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My mother-in-law is in an assisted living facility, which she refers to as a prison. She actually chose this facility as her future home prior to suffering a stroke but is now unhappy. She is the only person that does not think she is receiving the care she needs. Aside from encouraging her to participate in facility activities and encouraging visitors what are some others things we can do (decor in her room, etc) to make her feel more at peace with her new home and perhaps distract her from feeling as if she no longer matters to anyone?

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Joining her for meals may be a comfort. Adult Coloring books with colored pencils or markers are very popular if she can/will use them. Best if you offer to color with her at first. Share with her roommate or neighbor to help build friendships. Make sure she has her own subscription to the newspaper if she is a reader. Also Guideposts, Readers Digest, Reminisce, Birds & Blooms, crossword and puzzle books from WalMart or drugstore.
One family I know turned their mother's bulletin board into a family tree with labled photos that branched out from mom's wedding photo. It was a great conversation starter!
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I know its hard. No one likes change. Do you think she might like to have an iPad loaded with movies or games? It is hard to keep busy sometimes. I know another senior that loves audio books. Or maybe give her a card table for solitaire. Make sure she has all her photo albums to review. I tried to make my dad happy but sometimes it felt to futile. I think the dementia, depression was winning after the stroke. Glad she has you and you are trying to find different options that might work for her.
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All of your answers are right on. My Ex is in assisted living, he too complains. My daughter sees him two or three times a week. He always been a poor me (he is an ex for a reason). I know one time the facility was taking a bus load of residents on an afternoon trip to see the country. My ex didn't want to go, so my daughter went by herself. They live in Washington State, and one day when she got there, one of the ladies invited my daughter to a "Tailgate Party" at the AL, because the Seahawks were playing a home game. The lady whispered to my daughter they were even going to have beer. Ex, didn't want to go, so daughter went to the "Tailgate Party" by herself. I still laugh about it. She said, he wasn't going to wreck her day.
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If your MIL is receiving the care she needs, I imagine that includes encouragement to join in a wide range of activities and social settings, yes? She chose the facility, so she walked in, nobody pushed her in. You're satisfied that she has been made welcome and is being well looked after. She lacks for nothing.

But she's had a stroke. How long ago? The reason I ask is that both depression and extreme fatigue are very common after-effects, so that I suspect that her unhappiness stems more from how ill and tired she feels than from any shortcoming on the facility's part or yours. You say - this is very sad to think of - that she feels she no longer matters to anyone. Unfortunately that belief comes from within her (or more accurately from her poor, injured brain), not from external reality, and so there is very little you can do to convince her otherwise.

Her mood may lighten in time; and it is worth checking that her PCP has addressed it, too, because there may be help available for it. But other than that, sadly, the only really effective answer is to adjust your expectations of what you can reasonably expect of her.
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I would ask if you could accompany your MIL to some of the activities to help her "break the ice". She would instantly become a "celebrity" by having you with her! I realize most of the activities occur in daytime, but maybe you could hit one in the late afternoon or weekend.
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Most assisted living facilities have a social coordinator. I would talk with that person and find out what they have available to do. Lots of places have printed calendars of daily events. My mother would not go to anything they had on her own but if they came to her room and asked her to join them she would always go (and enjoy herself).
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It's not easy to move into a facility -- new people, new routines, new food, etc. And all of the 'newness' shouts 'no more independence'. Is family nearby? Get the list of activities and plan your visit around the activity. Choose ones that would interest MIL. e.g. my MIL (depressed) wouldn't do any of the activities. So I would go over on the day religious services would be conducted (her religion) and attended with her. Most ALs have outdoor gardens and covered areas, suggest that family make use of these. (REALLY visiting in the tiny rooms made me depressed!) Visit at times when it is cool enough to visit outside. Is MIL able to go off campus? My sister and I used to pack our Mom into the car and take her to an old fashioned ice cream parlor. The entire outing was an hour but for Mom it was a change in scenery. And, if you can take her out even going to a nearby playground to watch the kids on the swings can be uplifting.
We did personalize the room. Familiar bedspread. Chair. Lamp. Can you skype with family members that aren't local? That would be an activity for both of you. Good luck and let us know how it works out.
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