My Mom's best friend has been the only caregiver for her Mom for the last 20 years. She came here from Italy and barely speaks English. She can barely communicate in Italian anymore. She gets bored of activities after less than 10 mins. She doesn't remember how to walk or sit sometimes. Is there an activity you could recommend to help her? Right now she is sleeping and watching tv. Its been too cold to take her outside lately to her normal senior center.

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Music is always nice, she can listen even if she dozes off.
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What do they do at the senior center when the weather allows her to go? Are there any activities she does there that she could do at home?

Would she like to have her hands and arms rubbed? Her nails painted? Tea or coffee out of a beautiful cup, with a fancy cookie? What little treats could your friend arrange from time to time.

I doubt very much that the mom will be able to do any activity on her own. At 94 my mother liked to color, if I sat and colored with her. She did not do it alone. She played simple card games with my sister, but she no longer tried solitaire. She liked being pushed around the nursing home in her wheelchair when she couldn't go outside. We'd exclaim over how healthy a plant looked, discuss whether the cows in that picture were the kind they had on her farm, anything that caught our attention.

The only things my mother liked doing on her own were folding small towels and looking at magazines. She especially liked magazines with attractive men, and those with recipes and lots of food pictures. The nursing home knew to always have magazines within her reach.

I understand the desire to keep this lady occupied. But I hope everyone is realistic about what to expect of a person with a 10-minute attention span, who can't always remember even how to sit down. Watching television, listening to music, and sleeping aren't the worst things she could be doing.

Initially my husband's 2-minute attention span didn't even enable him to watch television. I was thrilled when medications allowed him to follow a program for a half an hour! Is there programming in Italian for this woman? Or videos? Sometimes videos of nature or national parks, etc, are soothing or stimulating and they don't have a plot to follow. You can let the sound wash over you and admire a beautiful beach.
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