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Thank you coloradogirl. When thinking about your ideas, I must confess that I enjoy doing daily chores (including making dinner) without having to stop and redirect my mom, and I'm wondering if I subconsciously resist "reducing the amount of time" I'm occupied by these things? I do remember as a young mom being frustrated in a similar way, but at least when my kids were little their attention spans allowed them to play with a toy, or each other, for a certain length of time. If I did implement some of your time-saving ideas, it seems like I'd have even more time I'd have to keep my mom occupied in the evening. Thanks for your thoughts.
Maybe I'll start a new discussion thread asking for sample dinner/evening/bedtime schedules and how others manage its challenges while also caring for an easily distracted person with dementia…

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Replies to "Thank you coloradogirl. When thinking about your ideas, I must confess that I enjoy doing daily..."

100% know how that feels! Even as a young mom, I just wanted the kids out from under foot for a bit so I could focus on my chores. In those days, their dad and I traded off so someone could work on the chores and the other one could wrangle the kids. (Especially when we had foster kids and our brood were ages 7, 4, 3, and 2!)

I honestly think it was easier to distract my kids than it is my person with dementia. In our current situation, I'm coming to understanding that if anyone is going to change, it has to be me rather than her because she just doesn't have the capacity to change. Is there anyone else in the household that could help out with distracting mom so it doesn't always have to be you? Or maybe you could get a friend or neighbor to come help out from time to time so you can get a reprieve?

Just some ideas – best wishes to you. I know this is not easy.

In thinking about managing dinner time when my two oldest children were little (11mos apart) I would only cook a home cooked meal every other night, or I would batch cook several meals while husband or someone else was present. Then I had leftovers and time to devote to the kids.
Other times I would hire a teenager to spend an hour while I was there, either playing with the older child,
or mopping the floor or loading the dishwasher, It was inexpensive and both parties benefitted. I also "bartered" time with an adult neighbor with teen children.. She would cook a meal, or do some housekeeping or babysit (at my house) and I would provide transportation for her dr. visits, as she could not drive. We both enjoyed the companionship.
I don't know if any of that would work for you, but sometimes it wasn't a matter of scheduling but having an extra person come to your home to engage with your mother.