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Ideas for bored and lonely mum who refuses visits and any hobbies books etc

Pear trees

Registered User
Jan 25, 2015
My mum justs sits in her chair watching TV all day except for when she makes a drink or eats her Mr Kipling cakes by the boxful. She seems to live only for her lunch club 3 times a week and twice weekly shopping trips. She never had any hobbies or read books before dementia and was never keen on cleaning or cooking and wanted to go out all the time. I made her scrapbooks and bought her photo books, which she though stupid. She can read OK and has glasses for watching TV . She does not like having visitors, family or Alz befrienders included (slams door on them and us) and is not remotely interested in family news. When I call daily she asks the same questions about her lunch club bus and having enough money repeatedly with no change. She complains about boredom and being lonely but I have run out of ideas what to do to help her. She has been like this for over 40 years!


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
I think she is who she is. Her character sounds well established and you are not going to change it now. You have to leave well alone until she is willing to accept something else and that may never happen.



Registered User
Jan 4, 2014
North Hampshire
Hello Peartree,

I know this will sound a bit daft :confused: but....

How would she react to a soft cuddly toy dog (or something similar) ?

Our Mum was really taken with one that my sister takes in for her reception class at school... and I have to confess that I myself have been known to talk to stuffed toys - they are wonderfully undemanding and never correct me or argue back :eek:

I'll be watching your thread with interest for any bright ideas :D



Registered User
Jul 16, 2015
I'd say that if she's been basically the same for years, and she is offered books and visits but isn't interested, then actually she must be quite content with things how they are. She might complain to you about being bored, but that's probably a habit as much as anything else. If you have tried to help but it's been refused, I'd stop worrying yourself about it - there is only so much any of us can do.

Pear trees

Registered User
Jan 25, 2015
I will try the soft toy idea, it's worth a go, though I am beginning to think that this how she will spend the rest of her life, and when she has to go in a care home she would still not join in activities, only being interested in the food.


Registered User
Sep 16, 2015
Have you considered audio books, perhaps something narrated by someone your mum likes so the voice feels familiar?
It's possible that she has more difficulty with reading & interacting than she's prepared to admit and is avoiding the issue by refusing any involvement.

Pear trees

Registered User
Jan 25, 2015
I'm going to look at very easy to use audio books and old style cassette recorders, I think my mum might be able to work them


Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
I just wondered if you might be able to find either extra days at her lunch club or a day centre for her to go to on the days she doesn't currently go to her lunch club? It seems she does like going on the bus and she does like her lunch club (familiar surroundings, maybe). Sometimes social services run lunch clubs or a local church or Alzheimer's society or Age UK? If you can somehow fill her weekdays this might help a bit.

What about Radio 4 on in the background - my Ma enjoyed this because they have so many different things on during the day.

Did she ever play cards? - games like Patience are useful for people who like cards. Some people have tried tablets and got on with them quite well too and have been very surprised that they have managed them!!

My Ma didn't like befrienders in her home either - made life tricky at times but we did find one wonderful carer who she had such fun with and absolutely loved her coming - it took us weeks and weeks and hours of persuasion lol

We have flexicare (extra care) housing in our area - which is great because they have carers on site and a lunch club and activities - possibly look into something like that - it means that people still have their own lives and choices and their own front door but the choice of being part of the community when they want to and carers there to help

hope you find some solutions.