How to keep my temporarily bedridden mom entertained?
July 12, 2008 1:20 PM   Subscribe

How to keep my temporarily bed-ridden mom entertained?

My mom has just had hip replacement surgery, and due to some complications has mild paralysis in her right foot from the ankle downwards. She's in the hospital for a few more days but will be discharged soon. She's used to being very active, social, likes playing bridge, mahjongg, not that into reading or movies, and enjoys a few TV shows (heroes, the office).

she's had visitors most days, and we have gotten her a few seasons of the shows she likes, as well as her laptop so she can email/IM, and I talked to her on skype tonight and she sounded hysterically bored. what can I/my family do to keep her entertained and keep her spirits up? she's understandably pretty depressed about the unexpected paralysis; she was feeling really optimistic about the surgery curing her chronic hip pain.

Ideas for things to do in the hospital as well as things to do at home are welcome.
posted by Xianny to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
-DS Lite with Brain Age
-Games books: crossword, sudoku, etc
-Online mahjongg / scrabulous
-Radio shows like This American Life
posted by sharkfu at 2:01 PM on July 12, 2008

Does she do any crafts? Knit, crochet, embroidery, cross stitch, beading?
posted by xsquared-1 at 2:06 PM on July 12, 2008

yeah, music, radio, what does she like? maybe get her an iPod with music/podcasts she may be interested in? maybe get her some food she likes, like takeout?
posted by matteo at 2:19 PM on July 12, 2008

My stepfather is in this situation right now:

tons of library books
tons of videos dvds
I've started sending postcards in the mail everyday. nothing exciting but mail is always fun to get.
Does she knit or crochet? Would she want to learn? Knitting circle?
have a massage therapist come in
posted by bottlebrushtree at 2:54 PM on July 12, 2008

seconding ds lite.

if she's into it, get her started writing a blog. send her a list of questions - what was it like when you were starting school? who was your first crush? when was the first time you felt like a woman instead of a girl? - get her to write those things out and post them. then keep sending her leading questions. this could be a really good time for you to get to know things you never did, and it will make her feel like she's doing something - like there's still an achievement in her day. sitting around and watching tv all day can get someone feeling mighty useless.
posted by nadawi at 2:54 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Maybe once she comes home she'd like a small pet, such as fish or a bird, that can be kept nearby and will provide some entertainment value.
posted by orange swan at 2:54 PM on July 12, 2008

When I was recently laid up a friend emailed me a list of questions to be answered (and her answers to the same questions, many like the ones nadawi proposed). What you do is substitute your own answers, and then send them on to other friends (as well as to the original sender). They then answer the questions and send their answers back. My kids thought it was kind of like the worst of Facebook ("what's your relationships status?), but my friends and I had lots of fun with it. As an example, here are the first 8 questions:

1. What time did you get up this morning?

2. Diamonds or pearls?

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

4. What is your favorite TV show?

5. What did you have for breakfast?

6. What is your middle name?

7. What food do you dislike? pigs knuckles.

8. What is your favorite CD at the moment?

The questions get more complex and unsual as the list progresses. This was a great and amazing time-killer, so much fun. You could increase the time-wasting aspect by having each answerer in the chain add a question. It's way too lengthy to post in its entirety here in the green, but MeMail me and I'll send you it to you. (That goes for anyone here).
posted by nax at 3:07 PM on July 12, 2008

Now that it's a possibility, when my back is out or I'm sick, I tend to watch lots of old movies on the internet. That's been a lifesaver. Being bedridden is SO boring.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:49 PM on July 12, 2008

I was out of commission for about a month a few years ago and I think the best thing is variety. Anything one thing will get boring after a while. In person visits and phone calls were always the best though. Maybe you could compile an email with interesting things to read or look at on the internet and send it to her daily. Like a metafilter right to her email!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:29 PM on July 12, 2008

Peggle. My mother is a major addict, and my dad is getting there. It's a good thing they own two computers.
posted by tkolar at 5:35 PM on July 12, 2008

Ask someone helpful and knowledgeable at your hospital what's there for your mom. I learned today when asking similar questions about a hospitalized friend that my hospital has therapy dogs to play with and "healing touch" nurses that offer something like reiki, which is IMO BS, but still sounds relaxing and soothing if you are laying around bored and in pain.

I second the craft idea. If there's something she's wanted to try, now's the time. There are learning CD-ROM's for some crafts, like crochet and knitting. You can get them at craft stores.

Another friend tells me that good smells are cheering in sterile hospitals, and she wished she'd had a little bottle of lavender oil while recovering from surgery. Herbal room spray might also be pleasant, and fresh flowers from a GARDEN, not the florist.

I wish your mom well!
posted by Jennifer S. at 5:53 PM on July 12, 2008

I wrote these suggestions, which you may find helpful, in this previous thread.
posted by lioness at 7:41 PM on July 12, 2008

There are online support groups and mailing lists for women who are getting/have had hip replacements. She might find these give her some comfort in dealing with her situation.

Getting rid of small items on ebay is exciting for some people, if she has help with photography and shipping.

If she┬┤s going to continue with bedrest for weeks at home, very strongly discourage her from trying to do things before her medical team has given the OK, as there are some unfun things that can happen which will necessitate more bedrest.
posted by yohko at 6:54 AM on July 13, 2008

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