• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can access this area by going to the Health and wellbeing forum >here< or you can directly access the area >here<.

Dominoes

jenniferjean

Registered User
Apr 2, 2016
703
Basingstoke, Hampshire
I've tried various things to try and occupy my husband. I've bought a few games that he won't even look at, so wasted money. I've tried card games but he doesn't want to try. I suddenly thought about dominoes the other day and managed to buy some.
I asked a couple of times if he wanted to play but he wouldn't, so was surprised today when I asked and he said he would. I explained what he had to do and he was happy to give it a go. When he couldn't go and had to take a piece from the pile he got quite excited when it was one that would go and didn't want to wait until it was his turn.
When I won the first game he didn't seem to understand about winning, he wanted to carry on with his pieces and wondered what to do with them. He just seemed to enjoy matching the pieces and it kept him amused for a while. He did get tired after a few games but I think I'll give it another go some time.
 

rhubarbtree

Registered User
Jan 7, 2015
492
North West
Hi jenniferjean,

Exactly the same as my OH. The not waiting his turn gets quite fraught when the grandchildren are playing as well. Last time we had the dominoes out I made a domino run. He loved that.
My OH has four dementia jigsaws which have been the best value of anything I have bought. Just recently he has not been able to do the whole jigsaw so I do most of it, when he is not around, and just leave a few pieces out. He rushes to complete the jigsaw when he sees it. Like the dominoes they are thick and tactile. I think he likes handling them.
 

RosettaT

Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
435
Mid Lincs
My OH always said he was lucky, he found something he loved to do (pilot) and found someone to pay him for doing it. The trouble is now he dosen't have any hobbies, he would always spend his time, gardening or diy as it was useful so is he really is not interested in doing any puzzles or pasttime type things. I am always struggling to find things to keep him interested or his hands busy. He will however fold towels and pair socks for me. I think it's because he sees it as something useful not something to while away time.
 
Last edited:

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,032
Scotland
My husband always had to read his daily paper end to end. I buy him a tabloid now for its larger print, more pictures and simpler language. He can read the words out loud if I ask him but of course he cannot make sense of it all. Because he is still Behaving as he once did this keeps him occupied for hours looking through the pages. I leave a pile of football magazines beside him for variety and take a pile in when he has a respite week (not often).
 

crybaby

Registered User
Jan 8, 2017
42
I think you have to go with the flow. Gradually games with rules become too complicated but just playing with the pieces can be fun.

I have to jump in here, about dominoes.
My hubby, before he got so out of it, was quite keen to play with dominoes I'd just bought, so we could enjoy our time a bit. I left him laying them out, while I made a cup of tea so we could spend an enjoyable half hour or so.

Came back to say 'won't be long - I've just put the kettle on' and heard a rattling noise and saw him chewing.

White dominoes = white chocolate, his favourite!!!
 

Vic10

Registered User
Feb 18, 2017
100
I love sharing these ideas! Thank you. I haven’t tried Dominos but I will, I’m sure there are some upstairs.
I have tried jigsaws, they were great to start with but ended up just me doing them whilst OH watched or fell asleep.
 

lilypat

Registered User
Mar 1, 2019
211
Yorkshire
Dominoes, playing cards, jigsaws, colouring books, snakes and ladders !!!!!
You name it I have tried it with my OH. All discarded within days .
The reason I believe is he never was someone who was interested in things like that before his dementia.
He was just a worker . A man who went out everyday for over 50 years many years on nights then days 6am till 4pm ,plus any overtime that was there ,
Weekends and holidays were just rest days We used to go for walks and cycle .
He enjoys the TV things of the past old cops shows etc.
The 1 thing he seems to enjoy is Music mostly the 60,s we have in on all day and in the car
I am just happy to watch him sing along when he thinks no one is about .
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,613
Chester
I think you have to go with the flow. Gradually games with rules become too complicated but just playing with the pieces can be fun.
The kids have always played board games with mum, but they've found she doesn't always understand the rules so play the proper rules round her. I guess it helps there are 2 of them playing (aged 18 and 14 now) Snakes and ladders became too complicated a while ago, she can still play connect 4 (and win playing properly). Haven't tried dominoes - I will dig a set out for next time she comes.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
374
Reading this thread I have just had a light bulb moment! We are a very competitive family and have always played board games at Christmas, lots of cheating but great fun. Now mum struggles to understand the rules but last year she just played on every team. She is still aware of her problems so we have to be very careful with how we offer support but I might try to get my 12 year old nephew to play some simple games with her. She still remembers how she used to look after him when he was poorly and his mum had to go to work so she might be fine with playing games with him. He is also brilliant with her, they have a real connection and he will chatter away to her about their favourite football team for hours - she still goes to all Manchester City home matches with my brother. I must dig out Connect Four, Jenga and Pairs for them to play, she might then be willing to play them with me.m
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
966
Newcastle
My wife was playing dominoes with 2 other residents and the activities coordinator at her home one day last week. It was a set with oversize dominoes making the dots easier to read. I can't say how it went as I left her to it, just pleased that she had sat down for once.

Another idea that I tried when my Mother was in a care home about 12 years ago was a simple game of 'keepy uppy' with a balloon. This showed that her reflexes were still as sharp as ever and 4 of us had a good time just batting the balloon between us for a few minutes. The best memory I have of my Mam in the months leading up to her death.
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
2,989
West Hertfordshire
Would meccano be any good? more fiddly/spanner & screwdriver type activity. Wouldnt matter that he didn't make anything recognisable

Tray of nuts and bots to put together? various sizes, add a few washers
 

jenniferjean

Registered User
Apr 2, 2016
703
Basingstoke, Hampshire
Hi jenniferjean,

Exactly the same as my OH. The not waiting his turn gets quite fraught when the grandchildren are playing as well. Last time we had the dominoes out I made a domino run. He loved that.
My OH has four dementia jigsaws which have been the best value of anything I have bought. Just recently he has not been able to do the whole jigsaw so I do most of it, when he is not around, and just leave a few pieces out. He rushes to complete the jigsaw when he sees it. Like the dominoes they are thick and tactile. I think he likes handling them.
My husband has never been into jigsaws. However he does seem to like handling things, he's often going through one of the drawers just pulling things out and saying what they are. I do wonder now about getting a chunky type of jigsaw to see if he too likes handling it. I'm not sure where to get the sort of thing that would work.
 

jenniferjean

Registered User
Apr 2, 2016
703
Basingstoke, Hampshire
He will however fold towels and pair socks for me. I think it's because he sees it as something useful not something to while away time.
My husband likes to tidy the kitchen, I think he too sees it as being useful. Unfortunately he mixes dirty items with clean items and I end up having to clean everything again.
 

jenniferjean

Registered User
Apr 2, 2016
703
Basingstoke, Hampshire
Would meccano be any good? more fiddly/spanner & screwdriver type activity. Wouldnt matter that he didn't make anything recognisable

Tray of nuts and bots to put together? various sizes, add a few washers
I'm not sure. I did buy him one of those kits which builds shapes using magnets, which is still in the box. When I suggest he tries it he just says "not now".
 

Bee.quilt

Registered User
Dec 29, 2017
81
I’m grateful for theses replies. Will pick up on the washers and screws idea. My Oh like sorting things out so dominoes are good, but also I have two packs of Lexicon and have taken out difficult consonants. he is able to make words from a ‘deal ‘of seven cards, enjoys shuffling them and will put them in alphabetical order with help. He’ll also sort tangles out of my wool bag, find single colour buttons out of my collection, put the cotton reels in lines—he’s never done any of theses things before so it’s a pleasing surprise to see him happily occupied. Best wishes all.B x
 

Lyn13

New member
Jan 20, 2019
8
Hi there, My Dad always liked doing a jigsaw when I was a child so it's something I'm trying out for him and a carer that's visits each week. The 750 piece one is far to hard (for them both I think :() so I've ordered a 200 large piece jigsaw from Amazon. I would be interested to hear of particular makes or companies that other people have used for dementia friendly puzzles. I don't really want to go down the childish route. Many thanks
 

lell

New member
Nov 21, 2017
9
hello all! I think we find ourselves sharing this frustration of the person with dementia not wanting to do the things that we try to get them to do? I must say that I did laugh at crybaby's white choc escapade, my dad would probably do the same! Hard isn't it (not just the domino!!)? What they used to like doing, and what we think they could try never actually work, maybe as they are no longer the same person that we used to know, or we are, inadvertantly, thinking from our own perspective? Or maybe they are aware that things are not the same, and want to maintain a positive image, not one of failure? It's frustrating for us, as we know what is coming up with regards to abilities. We know how many hours they have just sat in the chair (doing nothing, as far as we can see), they don't. We see the person, but do we really? They don't! So, will we ever get it right? I don't think so. I have spent a fortune on games, books, mobility aids etc., all to no avail. As he becomes more egocentric, it gets harder to please. So, I no longer do battle, it saves a hell of a lot of emotional capital. I encourage, and if he doesn't want to, then so be it (unless its a health issue of course!)