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She can't do anything?
Ruby Romo
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 2:51 PM
Joined: 12/4/2019
Posts: 1

I live with my Mom and provide her caregiving. She has recently been diagnosed with moderate dementia. 

Two questions: 1) she does nothing in the home - no laundry, sweeping, putting dishes away etc. She has often told visitors that I am there to do things for her which is what I feel like sometimes. Does anyone have similar experience?

And #2 - are there professionals that can come into the home and help figure out what she can do. I just think her sitting and watching TV all day is not a great quality of life.

Thanks!  I'm just so frustrated.

Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 2:54 PM
Joined: 5/16/2017
Posts: 630

Keep reading about Alzheimer’s behavior.  Apathy is very common.   Sometimes you can get them involved in activities at senior daycare centers.  Sometimes it is difficult or even impossible to get them to do anything that you would like them to do.
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 3:49 PM
Joined: 9/5/2019
Posts: 42

I would get in touch with any Elder Care Services in your area (not sure where you are) and have her assessed. They can recommend services. Also get in touch with a local Senior Center about activities, and maybe even getting a volunteer to visit with her to engage with her. 


Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 6:31 PM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 1136

If she has moderate dementia, she likely isn't able to do household chores to any significant degree.  Some PWD seem to enjoy folding clothes.  I wouldn't expect someone who has dementia to be able to do things like laundry, cooking, cleaning, making beds, vacuuming, etc.  I'm no expert, but, I would read about how dementia progresses and how it impacts a person's ability to focus, organize, coordinate and move. There are also safety concerns  why a PWM might not be allowed to handle electrical appliances and toxic substances.   There is a book called The 36 Hour Day that covers what you might expect from dementia and the care that your LO will need.  

I learned that while my LO was physically able to get up and dress herself, she did not have the initiative to do it nor the ability to know that she needed to open her drawer to get our a clean shirt.  Things that seem simple, just don't occur to them.  It's due to how the brain is affected. 

There are people who do professional assessments. Have you tried to have your mom involved in any local senior groups to see if she seems to like it?  You might try it and see, but, I'd very aware of how your mom might react and be prepared to comfort her.  Some people are not comfortable with strange people, loud noises and lots of activity.  My LO preferred to be with a few people in a calm, quiet environment. When she was moderate stage, she could no longer focus on a tv show and would only be interested in coloring for about a minute or two, before she was moving on, just looking around. 

Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 6:49 PM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 1183

Welcome, Ruby!

My mom moved from her lovely apartment, where she had at least been regularly making her bed if nothing else (we'll never know the magnitude of her inabilities), to AL at age 88. We thought she might want to have control over making her bed-- but nope! She said,"That's what I'm paying them for, to make my bed and clean my room and do my laundry". So, exactly what your mom meant. 

Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 8:44 PM
Joined: 12/14/2017
Posts: 1728

Hi Ruby...My Dad has moderate dementia in the form which is suspected to be LBD..and he is still doing things..he doesn't cook but he is still able to put things in the microwave, do laundry with my assistance, make his bed with my assistance, take a shower with my assistance..take his medication with my assistance..almost everything with assistance...

I try to take him out of the house and in the car to and find little things that he needs that we can shop for (milk, eggs)...or outside if it is nice...(keep them mobile) you are 100% accurate....

Your Mom was just diagnosed you say..possibly she is in shock...or feeling a little down...but I agree you should bring someone in....take some of the suggestions and get it figured out what she is able to do.

Yes, I understand "apathy" occurs with dementia...I actually have dementia myself...But we can't let them stay in that funk if they are able to do more...than she should be doing more to prolong her life and add some joy to her day.

I'm sorry this is really tough..and I don't even wish this on my worst enemy.

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