I'm looking for activities for my Mom (94) who is vision impaired and has dementia. Any suggestions?

Follow
Share

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.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
19

Answers

Show:
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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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 ~
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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!"
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Cmor1954, you are caring, persistent, and creative. My father, who had macular degeneration, loved his talking wristwatch.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Those daycares cost $100 a day. There is help but it all depends on parents income. Our local ones pick up and take home.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.