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Her hands are crippled with arthritis, so crochet and knitting are out. We've tried family photos but she doesn't remember anyone. She was never into hobbies. She gets so restless and agitated that I think if she had something to occupy her mind it might help.

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I have also found that Headbandz, Apples to Apples (including the junior version), 20 Questions (the card game as well as the informal, spontaneous game), Name that Tune, and even Guess Who can be enjoyed by seniors - as well as by visitors and the whole family. There are also some iPad and Android Apps which don’t require much finger dexterity to operate. Have fun!
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My 94 year old MIL came for dinner, and I had my grandchildren over the day prior, and we had been painting with water colors in one of their coloring books. I asked my MIL if she wanted to paint, and she said yes. It was a lot of fun, and my Husband even joined in.
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My mother enjoys playing solitaire, but with me. I deal the cards and she taps or moves cards into position herself. Back in the day, she enjoyed playing bridge and hearts, so this form of solitaire draws on her love of card games without requiring a lot of strategic thinking or dexterity.
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Mimi, I'm not sure what your mom's stage of progression is, but, I think that really determines what actually amuses the person.

Fairly early, my LO, just was not into activities, unless another person was sitting and directing her. There wasn't anything that she could do on her own initiative, (she lost her initiative quite early) once the other person walked away. She would immediately stop coloring, stop folding, just not into it, unless the other person was directing, etc. But, if someone can direct, it can be fun to get items from children's educational section of store or fidget boards/devices online. They are designed to interest dementia patients. They will fit in their lap or on a tray and have zippers, buttons, snaps, velcro, etc. So their hands can stay busy.

My LO enjoyed a toy piano, dolls, toys that talk when you press a button. (Only used when we or staff supervised though.)
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I have found children's games for my husband. One has dice with a big one you roll and it lands on a number. I ask him to make the number with the other dice. I have a BananaGram game that has a bunch of letters (Scrabble letters would work too). I give him words and tell him to spell them out with the letters. (We used to be able to make a scrabble game out of it but he can't do that anymore; he just spells the words.) I use a list of words in a word search book to come up with words to spell. His caregiver plays bingo with him. Another caregiver has him roll a ping pong ball around in a basin trying to keep it on the edges of the basin. One that is good for stretching is holding a band with clothes pins attached in front of him and asking him to take the clothes pins off. Then he counts them. He has to stretch his arms our to remove the clothes pins. A friend of mine used to have her mother fold plastic garbage bags. I have my husband help folding cloth napkins and his own boxer shorts. He loves to be busy and to help. You can get creative with things around the house but most of these things I mention are things that he cannot do independently. It takes me or a caregiver to do them with him. My last comment is that people have different aptitudes depending on how their brain is affected. My husband can still do math but he can't put even a simple puzzle together. Hope this helps!
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I was at Mom's memory care unit and watched a large group happily singing to old tunes. It was Karaoke with just old tunes. They were reading the word lines together
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Thanks for the suggestions. She does love folding clothes altho she folds the same dish towel over and over. But we praise her and tell her how much she is helping. I'm going to try large piece puzzles. She won't use the ipad. She is living with my sister but I'm going to check into the local senior center and see what activities they have available. The sock sorting is a great idea and something she could easily do. Also will check out dominos. Thanks to all. I've found a local caregiver support group for my sister and I to give us a break. Caregiving is the hardest job we've ever done!!
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Does she attend the activities available in the NH? My mom, dementia, in her 90s, went to nearly everything, except maybe Catholic services. Bingo was popular. I've seen a blind woman there. If a volunteer helps even things one can't do alone can be fun. Mom always went to jewelry making, even though her arthritic hands couldn't really string the beads. She could pick out the colors and give direction to the volunteer. She loved the live entertainment. So don't rule out the NH activities, even if her participation is limited.

My mom also loved to fold towels. I brought in a plastic basket of colorful washclothes with varied textures and when she got restless an aide would hand it to her and ask her to fold it.

She loved to sort things. I often dumped out a lot of coins and asked her to sort them, so I could use them in vending machines. And she would sort large beads by color, for the jewelry days. It seemed best when she thought she was doing something useful. I'd bring in a large number of socks and ask her to help with my laundry by sorting them in pairs. This attracted other ladies in the room. Matching socks was a very popular activity!

Many people are content to sit quietly and watch what is going on in the hallways. Not my mother. She needed something to DO at all times. She read the newspaper daily, and staff knew to see that she always had a magazine or two on her wheelchair tray.
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Mom stayed occupied a long time with crossword puzzles, readers digest and weekly women's magazines, easy big piece jigsaw puzzles and poker with me - she liked to win chips
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Folding laundry seems to be a regular suggestion. You might find some helpful suggestions from this search hit on activities:

https://www.agingcare.com/search.aspx?searchterm=activities for dementia patients.

When she gets restless, try playing some of her favorite music.

Can she use her hands at all? Could she play dominoes? There are triangular dominoes and I think they're a bit easier to hold onto.

What about reading, or listening to books on tape?
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Hi Mimi234,

Good of you to try and find activities for your mom. I find this list and hope it will have some good suggestions. I don't know if your mom would be interested in using an iPad. I wonder if it was loaded up with games and different activities if that might help.

https://www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_101_activities.asp
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