My mom is 76 and recently went blind due to an auto immune disease she suffers from that is attacking the corneas of her eyes and has had transplants but her body is rejecting the transplants. She suffers from some dementia at times and feels hopeless and has passed comments lately that she wishes she would just die. I am her primary caregiver but its hard working 3 jobs and trying to keep her entertained thru out the day aside from her just sitting and listening to tv programs. I tried googling ideas and all i find is to do gardening with people who have lost their sight & unfortunately that is not my moms cup of tea. Im very active in dog rescue so i came up with an idea to have her fill ziploc baggies with 5 dog bisquits to each bag and will take her to the local shelter to drop them off. Was also gonna do the same idea with cookies and bring her to a nursing home to drop them off. I just need simple ideas as she takes a long time doing things but would like to stimulate her brain as well as make her feel useful in helping others, since she has always taught me growing up to help others. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

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My mom lost her eyesight in one eye at age 76 due to a sudden bleed associated with wet AMD, the sight in her other eye has diminished more gradually. She was still able to live independently but was unable to leave the house due to her rural location. She enjoyed listening to books, and radio talk shows and had a group of phone friends she talked to often, but when I look back today I realize that she would have been so much better off if she had moved to a seniors apartment or even assistive living where she would not have been so isolated.
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Check out your local library for books on tape. But they also will have music she can listen to. What era of music did she grow up in? Does she like musicals? Classical? Ethnic? Music therapy is helpful for people with dementia. Do you think she can learn to change CDs?
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Bumping this up so more people will see it and hopefully respond.
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Kris, my compliments to you on not only your caring attitude, but your stamina for handling 3 jobs as well as creating ideas for your mother.

There have been other posts on this subject here. Perhaps some of these ideas will help as well:

I think you're on the right track to help her feel useful.

Do you foster dogs in your home? If so, could she provide comfort to the dogs just by petting them?

Would books on tape be of interest to her? If you have cable tv with music channels, leaving those on could provide relaxation for the times when you're away at work.

She could also package cookies to take to senior centers for delivery to Meals on Wheels recipients. My father gets extra goodies occasionally; it's always a touch of kindness that someone extends him/herself to another senior in need.

This could change seasonally as well as with the holidays.

Since she taught you to help others, I'm guessing this was the way she was raised. Perhaps she herself could offer suggestions on how to help others in small ways?

I have a feeling others will post with good suggestions and we'll be back adding to each other's comments.

One issue of which to be aware though is whether or not the MOW recipients are diabetics or on special diets. You might print up labels for those packages with goodies in them that they're not for someone with sugar or salt restrictions; the MOW staff will have notes on which recipients would be affected.
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