My dad gets depressed when he's by himself in the nursing home, and that's causing a lot of stress for my mom (she feels like she has to stay there all the time). She wants to give him an activity bag but he's really limited (no left side of his body, eye sight not great). Anyone have any luck with mp3 players & audio books or something else?
Also, if your mom is at NH with dad all the time, he may not be settling in and opening up to opportunities at the facility. I'd discuss it with staff to see about getting him more involved, a little more attention from staff. Can a staff member turn on an audio tape once a day?
Is there anything going on with dad besides the heart issue? Is he mentally and physically able to use a device to listen to music or read? I have found that getting a senior to have the initiative to learn how to operate new devices on their own is pretty challenging, especially if they have any cognitive decline. What about a simple radio set to his favorite music channel?
If funds are available, what about a paid professional visitor? Also, check with the facility. I discovered that the AL my cousin was at had volunteer visitors from local churches who visited anyone who wanted for FREE twice a week. You just had to give them the name.
He does a lot of stuff at the NH (art therapy, music therapy, exercise, concerts, bingo), but there's still downtime. I think it's a good point that if my mom is there all the time he is not learning to handle being on his own. He is mentally very sound (a little forgetful), but cannot use his left side at all and his eye sight is bad. The staff is great but when we got him audio CDs they were confused and mixed up the CDs which is why I was thinking of mp3s. Do you know of very simple mp3 players or even tablets? Too many buttons could be confusing, but he used to love to play solitaire at home.
Volunteer visitors is a great idea. Thank you so much for all your help
I'm going to send you a link for a place where you can order specialty products. They have all kinds of products for seniors and those with special needs. It's named for Alzheimers patients, but, it's more than that. They offer a wide variety of things for people with many types of special needs, like nostalgia items, mobility devices, safety products, etc. You can also search online for basic, simple electronics. That's how I found mine. It's been a few years though.