My mom (88),who lives next door with my dad (90), suffers from some type of dementia and/or depression which has drastically changed her in the last 8 months. She doesn't initiate anything for herself, her appetite has decreased, attention is easily distracted. If she gets through a meal (which she often doesn't finish), it takes up to 4 hours without someone cuing her.
She gets angry at Dad's suggestions, and when he goes outside, we find her still sitting at the table hours later. My sister and I are both very busy but helping them a lot with meals, laundry, etc. Neither of us can be there all day, and just calling on the phone doesn't help much. We're in between caregivers, but she balks for them, also.
Would a routine be helpful, even if it takes more work? (i.e. Exercise at 11, work outside at 3). Her antidepressant has helped slightly and she was taken off another med that might have affected her appetite, but she has lost 30 lbs. in 7 months, no turnaround yet.