TV Ideas? Mom is content to watch all day. What might she enjoy while avoiding frustration? - AgingCare.com

TV Ideas? Mom is content to watch all day. What might she enjoy while avoiding frustration?

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So, my mom has Alzheimer's. Besides that, she has difficulties walking due to rheumatoid arthritis causing foot deformities (can't be "fixed"), the need for a hip replacement revision surgery (planning for now) & unexplained balance issues. All these combined & she really has no desire to go anywhere (I would like to get her out of the house to a day program at least one day a week for the socialization factor - she resists this idea.) I explain all this so one doesn't wonder WHY getting her to DO something else is easier said than done.

So, she spends most of her waking hours watching TV. As the AD progresses, she's getting more & more frustrated by not being able to "follow" the plot. (I will add that mom never DID have any hobbies, so there is nothing to redirect her toward doing.) Basically, if she's happy watching TV, I'm inclined to let that be.

That being said, does anyone have any experience/suggestions with what types of programs I can tune in for her to watch that she might enjoy that don't leave her frustrated?

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I have this problem as well. What she like one day will upset her the next. I found watching stuff like The Jeffersons and Good Times (where the people do not look like her family) or black and white shows (where her memories are in color) can help. She enjoys Mama's Family to. We have a "schedule" in the evening with Jeffersons, Mama's Family, then Funniest Pets and People. The last on also has little kids asking and answering questions. No matter how many times she sees them, she loves the little kids. Also try just music CD's. A lot of times, watching "Bill Gaither Homecoming Friends" DVD's is good but other times she tries to figure out when she was there but just listening to the music without watching anything helps to calm her. Good luck and God Bless you for your care giving!
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PBS kids. My mother loves "Curious George" and "Wild Kratts" best. She also enjoys several programs from the Litton's Weekend Adventure group of programs, espcially "Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown" and "Ocean Mysteries."
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I have a DVD set of Dr. Quinn that Neola watches over and over, from the premier episode through the two movies. Most of the episodes are 45 minutes. I have to start each episode, so I can't be away for more than 45 minutes at a time. If I need to be away longer than that, I could put on a movie, or a 90 minute episode. She also likes Downton Abbey and Murdoch Mysteries. Sometimes, she likes Bill Gaither. If I have to sit there with her, it's hard to sleep through Dr. Quinn, with all the Indians and cavalry noise, but I can sleep through Bill Gaither and Downton Abbey.
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She might like older variety shows - like Carol Burnett. Something to make her laugh, but stories that only last 5-10 minutes each, so she doesn't have to follow along for a long time with a complicated plot & keep up with lots of characters.
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I used to watch cooking shows with my mom. We also played soothing music, or music she grew up listening too. She also did large print word finds.
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I would say, go with what she used to watch years ago. Personally, about once a year, I call my kids up and remind them that when I am bedridden not to let the caregivers turn on soaps. I hate them, always did and probably always will. LOL. As for my husband, Do-It-Yourself shows work great, we have DVDs on woodworking and shooting that he really likes. I was at a VA hospital several years ago and the Mexican workers would have the telenovas on in every room so they wouldn't miss their soaps as they worked room to room. Here these poor guys were stuck watching soaps in Spanish whether or not they liked them. Gave me the willies.
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All of the above I will say ditto to. When mom was still living at home, tv just frustrated her. She was an avid reader but even that got to be a no go. Their minds just can't follow and the attention span is nil. At my mom's facility, they bring in musicians, choirs, and watch all the old westerns, I love lucy, etc. The ones that can will watch, those that can't sleep or day dream. I'm afraid it's just a progression of the disease. My mom loved sitting outside even in the scorching Texas heat. I could stay out for about 5 min. then tell her I would have to go back inside. When she moved to the facility, I would wheel her out to the front so she could see the cars go by but even that kind of threw her off. Luckily the facility has an enclosed quiet garden area so weather permitting we can go out there. Texas has weird weather......one day cold with ice, the next 80 degrees. Never know what you're going to get (as in a box of chocolates:). Hope these suggestions help. Good luck and God Bless
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Depending on her tastes - nature shows, musicals/operas, some reality TV might be ok as it usually deals in the moment (like a single challenge in Survivor or doing some task on Amazing Race) but may get her heart racing, maybe some sitcoms. Anything is better than what my father prefers to watch - those horrible dramas about murder and rape.
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Keep away from anything suspenceful as that will agitate her. Also be care full with some of the animal shows as they can get quite gruesome
Would she take to such things as "How it's made' and some of the home improvement shows. Maybe make some short videos yourself when you are out.
A church service, ducks on the pond, a craft show as you walk round,a visit to the museum. Just regular everyday things. Even go to the senior center and film the activities there.
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If she's in her 80's, then try westerns. They have a simple plot, you know the ending, and there are usually in black and white. My husband cannot get enough of westerns. He loves "Cheyenne" so much, I wrote Clint Walker (on his website to tell him how much John loves his show. Mr. Walker was gracious enough to send him a personal note with his photo (they are the same age). Wasn't that super? He reads and re-reads it every day when he passes the photo. What a lovely man...Also, stick with history she would remember (WWII, the old Hollywood actors, etc.) Have fun watching them with her!
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