows what is going on and is understanding when we can't visit her. . I have two other sisters that visit her at meal times when possible to make sure she eats well.

We encourage her that she is doing well and when we visit we take her for walks to another floor which she was on when she first was admitted. She gets hellos from nurses and aides that remember her. Not much to do when alone and sisters and I cannot take care of her at home and feel guilty. I encourage sisters that she is doing things at facility more than when she was living at her home.

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Charlenej Dec 2012
Thank you for your comment helpful answer. My mother is not able to get in and out of wheel chair at this time. She cannot see well some days its blurry. She is legally blind too and can see on side of eye on fully focus. The weather is very cold, snow so she has to stay inside. She doesn't complain much. We love her so much and is has gone through so many medical problems as well as emotional problems from family. Praise God for all she has endured. I have been going through chemo treatments for breast cancer and the treatments are almost done. My sisters visit my mother more than me because of this and are very understanding as well as my mom about short visits. I have continued to encourage my sister who lived with her many years, that she is doing the best she can. Again thank-you.
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NancyH Dec 2012
Charlene, how is your mom's frame of mind? Is she complaining, content, angry or confused as to why she's there? If she's of sound mind and wants to talk to her roommate, why not ask if she can be moved? The people that work there know how the residents behave, and which ones like to talk and those who don't. Does your mother have a church home? If she does, then why not ask around there to see if you can get a few people to come and visit on the days you and your siblings can't? As far as feeling guilty, you're just going to have to resign yourself to the fact that your mother is being taken care of, she's not living in squallier somewhere, and you're doing the best you can for the situation you've been given. Then let that go. You can't turn back the clock to when your mother was well and independent I'm afraid. My mother-in-law also has macular degeneration is legally blind, but has enough vision in one of her eyes to see (kind of) and push her walker around. How much vision does your mom have? Now that she has her arms back working, does she have enough vision to get herself into a wheel chair and wheel herself around the building? Using the walker is a great idea to keep her mobile, but if she can do the wheel chair, she wouldn't need assistance to go exploring. Until she's able to use the walker herself at least. There's no reason she has to stay holed up in her room. And she's not in prison, she can be taken out in the car right? Is she able to do that? All these things will help you not feel guilty about her being stuck there, and at the same time give her something to do. Good luck. It's a stinkin' bummer though.
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