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Mom is fairly lucid, but trusts no one, having been stuck in a cult all of her adult life,only released when my dad died. Can't read or write. Is very social, as long as I am with her.

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Did I mention that my mums favourite TV programme now is DOG BOUNTY HUNTER!!! she loves it??????
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My mum knits thankgod and reads alot always has but now shes starting to read alot less so I got her the audio books free from our local library which she loves she has headphones which makes it easier for her to hear! Audio books are a great idea. So sorry this must be so hard im so lucky my mum occupies herself with her knitting and books she also watches ALOT of tv but i know all this will change soon im trying hard to get her into a daycare does your mum go to one? I think its important that she is with people her own age as much as possible!
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I know I concern myself about my Mom's lack of interests more than she does.

I've decided not to keep asking her about doing something because when I do she doesn't appreciate it anyways. I know it's the dementia but if I get her rattled up about doing something she doesn't want to do it just becomes anxiety for her and ass ache for me
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On a more practical note.....my mom does hours of word search.
This is not reading, it is pattern recognition.
She often tells me it entertains her more than TV,
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Silly idea, but I will throw it out there.

My guess is if mom grew up in a cult the popular culture of movies and TV, may not be relative to her. So old fashioned hobbies may be a better fit.

The latest gal pal trend for soccer moms looking for an excuse to run away from their kids and hubby's is painting parties. There are these studio type places, some serve wine, some allow you to bring your own. Then you sit in front of a blank canvas with a palette and the teacher guides you through reproducing a work of art.

It was fun, interactive, but sedentary, mostly a ladies crowd, you may discover she has talent. If he does a few blank canvases, paints and DVD instructions can provide further home entertainment.

I did this through Living Social, it was only $25. I offered to pay MORE, if the teacher would keep my rendition of Picasso's The Dream.....she would not.

The first thing I thought of when I did it, was mom would enjoy this. I try to take her to dinner, a show or some sort of outing about once a month to break the monotony.


Silly idea, but you asked.

Good luck

L
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If you are not working help her to explore the world she was denied. You say she is social as long you are with her. Go with her to a senior center and both participate in their activities. There are voluteers through the library system that teaches literacy to adults at no cost. The library has free programs to teach adults computer skills. The more you expose your mom to what is out there, the more chance she will gain confidence enough to try on her own. She could also be a great mentor for those who have managed to escape a cult life.
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I say thank goodness for GSN.... LOL
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What about audio books? Movies are good, too. What about taking care of some houseplants? After awhile, I was stumped with my own mom, too. She lost interest in tv, couldn't really read anymore. It was really hard to keep her entertained, as she couldn't walk anymore either. I ended up giving her a pile of stuff, and she'd sort it and arrange it constantly, sometimes for hours on end. Discovering that she liked to do that saved my sanity. I'd change the items up every day, and she never seemed to grow tired of rearranging them, moving them around, etc. For someone still lucid, small chores would be good, like the ones already mentioned. What about puzzles? Board games you could play together? What about a beta fish to take care of? It's so hard to think of things that can keep an elderly person occupied all day... What about helping you bake some goodies? She could mix the ingredients for you. I'm stumped..
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Interesting! Were you born in the cult? How did you escape?
Mom obviously feels very safe with you. You say you are in and out all day. could you take her with you on some of the outs.
The idea of teaching her to read and write is an excellent one. Just being able to write her own name and address would be a great accomplishment even if it is only printed. You could enlarge a page of some print, show her a word and have her underline that word on the page.
Mom might enjoy modeling with the plastic clay. You can make all kinds of jewelry and other things. if you can get her a hand cranked pasta maker the possibilities are endless. There are molds for faces and things. It is a lot of fun.
Another idea is rubber stamps, She could make Christmas cards and many other things. I would add paper punches but her hands are probably not strong enough to use them. Could she hook a rug? I hate to say plastic canvas coasters because I would be seriously irritated if some one offered me that as an occupation and probably throw it on the floor. the trick is to simplify something a younger adult could do not an activity usually given to a five year old. Just because you are old you are not stupid. I enjoy the attention my advancing years gives me like having heavy stuff carried but if someone pats me on the arm and says "There you go gran" they are likely to get a glare rather than a "thank you" Just saying!!!!!!!!!!!
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Audiobooks? Music?
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gmma,
I never have tried to teach my mom how to use the iPad, but if I set up a movie for her she is content to watch. Though we have had problems with her inadvertently touching the screen. I do wish there was an app to disable all touches and buttons.
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i too am trying to find something to keep my 93yr gma with dementia occupied when she's home. she doesn't watching "too much tv" and although she does sit & read, i feel bad watching her sit there for hours as i am in & out through the day. i was able to get her interested in games on the computer but when i finally hooked up the second computer in the living room, she lost interest very quick. i know its difficult to find something to occupy her time without having to sit with her & teach her how to use it(like tablet) i did get her a dog and it does help, i also take her to the senior center at least once a week. the funniest thing i found that she loved to do was connect with her old friends thru facebook! good luck to you!
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Do you have an iPad or other tablet? There are so many games etc. Available there would be something appropriate. I've also downloaded movies that mom loved when younger. There's one advantage to dementia, she has no idea how many times she has watched Singin in the Rain or Sound of Music! At least if she has this dreadful disease it is fairly easy to entertain her with the same thing over and over again.:-O
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I don't know how you feel about this, or even if it's possible, but wouldn't a great activity be learning how to read? Is she interested? Does she have vision problems?
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When you are 90+, your friends have passed on.
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There must be a lot of lonely very old people in the situations described above. Could they talk to each other by phone?
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What do you do when the recipient is a man who's not used to housework and is reluctant to get out of the house? And when the caregiver is a long distance caregiver?
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Good ideas are folding laundry, sorting socks, dusting, even giving them a bucket of soapy water and some silverware set in front of them. It might seem like more work to bring the stuff to them, but it helps them to feel needed and also helps when they start getting sundowners syndrome. You can also bring out photo albums to look at and if possible take them for a walk even if it just to the porch. It is good for them to get to see what the weather is like outside. Have them do as much as they still can within reason. It will keep their spirit high and help you overall.
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No wonder Mum doesn't trust anybody, poor dear. Perhaps if you go with her to some social setting, like a senior center, many times she would gradually feel comfortable enough there to go alone. (And perhaps not. Is it worth a try?)

Do you know of other widows who were formerly in the cult? Invite her or them to visit at your home.

How about audio books? Videos? What kinds of skills does she have? Does she prepare meals? Knit? Whittle?
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My mom is also lonely, lol so am I. It is tough to find something. Maybe a cat/pet or some church volunteers to come by and visit. I know a pet is something else to care for but with little info on the living arrangements. Cats are a great companion that do not need to be let out for potty time:)
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