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My Mom moved in with us 3 wks ago and so far so good. She is 89 and has macular and is leagally blind. My question is does anyone have any ideas about how to keep her mind challenged? Like she used to love word search and other things like that, something to still keep her thinking instead of sleeping her life away.

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It is no easy to keep a visually impaired person as active as one would like--but I suggest to check and see if there is a program in her area for the Visually Impaired by calling the local Area Agency on Aging. However, I would go to the library and check out so audio books for her--the local libraries are really a great source to assist. Also there might be some kind of group that meets to read the daily newspaper and host a discussion around the events for the day. I would plan time to be with mother to have socialization beyond meal time--Socialization is key to everyone's good health. There are many assistive devices that one can purchase that add to the impaired person ability to remain as independent as possible--In addition, one of the things not to do is to make her mother dependent for most of her daily needs--the more she can remain in control of her daily activities, the happy and healthier she will remain--
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Don't forget the everyday chores "we can do with our eyes closed", like folding laundry, drying dishes, setting the table, wiping counters whatever she's capable of doing. It may not be mentally stimulating, but she'll feel useful and it will get her moving. Best Wishes!
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My 95 year old friend with macular degeneration had very good experiences with the Braille Institute classes, and with their free recorded reading material services(public radio stations sometimes offer radio reading for the blind services, with special free transmitters). She listened to music, enjoyed going out to lunch and dinner with friends, and loved plays and concerts. She was able to take walks in the garden, and to look at the flowers she picked under a very strong magnifying instrument. She did yoga-type stretching exercises every day, and always said laughter was the best medicine. While my friend may have been unusually active for someone of her age, the things she did are not impossible. I do especially believe the exercise, friendship and laughter would help your mother too.
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Sometimes I read to my mom, it is one of the best ways to share some time. She does not have dimentia or anything like that, but her problem is that her concentration powers have diminished and her views of the world in general has never been very broad, so I have to explain some things to her but that is OK too. If she does not understand everything at least I keep the interaction going and try to stimulate her mind, sometimes I print out some interesting articles from the internet, and it also benefits me in that I have little time to get some of the light reading or the newspapers for myself, so I can sometimes satisfy both needs, hers to try and stay connected and mine to do some reading that I never seem to have time for anymore.
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I second SueMaxwell's recommendation of checking with the library. The National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped will delivery books and equipment free of charge to members. http://www.loc.gov/nls/signup.html

Additionally, AbleData has a great collection of hobby and recreation items for people with blindness, low vision, and reduced dexterity.

Lastly, check with your state's assistive technology project, as they should equipment they can demonstrate (and may even loan) for recreation, stimulation, and just everyday living.
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Cloring, What is the extent of her blindness? My mother-in-law also has macular degeneration and also is legally blind, but she can still see good enough in one of her eyes to enjoy going to a movie with me. I believe she listens more than actually watching TV, but the movie screen is so huge that she can see it. She lives in asst living and can still walk around with the aid of her walker. We did try the audio books for awhile but with the dementia she can't remember how to work the tape recorder from hour to hour, so I started reading to her. She goes to church with us, we come home and eat brunch then I read to her before she goes back. That seems to work pretty good. She and my father-in-law traveled in a motor home across the U.S. on numerous occasions when they had vacations, so she loves to take trips. That's another thing she can do with her eyes even as bad as they are, she still can enjoy herself when she and I do one of our mini road trips. I have taken her to parks or the mall and she walks with her walker and loves that. So it depends on your moms degree of eye disease I guess as to how to answer your question. My m-i-l has the 'wet' kind and her doctor has stabilized her good eye as much as possible. In fact I'm taking her to the ophthalmologist next week for a regular checkup in order to keep that one good eye functioning. It's a terrible thing for a person to not only lose their eyesight, but then lose their memory at the same time. It stinks.
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I agree with above. Everydays chores that she can help do will keep her feeling involved. I suggest also crossword puzzles. Read her the clue and tell her how many letters and she if she can help you fill in the blanks. I did this with a lady I used to look after as I am not good with crossword puzzles. I was surprised how well she did with the answers. Keep her in conversation, try to encourage her to tell you "old" stories. Story telling helped my mom. It keeps there mind working remembering events that happened in the past.
DT suggested reading. I agree that is a great way to interact with each other. I too did and still read to my mother daily.
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I echo the above comments about Braille Institute and the federal programs for the visually impaired. My mother is 90 and legally blind with macular degeneration. We got here started with a very simple Ipod and for Christmas give her a subscription to Audible.com (1 book a month = 12credits). The little 2nd generation (I think) ipod is very easy to operate by touch (no screens or anything). These are still available refurbished on ebay pretty cheaply. We have 2 and swap them out via mail in between the times we don't see Mom. This does require me to "load" the book for her but that's no big deal and local libraries are starting to carry downloadable audio books on line, which I'm just learning how to do! She also found a used reading machine that magnifies things and projects them on a flat screen TV that she can pull close to her to read. With this she is still able to do her couponing and plan meals etc. which my Dad (92) helps her prepare. There is also an organization called Lighthouse for the Blind that maybe of assistance http://store.lighthouse-sf.org/. This link is to their store with lots of helpful items. I agree social interaction is very important!! Good Luck.
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My husband has Alzheimer's and he is keeping his mind very busy with 'listening' to books. I have a small easy to use MP3 player and I load it up with 3 books at a time. I use the library Overdrive and NetLibrary. I download a radio play, a good mystery or bio and always have a humorous book in the mix. He listens to it for hours. We also listen to a radio show late at nite called Coast2CoastAm it is a mixture of all sorts of thought provoking subjects, no politics or faith, just interesting things to keep his mind moving. I take the MP3 player with us to dr visits to keep him calm and he sp
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I too have Age Related Macular Degeneration ARMD. It seems like three weeks and 89 years might just need some acclamation time. Everything else helps, but be gentle, change is very difficult. Talking about all the possibilities might be overwhelming right now, but little by little and with time she might just come around to being your mom again.
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