Finding challenging things to do with failing eyesight.

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Mum and I are on a different level now. Now that her eyesight is failing and her hearing seems to be getting worse, so finding things for us to occupy our time is becoming more difficult and challenging. However, this afternoon I was ironing and she was seated opposite me. I was ironing something that has a raised pattern and realised how lovely it was for her to trace the pattern with her fingers and tell me what she thought it was. The ironing was warm to touch and it was linen. It was one of those nice sensory experiences that I wouldn't have thought of before.
She can't play Scrabble now, but loves to be asked clues in the crossword.
We discuss Graham Norton's problem page and share what advice we would each give. This is always definitely amusing.
You see, My Mum hasn't yet lost it, but her eyesight and deafness make her appear aloof sometimes to others (because she would never push herself forward in view of her age 98), yet I know that she has a fantastic way with words and a lovely sense of humour.
What is it about old people that they seem to become "invisible". I feel it myself sometimes and I am only blah, blah, blahblablah.
If Mum likes Scrabble do you think she might like this from the RNIB?

https://shop.rnib.org.uk/super-big-boggle.html

It's something she could 'play' on her own or with you.

And, yes at 71 I often feel invisible :shock:
Hi somethingshort
There's things called twiddlemuffs that although originally meant for dementia sufferers who like to 'twiddle' or fidget their fingers would be. suitable for Mum because of the multisensory aspect. She could try to identify each bit. Many were delivered to hospitals a and care homes and I'm sure lots of crafty ladies (perhaps WI ) would be happy to knit or make some new out of a variety of materials.

Also have a look at toys intended for babies, lots of puzzles and colour and texture there.

There's also word and memory games such as the Yes no game and just a minute, the shopping list memory etc

Would she listen to radio or podcast through headphones?
susieq wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:04 am
If Mum likes Scrabble do you think she might like this from the RNIB?

https://shop.rnib.org.uk/super-big-boggle.html

It's something she could 'play' on her own or with you.

And, yes at 71 I often feel invisible :shock:
Thanks Suesieq.......a Boggle. Why didn't I think of that? That's a lot simpler than a Scrabble (no pieces to juggle with). I wonder if she could see it though.....Is there one with the letters raised, because she really does have a good brain with words. (She's got macular degeneration and glaucoma) Because these degenerative things came on in old age she isn't used to "feeling" for things and sometimes I am baffled at what she can and can't see. She told me the other day that she couldn't see me.....I was just a shadow.....and then we were going out in the car and she spotted a neon lit Japanese sign (Yamaha) and read it out to me! Yet she can't read anything. And then other times I think she is filling in the gaps with what she perceives to be there.......even I am baffled at times at what she can and can't see.
She does have a white stick and I am always having to remind her to "feel with it". Feel the steps......feel the path. She carries it like a handbag! Like it's an appendage that doesn't quite sit right and it just hangs on her arm.
Mind you, I remember when she was 92 and she went into hospital just overnight to get checked over (all was okay) after a fall and they gave her a zimmer to come home with. Oh, I remember the disdain she felt at it. She hobbled to the hospital main door with it, sort of revving it up I thought.....then no sooner we were the other side of the door, than she picked it up, put it under her arm and said "Where's the car, let's go".
I wish we had a RNIB shop closer where we could go in and look at these things.
MrsAverage wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:31 pm
Hi somethingshort
There's things called twiddlemuffs that although originally meant for dementia sufferers who like to 'twiddle' or fidget their fingers would be. suitable for Mum because of the multisensory aspect. She could try to identify each bit. Many were delivered to hospitals a and care homes and I'm sure lots of crafty ladies (perhaps WI ) would be happy to knit or make some new out of a variety of materials.

Also have a look at toys intended for babies, lots of puzzles and colour and texture there.

There's also word and memory games such as the Yes no game and just a minute, the shopping list memory etc

Would she listen to radio or podcast through headphones?
Thanks Mrs. Average.......yes, I know about the muffs. We are knitting them. She suffers particularly with cold hands.....so my first one was for her in bright colours with a warm (Hoodie) lining. Oh, I wish I could post a picture! She does knit! She does this by feel and she does drop stitches, but the twiddle muffs are all sorts of colours and textures so it doesn't matter so much (and I pick up the stitches when she has gone to bed. (She did call me Penelope after all!)
I know these are for Dementia sufferers, but I think also that people with sight loss could enjoy these too and they are nice to make and especially lovely for anyone with cold hands. We also make flowers.....cast on 25 stitches.....knit a row, increase on next row to 50 stitches and then knit a few rows, then cast off loosely. It has a natural curl when sewn together. We're quite impressed with these and how they curl. I hope they don't take over. So far, we have found a home for all of the ones we have knitted, but I can see it wouldn't take long......
What is the Yes/No game?
Just a minute is fabulous too.
We've only just discovered podcasts......(I know....I know) and we listened to Pam Eyres on Desert Island Discs. She enjoyed that. So this could be a good way to go especially some of the Women's Hour podcasts .She doesn't listen to Radio 4! We have it on all day......yet I know that she isn't listening to it. I don't know if this is because of her hearing. She gets the Talking Newspaper regularly too from the RNIB which she does enjoy (it's short and slow and clear). She doesn't seem to want to listen to books though, which I find surprising. But the Podcasts are just the right length and I can pick and choose more of what she listens to.
Thanks for that. There was definitely some food for thought in there.
somethingshort wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:28 am

Thanks Suesieq.......a Boggle. Why didn't I think of that? That's a lot simpler than a Scrabble (no pieces to juggle with). I wonder if she could see it though.....Is there one with the letters raised, because she really does have a good brain with words.

I've just looked at it again and it says that the whole thing is 14cm square (about 6 x 6 inches) and the letters are printed in 36 point normal typeface is around 12 point).
I did a web search to see if boggle with raised letters exists. The sites I have found are not clear about it. The RNIB directs to gameaccessibility.com, which I have not looked at properly.

https://www.rnib.org.uk/young-people-fr ... ile=visual

There is somewhere in the USA that has a boggle picture, but that is misleading.
http://www.pathstoliteracy.org/strategi ... lle-boggle
It refers to braille magnetic letter tiles with which you can create a grid. However, I think you need someone to play against or an automatic list of possible answers. (I play internet boggle a lot and they always automatically post the possible results).

There is an Australian site of games for senior citizens (!) which refers to accessible games on the internet. Whether it is helpful I have not checked.
https://seniors.lovetoknow.com/Adaptive ... r_Citizens

I know nothing about this kind of thing, but there must be such internet sites that read out the tests and results.
My Mom 86 has macular degenerationa dna is also totally deaf in on ear and the other needs a hearing aid which she won't wear but her her hearing has deteriorated oer the last few years we went for hearing test and yes worse, But still nope makes her world more insular than it needs to be she loves the talking newspapers (so much so I volunteered and now read once every 5 weeks) but Mom has always loved word searches and the like so I buy the large print ones and get them photocopied up to A3 size makes it easier she can follow that with her eye glass (magnifier) Mom has memory issues too now but still loves word search and also plays basic computer games on the desk top (okay I replaced standard screen with 40" one) but ey ho she adores it and plays patience and jenga all day of you would let her
Mum had similar problems. She belonged to the Deaf and Blind society(?). Perhaps they would have ideas.

It's deafblind uk. Also search under 'deafblindness'.
MrsAverage wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:31 pm
Hi somethingshort
There's things called twiddlemuffs that although originally meant for dementia sufferers who like to 'twiddle' or fidget their fingers would be. suitable for Mum because of the multisensory aspect. She could try to identify each bit. Many were delivered to hospitals a and care homes and I'm sure lots of crafty ladies (perhaps WI ) would be happy to knit or make some new out of a variety of materials.

Also have a look at toys intended for babies, lots of puzzles and colour and texture there.

There's also word and memory games such as the Yes no game and just a minute, the shopping list memory etc

Would she listen to radio or podcast through headphones?
Thanks Mrs. Average....I found a picture and pattern for Twiddlemuffs on the internet and my Mum can still knit (albeit by feel). We are exploring big knitting pins and different wools which are perfect for a Twiddlemuff. I wish I could post a photograph.....she's knitted a Twiddlemuff for herself,(and others) but in lovely colours and lots of different textures and it really doesn't matter that she knits by feel and drops half of her stitches because it all adds to the uniqueness.
The one thing that a 99 (yes, she had a birthday recently) year old suffers with is cold hands. I have just knitted her a pair of wristlets. I didn't think she would wear those, but she likes those too and said that it warms her hands better than a pair of gloves. I've just discovered something quite amazing too. I was in the local hardware shop and they were selling these miniature hot water bottles in a knitted cover for £1.29! I have no idea how it works, but you click a button and it starts a reaction inside the cover. The small hot water bottle then gets warm. Absolutely brilliant. To use it again you have to boil it in water to get it back to its liquid state. Anyone else seen these? Anyone else have a cure for cold hands in old age other than a pair of gloves.