Any ideas for hobbies and interests

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by BeckyJan, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    #1 BeckyJan, Nov 28, 2005
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
    My husband has AD and now has very little to interest him in the way of hobbies (has been workaholic). He needs something really interesting to focus on - this would help prevent depression. Last year he spent several months sorting out foreign stamps which was great as they needed putting in order. Now what can he do? Any ideas please. (This is my first message).
  2. JoJo

    JoJo Registered User

    Sep 25, 2003

    My dad is into word searches - he doesn't understand what the words mean most of the time but he enjoys himself looking for the word! :eek:

  3. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    If!!! he can use a computer there are some quite fun stratagy games like CIVILIZATION which are not too demanding at the easy levels.

    There are some great model aircraft - radio controlled - which are fairly easy at the basic level and are fun to 'build = put together' and fly.

    There are some good creative writing courses but that may be too demanding.

    I am into boats in a big way - = There are small dinghys and things you can build in the garage - let me know if I can help with suggestions -

    I got a lot of pleasure from building a web site - more knowlageable people than me on this forum.

    Photograph Albums for all the pix laying around the draws in the house can be rewarding.

    Colleciting things is also good.

    The above are my sort of 'toys' - I have been trying to think what I would do if I had AD but I guess it would be going sailing and fogetting it all.

    I think your problem with finding things for your husband to do goes to the heart of the problem of sufferers - their world just gets smaller all the time - but I also get the feeling they want it to be that way.

    good luck

  4. Stimpfig

    Stimpfig Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    #4 Stimpfig, Nov 28, 2005
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2005
    Hi Beckyjan

    Does your hubby go to a 'group' where he might find something constructive to do? Sometimes, group dynamics helps a lot. It seems like he likes to sort. So how about jigsaw puzzles with those thousands of pieces or even less ? :)

    I always wished mum could do this, i.e. sort the hundreds of pictures lying around and put them in albums but she cannot. :(

    Let us know if you have found something that works.

    Sue Stimpfig
  5. jks

    jks Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    West Yorkshire
    Hi There

    Not exactly a hobby, but as my Dads illness progresses, and he no longer has the mental capacity for anything which involves much concentration, he has really taken to polishing! Polishing brasses, silverware - the more tarnished the better. He spends hours at it, and says he really enjoys it.

    Trouble is, Mum eventually runs out of stuff for him to do. They are moving house shortly to be near me (I seem to have been saying that for months) and we have a small antique shop nearby. I'm thinking of asking if Dad can 'polish' for him!
  6. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi BeckyJan

    welcome to TP.
    You don't say anything other than he has AD, which covers a massive area from the early stages to later on.

    What are the symptoms you note the most at present?

    Is his condition now such that he can still find an interest - more importantly, seeing as we're talking dementia.....would he be able to develop a new interest?
    Is this something he asks for? Sometimes the fact that they can't get to grips with something familiar, or something new, brings on depression.

    My suggestion too would be photographs, as that is something you two could share, and might - I say might - stimulate some memories. Not something to press unless they come naturally as that, too, can cause depression, the clarified loss of a past.

    Gardening, perhaps?
  7. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    I tried Jigsaws for Mum. She atempted it, but couldn't do it and gave up. At the moment, I am trying to get her to jot down her mémoires, as she can still remember a lot from way, way back. She knows we are researching family history, so this fits in, but although she started to jot things down, we seem to have come to a full stop now. I have a feeling that she can't remember what happens next.

    Wish I could suggest more, but need ideas myself.
  8. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
  9. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005

    Thanks for comment - will try word searches but have my doubts!!! - anything is worth a try.
  10. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    Thank you for your comments. I think my husband is in 'middle'stage of AD although the consultant says 'mild'. He likes to sit sorting papers as if in his old 'office' mode - I run off bank statements online so that he can 'check' them - this may result in strange phone calls to the bank (he then cannot remember pin number so they are regularly arriving in the post!).

    He also had a stroke last year so mobility is a bit of a problem. He would like to potter in the garden but is a risk. I thought of calligraphy as it should appeal to his tidy mind - but he says not at the moment. This is the regular comment for any new ideas.

    We have done much sorting of photos but maybe we should start again. I am currently typing out Christmas card list which he will probably write and rewrite (whilst I get on with the real thing.).

    Perhaps he has a concentration problem but I find it hard to shift him from one interest to another.

    It is good to have this TP as it is already stimulating me to think of more things. Thank you.
  11. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi BeckyJan and Lulu

    just a point that may be relevant - about writing.

    One of the first things I noted with my wife Jan was her loss of the ability to write. At first just spelling, then words including her own name, huge amounts of time agonising over what she had tried to write. Much better when we gave that up.

    So, Lulu,
    she may be better able to sort pictures and dictate to someone who will write things down.

    And, BeckyJan
    that may not be too successful - try it anyway of course!
  12. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    Good idea - cleaning brasses

    Thank you - I will try this one as there are items of brass and silver which need care!! I think my husband would only do a short spell at a time but it prevents depression. Thank you
  13. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    last sentence - helpful!

    Thank you for your comments. Your last sentence about 'smaller world' means a lot. I think I am trying too hard to fill in any empty day and maybe it is not necessary. Having lived with a husband with masses of energy, bright brain and lots of humour it is hard to believe that the world is not longer 'big'.

    With a lack of mobility sailing is just not on (he was always seasick anyway!!). The computer one is good but he will just not try - he always had someone else to do the computer bit and now he just does not want to try. It would be wonderful if he would - I have spent much time just trying to get him to clock onto the internet - but no success.

    Your thoughts were helpful. Thank you
  14. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    This is interesting as I have not thought about my Mum's seemingly empty days like that. Perhaps she is truly happy doing nothing and it's just me who hates to see her so. I shall take that into account in future.
  15. EllieS

    EllieS Registered User

    Aug 23, 2005
    Hi there

    How's about coin collecting - visited a street market last year and saw some books with holes cut out to slip the coins into.

    Very similar to stamp collecting but the idea is to sort them into date order.

    If your husband enjoyed sorting the stamps why not find a local stamp collecting club where perhaps you could both go along, have a chat and do some swapsies - like we did at school!

    The stamps and coins are certainly something I want to find time to do when I'm even older! Nice to hand down to my sons as well.

    I can't draw but I'd like to find the time to paint one day as well.

    Mum and I are ploughing through a Crossword book when I visit - which is wonderful as a year ago, she just wasn't interested at all. But now she's close, I just pull out the crossword book (or the puzzle) and started by reading out the clues - especially the very easy ones and waiting for her to answer then filling the answers in. She now reads out the clues, has a pencil (for when we're not sure) and a pen and fills in herself.

    The only shame is that when I'm not there the Carers help her to get up, washed, dressed and into the communal lounge, spends hardly any time in her room (which I guess is okay as she'd be really on her own then, not just lonely). Unfortunately, the carers do not seem to suggest this sort of thing !

    Good luck.

  16. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Shame he doesn't enjoy using the computer (not even to play Patience or Mah Jong? You can buy virtual golf, which is very realistic, Bridge, and I'm sure there are trillions more subjects covered. I don't mean crash-bang-wallop shoot-em-up games like the kids play; there are sophisticated ones as well.)

    I used to find I could waste HUGE amounts of time browsing around - now it's an essential tool and lifeline ...
  17. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Lulu I think that doing nothing suits my de ar Lionel.. Up to a year ago he was still a crossword fiend.. This gradually went down to Guardian, Times, until Daily Mail "Quick Crossword".
    Now days, when Lionel has the answer, he does not know whether it is 'down or across' Does it really matter, Connie
  18. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    Coin collecting

    Thanks - coin collecting sounds good and we have some lying around in the house which could be a starter - will get some 'albums' to start him off
  19. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    I paint with my Mom. She was a china painter and painted beautiful things. Now she can barely get a solid coat down and the simplest thing but she thinks she is painting and that is all that matters. Last spring we painted 25 tiny bird houses. She would do the base coat and I put the decoration onthem. Now we are doing little wooden Christmas ornaments. Her attention span for it is getting shorter but she still loves doing it.

    I pulled up your web site and was on the edge of my seat reading about your experience with the pirates ! The Chesapeake experience was harrowing also! We had a Cat22 and sailed a large lake in Oklahoma but got bored with just going round and round. Sold it and now have a motorcycle. My husbands dream is to sail up the intercoastal from Miami to New England when he retires. I'll do it for him but I'm more of a mountain girl.....especially after reading about your pirates!
  20. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    Rhumy hi,

    The intracoastal waterway is wonderful - I have only done it from Key West to the Chesapeake and was heading for Maine when the lightning strike put an end to the season... You will love it - even a 'little ole mountain girl'

    I just thank my good luck that I went off on my circumnavigation when I did as to-day it would be impossible - Lucky huh?

    Monique and I got back from our trip to London yesterday - Monique in fine form and delighted to be home and with the visit from our daughter, who lives in Toronto, but was in London at the same time. One hour of Veronique being attentive and interested gave Monique huge pleasure. Keeps mentioning it - even if she still thinks I am her mother - must be the way I walk!!!!

    So odd this AD... Monique rose to the occasion - the trip out by car, plane delays and car again was fine. Could not always remember the reason but once reminded was fine with it. Yesterday we had to get up at 06.30 (Monique normally sleeps till 13.00 or more) and all that was fine too... occasional reminder that we were heading home and all absolutely OK...

    I was shattered by the time we got back to the house..... lost it with a supermarket manger over some rotten fruit I picked up and took home then had to return.... The tension/anger is just bubbling below the surface for me - can cope with what I have to cope with (more or less) but anything I perceive as being 'insulting or wrong' my tolerance level is really low.

    I think sailing around the world made me a better person - I think this AD situation is making me a less tolerant person. I tend nowadays' to say it as I see it - forcefully!!! Makes me feel a bit silly afterwards but what the hell?



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