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She gets bored and loses interests. She likes music but, she wants more to do. We can only fold so many clothes. Her lack of vision has always been disturbing to her. She's never fully accepted her situation. We don't have a car. She's not in shape to take a bus. Trying to develop a routine. My mom can't differentiate night from day. Very impatient but still smart and sharped tongued, dementia and all.

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My Mom had three cornea transplants [the visceral tissue and corneas were destroyed by herbicides/pesticides that were used by our neighbor on their lawn and barren flower garden]. She loved gardening [still does] ~ sadly, the poisons didn't have any regard for fences, and the rains only caused our back-fence soil to be poisoned by the chemicals. She still has stitches in one eye [to prevent loss of the transplant]. Her vision, 10 years later, is very poor [about 98 percent visual deficit] - she holds things up to her face [large print puzzle ink smudge across her nose :) - but she didn't give up trying to crochet, and keep her mind occupied. She can't see me more than 2 feet away [i'm a puddle or a blur]. So i do understand your plight.

Sometimes we select words such as independence, or others, and see how many 4 letter or more words we can derive from the word. Also, interactive game shows help -Price Is Right, Wheel of Fortune [she sits about 1' from the TV to see the large letters] and Family Feud enable her to participate and try to guess the answers.

Currently, i got the supples for her to start flowers and veggies from seed in the little pots, which i'll transplant outdoors when the climate permits. She loves watching and nurturing the little seedlings along and seeing their growth. i've added a batch of marigolds, too ~ every year we use them to keep aphids, cutworms and some critters away from both roses and veggie plants. We 'frame' the veggie garden with them - preying insects don't like the smell nor the taste of the natural pyrethrin agents in the marigolds. i've planted tulip bulbs in an indoor pot and they are just now about 4" tall. [To force tulips, they only need about 6 weeks in the fridge to simulate winter, and then it's okay to plant them in or outdoors. They need the dormancy in the cold to enable them to bloom. That's one of the myriad of lessons God and nature teaches: even the worst circumstances will oftentimes yield beautiful blessings in abundance. Perhaps your Mom would like a little herb or pot garden ~ window sills are ideal for herbs ~ and quite handy if you like to cook. The grooming [snipping off what you need for a recipe] only encourages more growth. Indoor gardening is easy ~ and if you'd not prefer to venture outdoors with the project, perhaps there's a sunny spot for a "patio tomato" or such to grow indoors. Geraniums grow quite well, even indoors, but they love sunlight, and don't require constant care. i find the colors, liveliness of a garden and smell of freshly cut lawn ~ even if viewed/smelled through a window, can really lift the spirits. The chirp of birds is always a musical interlude to the respite. We've been blessed with a gift Dad gave Mom on their 50th wedding anniversary ~ a sunroom [all glass]. But a porch or patio would be suitable as well. The sun offers more than vitamin D ~ it's a spiritual retreat, in my book.

@ glasshalfull ~ grand idea to have a journal to capture the stories, or in the stead, perhaps a recorder that the person can use when the thought to speak their thoughts, reminiscences, unprompted, would work quite well. Take lots of pictures ~ we get so busy and exhausted, but the little moments will be the most remembered and endearing. Puts a bit of joy into the day, too ... perhaps there are some hats, etc., lying around ~ selfies might provide that instant laughter that sometimes gets lost at the tick of a clock, or turn of the calendar page as time and exhaustion creep into our own self-images.

i love the sharing of new ideas. Thank you all for 'being here' and i'm grateful for the opportunity to learn from each one of you.
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These are all great ideas! My mom (90) has ok vision, but finding activities that keep her engaged is sometimes hard. We play a lot of rummy as she feels the counting at the end of each hand keeps her mind going better. She has a friend who just turned 98 who has limited vision. She still is able to play short rounds of UNO (basically match colors or numbers and easy rules) even with limited vision.

The hard part is helping seniors not feel self conscious about their disability...otherwise they become more and more isolated from others and that just increases the loneliness and adds to the dementia.

The Alzheimers foundation in our area has a variety of CAFE activities where patients and their caregivers can attend together (one happens at the local art museum) and enjoy each others company in a community setting. I would see what they have going on in your area...and then look at who could provide transportation (perhaps someone else who is attending with their parent).

Please think about the "telling their stories" and recording them with for grandchildren or the local history folks...we should not lose these stories...
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I know as someone who is currently caring for my mother with dementia, it can sometimes be challenging. Before my mother came to live with me I found a assistant living facility for her to live in. My mother who is only receiving a SSI income, qualified to live in a wonderful place with her own apartment and the facility offered serves like, lunch programs, actitives for them to participate in and just a community of people who just like to sit around and talk. These places can sometime have a bit of a waiting list. But what did was put my mom on every waiting list I could. Then I search HUD housing new development housing for senior in my area and put her on the waiting list for those as well.
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i also use audio books [books on tape], which i borrowed from our local library. i understand that they now have a way to download an audio book to the computer, but i've not tried that yet. There are books on the Public Domain site [Librox, etc] but these are mostly classics. Since your Mom seems interactive, perhaps Game Shows on TV may help: Family Feud, Jeopardy or others where she might be able to shout out an answer, to keep her imagination and cognitive skills as well-honed as possible. i'm very proud of you, and of your Mom, for even continuing to seek out tactile and intellectual stimulus. Your city's day senior center or library may have suggestions or classes, too. i've taken Mom on bus trips to a Daniel O'Donnell concert at a nearby theater. She loved it. Blessings ~
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Hi my mom had both for a while too. She did like books on tape, talking book from the library too, listening to old movies on Turner Classic movies. I can imagine how hard it is without a car,but maybe a friend or Uber could get the two of you out for some drives and activities. The senior center and Lighthouse for the blind also had some gatherings with music etc. that were very nice.
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contact your local adult medical day care, they may have a sliding scale for the daily fee or if she has Medicaid, Medicaid would pick up the cost. It can be a great place to socialize and be active. Activities are geared for those with impairments. Short videos, sorting buttons or silverware (if she doesn't stick things in her mouth) you can also contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's association, they can give you a list of activity idease
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One of the best suggestions I received (and now I pass it on to others) was to find out what jobs the care receiver did during the earlier days of their lives...and apply those same jobs now in some similar manner so that the care receiver gets that same sense of purpose they had back then at this point in their life now. My care receiver's career was working various production lines during the war and later as a cleaning lady, with many household chores to do of course! She finds purpose and enjoyment with folding plastic grocery bags, gift tissue paper, clothes (yes, the socks don't always match & things end up inside out). Also with playing the piano (Its her "job" to play 4 songs, 4 times a day at the ALF), she has a feather duster on her walker and is responsible to dust throughout the day at the ALF. Finding things THEY find meaningful is key. My care-receiver is a real stick-in-the mud for crafts, painting, coloring (She'll exclaim: "That's for kids!"). She will do word searches, puzzles, and playing cards...and we really do our best to get her the biggest print items we can find. She likes car rides and seeing all the cars and trees...even if its just blurry shapes at this point for her vision. She likes that my my car plays polka music, that Lawrence Welk is alive and well and on TV, and the "judge" shows on TV...but she and I both know she would rather be pulling the weeds out of the lawn, the driveway, and walkways...because "they don't belong there...and that has to be fixed!"
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Cmor1954, you are caring, persistent, and creative. My father, who had macular degeneration, loved his talking wristwatch.
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Most people with macular degeneration have EXTREMELY LIMITED ACTIVITIES! NO READING THE NEWSPAPER, DOING PUZZLES. Mom didn't want to go to the senior center because she was lost without good vision.
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Those daycares cost $100 a day. There is help but it all depends on parents income. Our local ones pick up and take home.
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Yes, books on tape. I am addicted to them. If she has dementia, she may not enjoy long novels but there are lot so great short stories. I just read a couple of collections by the Canadian Nobel prize winner, Alice Munro. Awesome. And very down to earth, old-lady-ish.
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I have also used the CD player from the NC state library for the blind. Wonderful! However, as cmor1954 pointed out, as the dementia progresses, you must adapt the reading list to simpler, shorter fare that they can follow. What a great list of suggestions, cmor1954! We found a HUGE (18 inch) digital clock that tells the time, day, and date. Time is important to everyone, but particularly to someone who is quite blind.
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I always felt that my dad should be busy (who was living with us and has dementia) and trying to come up with ideas all day... My friend (who has experience with this) told me that he doesn't always have to be doing something... That sometimes just being is okay and that I don't or shouldn't feel guilty... So I took her advice and tried keeping him busy sometimes during the day... It worked well for both of us, me dad and myself...
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Talking books, libraries have them, is a great source of entertainment. Before her vision loss, my Mom enjoyed word games (Jumble) so I play them verbally with her. Also, get a notebook and 'interview' her about her life as a child, or how she met your Dad. Plant a small herb garden together.
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You could have been describing my mother. We found something that occupied her for months, though she eventually lost interest: "Tangles" and other simple puzzle or textural manipulative toys. Do a search on Amazon. You will find hundreds of colorful choices. They are not expensive and we have ten or so, which we would cycle through every few days. We told her they were for the arthritis in her hands (true also) but since the ads (and reviewers) claim that they are great for toddlers and also students and adults with ADHD, no reason not to try! Hopefully my mom will show an interest in the future since her stage of dementia has progressed to the point she probably won't remember them next time we try them. .
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Your note is just like I wrote it. My Mom has macular degeneration and dementia at 85 years old. I have had your issues for the past 5 years also and BOOKS ON TAPE saved me for years - I made a list of what she 'read' and she was SO PROUD when I'd tell the librarian. She slept thru them the last few years, but , it gave her something to 'put her mind on' . Authors Rex Stout, Agatha Christy, Danielle Steele, Debbie Macomber. We had books and a player sent to us which is for the blind sent to us for free from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for the Blind and Handicapped. There are no deadlines for returning the audiotapes. They send a booklet every quarter with ALL the books they offer and they also have Newspapers and tons of resources. Also - I've just found on line Enabling Devices. It's for more extreme situations for all ages, but they have sensory things and easier to operate things (i.e., CD) - I got the special button but then my Mom still couldn't open it and change the CD. Also I got her a talking box that says day and date and time and a necklace that does the same with only one button touch cause she couldn't learn the other. Also I got a Clarity phone for the PICTURES of people but color-coded each person in the picture spots with a list for each person's color so she can dial with one button and can be independent again and contact people. She went into a home last Sept 2014 after 10 years of my husband and I watching her. She got too 'wobbly' and the doctor said she isn't safe at home and has to go in. They use animals a lot with wonderful uplifting results to the seniors. An animal is the best. Secondarily - a stuffed animal can bring about the same 'feelings' as a real one. I got this FurReal monkey Cuddles at ToysRUs and it is interactive - I have NEVER seen such joy - even the men in the home came over when she took her into the dining room. EVERYONE wants to hold her. Visitors have brought in knitted booties, a little pocketbook for her 'banana' bottle, a little baby dress. It's heartwarming and you really feel like you're cuddling a real baby. My Mom loved word games but she has serious sight loss - however - these different places might have options. My Mom was a minister's wife so the books you pick can be 'clean' and/or funny or religious. She like the mystery books about cats and the Irish stories when the reader did a brogue. Hope something here helps. If I think of anything else I'll let you know.
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Call your bus transportation in your town. Ours has a program that picks the person up and takes them where they need and they pay according to their income. Also call you local Elder Help Line for other ideas. There are Assisted Living facilities that have day care programs.
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Counting things, polishing things, walking, get her an mp3 player, big-piece jigsaw puzzles, gardening, get her a doll or some dolls? a pet? a bird? I guess she doesn't knit...?
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Is there a senior center near you? Some will pick her up for activities, feed her and bring her back.
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