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Mom can’t see well so puzzles are too difficult. We’ve tried coloring/painting with limited success. Any other suggestions for activities?

I had a client who lost her ability to read. Her eyesight was fine, but her brain couldn't do it any more. I read stories to her, she especially enjoyed classic fairy tales. We also read a long book, but every time I gave a quick review of the story from the beginning to our present spot.
I gave my Dad a Fiddle Muff that kept his mind focused and his hands warm. It's a knit tube about 18 inches long made out of different weights and textures of yarn in many colors. Attached to the inside and outside were lots of different things like a house key, a dog-shaped keychain, a metal nut and bolt, charms, McDonald happy meal figures, small toy cars, Lego blocks, anything with interesting texture. He liked to feel all the things and would run his fingers over every item. We also played a game with it where I asked if he could find a particular item. Sometimes I had it and he would ask me to find something on the muff. I was amazed that he could recall what was there but didn't know my name.
Many knitting groups make these. It's a great way to use up little bits of leftover yarn.
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Reply to swanalaka
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My MIL would fold napkins for the table and laundry which may or may not have been refolded out of her sight.. It kept her feeling useful. My daughter carved a pumpkin with her watching and asked her what to name "him", how many teeth to give him, smile or frown etc. which made her feel involved and stimulated and engaged. I would ask her to dictate a list of ingredients needed for a recipe since her only interest or hobby had been baking. It gets boring for us be she enjoys repetative activity.
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Reply to dilktgora
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NLEPHD: It's not really an activity, but perhaps she would like to engage in listening to music.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Sorting photographs? I asked her ot pick out the photographs that she likes. You can even keep giving them the same photos.
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Reply to Pataepa
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My dad has advanced dementia and it is terribly tricky to find anything. However when I visited the other day I had duplo in my bag from work and he really enjoyed it! Maybe worth a try x
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Bandy7 Nov 15, 2022
Dawnyhol,
Probably a dumb question, but what is a duplo?
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Two people replied folding towels and I remember a news scandal here where a nursing home were having residents fold laundry .. it was such a stupid scandal by know nothing journalist.
Obviously the nursing home was keeping them busy.. so that's a good suggestion by 2 replies and l thirding it .. I think u should try that one...
As for music no one in family is into classical music but classical music became very relaxing for a while.. don't anticipate u will find one thing and be done with it...
Try anything on the all important schedule..
We r kind of strayed Catholics..
My father all of the sudden liked listening to rosary 3 times a day on cable channel. I got him rosary beads and a CD of the rosery to watch. As a boy he had been an alter boy. So look on that direction if that is or was her interests.
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Has anyone discovered the magic of YouTube renovation videos? Not the silly stuff with the so called “influencers”, but professionals who do beautiful restoration, conservation and refinishing work. They are often beautifully produced with lovely music, visuals and soothing narration. I sometimes show my husband my favorite furniture restorer and even though furniture was never his thing, he finds them mesmerizing and even calming. Commenters on these videos often mention that they have anxiety or sleep disorders and they find the videos to be therapeutic.

If you have a tablet or small laptop you can set her up with a 25 minute video and it may be all she needs.
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Reply to Carelyn73
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Bandy7 Nov 15, 2022
I suppose the OP would need to clarify the extent the vision problems. My mom's friend with macular degeneration is frustrated that she can't watch tv anymore because of her vision. I suppose listening would always be an option. It would also be helpful to know if OP was looking for suggestions of engaging & interactive activities they could do together... or something for the mom to do on her own. Perhaps it was both.
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Does she like pets?
My mom’s favorite activity was petting and talking to her robotic cat.

A bit costly but WORTH iT.
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ConnieCaretaker Nov 14, 2022
I got the gray kitty.............she's a sweet little companion.

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Listening to music, listening to movies on TV (the old classics are best, with more talking), sitting outside and chatting with people in a public space, taking a walk outside.
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Reply to NancyIS
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Another thing is what someone else mentioned, arranging flowers. In the summer, I take Mom out on our piazza where I had a lot of flowers. She would deadhead the petunias and impatiens and that seemed to make her feel useful. She hates not being able to help in the kitchen with meals. She’s in a wheelchair and only has use of one arm after a stroke. I try giving her small tasks to help that aren’t hard.
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Depending on the severity of her vision problems, try Scrabble. My mother loves it. I play with her most of the time, but when I’m busy, she will play by herself. She also likes crossword puzzles. She has mild dementia so she is still able to do this. Music is a great thing, as others have mentioned. Mom will have a glass of wine (I dilute it with ice and water) and will listen to Johnny Mathis and songs from West Side Story or any do-wop from the 50’s. She likes music with a good beat and her fav lately is from that truck tail gate commercial, Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye. 😃😃
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Reply to Candyhayu
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*Music, music, music!
*You could give her a vase and a bunch of flowers (real or faux) and have her put them in the vase to make an arrangement
*Install a birdhouse outside of her window so she can watch the birds up close
*I have given my mom several of her freshly wash towels and ask her to fold them...they will be a mess, but it gives her something to do and she thinks she is helping
*I have given my mom a wad of playdo to kneed in her hand while rocking in a rocking chair. It seems to soothe her
*read her a short story
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Reply to Jamesj
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Try to play to her interests. My mother has always like cooking shows and reading recipies. I needed one for a chili cookoff and read some recipies too her, asked her to help select the right one, and then took her the finished product. I don't know why I didn't think of it before! We have had some pleasurable talks over old recipies and some new twists.
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Reply to MaryNTN
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My dad loved, loved to make bird feeders. Get a pinecone. Put peanut butter on it and roll it in birdseed. I would attach jute twine to the top and hang it. I put everything in a box top, so it didn't spread everywhere. I have the best pictures of him smiling while he made these.
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Reply to dads1caregiver
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Grab some cheap dried flower and make a few arrangements either for gifts at Xmas or for around the house. My MIL loves playing w flowers and making arrangements.
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Reply to Hhallen
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Music was a lifesaver for my mother. She had dementia and macular degeneration, and that was the only time she seemed truly happy.
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Reply to MJ1929
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A 2nd idea is giving her a bunch of washcloths or papers to fold. It doesn't fall in the category of a "fun thing to do together" and "mind-engaging" in the same way as my last suggestion. But my aunt used to have my grandma do that & it made her feel like she was helping my aunt with something that needed to get done. (Plus broke up boredom after vision probs hampered reading/writing).

My song-game suggestion was more fun though! (Just suggesting it for your mom brought back happy memories of my gram's last years!)
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Reply to LilMelba
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Singing.
Old show tunes, church hymns if she's into that, Frank Sinatra or someone from her generation who she liked, songs from when we were all kids...
i.e. Old MacDonald had a farm eieio. On that farm there was a ___ eieio.
i.e. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray....
You get the idea.
I think it helps prompt their memory too. When you start the song, then they pipe in with words. My grandma came up with all the phrases to songs where I only knew the first part. I think it made her feel really good inside too because she remembered or knew portions of songs I didn't.

I'd say "Let's play our name that tune game". It wasn't really name that tune the way I described it above, but name that tune would be another idea too.
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Reply to LilMelba
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Cover999 Nov 11, 2022
"Milkshake" "Hey Ya"
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Is she tactile?
she can make things with a simple home made clay or sand moldings
There are many recipes for making them at home or you can buy premade.
Look at some things that are developed for children to learn and grow with.
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Reply to Cashew
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NLEPHD, regarding vision, I found a really great magnifying glass made by Carson [Staples carry it] as I have problems seeing up close. It works best for reading the newspaper columns and looking at photos.

Speaking of photos, any old photo albums around? I remember my folks had a lot of them and there were photos of people I had no idea who they were. No writing on the back.

I took up doing a family tree, and I could have kicked myself for not doing it sooner so I could get get the information I needed from my parents.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Listening to music, short audio stories, singing?
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Reply to Beatty
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What are her interests? Find something she likes&do it together. We had a 96yr old family friend who could barely see. I was amazed by the things she could do.
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