My mother was a servant. By this I mean she served others well. Her role was to assist my father and she absolutely loved serving her children and grandchildren. Idleness is difficult for her these days, yet she is very limited in what she can do. But I know in her mind she performs tasks over and over. I can ask her what she has been doing and she reports how she has made her bed, or cooked breakfast and straightened up.
When she comes to my house I look for things for her to do, simple tasks. One day I even gave her a paring knife and some cherry tomatoes to cut in half for the tossed salad, Claire was by her side making the salad. We watched as Mother began popping the tomatoes in her mouth. Redirecting her to the task of what needed to be done was not hard.
When she came to the house to celebrate Charlotte's birthday last week, I gave her the task of putting the candles on the cake. It made her feel useful, a need she retains for being in service to others because some things truly never change.