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Activity suggestions!!


Registered User
Aug 31, 2015
I am a full time carer to my mother-in-law who has Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. She has lived with us for the past 14 months. I am also a mother with two daughters (25 and 23) and 17 year old twin boys (who live at home) and I have two grandsons (one 4 and my new grandson who is just 4 weeks). I cannot spend every minute with her and am struggling to find activities that she can do during the day. I have tried the TV and putting the radio on, but she turns them off as so as I leave the room. She's not interested I jigsaws, reading magazines, colouring. She won't join me in the kitchen whilst I am preparing dinner and when she receives visitors, can't wait for them to leave. She sits in her room and just stares at the wall! She attends a day centre twice a week and enjoys that, but once she's home she's back to staring at the wall again. Am in the process of getting a memory box together for her but I need help in finding activities that she can or even wants to do. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.


Registered User
Jun 6, 2011
Welcome to the forum, though I'm sorry you need to be here.

With dementia, the mind goes back to a more childlike state, so how about children's picture books? Either stories, like Rupert Bear annuals, or information books with plenty of pictures and annotated diagrams. I found charity shops always had a good selection at low prices. Also shops like The Works do good deals. I got my mum a cheap set of books on the Romans, Vikings, Celts, etc, full of pictures and small amounts of text.

However, it may be that your Mum-in-law has just reached that stage where any kind of mental stimulation is too much. I presume you have tried different radio stations or CDs, different kinds of music from songs "of her day" to something more classical and soothing? Seashore, whale music, new-agey, harps and guitars.... At least you would then feel that 'something' was being given for her mind to absorb.

Last year I visited a care home where in one sitting room, the residents were all sitting listening to something that sounded like 1940s songs. None of them looked 'alive' actually, but otherwise, perhaps they would have been just sitting staring at the wall. In another care home something similar, but it was very gentle classical sounds.

Failing that, can she spend more time at the day centre?
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Registered User
May 21, 2014
I was thinking the same - ask for more Day Centre days! Would she engage with a sitter? Try and stimulate her sense of touch - she might like a hand massage or fiddle with a twiddlemuff. I can get OH occupied for hours just with a set of playing cards which he sorts into random piles.
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