glasshalffull Asked November 2015

What are some ideas for activities that can be done by a senior with limited mobility by herself?

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Mom says she needs something to do. Recently I moved downstairs and mom feels "lonely" and needs something to do. She reads (limited authors) and watches TV but has problems with the TV remote and remembering how to get her programs on.

I have asked her to write letters to her grand children and she has said that is too tough. She likes to fold laundry. Not very crafty and cooking is out of the question.

Ideas???

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commutergirl Mar 4, 2018
Same issue. You may have to become her human remote. If she does not have a smart tv, I encourage you to get fire stick or something that ties into the internet. There are so many shows, even YouTube you can find 30+ years back. Look for something on TV so that she can binge watch as each segment will roll into the next. Mom likes Heartland. Clean, horses, nice. There is Bonanza, Murder She Wrote, etc. I would also help her feel useful and give her small items in a basket to dust off, picture frames, etc. Getting rid of old clothing, let her cut off buttons, etc. Writing letters is tough as I asked my mom to write a grocery list and could not. Folding laundry is great. Anything to exercise upper body. I wrote down family/friend telephone numbers in large print. Printed Out. Inputted into Speed Dial so she can call the grandchildren. Get her a small tablet (on sale $29.00) Let her Skype, hangouts, etc the grandchildren, and see them more. Best of Luck.
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My granny is hitting 85, what she loves most is talking, being listened and lots of gossips. So she needs company, real live people no gadgets or TV etc.,

Maybe people need people, a half hour gossip on anything about relatives, news etc can be wonderful and then they can go back to their lives listening to music or mundane TV serials.
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HCL my pleasure me dear. Also her local parish archives might have pictures of the place she was raised in the time that she was raised in it and that often gives the loved one memories of a happy youth that they will talk about. Sadly a lot of my mum's youth seems erased by the second world war which started here in the UK when she was 16/17 and all she ever talks about before thats some dubious head teacher who, today, would be struck off for her behaviour of taking one girl alone swimming without parental consent - Im not saying anything weird happened just gave me a little cause for concern and would explain a lot if it were to have been the case
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PhoenixDaughter...I'm happy I read your post. I'm pulling out old picture right after breakfast. This should keep my mom busy for DAYS!!!! God bless you, you answered my prayer!
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Cooking might be out of the question but she could make a sandwich, she can perhaps use an exercise bike (the armchair sort to exercise her legs and arms) she could perhaps she could make you note pads by cutting larger pieces of paper into 4 ready for you to staple. We have a shredder and while I do have to keep an eye on her it is mums favourite toy she will shred anything (and everything if I look the other way)

Decoupage is very very simple and she could do that it requires minimal effort but the effect is lovely. Mum hasn't cottoned on yet that we don't need to do this but I buy the very cheapest tissues and she decoupages the boxes before I use them. It isn't at all crafty honest even if it sounds it - its just tissue and glue.

Mum also cuts the pictures out from past cards and I use them on new cards to make some home made ones - then she splats glue everywhere and dusts them with glitter. If you are going to do this make sure you have plastic down..... that bloody glitter gets everywhere!

Give her some body cream and get her to massage her arms and if she can her legs. If she like folding laundry then just give her a whole pile of towels and ask her to fold them for you. Chances are she will do that at least once a day.

The radio will be something she is familiar with from her youth so try and find a station that plays older music. Videos are a good idea as long as you start them. Mum likes musicals best and the old ones - Gene Kelly Fred Astaire bing Crosby Frank Sinatra type.

You could get all the photos you have and ask her to put them in an album for you - it doesn't matter about the order you can sort that later and you would have something to talk about. In actual fact it was only through looking at very old photos I found out bits and pieces about the family - some good some not so much.
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Sunnygirl1 Dec 2015
I would locate a VERY BASIC remote for her tv. I found one online for my cousin, back when she could use it, and it was very helpful. It only has On/Off, Channel Up/Down, and mute. I might also get a radio that can be left on one of her favorite stantions, so she only has to turn it on and off. You might tape over the other knobs so she won't fiddle with them and lose her station. I found that writing out instructions doesn't work that well for various things.

I know she has mobility issues, but if you could get her to a center even one day per week, it might be helpful to her mood. From my experience, having a person lead the activity is crucial. When there is mental decline due to age or dementia. the person often isn't equipped to be a self starter with activities. They often need leadership and direction to benefit from the activity. Or course, it depends on their ability level. Would she be able to turn on audio stories?

Would she be safe with plastic child's scissors? Would she like to cut pretty things out magazines and tape them into an album?
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Try a Fidget Quilt! There are lots of different styles and types. Some have lots of activities and some are just focused on textures, lace, ribbons etched. You can Find them online at Etsy, Google, EBay etc.
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ruthieruth Nov 2015
What about singing...kareoke? There are tons of CDs with music from any genre and era imaginable online that go in a dvd or laptop
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Kindle, or larger tablet, easy to read, easy to use. Turn it on, let her push some buttons, do not teach it to her. Let her figure it out over time.
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ruthieruth Nov 2015
What about recording a voice message for her grand kids on a tape player or a Voice recorder?
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