1. CocoPop

    CocoPop Registered User

    Feb 3, 2016
    I don’t know whether this is the correct place to post but here goes...
    A few years ago I posted on here about my Dad and got some helpful advice. Well he’s now in the advanced stages of his dementia. He usually recognises me but not my Mum who is his main carer. He is supposed to go to a day centre twice per week but will often refuse to go. Mum needs some respite.

    I’ve been trying to think of some things to get him motivated/interested but in reality he had very few proper interests when he was younger so I’m struggling! He can’t walk far now. He gets mixed up between reality and a previous memory (eg a TV show or earlier conversation). I was thinking of taking him for a walk in his wheelchair and then for a hot chocolate and cake. But does anybody have any other suggestions of ways to get him out of the house that aren’t too stressful? Or activities at home?

    Thank you for reading.
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I think that`s a lovely idea @CocoPop. Fresh air, away from the confines of the four walls, things to see must all help a little with the feel good factor.

    When my husband was in the later stages it was very difficult to offer activities he could cope with. He did respond a little to chair exercises in his care home but had to be encouraged all the time. He also was pleased when I took him some special fruit or titbit associated with home but your dad is in his own home so I don`t suppose that is the best suggestion.

    My husband liked listening to music or watching DVDs of old favourites like Dad`s Army or Only Fools and Horses.

    I hope others may have better ideas.
  3. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    Mum is in a home so her situation is not quite the same, but - she likes music, they also play some games in the home that mum is in - sometimes she joins in, sometimes not, but she does play Connect 4 (I think it may be called something else now), she can't work out where the counters should go but she does seem to enjoy putting them in place and she always wins which makes her smile. Mum also does some colouring in books which initially she would not do but in the right mood she can be persuaded to colour in a picture.

    Good luck
  4. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    My mother very soon lost interest in anything that needed her own input. It was always, 'I can't be bothered,'
    I used to take her for a drive round a huge park nearby, then I'd park somewhere with a nice view, and we'd have a cup of tea (I'd take a thermos) and a cake, or else an ice cream from the kiosk at the car park.
    Carried on with this until she forgot how to get in or out of a car and would get panicky if you tried to gently steer her in.

    Garden centres often have nice cafes and are nice places to go for a coffee and cake - would that be an option if you could take a wheelchair in?
  5. Guzelle

    Guzelle Registered User

    Aug 27, 2016
    My husband can stills walk ok. He does get a bit unsteady now. He has lost interest in most things. He read the paper every day but hardly ever picks it up to read now. He loved music but finds it just annoying now.

    I take him out for walks and stop for a coffee somewhere for a sit down. We go out for Coffee and cake other days while out shopping.

    He has no interest in much at all now. He was diagnosed 3 years ago but symptoms started at least 7 years ago.

    I took him to the city farm yesterday but he wasn’t interested in the animals, he did enjoy the coffee and cake though in the cafe.
  6. Fullticket

    Fullticket Registered User

    Apr 19, 2016
    Chard, Somerset
    If there is a Singing for the Brain in your area, try to get him along to it. I have seen people slumped and unresponding come 'alive' again when singing is going on. My mum would refuse to go anywhere if given half a chance but with two carers coming in in the morning to get her up and washed and me being assertive, we managed to get her into the car five mornings a week for clubs and day care. Once in the car she got less stroppy and once there she really enjoyed her time.
  7. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    My Mum is in a care home, unable to walk or transfer but still takes an interest in activities. I found something mundane like polishing shoes was very popular. The staff and residents thought I was mad, but Mummy watched closely while I polished her shoes and joined in with the brush at the end, much to everyone's surprise. It is a traditional activity, that she obviously connected to somehow. She asked for the shoes to be polished and seemed to get a lot of satisfaction out of watching and taking part. She also likes folding items, something I have noticed with other PWD.
  8. RosettaT

    RosettaT Registered User

    Sep 9, 2018
    Mid Lincs
    My OH also has no interest in activities as he never had hobbys, flying was his occupation and his enjoyment. He did however always help around the house with a lot of domestic chores and he will pair socks and fold towels, it's amazing how much help I still need :p.
    I bought a bought a childs jigsaw hoping to get him interested, it was of dinosaurs as he knew the names of them all because his son loved them when he was small but to no avail. Then I bought a rubix cube the other day to give him something to fiddle with. As far as I am aware he has never tried one before. I asked him if he could line up one side with the same colour. I left him for a few minutes and when I came back in he had completed 2 sides, more than I've ever managed!
  9. BryanG2001

    BryanG2001 Registered User

    Mar 2, 2014
    My Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2009, my Dad died in 2013 and I have been my Mum's care organiser since then. I should say that I have no financial interest in any of the things I mention, it is all stuff I have tried to keep my Mum occupied and busy. For the first few years Mum was happy making jewellery but after 10 weeks in bed with sciatica she lost a lot. I wanted to put links to the things I mention but I am not allowed to because I don't have enough posts, so descriptions will have to do.

    A large teddy bear- zero interest but it sits at the top of her bead just in case.

    Bar Skittles - too loud.

    Travel Tiddlywinks - gets some interest but her carers like it more than she does. You have to put the effort in for her to take part, and drape a large curtain so that the 'winks' don't disappear around the room

    Tin Can Alley - too loud

    Rope Quoits, rope rings that you throw on to a target - This one goes in the win pile, but she tends to only want to play if I am there.

    Full Size Wooden Bagatelle Game - vague interest, but the great grand kids love it.

    Sucker gun and target - sometime likes it but literally shoots from the hip. Those suckers can go anywhere.

    35 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle - too many pieces, just caused confusion.

    13 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle - still didn't make any sense to her.

    Active Minds The Sewing Box Magnetic Puzzle, like a jigsaw but the pieces are shaped like the pictures, so there is a thimble shaped like a thimble - This was a definite winner, must dig it out again, it was tidied away but one of the carers. There are a few on different themes. Good for starting a chat and bringing up memories.

    The 1950s Scrapbook, book with pictures of things from the 1950s - No interest but my older sister thoroughly enjoyed it.

    100 Hits - Wartime Memories CD - Definite winner getting a good reaction and dancing.

    101 Golden Memories CD - same again.

    English for Beginners Flashcards - got initially these to help with remembering words, now they are her favourite, they get sorted and put in to piles and resorted, then hidden in a blanket. I don't know what they mean to her, but it keeps Mum's mind occupied and busy for hours. And as not all of her carers have English as a first language they help all round.

    Target Toss Giant Inflatable Dart Board with Balls - will play quite happily if I am there, prefers just playing catch. You don't think of the simple stuff but playing catch goes right back to the start when you were a kid, and for Mum it has stayed in the back of her mind.

    For going out - a simple walk, gets Mum out of the house and it is good exercise. If there are children around she always gets a big smile. The 'Dog Whisperer' says there is something primal about going for a walk with a pack, it always seems to improve Mum's mood.

    Andre Rieu for music, the musicians look like they are enjoying playing and it can turn Mum's mood around. Part of the bedtime routine, one evening we have Andre and the next 'The Good Old Days' a music program from the 70s that the BBC repeated and I recorded.

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