1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. Jane60

    Jane60 Registered User

    Oct 16, 2015
    1
    Hi everyone
    My mum has Demetia and I have been asked by speech and language therapist to create a resource for my mum to help her interact with us more. They have suggested dominoes , matching games , reminiscence cards nursery rhymes etc plus objects that she may remember from her past. I have looked on the Internet and found games like Qwirkle, connect memory game, chatter box, many from the Alzheimer's association but they are so expensive. Does any one know of anywhere where I can borrow this type of resource from. Thanks
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,745
    Female
    London
    Try a simple card set, jigsaw puzzles, connect 4 or similar - these shouldn't be expensive. You could probably get the jigsaws in charity shops.
     
  3. Clemmy

    Clemmy Registered User

    Aug 14, 2015
    15
    Surrey
    Games - try the local library!!

    Qwirkle is fun but I wouldn't recommend it for dementia as it is too complex - my aunt couldn't get past even setting out the game. My aunt won't do much now or settle long enough to play or concentrate for long - she won't colour despite our having brought her lovely colouring books and pencils, she won't knit (her hands are too stiff she says), she won't read much (she used to love reading), she won't do jigsaws even when we try to do them with her - she looks at the newspaper more out of 'habit' than really reading it.

    I think her carers have tried dominos, cards etc with no success.

    I have found the local library do specialised reminiscence supplies for those with dementia that friends and family can take out!! I have ordered about 5 or 6 different topics in everything from postcards to picture book format - there are topics for just about everyone. I really think this will help the carers and family help her while away the hours. I have selected World War II life on the home front/fashion/royal family for starters. So fingers crossed.

    Another thing that does work with my aunt is watching DVD of ballet performances. She used to love to go the watch the ballet - particularly at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. So I have brought tons of DVDs and she will settle to watch those if in the right mood. Also she and her carer have music on very loud... which they enjoy!! They also both loved watching Wimbledon and other tennis matches!!

    I have installed a bird feeder in the garden that she can watch - although she finds the marauding squirrels more fun to watch than the birds!! Also worth keeping changing colour in the flower pots.

    Everyone is different so probably worth trying different things. Do go to your local library as they do have fabulous supplies of dementia reminisence stuff and also some have jigsaws and DVDs etc - so cheaper than buying.
     
  4. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    Hi Jane,

    I think you are very wise to be careful about spending too much on these sort of things as you never know if they are going to be useful and if they are, it might not be for too long. And what works this week might not next week.

    OH used to love doing jigsaws but won't touch them anymore and would be quite insulted if I bought a children's one. He still plays bridge (don't know how well!) but can't change the batteries in the remote control or use a mobile phone. He still tries to do crosswords, sits there for ages mumbling about possible answers then gets frustrated, throws it at me and tells me to finish it. Needless to say that he has written in some weird words and often misreads the clues.

    He will listen to taped stories which we borrow from the library but mostly goes to sleep after a while. And he does love watching animal videos on YouTube and still talks with his family in UK on Skype but needs my help to get sound or the picture every time he does.

    Our local Senior Citizens' Club has a table of items that you can borrow, swap or buy for small donation and sometimes charity shops have old magazines that you can cut up and paste and they very cheap.

    I think you need to ask friends and neighbors if they have stuff that you could borrow but suggest that you scrounge rather than spend a lot of money.
     
  5. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,942
    North East England
    Charity shops...:D
     
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    We got everything from Charity shops too - because you never know what is going to work.
    We used jigsaws a lot - not because Mum could do them but because we would sit and chat about all sorts of things whilst we all put bits together - addictive, calming and therapeutic.

    We also knew that she played whist a lot in her youth and at one of her clubs so we played supported whist!! If she is into card games it is a good way to encourage laid back chatter.

    We did play a memory game but we helped loads and loads and I'm not sure it is such a great idea, I think it highlights the failing grey cells a bit too much.

    LIBRARY definitely and our librarians are really good - we used to get a lot of animal books out - they always seemed to start of a joke or two and we are all Londoners (Bow Bells and all that) so books of London were ever popular and books on Royalty

    definitely don't need to spend a lot and I personally would avoid trying to teach new games - oh we did in early days play uno just for fun!
     
  7. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    #7 CollegeGirl, Oct 17, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015
    For reminiscence you could make a rummage/memory box. You just need a shoe box or similar and pop inside small items that might jog her memory, things related to activities she used to do, maybe a ball of wool if she liked knitting, a set of colourful pastry cutters if she liked baking, bobbins of cotton if she liked sewing, old birthday/christmas cards, photos (if appropriate), paint brushes if she enjoyed painting. Anything like that that might get her chatting.

    Or make a memory book - a scrap book or folder filled with photos, old tickets, recipes, knitting patterns and the like. Because my mam doesn't recognise anyone from the family now, and looking at photos of them just upset her when we tried to explain that she did know them, I made her a 'bits and bobs' book full of things that she used to like - photos of flowers, babies and children, little snippets of history, recipes from her old Be-ro books, extracts from songs she loved, etc.

    Having said that, I think I had much more fun making it than mam ever has had looking at it! I've attached a couple of photos of the book I made. I got the photos from the internet, printed them out and stuck them into the book.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on - oh, and welcome to TP by the way :)
     

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