My husband and I are visiting my 89 year old mom for a week. She goes out very little and can’t stay on her feet very long because her back starts hurting. She is unsocial, inactive, and prefers to watch tv or play on her iPad. It is hard for us to hang out for the entire week doing nothing. Does anyone have any ideas for something we could go out to do that might actually sound fun for her? She isn’t interested in movies, eating, shopping or other things I have suggested in the past. We have taken a drive which is ok, but I wish I could figure out a way to spice that up a bit. Also, her 90th birthday is coming next month. I’d like to celebrate in a special way, but I have no ideas. I won’t be able to be with her then, so if I had a way to celebrate this week it would be nice. Thanks for any input.

Thanks for your suggestions. You all shared some interesting ideas, that I will try out. I like the idea of the card shower, and hope that I can do something like that for her birthday.
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Reply to Silverlinings

My Mom's nursing home has private dining rooms that the family can "reserve" for 2 hours or so. We have reserved both the small 4-person "Parlors" and the larger "Family Dining Room" for meals or get-togethers with Mom. Sometimes we have brought our laptops and shown Mom photos or videos that we have taken. There are also "Alcoves" that have sofas and soft chairs where people can gather. When we visit Mom, we limit each visit to 2-3 hours and then return later in the day for another 2-3 hours after our Mom has had a nap or some "down-time".

To celebrate Mom's birthday, we reserved the "Family Dining Room" and brought in KFC chicken (which Mom LOVES) with the all of the sides: mashed potatoes, biscuits, etc. and along with a Birthday cake and Ice Cream (packed in ice). The NH provided water and iced tea, paper plates and regular silverware. We had a GREAT time and took lots of pictures.

You might want to check with the facility that your Mom is in and see whether they offer rooms for the families to gather in with the resident. We stayed for 2+ hours in that room and then went to Mom's room for 1-2 hours until she got tired. She laid down for a nap and we went back to the motel for a nap also. We ate at a restaurant and then visited Mom after Supper for 1 hour. Mom could not follow our conversation sometimes, but at least, we spent time with her.

At Christmas, we gathered in the "Living Room" alcove in the Memory Care Unit and I brought the presents that Mom was going to give to other family members. After showing Mom the gifts that "SHE WAS GIVING", her granddaughter wrapped up the presents and took them to a family gathering in another state. Mom had fun looking at the gifts and watching her granddaughter & her husband wrap the gifts. We also helped Mom to open our Christmas gifts to her. It gave us time to reminisce about other Christmases. We stayed about 2-3 hours that day.

We have also looked at the NH's Activity Calendar and taken Mom to some of the activities and listened to local singers or watched a movie offered by the Activity Department.

Another thing that people do in our rural community is to have a "Card Shower" for an older person's birthday. An announcement is put in the local paper asking people to send the person Birthday cards to the nursing home or assisted living facility. After the date listed in the newspaper, we looked at the Birthday cards with Mom and she sometimes was able to tell who the person was and when that person was one of her students. I do not know if this will work in a large metropolitan city. You might consider putting an announcement in the bulletin of the church that your Mom used to attend.
Hope that these suggestions are helpful.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to DeeAnna

Maybe with a wheelchair she might have a bit more stamina to do things? Any local botanical gardens in her area? Check if they are wheelchair-accessible. Is there a lake or dam or other point of interest where you could drive to, get out and walk a short distance to a picnic table to have a little snack together?

Anything happening in her city or town that week? You could check the city's website for free activities (concerts in the park, etc.).

I hope others have some ideas for you.
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Reply to SnoopyLove

Is there a nice park with a bench and a view? A short outing for pie or ice cream? Would she enjoy getting her nails done? Watching a dance performance or a short concert? Does she have one of those walkers with a seat? So she could rest when needed? Would she be willing to sit in a wheelchair and you could enjoy a museum outing or a local zoo? I know this is hard. My dad doesn't like to go out much either. Good luck!
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Reply to Amycaring

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