Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Ideas for activities/hobbies to pass the time?

My mom (mid-50s) recently came home after being hospitalized for 2 weeks. The doctor was able to get her to agree to take medication again (she was refusing medication prior which is why she ended up in hospital). She was doing well in hospital, but now she is experiencing occasional psychosis, and for the rest of her time, she goes about her day kind of in a fog. Very sullen, quiet, doesn’t react much or make conversation. She was never like this prior to the hospital stay, but her father also passed away shortly before she was hospitalized. I don’t know if the symptoms are due to grief or because the dose she was prescribed isn’t adequate (they also switched her to something different from what she was taking before).

I feel like there’s nothing I can really do until she has her next psychiatrist appointment. In the meantime though, I’m trying to find some activities for her to do throughout the day because right now she sits around with nothing to do and I feel like all that free time to think probably encourages her delusions. I don’t live with her, but my place isn’t too far, so I’ve been staying with her to monitor. But I still need to go home for 2 days out of the week to get work done so she especially needs things to occupy her on those days.

I used to play board games with her, but ever since she returned from the hospital, she hasn’t been interested. My mom has never been able to sit in front of a screen for long periods of time so she does watch TV/go on the computer, but only for small periods of time out of the day. Same thing with reading, can only do it for a limited time. I feel like she can’t really become engrossed in one activity, but instead needs many different activities to occupy her time. Does anyone have suggestions? Of both activities that she can do alone and ones that I can do with her. Or other comments?

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Can your Mom get around OK? I’ve started taking my son (he’s 41) bowling once a week, occasionally twice. He actually enjoys it and is getting better. He has to focus on the game for a while and once we’re done, we usually hit up a couple of thrift stores. You never know how something may turn out until you give it a try. Good luck! :palm_tree:

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We can’t do any activities like this right now because my area is in lockdown. The only outings we have been doing are going to the grocery store or taking a drive into the rural roads, but that only takes up about 2 hours and we can’t do that every day.

I wish my son was even a little motivated to do anything except smoke. He tells his dr that he is working out, doing lots of walking (ah yes, this is pacing till he wears a track in the garden) , but the reality is very different and he does nothing.
I am always trying to think of an activity to start the ball rolling. Bowling sounds good to me, but I’m not sure they would accept him at the local one. It’s full of elderly upper class retired.

They know my son is a little “different” but he comes in, plays the arcade games, bowls a game or two (sometimes I just watch and offer suggestions on his game) and maybe stands outside to smoke. So far, they’ve been kind to him but since I occasionally go in with him, they know he has someone who cares. :palm_tree:

How about baking? My friend’s son with scz enjoyed quilting.

Pets and pet care can be helpful. I have two dogs and three cats, and periodically bring my dogs to my parents house to visit my father with dementia. My brother with bipolar disorder dotes on his cat, and DX forum is full of pictures of animals. There’s something calming and nurturing in visits from, watching or caring for animals.

Aside from board games and cards, crafts, music, puzzles and exercise are regular pastimes in mental wards. Think to things you recall her doing when she was younger even if you think they may be juvenile or regressive, playing with dolls or adult coloring books and so on come to mind.

Can you find a time to go when it’s not busy? You could ask them what time would be best.

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Around the country there are day programs for persons with mental illness called “Clubhouses”. You might see if one is in your area. https://clubhouse-intl.org/