Activities for a Person Who is Legally Blind and Suffering from Dementia


My mother is legally blind and has early dementia; do you have any ideas for activities she might be able to do. She use to enjoy crafts and some paint by numbers, but she never had patience to learn to knit. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Thank you.

By bks from Dickson, TN


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By Lee Taylor 15 426 08/02/2011

First of all, I know how hard it is to handle and aging parent with dementia. I'm sorry you are going through this.

Have you ever done any gardening with her. Plant seeds in cups? Water plants together? Grow some herbs and let her smell them and then make a tea or use the herbs in soups or butter or whatever you want. Or get some large beads and let her make necklaces, key chains and bracelets. Or, make Christmas ornaments with pipecleaners and beads and ribbon ( you can "string beads on pipe cleaners.) Or bake cookies. You could do the measuring and she could mix and make the cookie balls. You can give her a hand massage with a good smelling lotion. Or give her a manicure.

Just doing things together is important. Good luck. And God bless you during this difficult time.

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By Lelia Jo Cordell 51 1,936 08/06/2011

My prayers are with you as well, but here's a practical suggestion for entertainment: did your mother ever enjoy watching game shows like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune? If so, that's an activity that may help. Or perhaps you could find simple jigsaw puzzles, the kind geared toward preschoolers? The pieces are big and sturdy, and your mother could feel where in the board they go.

You said she enjoyed crafts? Perhaps the two of you could sort fabric scraps for a project. Discuss the different textures as she feels them, and do your best to vividly describe the colors or patterns. Anything that engages the senses and her mind - even though it's somewhat damaged - should help.

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By RosieMcKvr 1 08/31/2013

Hi, my M-I-L has cataracts & Alzheimer's, Things we try with her & ideas are:
Classic Music
Folding dish towels
2,001 Classic Commercials (DVD)
Hee-Haw Version 1 (DVD)
Massaging legs (for edema & circulation)
Purchased a "Fidgit" lap blanket
Women love Doll-babies (Talking)
Always use Glade plug-ins
Purchase "Fidgit" stuffed dogs (Unisex)
**Fidget = Something to keep their hands busy (w/buttons, zippers, Velcro, furry, floppy ears, ribbons, etc.
Hope it helps. :)

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By britniheadrick 1 05/10/2014

I have been taking care of a patient in a retirement home and she has only been blind for the past ten years. Her husband was her caretaker and was abusive. He made her stay in bed and was homebound so, she was never taught to get around or function as a blind woman. He passed away a few months ago and i have have had a time trying to find activities for her. Thank you for the suggestions. I think she will enjoy some of these.

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By babs59fl 1 11/13/2014

My Mom has both forms of macular degeneration, very low vision and advanced dementia. I get cheap glass vases (the kind that come from the florist, dollar store, etc.) I tear up colored tissue paper, and apply diluted acrylic medium with a brush (or diluted white glue) and she places the pieces of paper. Emphasize the process, there are no wrong place to put them, overlapping is good. She is initially afraid that she is doing it "wrong." Then she gets into it.

When she starts saying she doesn't know how again, she is done for that session. They actually are pretty - like stained glass. Oh, coat the whole thing after placement with the acrylic. Like many Alzheimer's patients she likes red. I just have to watch that she doesn't eat the red paper.

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