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early onset alzheimers activities


Registered User
Feb 9, 2004
West London
My husband is 61 and was diagnosed with Alzheimers 6 years ago. He is physically very fit and active but is unable now to read or do very much. He finds difficulty speaking. He gets very bored watching TV. Does anyone have any ideas about activities he might be able to do at home? Something repetitive which doesn't require a logical thought process - Puzzles and games are impossible.


Registered User
Jun 20, 2013
Hello Shelia

My husband is 54 years old he still works, but finds it harder to read and write, I have downloaded him some audio books which he has on his Ipod. If this idea helps


Registered User
Feb 10, 2012
Susan is now in a similar situation, from doing various arts activities she can now do very little. No drawing, reading, painting, gardening etc.

I cannot make recommendations as it is all down to the individual and one persons likes another will hate. Susan is 'luckier' than your husband as she enjoys the TV, even though I am never too sure how much goes in. She is happy with old favourites of Poirot, Marple and other detective series, comedy like Dad's Army and the News Channels. We now have an HDMI tv hard drive which connects to the TV and holds lots of her favourite TV programmes and films. They can be played at will.

She also is amenable to listening to music from CD's.

She is OK with sitting in silence in the house or garden for some time and I wonder if I think she should be doing things just because that is what would happen in the past

If she did not still like the above I cannot think how she would 'spend' her time.

There is nothing that she actually does now though.

Susan has a person, outreach, from the Alzheimer's Charity in Leeds that comes and takes her out or comes to chat depending on how she is feeling is that something that you already have access to? There is also a council section who do the same thing for 2 hours or even a day where Sue could visit someone in their home, these are charged for though.

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Registered User
Oct 24, 2009
Hello, my husband can no longer communicate but he does seem to get very bored. He is mobile too. Nature programmes on TV help for a while as he has always like these. I'm currently trying an etch-a-sketch and he seems to like turning the knobs and we end up with lots of squiggly pictures. I don't leave him on his own with it though because I think the front window part may break if dropped. It's so hard to come up with ideas for suitable activities. Don't know whether this helps at all. Best wishes sea x


Registered User
Mar 26, 2009
Folding paper/ Etch a sketch - I have read about poetry being therapeutic?

Hi all, I think the etch a sketch sounds interesting - I will try this with my mum.

She likes to fold serviettes into very small squares so I got some origami paper... I found it hard enough myself and soon realised it would be impossible for Mum. She did focus on what I was doing though, then carefully unfolded crease-by-crease my very amateur swan!

The paper was in pretty colours and the process was quite soothing, so a relative success…

It really is very frustrating trying to think of ideas that would occupy and I do get very upset to think how little imagination/ expertise really the carers at mum's residential home have as to what would stimulate. My mum is in advanced stage now and I'm sad not to be able to do more with her. I have read that writing POETRY can be quite successful in helping sharpen the mind/ is an enjoyable activity. Has anyone experienced this? I am thinking of doing some training with the AZ Society and organising some poetry writing sessions - I'd be very interested in any thoughts on this.


Registered User
Sep 20, 2012
early onset altzheimers

My wife has taken a shine to comedy tv, many of them repeats and shows she would never have watched when they were up in the ratings. Dads army, and Last of the Summer Wine types of progs. James Herriott as the vet. But thinking of it now, she may have watched vaguely and they are now comfortable and familiar from that era. She finds 'You've been Framed' hilarious, and makes me smile just watching the pleasure she gets from them. Fortunately Doc Martin also fits the bill, so perhaps your partners may like these. Her vocabulary is always better when she has a sequence of tv progs that she can watch. She goes 'day out' with a support carer with a group of four others and is always exhilarated when she comes home. Though a couple of hours later the recollection has gone.


Registered User
Feb 10, 2010
Helping out around the house can make someone feel that they are contributing and have responsibility for doing things. Big bag of socks for matching and pairing. Folding towels. Do you have a drawer where everything gets dumped in? Get him to rummage through it/sort it out for you. Collect your loose change and get him to sort it out so you can take it to the machine at the supermarket. Box of screws and nuts and bolts and a bunch if freezer bags to put them in. Cleaning shoes is another good thing to pass the time.

As he is still active then perhaps indoor golf, or skittles or boules? How about a game of marbles or even table tennis? More to do with the fun than being capable.

This game that involves matching colours oe shapes is good for people with dementia.

I don't know if it was remembering them from school but the guys in my mother's care home fought over the big box of counting rods. Once one person had them the rest wanted them. They would make pictures with them, build with them, line them up, but it went on for hours. That was until someone got a set of wooden construction blocks of all shapes and sizes then it became favourite. The activities do-ordinator used to set challenges eg build a house, a bridge, a car, a boat and off they old go. I think some of them just liked the tactile nature of the shapes, but others did have a real go at building something. Another thing that came from the past was Lego. This was popular too. The home had a garden. Some just liked to wander around but there was a mini tool shed. Others liked to dig. Some rather enthusiastically. LOL someone had bought their relative a bird table and that was popular too. It had been placed near a patio door so they could watch for the birds when the weather wasn't too good. Some other relatives had bought a planter and some plants. They used to get watered every day, often by many people, but the plants survived.

Sometimes the challenge is to find something that is enjoyable rather than it needing to have a fixed outcome.



Registered User
Nov 6, 2013

My husband is still very fit and active and has recently been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers.

We have recently started doing some voluntary work together and he seems to be enjoying that.

We go dog walking at the local Animal Rescue. He loves animals and as he is still able to walk well, this is perfect.

We also help at the charity shop there. We sort bags of donations brought in and tidy and sort in the shop. He's happy to sort through the cds, the old vinyl and the books.

I would never have imagined that I would ever work in a charity shop. But the pleasure that he gets from it, just makes it all worthwhile.

It gives him chance to get out of the house and mix with people too.

He has an old Nintendo DS, a hand held game. This was recommended by his consultant. He can still play Solitaire on it and gets great delight at finishing a game. He also tries games which involve matching three in a row, either by shape or colour.

As Fiona says, 'Sometimes the challenge is to find something that is enjoyable rather than it needing to have a fixed outcome.'


Registered User
Apr 22, 2010
East Hunsbury Northamptonshire
i have got a nintendo DS too and I play games on my android tablet and phone too

I treated myself to a new game today Dr said dont get bored doing the same one Candycrush I am on level 50 and despair of ever getting onto level 51:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

glad the charity shop is working out I wondered about volunteering at our local library as they have been very kind to me and I have a fundraising / awarness raising exhibition on at the moment in their exhibition area

that is keeping me busy at the moment but it will come down on Dec 31st so will need a new project

I think enjoyment is the key


Registered User
Nov 28, 2012
Moved to Leicester
I tried fuzzy felt as I'd read it was very popular but mother's snort of derision when offered it killed that idea! How about a tin of old nuts and bolts which need undoing, then the next day, need to be paired up (would he remember them from the day before?). The large pieces Meccano might be interesting to try. Post a wanted ad on freecycle, you'd be surprised what you can get!

I do hope you get some success, it's quite distressing to see a loved one sat there staring at the TV or ito space all day and so difficult to get them interested in anuthing.

Hugs x