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I find my 95 year old mom just sitting by the front door and she has no radio on or tv near by. She just sits there. I wondering is there a puzzle or some type of activity she can do by herself that will keep her mind from being idle?

Simon. You know, the kid's game. I think it's the perfect thing for someone with dementia. It has sound, flashing lights and is colorful. It exercises their mind since it requires spatial skills and memory recall. It also exercises their motor skills.
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Reply to needtowashhair
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I answered above and I realize I made some errors. Husband "reads" only a few lines and with great difficulty, and I am amazed that he can still do this. It is sporadic but there. He loves to watch sports and it "works" because he does not remember watching old ones even if it was the day before. I just ordered two games from Amazo -"Sorry" and a horse racing game I used to like as a child -he enjoys watching horse racing on tv and I am trying to find ways to interact more with him. We will do simple dominoes too and even color books, or sticker books. I know that I have seemed so distressed and negative of late and am trying to change that as I can. I also realize that this site and you folks are indeed a lifeline not only to helping our loved ones through this journey, but to us all as caregivers. I am grateful.
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Reply to She1934
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I would have my husband sort a deck of cards by suit, or numerically.
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Reply to K2Granny
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My husband still likes to read newspapers and though we take only the Fri-Sat-Sun paper due to cost, he keeps them and finds articles that interest him, sometimes reads them to me and still gets excited when he sees the same story on the tv news. In the mornings he goes outside to watch the birds feed at the two feeders we have. He lived that and as we are preparing to move I am so hopeful that we will have the ability to place a feeder on a patio wherever we land. We used to play Mexican Train dominoes and I need to play with him again to see how much he has retained. I have, I admit, been afraid to try. But I am wondering about simple board games require only tossing dice and moving the required number of spaces. Some days he will be too confused, yet other days I think he might enjoy these simple activities. All of our loved ones may have times when they are more lucid than others. Mostly he enjoys watching animal and sorts shows on tv, but this is soooooo much inactivity.
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Reply to She1934
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I second the idea of music, whether she sings along or just listens.

Others have mentioned giving them chores to do - popular activities include folding laundry, sorting coins/socks/or... , shredding paper, organizing photo albums or recipes.
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Reply to cwillie
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Be warned: you might shed a lot of tears in the process of finding out what your mother can still do unaided. The only comfort I found when mother proved unable to put a fairly simple, carefully chosen jigsaw together was that it didn't much bother her.

Also, there may not be much visible activity going on, but remember you have no idea whether your mother's mind is idle or not. And even if it *is*...

"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." As long as she's happy, let that be your guide.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Pepper, children's stores have large piece puzzles, with individual pieces ranging from 2" and up. I don't know whether she could match colors or pieces, but it's worth a try.

There are also domino and tri-domino games. Even if she's not able to match the numbers, she might decide to just make shapes and play with the pieces.

I agree with the idea of a bird feeder. You can also get wind chimes (Just not copper ones as they're more likely to be stolen), or something like a whirligig. I've found them fascinating, turning slowly with a breeze or speeding up with a faster wind.

If you have any space for a container plant on the porch, try planting something like morning glories, which will bloom 5 weeks after planting and change configurations daily as the blooms only last a day. But the colors and bloom location on the plant rotate constantly.

Other plants with flowers might prove comforting77u and soothing moments. Flowers typically relax people b/c of their beauty.

You could also plant a sweet potato; keep it in the house till the burgundy sprouts appear, then plant it in a container pot large enough for the potato itself. It grows quickly, and produces lovely apple green leaves...and sometimes little sweet potatoes.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Pepper, my mom,with dementia, did the same thing. She also has macular degeneration so couldn’t read or watch TV. I got her a radio, but she couldn’t figure out the buttons and dials. She just sat and, basically, had delusions about what was going on outside her “apartment” (room) door in the nursing home . Sometimes when I visited her, I was her daughter. Sometimes I was her “co-star” when she was a famous actress on the Broadway Stage. She was calm, for the most part and content to live in her own delusional world. Because of the MD, I know she wouldn’t have been able to do a puzzle, but even if she hadn’t had it, her eye-hand coordination and attention span would have prevented her from putting together a puzzle.

Maybe you could accompany Mom outside once or twice a day and sit out with her. She might enjoy casual comments about the neighbors, traffic, wildlife, the weather, flowers blooming, etc. Even try setting up a bird feeder for your mom to watch. Bedore she got too bad, my mom would save crumbs from her meals and throw them out the window for the birds. It got to the point where the birds sat on her ledge and waited!
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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