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My dad also loved to sort coins for me. When he could no longer get the denominations, we just had him sort them by size or color. Also works with playing cards... color,, or suit...
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Actually, jigsaws are good, keep the # of pieces down to around 100. I put together a box of beads (the store had a sale) and glued one bead to each little spot in the sorting box so she knew where beads like it were supposed to go. You can also ask her to string the beads if the holes are big enough using some string and a plastic needle. Or stiff thread and no needle. The mixed up socks are great. A picture book of the Bible, a magazine of National Parks, old photo albums all seem to be interesting. Reader's Digest is also interesting to her. Don't know how much she gets out of it but she turns the pages and looks at the pictures. If you are doing a coin sort, might run the coins through the dishwasher first or soap and water as they can carry some serious germs.
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Would she like a baby doll that she cuddled and talked to?
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Jeanne's comment on coloring reminded me that there are a very, very wide variety of coloring books published by Dover Publications, for children and for adults. You can also sign up for free samples. Samples generally for children (but some sophisticated enough for adults) are e-mailed on Thursdays; samples for adults are mailed on Fridays.

Jeanne's comment on magazines also reminded me that collages can be made of photos in magazines or gardening catalogues. You could help her cut out the photos and allow her to arrange them then glue them onto a piece of 8.5" x 11" paper and kept in a notebook.

I use photos from gardening catalogues to create flower collage inserts for the many 3 ring binder notebooks I use for financial, legal and personal data. Sometimes a page will be of spring bulbs, sometimes generally similar colored flowers, sometimes fall foliage. I have one all of hybrid arisaema (Jack in the Pulpit) varieties.
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williejoe, how great of you to take your sister in and care for her!

I think that watching tv can be OK, and that there are a few things you can do to enhance the experience. For my husband, watching videos of old shows he used to love was more rewarding than trying to follow the plot of a new show interrupted by commercials. He loved Hogan's Heroes reruns, and the Sherlock Holmes series we had watched together years ago, and MASH, and Northern Exposure. Without the commercials all of these shows are considerably shorter. With familiar characters and plot lines they are easier to follow. Watching these old shows he used to watch helped my husband feel "normal" -- he was doing something everyone else does and that he did in his prime.

My husband also loved nature videos. They have no plots. If you zone out for a few minutes you can still follow what is happening. He liked animal videos and also videos of national parks he had seen in person. The Grand Canyon, Glacier, etc.

So don't dismiss television. Just try to personalize the experience so your sister feels good about it.

My mother (in a nursing home now) loves to sort things and at first it was good if she saw a purpose to it. (I'm not sure that matters so much any more.) She sorted beads by color, for the facilities' craft programs. Once in a while I bring in a bulging coin purse and tell her I need them sorted. She loves it! We put each kind of coin into a little baggie. In a few weeks I dump them altogether and she sorts them for me again. If I bring in a bunch of socks and ask her to help with my laundry she gleefully sets right to work matching them up. (About 12 to 15 seems to be optimal number of pairs.)

Both my husband and mother found/find folding small towels calming. I've given Mom a pretty plastic basket with about a dozen wash clothes in it. Different colors and textures -- a bit more interesting than the white towels the NH was giving her for the same purpose.

Have you tried coloring for her? I wish I'd thought of this for my husband, but at least I tried it for Mom. She loves it! Sometimes she is a little disdainful at first -- she is not a child, after all -- then she settles in filling in the outline of a daffodil with the felt-tip markers. And here is the fun part ... my sisters enjoy coloring with her when they visit! We all do. Give it a try, first coloring with Sis, and then setting her up to do it on her own once-in-a-while.

When there is an occasion with many greeting cards we put them in a basket and let her go over all the cards again and again well past the holiday. My husband liked looking at his cards this way, too.

Magazines with lots of pictures are often interesting for a while. My Mom loves looking at cooking magazines, even though she hasn't cooked in years. Once I brought in a cook book and we sat enjoying it together.

Good luck as you try out things you sister will enjoy and that she can do on her own.
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Thanks for the reply---Her short term recall is between 5 to ten minute-Long tern remembers B-day and others B-date andlots of other stuff.Still able to walk to bathroom slowly.her age is 75.--Mostly just watches T V.
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Try puzzles with large pieces; they can be found in children's stores.

A lot would depend on her ALZ stage - would you elaborate as what she might or might not be able to do?
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