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My mom will be 83 next month. Her mind is clear (she reads 4-8 books per week on her kindle). She is pretty weak, physically. Just to walk across the room (we have a small house) causes her back and legs alot of pain. She thoroughly enjoys reading, but made a confession to me the other day. She becomes so engrossed in her reading ( up to 12 hours per day) that sometimes she perceives her book characters as more real that me. This broke my heart. I need to find something for her to do that she enjoys that engages her in this world. She can't lift her arms higher than her chest and is pretty weak. I know I need to get her out of the house more often. But, I find myself so tired after working all day (I am in social services) that the thought of transferring her wheel chair and her as daunting. Then, the guilt sets in. I feel like I am neglecting my mom's emotional well being. Its' so easy to just watch TV while she's reading. We're both escaping, I guess. Does anyone have any suggesstions? I had brought a box of old family photos for her to go through and organize, but she gave up. She said it was not enjoyable. What can I do???

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I can attest to the benefits of socialization. Adult Center's have wheelchair accessible bus to and from center in my area. It gives my mother the opportunity to be around her peers and get what she LOVES LOVES, attention. Gives me some breathing room, not much but a bit of air
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Thanks Sunflo2, we actually set up a small folding table right in front of gma's favorite chair so she is most comfortable. and our table doesn't get crowded. It's light enough she can slide it out of the way when she needs to move it. it clogs up her living room but it makes her happy.
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Hev1128 has a good idea with puzzles. This might be more on your table, but would a book club be a possibility? She could pick a couple friends to include and then host them one Sun afternoon per month. It could be very easy where your mom could create or organize the invitations, send out, have some small sandwiches and light snack, cookies, candies, tea, for the group. Use paper plates and make it easy on yourself. This could keep her more engaged, get outsider stimulation.

Could make it fun, she could make up questions for the group discussion. Maybe even have a little fun with it where the group dresses up like a character or dresses up for the period.

Hobbies are hard. Have you thought about hiring someone to help get her ready once a week and transport her to a senior center for the day?

Does she like to sew or knit? Is there a hospital auxiliary or church group that has monthly sew or knit sessions where they make small blankets, pillows, caps for hospitalized children babies or foster kid?

Is there a high school or elementary teacher in your community looking to tutor or moonlight who might be willing to come over and do a project or hobby with her like painting, clay, ceramics, etc?
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Reading is awesome. Have you tried Puzzles? my Gma is 94 is still does them. And honestly, I enjoy doing them with her even after a long day at work. It's sorta peaceful time for both of us. We get 300-500 piece puzzles that have slightly larger pieces that are EZ grab (I think that's what it's called). I get them at Target. They are awesome.
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Oh... Kill your Television. it may be hard or stupid but the Life will be irreplaceable. Reading seems to add to the mind, it savors. T.V. seems to take it at stressful speeds with little or no comprehension. catching up with yourself is hard cause you move too fast. Why are we told so late that little time is left, yet we knew all along.
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what is it that she likes about books ? my mother 83 read a lot. 12-15 years macular degeneration it's been T.V. 9-10 hrs. a day. escape. so make it enjoyable as you need to, she probably has a great imagination. Maybe she could write/record her own book. If at 83 your not active chances are you won't be but every little movement helps. even just standing 10 min. really does something.
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I think escaping through books is a wonderful treat. Reading is a hobby. And she seems to enjoy it. You can't decide for your mom what other hobby she should have. A better approach is: what did she like to do before? Where are her friends?
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Your mother has retreated into the fantasy of her books, probably since she's pretty tired of being unable to do much, so she figures why not?. I'm not sure how a person, who is happier living life through fictional characters, is going to want to come back to the reality of how her body has deteriorated. I'm not sure I would if I were her. I know it sounds strange, but what about finding a way to get her to the library? She'd be surrounded by books I know, but also people. And it may keep her busy reading books OTHER than the ones she has at home. Just a thought.
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