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My Mom, 90, has had Dementia for a little over a year. She was quite an avid reader of novels for much of her life. She also enjoyed watching television. Now she wants nothing to do with either. Can anyone tell me why?

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My guess about the "why" is lack of comprehension and possibly declining vision. My 95 yo mother still reads the newspaper and all kinds of magazines. She no longer reads books. She has stopped watching her game shows and even baseball. I suspect that may have to do with all the commercial interruptions. You are watching a game show for five minutes and then all of sudden someone is talking about new cars and then someone else is singing about a snack, and on and on. By the time the game show is back it may be hard to remember the point of the game.

That is my guess about the "why."

As to the "now what?" others have given some good suggestions. By trial-and-error find what she does enjoy looking at or occupying her time with. My mom loved to do crosswords and did them obsessively, but her handwriting it too cramped now to pursue that. She likes magazines with lots of pictures. She hasn't cooked for probably 10 years, but she still likes to read recipes! On one visit she and my sister were looking through separate magazines and my sister said, "Oh, this blueberry cake recipe sounds good!" and Mother replied "Yes, especially with the lemon. But you have to have a Bundt pan." This from a woman who cannot remember what she ate for lunch once they take the plate away! Why can she remember reading a recipe and details about it when so many other items don't stick in her memory at all? Who knows, but we're pretty sure it is good to give her women's magazines!
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As to why she's lost interest...she can't remember plots, stories, news events and doesn't care anymore. TV controls/controllers are impossible to use. Channels are not find-able any more. No recognition of TV news anchors, no continuity of news stories. A commercial break erases whatever preceded it.

How long is her short term memory? My mother's seems to vary between 30 seconds and sometimes up to 2 minutes. I have found that tactile materials seem more interesting...right now she's enjoying holding fall leaves in her hands and looking at them. No interest in photos, TV, radio, news broadcasts...none of makes sense or she just doesn't care anymore. I bring in Women's Day or Southern Living or National Geo picture magazines now and then. Remember any one magazine will be endlessly 'new' to her until she wears the pages out. I also got her a picture book of Bible stories...but have not seen her use it much. She seems to get pleasure out of rearranging her nick-nacks on the shelves. Not even interested in family photos anymore because she doesn't know who they are anymore. She enjoys organizing her clothes in the closet.
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JB reminded me of the Animal Planet videos of cutest kittens and puppies. The series that focuses on 3 families each raising a different breed of dog are also good possibilities. Seeing all those furry little fluffballs climbing and crawling over each other, then nodding off in such an innocent manner as they fall asleep is just so sweet and heartwarming.

There's another one called Puppy Bowl, which is an absolutely adorable version of little puppies playing football. Of course, they just ramble around, hopping, stepping into the water ball, colliding with each other, but it's really amusing, and so innocent and pure.
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My Dad no longer watches tv with any kind of an intricate plot. He loves nature documentaries and sometimes watches the same ones over and over. He can watch documentaries that are mostly told visually.. no complex story lines. There are some good ones on Netflix that I put on for him.

He also still reads the newspaper and can spend hours on the sunday paper.
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What did she used to like on TV? You've gotten some good ideas. My mom loves children so I find those type of shows (mostly older ones) where kids are on there for her to watch. Sometimes America's funniest videos will keep her laughing, especially if they are episodes with babies in them. Any clean comedy she will watch and enjoy like mentioned above. She likes gospel or hymn music so I try to find music channels where she'll sing or hum along. She still loves tennis so she watches that and funny enough she LOVES American Ninja Warrior. She'll watch that all day.
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I also think she may be having trouble following the plots.

Perhaps she could watch shows that don't have any plots...perhaps just documentaries. Even if she doesn't follow the narration, the scenery would be relaxing.

I've noticed more and more that doctors' offices and areas in the hospital we go to are using ocean imagery or a fish tank in reception areas and ER trauma units as well as waiting areas. It's intensely soothing, just watching fish meander in and out between seaweeds and rocks.

Instead of novels try something like Country or Country Extra magazine, which is primarily beautiful photos of magnificent outdoor scenes. Just looking at the photos is relaxing.

I've also found that magazines with photos of animals (such as dog or cat fancier magazines) induces relaxation. She might not have a dog or cat to pet, but the cute expressions on their faces are soothing.
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Not sure. She lives in an Alzheimers unit in an Assisted Living facility, receiving the best care! She had me bring her TV home. She won't even watch in the living room of the unit. Thank you for your kindness.
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She probably can no longer comprehend the content. Will she watch old shows like I Love Lucy with simple plots?
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