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Piggy backing on Jeanne's suggestion, keep a copy of the activity calendar near the phone. Also make a list of other activities you can suggest. Depending on her abilities ask her to write in her notebook your favorite recipes or remedies. If she doesn't have that capability reach for your notebook and write the date at the top of the page and ask her how did she fry chicken or when did you have mumps or what was her favorite Christmas or BD. You'll enjoy looking at that later. My little aunt likes snapping green beans and hulling pecans. She likes checking the weather station to see how it's going in nephews part of the world. If I'm going shopping for her I might ask her to check on supplies and call me back with numbers. (I already know what she needs). Most of the time I don't get the call. She gets busy flipping stations and forgets about her job. This stage won't last long. Enjoy it while it's here.
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Did you ever ask her that question? Kids seem to go through a period of being bored and not yet having the skills to figure out "what should I do now?" My mother used to give a few suggestions like play paperdolls with the Sears catalog, or find your chalk and play hopscotch or see how many different bugs you can find in the flower beds, but if our whining questions continued the suggestions changed to "Here is a dustcloth. Get down on your knees and dust all the chair rungs in the dining room. It's easy for you to get down to them." Or "Here is the broom. The porch needs sweeping."

Now the roles are reversed. Mom has dementia, is bored, and doesn't have (and won't have) the skills to think up an activity.

Does her independent living community have activities? If so, keep a copy of the schedule. "Mom, there is going to be ice cream in the main courtyard in half an hour. That will be a fun thing to do!"

You know her strengths and interests. "Have you finished that jigsaw puzzle of the cardinal yet?" "I think it is a good morning for knitting." "When I have a little free time later I'm going to sit and read a book. Do you have a book you are reading?" Make realistic suggestions.

Treat it a little like a child's whining for suggestions. She really is bored. Not bored enough to want to do chores, maybe, but perhaps enough to welcome a suggestion.

People with dementia can not usually live alone for very long. Depending on how much support she gets in her community, it may be a good idea to be investigating the next level of care for her.
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