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Mom is 67 and has impaired vision, lives with us. She used to be a graphic designer. I am getting very tired of all the tv watching at night. I'm wondering about ways she might be more productive. I'm also trying to figure out how to address this with her. Like many elderly, her response to many suggestions is that she just doesn't feel like doing whatever - reading, sewing, knitting, playing games, etc. Yes, she's on anti-depressants, have talked to docs. All her life she did things because they needed doing - that was what motivated her. Now, nothing NEEDS to be done, in her opinion. So she is waiting to feel inspired. I'm sure some of her hesitancy is fear about her abilities. But I want her to try anyway. Any thoughts?

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Last night, before we finished dinner, Mom told me she didn't want to work on the pot holders at night. That she'd prefer to watch tv, as it helps her settle down for the night. When I mentioned very gently that she watches a lot of tv during the day she said "not if I'm doing the pot holders." So I just let the comment go. I'm skeptical she will work on the pot holders during the day. I'm at work all day so I won't be able to help her then.

It is sad to see her like this and it's hard to find the balance between encouraging / motivating and letting her make her own choices. At least we are eating dinner on the porch which is better than in front of the tv.

I'll try a game or puzzle in the evening instead of making something. She has trouble folding laundry and sometimes even getting dressed stresses her out, so I guess making things is no longer enjoyable. And it would be easier to let it drop if she didn't later mention she should make something.
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You are trying hard to be a good daughter. Keep on trying, with any idea you get. Maybe, however, you need to accept that your mother is never going to be the person she was. There is nothing at all wrong with offering things. But if, in the end, she only wants to vegetate, try to let her be that way and love her anyway. It is sad to see her like that, isn't it?
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igloo - these are great suggestions - thanks! I've been trying to figure out more basic design kind of things she might do and this is just what I was looking for. I had thought of flower arrangements but wasn't sure what to do with them after they were made. I suppose we could take them to area AL homes and such? I want her to give to others - I believe that helps the giver and the recipient.

Someone mentioned that possibly the stroke affected Mom's creativity and so I looked into that. The stroke did occur in the region of the brain responsible for initiative and also for creativity, so I think that is part of what's happening here. But I keep thinking surely if she has outside encouragement (from me) then she can do something. I will just have to try and see.
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Katie - awesome. Etsy is great for anything vintage!

CMC - As Veronica said she is really still very young. 87 is elderly....67 is definently not. As a graphic designer she could easily have worked as a creative another dz+ years. She is going to be more motivated if she has deadlines.
As a designer she inherently understands scale and proportion. Her decreased vision has got to be very hard to accept but she still has her tactile senses. Here's my suggestions for things along those lines: Cub scouts - contact a couple of local troops to see who needs help putting together advancement kits. Alot of what the cubs need to do for belt loops (aka merit badges) have an art component (lots of shapes & textures stuff) and really if she could put together the kits X 20 or whatever they need it would be great. Like 24 kits in zip locks and in 6 weeks. It doesn't have to be perfect either. Another possibility is to contact elementary & middle school teachers to see who is doing either collages or dioramas and need presorted material. Like say they are doing collage on To Kill a Mockingbird, your mom could go thru magazines, New York Time, etc and pull tearsheets that work for the concepts in the book. (Plus do the book on tape.) Then those go to the teachers so they have them for the students to make their collage from. She could do the "rough in" for shoebox dioramas. Lots of kids have nothing at home so things like this are invaluable. Your mom will just know visually what works.

You may want to see what magnifiers she can get. If there is a Lighthouse for the Blind in your city or driving distance, see what they have. My late MIL had macular degeneration and Lighthouse provided for her a tabletop model and a portable magnifier for her to use to read and do handwork. Also Lighthouse has activity programs in which they make things. Not dreck stuff either but basketry, tapestries, other wovens. It might be hard at first to get her to want to go and be with others with impaired vision (never would work for my MIL) but maybe could work well for your mom as she would probably be a really good instructor.

One thing I did with my mom was fake flower arrangements - like a dz inexpensive containers & loads of fakes (WalMart & Goodwill) set them out on a worktable. So they could sit out for days. Maybe for your mom, Halloween is the next holiday so get her to come up with a theme. My mom's church was always doing some kind of dinner, so they usually went there for centerpieces. Good luck!
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My mom likes to crochet so my daughter set her up an Etsy site to sell her items.
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I have to share my little success tonight. While we usually eat dinner watching tv, tonight I decided we would eat on the porch. So I put dinner out there and said, "we're eating on the porch tonight." That was really peaceful. I'd sent Mom some movie trivia games on facebook while I was at work, so I asked her to bring out her laptop so we could see if they showed up on her feed. Then we spent about half an hour playing movie trivia games. Yay! We watched less tv tonight.

Just doing it is the way to go. But also realizing I need to do the activity alongside. At least at first.
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I should share she has some impairment due to a stroke, too. She used to do lots of creative things and now she doesn't do anything creative.

I like the idea of just getting out an activity and not talking about it.
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As the saying goes 'you can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink"
As long as you let her she will not find anything to inspire her. Try doing things with her, if her vision is her only health problem there is a lot she can do.
Take the lead and take her with you to somewhere like the gym, go for a walk or if you want her to do something like knitting you will have to do it too. For example tell her you want to knit a sweater for someone in the family and ask if she will knit the straight bits to help you out. Let me point out she is not elderly 67 is young these days and she still has much to contribute. Ask for help around the house, she can fold laundry or help make beds.She probably feels pretty useless at this point. Can she volunteer somewhere? visiting people in nursing homes is one idea .People without family are very lonely and would love someone to talk to. As for the TV, simply turn it off. get out some gsmes and start playing, she can join you or not don't ask her if she wants to play games just make it look like fun.
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