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91 year old mother does not have anything to do. She doesn't read, watch TV, sew, or any type of crafts. She is the "ever ready" battery and can run circles around me. She has dementia and sits at dinning table looking at catalogs. Of course never will not give up any. She won't do anything on her own, only if I'm there doing the same thing. Loves to go to stores. That's her hobby actually. I've been seeing to her needs for over 30 years!! I am getting worn out.

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Leslie, Sending you a virtual high five! Wish I felt as perky as all that, but I'm trying. There are good days and not so good days when you get pulled down into their own self-imposed misery. I don't say that lightly either. My mom won't even try to help herself. Won't go to the doctor, won't call anyone, won't do activities, won't write anyone, won't go to dinner in the dining room, nothing. Lately she's been talking about dying because she can't get the hairdresser of her choice. Total control freak!
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gsw and windytown - I hear you! I am slowly moving away from the mom-instilled message that I can make her happy ... not going to let her take me down with her
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gsw, I'm right there with you on your observation that you can't make an unhappy person, happy. My mother has always been an unoptomistic pessimist. (Is that redundant?) LOL

I don't have that part down pat myself, either, and sometimes it leads to guilt that I'm not doing enough. I'm trying to let go of it. I think I'm getting there in little increments. I wish you well on your journey. It's not easy, that's for sure.
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Good tip on the chores ... since my mom can still sew simple things, I ask her to help me mend things that are easy and don't matter much. She is busy and gets a sense of accomplishment (and most of the time it actually does help out).
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Yes, my Mom will be 91 in a couple of weeks. She really had no hobbies when she was younger, so she has no idea what to do now. I am her entertainment center and it is very wearing. She lives with me, sits and waits for me to give her suggestions on what to do. She has dementia, but it isn't that bad. A lot of her confusion turns out to have been caused by medications. She is depressed and being treated for that, I play games with her, take her out to lunch occasionally, and has home health come three days a week for different therapies. I feel drained with all the figuring out what to do stuff. She pouts if my husband and I want to go somewhere by ourselves for a couple of hours. I have info from a day care program, which is very extensive paperwork included and expensive, but maybe one day a week will help. She has also been approved for an Outpatient Behavioral Health Program for depressed people that includes exercise, activities, group and individual therapy. she was supposed to start but she fell the day before she was to go - I really think it was on purpose and she wasn't hurt - and now they say they want her to wait a week at least before they try it. I'm trying really hard to make things better for her and for myself. It has always been this way with Mom. She has always needed to be entertained by someone else or she feels unloved and unwanted, but on the other hand, you can never do enough of it for her. I'm discouraged but I keep trying. I have found that is a person is basically unhappy with herself, there isn't anything I can do to change her. I have to get that through my head, that it isn't my responsibility or in my power to make her happy. I still don't have that down pat, yet.
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My husband is exactly the same. He can't even look at pictures! I get a carer every now and again and treat myself to a movie. Sometimes I put on i-tunes on my lap-top and play the golden oldies which he loves. At least then he will sit still. But it still means I have to sit there with him. I often wonder what would happen if we all swapped partners for a day. I bet we would be happy to get our own partners back at the end of the day. Each person has their challenges. I wish you peace of mind and the ability to cope.
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my mother who's 91 with dementia is always asking to help me with some chore around the house. I know it gives her some dignity that she's helping. So I come up with easy tasks she can do for 15 min. That's all it takes and then she's ok to watch TV because she feels she's "earned" it. Fun activities - I found she loves really loves stenciling. With the stencil paint so dry on the brush, she can't really make a mess, and she gets so excited and happy to see the design she's made at the end. I bake cookies with her and she helps decorate them - and she's still lucid enough she loves to play gin. Sometimes backgammon if she's really clear. I give her coconut oil and while I know the jury is out whether or not it helps, I have to say I notice a difference if I forget it. She's more confused without it. She loves to look at photographs, too - I thought that might be depressing for her since it might emphasize how she's lost her memory, but she enjoys looking at them and seeing who the people are.

Hope some of this helps. Hopingforsleep
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Since you are looking to get a bit of a break, I'd consider a day care center for a bit or, if she is too frail for that, music! My mother's mood really improves if I turn on music she likes and if that distracts your mom, you might get a bit of time with her just listening ... might not work, but thought I'd suggest it
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My grandmother just turn 89 and enjoys doing nothing, she will tell you she wants to get out and as soon as you get her out the house she wants to go home, which rubs to to no end. once we get to where we're going the first thing she says is i'm sick and need to go home. how to you handle that do i just make her stay or take her home, if she's sitting there crying then i'm not havign a good time. i'm done with taking her anywhere.
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i appreciate all replies.and i recommend your mother not to take any medicare service.it loads a stress at this age.take your mother to some new environment.she must be in recommendation with good agencies and care giving service provider.they definitely help you a lot with no medicine.
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Does she go to Adult Day care? My mom can get bored doing things all by herself. She really does enjoy being around others -some of the time. Even with dementia she has to get out, physically move, socalize some.
Make sure to leave things out for her to come across and catch her interest, without you telling her she should do something. I really got tired of "getting into trouble" by my mom by trying to be too helpful with suggestions. Assorted boxes and old jewelry makes great projects for sorting, a rack of purses and scarves catch interest. Who cares where they go? How they are use? I hope some of this is helpful. Leave the magnifing glass out with her favoriote magazines. Don't mention it to her. Does she have some cheap reading glasses from the dollar store? Find fancy ones and leave those out.
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LUCY:

Forgive me, but I had another of those "senior moments" and completely forgot your mom suffers from dementia. That also has a lot to do with her behavior. Maybe I should have myself checked out. I've been forgetting a lot of things lately. Be well my friend, and keep us posted.

-- ED
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LUCY:

Sounds like she's doing time, doesn't it?

Some days she'll have that "Damn, I'm still here" look in her eyes; other days she'll have those irritating bursts of energy. I suggest you motivate yourself first if you are to help her stop laying or sitting around like a vegetable. If you give the impression that you feel secure about yourself, do your best to look happy, and take her out of the house every once in a while, she might want to "get some of that." ... She's stuck, you're stuck. Girl, there's another world outside those walls. Why not enjoy it?

-- ED
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Mom does not "like" TV, newspapers, bingo, looking at pictures, or much of anything that she ever used to like. When reading got too hard without a magnifier, she just quit instead of learning to use a magnifier. Almost anything she could try to do is challenging or taxing due to poor vision, poor hearing, limited cognition, tremor, etc. and she usualy prefers to just sit and wait for her next meal. She does do therapy but refuses to consider trying to make any of it carry over to the after therapy hours!

I have had to console myself with the idea that she is doing what she thinks is right, even though it makes her world smaller and smaller and visits with her get shorter and shorter because there is nothing to do or talk about. It is still her life and she makes her choices as far as she can, I can encourage a little or even a lot but I have no more right to tell her how to live than she had to tell me when we were both younger...
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As much as I understand how challenging it can be to care for your mother, and given the length of time you have been doing so, I can understand how exhausting it can be perhaps there is some light I can shed on the situation.

With her dementia, she actually may look to you as her 'motivation' since her mind is failing her. She will mirror your behaviors in an effort to appear to KNOW what she is doing, even if her memory doesn't allow her.

Mirroring is adopting similar actions, tone, and volume of voice of someone (else). This technique is based on the human behavior theory that people like, trust and feel comfortable with people that are similar to them. Mirroring is not imitating or mocking. We ofen do this too, if someone is leaning in close to speak to you with a calm and low voice, then you would also lean in close and use a low tone of voice. If you are unfamiliar with this behavior, please talk to a doctor that is familar with this unique behavior.

Try to get someone to come in and help you. This will help you too. I found that without 'outside help' my patience was less than perfect after only FIVE years of helping my mother.

It must be very difficult for our parents to 'forget' how to do even the simplest of tasks. When I lost sight of this I would just imagine myself in France (I do not speak French, save a few words) and then try to carry on daily activities. The example could continue whereby I was unable to order dinner since no one understood a word I was saying. This 'example' helped me when I couldn't understand why my mother wasn't motivated to say or do anything without my help. The truth was: she couldn't REMEMBER how to do the simpliest of tasks without my help.

See if having someone else come in to help you makes matters better. And come here and vent your concerns. Others will add their wisdom and experiences that I am sure will help you.
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