keeping occupied

Bill

Registered User
Dec 1, 2003
3
Brandon
My wife was diagnosed with alzheimers 3 years ago and is now in the second stage of this terrible illness. I hav just retired to care for her as she is now unable to run the household chores.This has been a big change in my life but i am coping to a certain degree.The bigest problem i have is keeping a once very active woman occupied. she does nothing but sit and grumble that she has nothing to do, the problem is she is unable to do any of the old things she once did. she cannot read, do puzzles, paint knit garden she is unable to understand the tv has anybody with more knowledge of this illness any sugestions how i can keep her occupied
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Bill,

My mother is very similar. Once a keen gardener, avid reader and homemaker, she now has attention span of approx 3 minutes! I've found it useful to give her books with lots of pictures of our local area, videos on the Royal Family and also taking her through our old photo albums. She spends quite a lot of time looking through these, which gives me a bit of time to make lunches, dinners, etc without interruption. I've bought several videos of 'All Creatures Great and Small' which she can watch and enjoy the scenery. Also the story line isn't too hard to follow and she can watch them over and over again!!. Other nice vids are of the countryside and English wildlife. Anything really without a complicated story. For some odd reason, she is also very taken with planes and trains, so have bought videos of old steam trains and railways for her - as well as my father who also has Altz.
There are some wonderful BBC documentaries about British birds which keep them enralled for at least an hour at a time. Do try these. If you find anything else, please do let me know..

Regards Jude
 

Charlie

Registered User
Apr 1, 2003
161
Hi Bill,

I have a similar problem with my Dad. Once a keen walker and reader but now twiddling his thumbs. I find that if he is not occupied, he will 'wander' more than he should. Jude's suggestions are great! and I guess it is a case of homing in on something that your wife enjoyed before the illness, that will still stimulate her now.

In my dads case, he still enjoys flicking through books, as Jude suggested find things that interested your wife but are more pictorial. Dad was never one for looking back, but I have now found that he loves looking at images that related to his past.

And videos, well, my dad sense of humour is still alive an kicking thankfully. Dads army, Faulty Towers, It ain't half hot mum....the kind of stuff you could watch a million times and still bend over double with laughter. With all the frustrations, it does everyone in the family the world of good to laugh together......

hope that helps
kindest regards
Charlie....
 
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Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
790
Buckinghamshire
keeping occupied / entertained

videos are definitely a favourite! My husband's first love is music, and therefore musicals or recordings of concerts always work to cheer him up. I have just discovered two Perry Como Videos in an unsolicited leaflet which I nearly threw out unread ... just in time for Christmas!
The odd thing is that he regularly informs me that he has "seen this several times", whether we are watching a documentary or the news - yet, has has never commented on the musical videos we have played over and over again. Is that perhaps because he enjoys them, and therefore just relaxes?
Another 'task' is to get him to 'sort' through his collection of audio tapes and cds: even if he occasionally gets frustrated with this, it does give him a purpose and keeps him busy for a while.
Good luck - I am also constantly on the look-out for good ideas, so keep them coming!
Love to you all.
Carmen
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Carmen,

My father was a member of Godalming Operatic Society for years, principally performing G & S. I recently ordered a complete set of Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas through one of the large video stores in Guildford. These have been an absolute lifesaver on dismal, wet afternoons. Can settle the oldies down with tea, cakes and The Mikado - we also have singalongs since being brought up with these operas, we basically know them verbatim. Other videos that I've found to be excellent are comedy, as Bill suggests. Tommy Cooper and Morecambe & Wise are great because they are more visually funny that having complex jokes. Also Fawlty Towers and Dad's Army are wonderful favourites. Thank God for videos...!!!

Do you have any favourites that you could recommend?
Best wishes

Jude
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Hi Charlie,

I had totally forgotten about It Ain't Half Hot Mum - great idea. I haven't lived in the UK for 30 years, so my recollection of TV programmes is faded somewhat. That probably helps actually when choosing suitable videos for my parents. That can be difficult sometimes, since I don't want to give them anything too violent, sexual or with foul language content, which much of today's comedy programmes seem to include. I am less than impressed with the quality of TV these days......
Thanks for the idea.
Best wishes
Jude
 

Charlie

Registered User
Apr 1, 2003
161
Hi Jude,

sorry to sneak in on your conversation again, but I really appreciate your recommendations. Musicals definitely seem to hit the spot with my dad. Just like my daughter he can watch them over again and again...

We have a little plea for help.....

I was wondering if anyone had come across videos for Pennies from Heaven, not the new american patentented version, but the original six episodes that were on the BBC about 12 years ago staring Bob Hoskins. We have hunted everywhere for these but it seems that the BBC never release them as the Americans bought all the copyright on the titles.

Any clues as to where else we could look would be helpful...

Kind Regards
Charlie
 

Bill

Registered User
Dec 1, 2003
3
Brandon
thanks

Thank you all for your suggestions to keep my wife occupied. I will be trying these out in the future
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Charlie,
Great to hear from you so FAST..! Just jump into the conversation any time I'm on line - it's wonderful to talk to somebody...!

It seems that the large video shops are very helpful when it comes to ordering videos that they don't actually have in stock. I only waited a week for the complete Gilbert and Sullivan set. They were really efficient.

Cheers Jude
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Charlie, My father used to teach woodwork and metalwork, as well as maths/science. For Xmas, I bought him a kit wheelbarrow - the little wooden ones in which you can plant flowers. It came with a large picture sheet of construction details. Anyway - he's put it together virtually unaided and it looks really great. Just wondered if this is the sort of thing that your father might like to do, as a change from videos and picture books. I bought it at the local garden centre for £25. Kept him amused for a whole day.
Cheers Jude
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,806
69
Dundee
Hi - just wondered about Pennies from Heaven - it was fantastic wasn't it? Would the BBC website have any links to being able to buy it, or the Amazon website often has unusual titles.

Good luck
Izzy
 

Charlie

Registered User
Apr 1, 2003
161
Hi Izzy,

Pennies from heaven is out on 31st May 2004. You can pre order a copy at:

http://www.bbcshop.com/invt/bbcdvd1214

You can also purchase the singing detective, another favourite of mine:


The BBC website has a great selection of videos and is full of ideas to keep our loved ones occupied.

Video Format:

http://www.bbcshop.com/icat/525&bklist=icat,4,,2,525&ivtype=video

DVD Format:
http://www.bbcshop.com/icat/525&bklist=icat,4,,2,525&ivtype=dvd

The BBC site has lots of good deals, but it may be worth comparing prices with Amazon as they often have discounted sales.


Kindest Regards
Charlie
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,806
69
Dundee
Thanks for the info Charlie - I'll certainly be getting Pennies from Heaven!!

Cheers
Izzy