Follow
Share

As I said my 95 year old Mom who has dementia wants to play cards with me every single day but there are times when I'm too busy doing something else (cooking, cleaning, laundry) and I don't feel like playing.


Or I just want a break and some alone time in my room.


My Mom doesn't understand about cooking, cleaning, etc. or that I'm tired (I understand how her dementia doesn't allow her to understand).


Yet I feel guilty if I don't play. I say to myself "what is she passes away tomorrow?"... I will feel terrible about myself.


Any advice?


Jenna

Does she like solitaire. Both Partner and I may not have got through the pandemic without it!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Report
JennaRose Feb 23, 2021
She used to play solitaire but she stopped. We play 7 card gin rummy and even when she wins I notice that she mistakes a heart for a diamond.
(0)
Report
If she passes away tomorrow, she will go knowing you took great care of her and loved her. Cards or no cards. There is no need to feel guilty.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to LoopyLoo
Report

Set aside 30 minutes a day to play cards with your mom. Then you won't feel guilty if she passes away tomorrow b/c you'll have played cards with her today.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to lealonnie1
Report
JennaRose Feb 23, 2021
The problem is if I say this is our last game of gin rummy she starts to beg like a child (which she has become) so I say okay, one more but that's it.
(0)
Report
Instead of “caving” to her need to play cards, you might want to suggest she help you in some way. "Could you help me first before we play?", meaning help fold the laundry, or maybe dust or help put dishes away, something she would be able to do to keep busy. If you're lucky she may have forgotten about the cards. Realize, though, that you may have to re-do some of her work. Maybe she could keep your cat busy while you're doing something else. She apparently is in the early stages if she can still play cards.

If you're in the middle of doing something don't feel guilty to say “I'll be with you as soon as I'm done”. Even if you just don't feel like it, don't be afraid to say “right after my nap”, or even make up something that will give you some respite for a while.

You're a person of great resolve, Jenna. You've overcome alcoholism and Lyme disease and now you feel lucky to take care of your wonderful mom. For some people caregiving can be fulfilling. I applaud you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to sjplegacy
Report
JennaRose Feb 23, 2021
That's a good idea, she does wash dishes (even though I have to redo them), but I could give her the towels to fold and other laundry.

I have said in the past "Mom, I need to finish cooking this, I'll let you know when I can play".. Or "I have to go pick up your medication, let's see when I come back"...

Thanks for the compliments as they mean a lot to me. I love my Mom a lot and I try to make her as happy as I can but I can't do it all, I'm only human.
(1)
Report
Does she use an iPad or computer? If so Microsoft Solitaire Collection is great. I play it every day.
There are other card games on line.
But setting aside 15 or 30 minutes a day would be nice. You need a break from laundry, cleaning, cooking as well. You might even want to suggest to mom that if she helps you sort the socks and fold the towels you will have time to play.
It will give her something to do and you can then play cards.
In the grand scheme of things what is more important, a basket of laundry or a few minutes with mom?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report
JennaRose Feb 23, 2021
Great idea which I did try. I have an Ipad and I showed her how to play simple solitaire on it but she doesn't get it as far as the swiping or tapping. She became very confused.

I'm going to give her laundry to fold which will keep her busy. She does enjoy watching her game shows but some days she gets really bored.
(0)
Report
Grandma makes a good point. II would play cards with her everyday if that makes her happy and it works for you. It does not have to be a long card game. Let her know how much time you are willing to spend playing cards with her. My mother loves a sing along in the afternoon and I do too, it is a special time for our family and some days it is one hour and others 15-30 minutes. I am very busy too and I could spend every hour of the day with some task or another and still never finish. The work will still be there whether you play cards or not. I get up early in the morning before everyone in the household gets up. I can do laundry, read a book or watch the news without interruption, this is my time to myself and I protect it. Everyone in my family knows how precious my time is and respects it. I would say plan ahead and set a certain time of day for some quality time with your mom. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to earlybird
Report
JennaRose Feb 23, 2021
I forgot that my Mom and I used to sing songs together. I still have the words printed out for the songs she likes so we can start doing that as well as giving my Mom laundry to fold.

She lost sense of time so even if I say this is our last hand we are playing she begs for another game of 7 card gin rummy which of course being the person I am I cave in.

Many times she wants to play in the morning and I'm very busy then and I do tell her later we will play and I stick to my guns.
(2)
Report
Hi JennaRose, maybe your Mom would enjoy watching one of the music channels on tv? My Mom loves the classic country channel. It occupies many hours as she reads facts about the artists as they display during the songs. She recognizes many of the songs and just loves it. It allows me to do tasks around the house vs entertaining all the time. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Sweetstuff
Report

I see you mentioned music and singing songs together. Instead of you participating, she may be entertained by listening to songs of her generation, the oldies. I'm not talking about Marvin Gaye or even Elvis, I mean Glenn Miller, Andrew Sisters, Benny Goodman, Judy Garland, Sinatra. There are some apps you can load on your cellphone that play Big Bands, etc. Music of a LOs generation even works for late stage symptoms. You could go to YouTube and search for 1940 songs, she can even watch those. Might help.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to sjplegacy
Report
JennaRose Feb 25, 2021
I put on CD's that we listen to together since we both like the same music. My Mom also has Amazon's Echo Dot and she knows how to say "Alexa, play Tony Martin" or whoever she likes. That entertains her.

Thanks!
(2)
Report
My daughter at 8 years and her cousin, also 8, would play Crazy Eights with their granddad, 80. They wore him out with it. He would say, “I don’t want to play”. They would deal him in and he would begrudgingly begin to play. As the cousins grew up and away, his favorite game was “ole sol” which he would play on a very old PC that had only that one game on it. He played many games with well worn decks that are prized possessions by his grands. If a ballgame happened to be on the radio at the same time, he was well entertained.
When one of his grands stopped in to visit, they would say hello to my mother but soon made their way to his bedroom where there would be a card game going in short order.

It’s a problem because you find it so but it brings back sweet memories for me of times gone by. I hope you can find her a card partner to give her a break.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report

JennaRose, think of it this way.... what would I want to remember most, playing cards with Mom, or doing housework?

Cleaning can always wait. Heavens, I haven't washed the inside of the windows in over a year, no one else has noticed :)
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to freqflyer
Report
JennaRose Feb 25, 2021
Freqflyer, you are absolutely right! Thanks for putting everything into perspective for me once again.

Jenna
(2)
Report
freqflyer as always gives such great advice. I can top you in the window department I have not washed windows in two years.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to earlybird
Report

Well some areas have volunteers who would be happy to give you a break and play cards.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to KathleenQ
Report

I used to have to play this weird German card game. Which I used to win handily, so obviously I cheated as a newbie, right?

I figured out, I could give the person chores, like folding socks or cleaning strawberries. I guess because of my anal retentive nature, I found an injury proof egg cutter the person could use for the strawberries...no injury and consistency.

I could do my chores while watching the person.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Stacy0122
Report

Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter