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How do we get our mom to be more active and sociable?
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012 6:06 PM
Joined: 1/20/2012
Posts: 2

She has never been very sociable and is unable to do most of the things she has always enjoyed (using the computer, knitting, reading, watching tv - can't follow a plot). She has lost interest in caring for her parrot. She isn't interested in meeting new people or even seeing family. She mostly stares into space or dozes. I know this is unhealthy, but when we suggest going out or doing activities, she just says she doesn't want to and refuses to cooperate. Please help. Thank you.
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012 6:30 PM
Joined: 1/30/2012
Posts: 14

Hello Renee,

With my Mom, she was the happiest when she felt useful and helpful.  She was a giver all her life.  I would often say, "Mom, I need your help" ....and she would perk right up.  I had her snapping green beans ( I would have to go behind her when she wasn't looking and pull out the ends) I had her fold wash clothes or hand towels and sort socks.  I would give her a bag of dominoes or checkers and tell her I need her help stacking or sorting.  It was simple and and didn't overwhelm her.  Often we would do them multiple times and it kept her happy.  

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 11:25 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 76

REnee..our LO is doing the same thing...she sleeps most of the time..has no interest in anything at all. have tired the folding/ sorting socks...and she will do maybe 2 then just stops...she is in late stage...
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 12:30 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 3983

Renee, what stage is your mother in?  It does sound like she may be in late stage.  Or has some new medication been added that is interacting with her other meds and making her overly sleepy?  Without knowing where she is in her disease, it is hard to advise you.
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 1:45 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

Is she on memory meds?  Those can help..


Can she watch comedies?  Can she color?


My mom is loving singing and dancing more than I ever thought she would, where she is.


As my mom recovers from the UTI, she has been so out of it at times.  But here comes the music, she taps her foot, and then she's singing!  it's amazing to watch.

Stephanie Z
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 5:27 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4218

Renee9966  Has your mom been assessed for depression? If not, please consider it. Also, even if she has, she may need a change in medicaitons. The other possiblility is that she does not feel well. Has she seen her doctor recently? Headaches, arthritis pain, heart palpatations etc. all could cause what you are seeing as well.

Let us know


Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 10:29 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 13


Renee, you could try this supplement called hericium or Lion's mane mushroom.


That is exactly what it does to my mother, it makes her very active and very talkative, even too much.


Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 11:08 AM
Joined: 12/19/2011
Posts: 146

While I understand the deperation we all feel over this issue, I must voice my opinion about adding supplements to a diet.  There are so many interactions between different substances that suggesting anything could prove to be dangerous. 


Just as an example, I had a coupon for a free bottle of vitamins different from our usual.  In fact, it was a vitamin recommended for seniors.  Over the next few weeks my mom's lab work was all screwed up and no one could figure out how to adjust her Coumadin dosage in order to keep her stable.  Guess what, the Vit. K in the new vitamin was WAY TO HIGH and was the source of our issue.


So something as simple as a different brand of vitamin can cause issues.  Just imagine what adding multi supplements could do.


Just be careful is all I'm saying

deeptime dreamer
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 11:25 AM
Joined: 1/28/2012
Posts: 751

My mother (who still lives at her home with my dad)  has become very sleepy and lethargic over the past few years as her disease has progressed (she is a solid stage 5 now, leaning 6-ish). She is on an antidepressant, and is not "unhappy"  just not terribly interested in anything.  Even during a brief NH rehab stint a year ago, she refused to participate in any activities despite efforts to get her to join in. In fact, the efforts to get her to join where the only thing that really upset her.


She is content , peaceful and not at all agitated.  I have not pushed the issue, since I think it is her way of gradually winding down her life. 


I think there comes a point where we need to realize that we can't always have our LO be as we think it would be "better" for them to be.  I may think (and I do) that my mother would be better off if she were more active, but I know from experience that to try to force that on her now would cause both of us unnecessary grief. I have learned to allow her to be as she is.  She is peaceful and that is enough.


Do what you think is best for your LO.

Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 10:57 PM
Joined: 1/20/2012
Posts: 2

Thank you for your responses. I do not know what stage she is in. After an MRI last month, the doctor called my dad and said it was AD. I went with them to the Dr. on the 10th of this month and he didn't even mention it. I had to ask about putting her on the meds and he did agree to start her on Aricept, but said he might add the Namenda later. There was no discussion of options, resources or anything else. All I know is what I found online. I think she is probably in the mid stage. She can still do some basic activities. She dresses and bathes herself and feeds her birds, squirrels and fish. She can wash the dishes and carry on a conversation. She does ask the same thing over and over again, can no longer use the computer to play solitaire or check email, follow a plot in a book (she can still read but isn't interested in books or magazines) or follow a tv show. She used to watch sports all the time, but is no longer interested in them either. She began losing the ability to manage their finances and do simple addition last spring after an illness. The reason my dad asked the doctor to test her is because she went through a period of a couple of weeks where she thought there were 2 of my dad and called me a couple of times panicked because there was a stranger in her house claiming to be Dad. I have suggested to my dad to talk to the doctor about antidepressants, but she doesn't have another appointment for 3 months. She was diagnosed by her primary care dr and has not been to a neurologist. Is this something we should do?