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My mom told me today that she's very lonely. I'd love to find something to occupy her, but it has to be something she can do while sitting in her recliner, not too complicated either. Also her hands shake pretty bad and she can no longer write.

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If you can find a way to connect your TV to YouTube, there is a very nice woman who has recorded sing-a-long for Seniors who cannot get out of the house or for other nursing homes. Go to YouTube and look for Sing Along with Susie Q
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Thanks for the ideas.
Sophe509- this may be entirely too difficult but I believe with newer Tivos you can control recordings from an app. Not things like volume and on/off though. My mom would freak out if I did anything like that! She already thinks her old boss listens to her and controls her. She sits in pretty dark room all day with tv extremely low so maybe she won't monitor through the lights!
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My mom loves crosswords. I read the clue and tell her how many letters. She's still pretty good! She grew up on a farm so i read her books that remind her of that.
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HelpnGa has asked a really good question, what room activities can keep a non-verbal, non-mobile cognitively impaired person occupied? We are working on that, too. Here's what I have figured out so far:

I have had success with the TV for one of our two Moms using a simplified remote control, success with a photo album of happy family pictures (no funerals, minimal deceased people), Reading/looking at cards that people have sent her seems soothing, as they are new to her every time she 'finds' the envelope with the letter/card in it. Reader's Digest is a hit; don't know if either one of them can read it but they remember it. Photo-heavy magazines are good. Reminiscing about ancient relatives from her distant past when she's more lucid, and taking genealogy notes works. We have had big success with the Presto by HP; it's a printing email box. Basically, you can send an email with a picture every morning (or whenever you want); it plugs into a regular phone line, no computer required. You send an email to HerName@presto.com and it prints out whatever you sent. It calls its office up to 5x/day to fetch the latest emails. They both love it. (no financial interest in the company, just like the product). So I program the thing in advance to send a note and a picture 4 times a week in the mornings. Our two Moms compare messages they got (I make sure they are different). I punch holes in the papers about once a month and store them in a notebook which she then reviews frequently.

I had a big failure with a automatic photo frame that displayed pictures of past family and events. Mom would cry when it played. So I removed it. I tried an old style radio, looks like it's from the 40s for listening to talk radio but that flopped. She just never used it even though very simple.

One of our Moms is unable to turn the TV on-off never mind change channels and that's been very frustrating for all involved. Has anybody rigged up a TV in an ALF that can be computer controlled (channels, time on/off, volume)?

I sure would like some more ideas from others, too.
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Have you tried large piece (children's) puzzles? Start with ones that have about 12 pieces and then move on from their (if they work). 'Review" magazines with her page by page. It presents an opportunity to talk about the items on each page. Try for one of the large 'high class' magazines. My Mom would point to some of the most outrageous shoes and say she had a pair like them in her closet. It gets the person thinking. What color is that purse, hair, shoes, lipstick, etc. You can talk about the images, scenes, fashions, etc. Trust me, it can take 3 hours to do one magazine! Old family photo albums are another source of entertainment ... who is that iin the photo? (After you have named one or two of the people to get her started). In addition to Jeanne's sorting ideas - add a deck of cards. Sort reds vs. blacks; sort by suits, etc. They don't come out right but it keeps her thinking. Assess where your Mom's mind seems to be most of the time. Memory care centers often have a stack of infant's clothes for folding by the women who have returned to their mothering days. (You can get a stack at a consignment or goodwill store) Your Mom may need a lap tray/desk for some of these activities. Good luck.
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It's nearly impossible to get her in and out of house and car especially. Took 3 of us just to take her to urgent care the other night. So adult daycare is probably not an option, unless she improves after recovering from falls.

She's so confined to one place that it's difficult to think of much other than watching movies which she doesn't enjoy as much anymore. I've done dress up type things like hair and nails but she only likes that once in awhile. In the car she loves music. She's obsessed with Luke Bryan and thinks he's bringing his little boys to visit anytime she hears him :) On a regular basis it's just me and my dad with her. She only has 1 friend who has actually come to visit with her, my brother and his family have only come 2x to visit in last 8 months. I'm just trying to find activities to entertain her with such limited mobility it's very difficult.
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Music, especially sing along tunes. Hold her hands and dance a few steps. Sit next to her and kick up your heels. Maybe she will too. Beg for applause and bow deeply when you get it.
Put on South Pacific (Rodgers and Hammerstein) and when they sing "Bloody Mary" put two salad bowls on your chest and sing along. Find your inner theatrical talents.
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If you can get your mom to an adult day health program for a few hours a week that might help with the loneliness and provide some activity.

Are you looking for activities she can do with you? Can she play any card games? Or simple board games?

Many people with dementia enjoy sorting things. If her hands aren't too shaky to push coins around on a table she might enjoy emptying a coin purse and sorting the coins. Could she still match up socks? (Those are 2 things my Mom likes to do. She's 94 and has dementia.)
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