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Mother in assisted living is bored in evenings when there are no activities. I have bought her coloring books, puzzles, yarn for crocheting??? I don't know if she doesn't want to do these things, or if she can't. I can't be there to entertain her and there are no activities in the evenings as most residents go to their rooms or bed after dinner. I am also disappointed in the activities offered at the AL.

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IPad! My mother used a desktop but was leery of using an IPad. We three sisters all signed into ours and sat together with her playing Words-With-Friends. She is a Scrabble lover and we knew this would be her gateway app.
By the end of the evening playing with each of us she was comfortable with how to use it.
We also loaded it with lots of old family photos.
It became a huge help when she was hospitalized as she could keep up with her email and Facebook.
She is 86, has 20 Words-With-Friends games going on at a time with nieces and nephews and grandchildren.
She loves it and has convinced several friends at her assisted living to get one too. I love it that she is the “tech support” person.
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Just kidding Jeanne: "I am an individual and I need help". Signed: The Caregiver.
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One of the many things dementia seems to rob people of is initiative. My mother will sit and color with me. She'll sort beads by color when I lay out the equipment for her. She plays cards with another daughter. By she does not color when she is alone. She doesn't ask an aide for the beads to sort. If someone gets her started she is fine.

You might want to discuss the items you've brought for your mother with the evening staff. Maybe if an aide suggested bringing her coloring book into the fireside room Mom might be less bored.

We've trained the staff that our mother is to ALWAYS have magazines available. She avidly looks through them, but wouldn't ask for them. I see many residents sitting with absolutely nothing to occupy them. (This is a nursing home.) But when I've offered to get them a magazine or newspaper they decline. So I suppose staff learns to let them sit. Hence we've been diligent (but polite) in pointing out our mom's need for diversion.

Some facilities are much better than others when it comes to activities. It is always worth an effort to let staff know how they can help individuals.
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Well.................my mom lives here with us, and 99.999% of the time she is BORED!!!
I have offered what she used to love.........no, I don't want to.
I have offered new hobbies that I AM STARTING, no I don't want to.
SHe tells me she is bored, I direct her to the drawer(s) full of yarn, hooks, needles, sewing stuff, mending stuff, repairing stuff ;... (forgot how to do alterations, and she was a top notch seamstress)..............so, we boil it down to the TV, which I WILL NOT SIT THRU 7 HOURS OF TV WATCHING..................she tells me, "come, sit with me"..............been there done that, and I almost have a nervous breakdown...........she talks to me thru the TV show, so no one "benefits". I just got home from therapy for me to deal with caregiving, and today's advice is: FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN COME AND HELP OUT.
So, I went to M......'s house, and grrrr...........she was not home, obviously, she is one busy lady. I need to talk "turkey" to her and schedule a plan. Yep, it is going to co$t money, but so what?! I need my sanity.
Mom is folding laundry right now, but if I don't RUN and put the wash to dry, she'll come a'knocking on the office french door (see thru), and demand that she needs MORE LAUNDRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am..........hmmm..........overwhelmed, man, I think I need to whine in the other thread.......................

What occurs to me, as far as a facility, ....... a LOT of those facilities have a PIANO. What if..........there is "Starlite Sounds", from 7 to 9.........?????? Something like that could be suggested to the coordinator. YES, there is strength in numbers, so, POLL the residents, and see who would love to have volunteer piano players, piano students, piano teachers, piano lovers come in whatever times per week and start that....................That is my idea...............MUSIC lasts forever in their brain, lemme tell you.............Mom knows and can sing 1,005 songs..........................................yes, one thousand and five songs. SHE FUNCTIONS AROUND the "Classics", the "STANDARDS" on iHeart radio, which comes in thru the internet to the TV.................loves to listen and SINGS along............ Why do you guys think I can be here typing away??? Worst time she gets needy for company is the evening time, when hubby wants to watch something else with me.

I NEED A CLONEEEEE !!! DESPERATELY!!!!
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I'm not familiar with the AL you are describing, but, I wonder if they are really inspiring those residents to show up. I would imagine that they are in their rooms and perhaps don't remember to go. Many likelly have memory issues and if someone doesn't come in and escort them, encourage, remind, etc. they aren't likely to show up.

The facilities that I went to, the residents often sat in the TV room and watched television and chatted.
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There's an organisation called "Singing For The Brain" which is specifically aimed at people with dementia. I'll check if it runs in the States too...

Can't see. It is, however, a programme devised by The Alzheimers Society, which I know is very active in the US - why not get in touch with them and ask about it? The benefits, apart from the obvious ones like its being fun, are a) it's extremely good exercise; b) it brings people together; and c) many people with dementia find that they can join in with familiar tunes long after other types of memory have become irretrievable.

The way to get other residents involved is literally to ask them. What sort of things used they to enjoy? What activities do they miss? Are there any card, mah jong, dominoes players who'd love to put a table together? Is there a big screen t.v. in the communal areas where you could screen classic films on DVD?

But I would also urge you to contact other regular visitors/family members - there are bound to be at least a handful of people who feel much the same as you do. Even if you start small, it's something - you don't need crowds for an activity to be fun.
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Some Assisted Living facilities have 2 sittings for meals... my Dad place has an early bird at 5pm... and a second sitting at 6pm which probably doesn't finish up until 7pm.

I bet after dinner most of the residents are dozing off... I know I am :P
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My Mother is Mid-stage Alzheimers. She is 75 years old. She watches TV but I don't know if she follows what's going on to keep her occupied. She is not ready for the Memory Care Unit at this facility. She couldn't even have a conversation with any of the residents in that part. I think that the Activities Director maybe just doesn't put much effort into the activities. They have sittercise, sharing time, BINGO a couple times a week, They only have like one actual activity each day. I'm sure she is like a 9-5er. She takes off on Fridays so they have a movie in the afternoon. Only Sat. activity is BINGO. I just wish I had good ideas for getting the residents involved. They said they had tried evening stuff but no one would come. I'm just frustrated.
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To get the ALF to increase and improve its range of activities, you need numbers. Get together with family members of other residents, organise a discussion, and support the residents in petitioning for whatever it is they would like to start up.

Mind you, a good ALF and a good Activities Director shouldn't need to be petitioned - they ought to be seeking feedback and keeping the offering under constant review without being reminded. Among my favourite clients was a care organisation which, when residents in one home decided they'd like to start a singing club, duly sent me through a brief to advertise for a Choir Master. The advertisement was headed "Joyful Noise" and is a treasured gem in my portfolio. I hope that in your mother's ALF things have just got a bit stale and they will wake up once you start the ball rolling. Let us know how you get on?
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Perhaps residents go to their rooms after dinner because there are no activities? Sadly, many activities directors don't want to stay after hours (9-5) to supervise the activity. But that's what professionals do - they work late sometimes.

First, get the monthly schedule of activities and sit down with your mother and ask her which of those activities interest her. Then, make an appointment to meet with the activities director. Ask what it would take to add a movie night and a game/bingo night.

Does the activities director make any effort to get live performers in after dinner? Nearby music and dance schools (or departments at high schools and colleges) often are more than willing to perform at an AL for free.

How many residents are in this AL? If you get enough residents to pipe up about wanting to do something after dinner, the activities director should oblige. If not, your next call will be to his or her supervisor.
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Chances are the reason that Assisted Living doesn't have evening activities is probably many of their residents might have "sundowner's" which is a part of dementia that shows up around 4pm. My Dad is fairly sharp during the day, being he is 94, but as soon as the sun starts to go down, out comes the sundowner's. The Staff now has to telephone him to remind him to come to dinner, and if he doesn't, the Staff goes and gets him.

After dinner the Staff are making their rounds, the evening medicine run, bathing residents and getting them ready for bed. Some want to go to bed as soon as the sun goes down, others want a later bed time, so that's a lot of scheduling for the Staff.

After dinner my Dad likes to catch up on his reading and/or watching TV. If your Mom has a TV in her room, try to get her interested in something she liked to watch in her past. There are numerous TV networks on cable that have shows from the 1950's and 1960's... like "What's My Line", "To Tell the Truth"... or old TV series.
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How advanced is her dementia? Is this a regular AL or Memory Care?

When my cousin, who has dementia, was in regular AL, it was challenging, because some of the activities were not well suited for her level of dementia. I talked to the Social director about it and she tried to incorporate things that would appeal to my cousin and include her. That worked to a certain level, however, with the dementia, things that you might think are possible and amusing for her, might not actually be within her ability. The director was open to new ideas though and very enthusiastic about engaging all the residents.

One thing they all seemed to like was the live musical performers who came and performed several nights per week after dinner. The dining room would usually be filled with residents for that. They also offered games in the activity room.

I took my cousin coloring books, magazines, CD's, etc., but she just wasn't able to utilize them. It wasn't until she went to Memory Care AL, where they were better able to focus on her level. They are required by law in most states to have certain scheduled activities for the residents.

You might also inquire with the facility if they will turn on her radio or tv for her in the evenings for her enjoyment. Some patients lose interest in watching tv. They normally like music though.

I think that our idea of how they might enjoy an activity is perhaps not the reality they are dealing with.
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