She is often bored and her cognitive skills have decreased dramatically since losing her sight. She used to knit and read, but now she's only able to listen to TV and I do often read to her...any other ideas on how to excercise her mind and occupy her time?
Be careful not to over do things so that she feels you are treating her like a child, however. It's important that she be your guide. I particularly liked Joyce's idea of letting her tell stories. That is good with any elder -after all, they've lived a long life. Give her full attention, and since she can't see your reactions, voice your reactions often. Let her know you are interested in what she has to say.
Losing one's sight has got to be a huge challenge no matter what age one is. But your grandmother likely has a huge store of memories. Work with those memories to make the most of them.
What about telling her life story to you or a grandchild, who could write it down and make a scrapbook journal to be passed on to the next generation. I used to love to listen to my grandmother tell stories of her childhood and more.
When the weather gets nice trips to places that have flowers blooming can be wonderful. A lot depends on how much she can actually see. Does she like animals, maybe someone with a therapy dog could visit if she is not allergic.
This must be very difficult, I can't imagine what my world would be like if I couldn't see. My heart goes out to you and your grandma.
You might want to go to a toy store and look to see what's there for toddler's - like Lego Duplo line. Toddler stuff is great as the size works for arthritic hands and the things they are creating (zoo animals, polar bear paradise, tropical island sets) are stuff they have an idea of what they should look like if they still can see shapes and colors. If cost is an issue, these items can be bought for super cheap at resale shops. Duplo's usually come in their own big plastic easy open container so easy to keep organized.
With my mom, she did silk flower projects. I could leave her a laundry basket of silk and plastic flowers and a bunch of unbreakable tins with floral foam glued in and she could work and rework them for weeks. If your mom still can see shapes and colors, this could be fun for her. Again, resale shops often have flowers for cheap and then there's always inexpensive ones at WalMart. Have fun!
Local school band and choir presentations might be something she would also enjoy.