I am looking for activities my client can do. Her hands are too arthritic to do much. Any ideas?

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She can barely hold a spoon to eat. I've given her massages, painted her nails, looked at her photo albums, she did crosswords but those are too hard for her now. She can still read, but it has to be light enough for her to hold. She doesn't watch much TV. She just stares out the window waiting to die.

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If you can talk about favorite books from her youth, and call the library, they may bring them over. I'd recommend reading to her, from her favorites. A nice story hour every day at the same time for her to look forward to. Perhaps one hour in the morning, and one in the afternoon when she'll drift off for a nap. Then perhaps share tea and a cookie if it wouldn't choke her. If you have someone with a very friendly well behaved dog, you could invite them to visit to see if she responds to having affection from an animal. If you hand sew, you could hand sew a patchwork quilt (that will eventually be for her), having her hand you the pieces to put in certain places. If you have a phone number for anyone in the family, you could ask if they would put out word she'd love to have pictures of the children with their names and ages written on the back. She can go through a pile of those over and over again. I hope some of these ideas might be helpful. God bless you as you give her care.
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Sunnygirl's suggestion reminded me of the aquariums I've seen recently in medical offices and at an ER. I found them fascinating. The provide a serenity for patients who follow the movement of fish, or of the gently drifting plants and seaweeds in the aquarium.

I think over the years more and more medical facilities will be adding aquariums to their waiting rooms, or even trauma rooms.
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Does she see well enough to see a lit aquarium tank? I know they make small ones now that aren't too expensive. You can make it colorful and put one large fish or bunch of little ones. I sure do enjoy watching them. It's not much to handle, but would amuse her and provide a distraction from the window.
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You are caring for sometime in a private home, I take it.

My mother, now in a nursing home, has arthritis that prevents her from performing many fine motor skill tasks, but can use her hands for less detailed movements. For example, she cannot string beads during that craft activity, but she can sort the beads by color, which she loves doing. She can also sort coins, and I give her all my change once in a while to sort for me. She also loves sorting socks from the laundry. Men's socks are all too much alike, but mine are distinct colors and patterns and those she loves to do. I brought in a big basket recently and a woman sitting at her table dug in eagerly, too.

Sorting seems to be a nice activity for imposing little bit of order on some parts of the world!

Folding washclothes is another activity my mom loves. The aides used to give her a small basket of white handtowels to calm her down. I've brought in a small basket of colorful washclothes with different textures that she can fold once in a while.

To my great surprise, considering her arthritis, my mom likes to color and does it well.

At my house my mom used to like to use the paper shredder. My husband did too!

Mom plays simple card games.
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The bird feeder is a great idea! If she stares out a window, provide her with something to entertain her. Good suggestion, CWillie!

Can you plant flowers as well, even if in container pots? Flowers are great mood improvers. If you plan to sequence the flower blooms (early, mid season, late and fall bloomers), there will be change to look forward to.

Libraries have books on tape, which she could listen to.

I don't know if it would help, but there are some arthritis adaptive tools that might help. I haven't paid much attention to them, so I don't know how practical they are, but they're worth a try.

Get a soft furry toy animal to leave with her. Even if it's not real, and given her arthritis, she could probably still have it in her lap and perhaps even pet it. The feel of the fur is soothing. Or buy a piece of fake fur at a fabric store, hem in, and create a stole or throw for her. Just something warm on her shoulders might make her feel better. It's amazing how much being warm can make an older person just feel a bit more comfortable.

Would she be more interested in tv if you could find nature programs, such as those on PBC? They're soothing on the eyes, don't require concentration, and (at least for me) quite calming.
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Look for a lap desk/book holder to make reading easier for her.
Put a bird feeder outside that window so she has something to watch, hummingbird feeders are nice too!
Most older people seem to enjoy listening to music.
Word search can be a good pass time when crosswords become too difficult, or try to find simpler crosswords from the children's department.
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