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My mom is wheelchair bound and is total care. But she is great at getting around in her wheelchair. She uses briefs when out and about.



She's too with it for adult day care - most adults there are dementia patients. She'd hate it.



She needs just enough supervision that she can't be in a job or role that is independent. She needs assistance with physical tasks as she cannot stand and only has one working arm. She cannot write well since her working arm is not the side she used to write with.



She has just enough cognitive decline that I don't know of a job that will suit her abilities. Her stroke in 2007 permanently messed up her understanding of numbers. Her reading comprehension is slightly off.



But other than that she is fine. She can carry a conversation for hours. She loves talking about her past and getting to know new people. She is clever.



Help!! My mom is just rotting away in her little apartment with no prospects.

Does she like animals? Maybe volunteering at a shelter? Sometimes they need people to just socialize with the animals.
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Reply to LoopyLoo
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LilMelba Nov 20, 2022
Super good idea Loopy. That's Something I'd love to do,..if only I had the time.
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Speak with the local senior center(s). These are different than the adult day care centers you mention .
1. Senior centers have daily programming and interaction with others and, at times lunch etc. You can stop by and get a calendar of activities and speak with staff.
2. " Adult Day Care" may actually be the better choice as you describe several deficits that your mother may need help with. She could also perhaps view going as both for herself and a way of volunteering with the others present...
3. Engage her Physician to order assessments of her PT and OT status and potential for therapy toward improvement. If there is none, ask what they recommend.
4. Could she volunteer at a local church to assist with weekly office needs?? Or others?? Speak with your, hers or a community pastor.
5. Engage volunteers or other paid aids to help her 1:1 to do things that will give her meaning, hope,purpose and direction.
6. It sounds like her cumulative deficits do equal quite a bit of challenges. 1:1 visits with her may be a good way to start. Speak with Physician.
7. Practice good self care . One also needs to ask oneself :. Does your mother express the need and desire to " do more"? Or is this your need to see her " do more"?
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Reply to janicemeyer18
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If there is a senior center in your area, get her over there. The one in my town is hopping with seniors doing all sorts of activities. I'm taking tai chi classes. People are in all sorts of physical conditions there. Two people in the tai chi class can't stand or use their legs, but they move their arms and heads with the directions of the teacher. Even if your mom can't move one arm, the instructions, meaning, health indications, and history are interesting. There are tons of classes other than tai chi and all are taught according to the abilities of the students.
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aj6044 Nov 21, 2022
Thanks for the idea but she said "NO!!!" to anything to do with "senior activities"

She looks down upon it for whatever reason. Sigh.
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1 - Would her overall functioning make it possible for her to attend any kind of course in something she is interested in?

Most universities have some kind of program whereby seniors can audit courses. Some also have non-degree-granting programs for adult education. Also most cultural centers, like museums, have adult courses.

I've known several people who have made nice social connections over time in ongoing language courses.

2 - is there any kind of political or community cause she is interested in? there is often a need for people to make phone calls for various reasons, would she be able to do that? I think they are robo-dialled so I think she could do it with a headset and without having to be able to punch in numbers. If she can get interested in something, she could have meetings to go to and a contribution to make, and this would definitely be mixed ages.
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aj, I would see if your area has any friendly calls programs.

Your mom would call people daily to check in on them and break their isolation.

Getting with your local charities will help you find other things she could do. Being needed is very helpful for overall well-being. Good for you trying to find things to engage her.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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aj6044, does Mom have any interest in doing a family tree? Ancestry.com kept me busy for over 4 years, working 8 hours a day, looking up one generation after another. Back then it wasn't unusual for farming couples to have 12-20 children, and their children had 6-12 children. Those who moved to the big city, they had 1-5 children. It was quite interesting, especially finding a couple of outlaws/bootleggers in the mix :)

Drag out all the family photos she has and that you have. Do the photo have names of who's in the photo? If not, time to do it now. I know I could have kicked myself for not doing this back when my parents were still around. So many mystery photos that even other family members who are doing trees cannot identify.

There are two old newspaper websites where one can find articles of some of their relatives. Old wedding announcements, birth announcements, family reunions, etc.
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LilMelba Nov 20, 2022
This is a really good idea and something which becomes significantly more difficult after parent's are gone!
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Reading your replies, it seems like none of the suggestions made so far by everyone suits your mother. Have you asked her specifically what she wanted and was capable of doing?
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Reply to polarbear
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LilMelba Nov 21, 2022
polarbear is right aj6044.
Are there any of the very numerous suggestions people have made that you think would work?? If not, one idea would be to re-write and post your question with more information about specifically what you've already tried, what didn't work with what you've tried, what absolutely won't work for your mom's condition, etc... This way people don't waste time giving ideas which completely not an option, and it also may bring you soe suggestions for overcoming whatever the issue was, with what you've already tried.

Also, be ABSOLUTELY SURE to explain perhaps IN CAPS that your mom has ZERO INTEREST in a senior facility or hanging out with anyone older than her age of 65! That may get people thinking on a different track.

Putting that information upfront in the question is important!!
Because while you have individually responded to people again and again to explain this, a lot of people on this forum sometimes answer a posted question without first reading how every other person answered it or what you may have replied to the other respondents. They simply are trying to help but don't have time to wade through all the other respondents answers. Does this make sense?

This is an Aging Care Forum, and since your mom is 65, people automatically suggest those things. Since your mom has been disabled for several years and your request here is due to her now long-standing disability versus being an "aging" matter, people need to understand that clearly upfront.

Another thing helpful to know upfront is that she does apparently have full time caregivers and how they fit into what you are looking for.
i.e. you want ideas for mom to do on her own? or activities she can do with the caregivers? Perhaps it's both.

Can you let us know if any of the suggestions already made have merit for your mom?
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Find volunteers who visit with the sick. There might be someone who is a perfect match.
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Reply to Fawnby
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aj6044 Nov 17, 2022
She doesn't want to be around sick or old people she said
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There are places that need Volunteers.
The local Senior Center might be a great place for her to get involved in activities AND my local Senior Center has Volunteers that call other seniors to check in on them, make sure everything is ok. this might be something your mom could do.
Lots of schools now need classroom helpers (and the pay is pretty good!). (Not sure is she would want to spend time in a school if she has medical conditions that would lessen her immune system)
The Hospice I Volunteer with/for has lots of office things that need to be done. One of them is calling patients families to see if they need any supplies. (this can be done from home)
And...local animal shelters need Foster homes for both dogs and cats. this is the best of both worlds, you have a pet but do not have the expense of pet ownership. The hard part is when you have to give up your Foster when they find their forever home.
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aj6044 Nov 17, 2022
She doesn't want to be around sick or old people she said to me today
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aj6044- you said your mom doesn’t like being around old people at daycare and senior centers.

Does she like being around kids? Has she tried volunteering at the local libraries to read books or tell stories to kids? Children books are large print with pictures and easy to read. Or volunteer to help at the library used book stores? She can help handling the book sales and talk to patrons when they come in.
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aj6044 Nov 21, 2022
No she specifically said adults her age or even younger
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