1. Suzy

    Suzy Registered User

    Feb 1, 2004
    Hi Everybody

    I am a new member. My dad is in the middle stages of AD. I would like to hear what activities others have found effective in helping to occupy people with AD. What do family members with AD still enjoy or find they can still do? I often feel that my dad who was always very active is bored and frustrated and my mum is worn out trying to find things for him to do.

  2. monty_03

    monty_03 Registered User

    Feb 1, 2004
    I'm 12 years old.

    When i was 6 my grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimers I didn't quite understand what my mum was talking about when she described this "thing"
    My mum described it to me as a sunflower.. When grandma was a baby she grew up and had lots of seeds in the middle of her flower just like me..this was her memory..Then slowly over the years she began to forget things..All grandmas seeds were dissappearing...Grandma would soon be forgetting her family. Then Grandma couldn't remember my name and when i spoke to her she wouldn't reply and when she did none of her words would make sense.

    Then Grandma went into a nursing home. I was scared i wen to see her everyday after school and eventually got used to it. Managers of the home came and then went. The place was deteriating, So was grandma. Grandma broke both her hips. She went into hospital and when she ready to go back to the Nursing home, She had got even worse!

    7 years later i would never have thought my dear grandma would be struggling along. She cant walk, Talk and she can barely eat, carers sit around the table to feed her! It's awful. I no many of you are going through the same things.
    I hate to think what Grandma would be like now, but i cant imagine her any other way. If only i could turn back the years and medication was available for her then.

    That's the story of my dear grandma.
    Physically she's here...Mentally she's dead.
  3. monty_03

    monty_03 Registered User

    Feb 1, 2004
    We cant take my grandma out anywhere anymore.. In early stages of AD my grandma went to a Day centre. My mum could no longer look after my grandma and found her self putting my grandma into a nursing home.
  4. kareng

    kareng Registered User

    Feb 5, 2004
    Hi Suzy,

    What did your dad enjoy doing before he had AD? You might be able to find ways to adapt those things to what he can do now.

    My mum has always loved classical music. Now she will sit rapt, conduct, tap her feet or sing along to it for much much longer than she can concentrate on anything else. She has also responded well to TV programmes she was familiar with - anything with David Attenborough is a hit as are James Bond films. Audio-books worked quite well for a while as well.

    She likes to be physically active - walking, gentle stretching etc. She was doing bits of gardening not so long ago too. She likes having her hair washed and dried. She loves to see and pet cats and dogs and horses. And she loves to be around and watch small children - they can always make her smile. Up until a few months ago she was fond of painting. She really just played with colours, but she would get really quite detailed as she got into it. (You had to watch her though because we caught her drinking the painting water more than once!)

    She also likes to be given simple tasks to do around the house. We had a real victory the other day when she came home for lunch and buttered all the bread for sandwiches.

    It can be really frustrating to think of an activity and then find that the person just doesn't respond. You sometimes feel you have to live their day as well as yours.

    It's hard - I wish you and your mum and dad all the best.

  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Suzy
    it is a difficult thing to generalise about. First place to start is as Karen says, with things that have given pleasure in the past and that may continue to do so, at least before things go too seriously downhill.

    Anything that works now may not work next week.

    I have a friend whose mother had Alzheimer's and when he was trying to pass his experience to me for my wife, he told me that he found quite accidentally that his mother liked one of his Everly Brothers tapes. So he put it on continuous play throughout the day and that was good for her - and for him too. I found that familiar music could be helpful. The shame was that Jan was a superb pianist, and she lost that very quickly.

    We were always great gardeners, Jan and I, and during her final year at home, I completely redesigned the garden closest to the house, to make it more friendly and accessible for her [we are on the side of a valley, the garden is 400 feet long and terraced, so we retreated to the top terrace, perhaps 60 feet long, 60 feet wide]. We were able to walk, talk and enjoy the flower beds, sit in a new arbour, watch the birds and the cats, have picnics in the sun.

    I found that TV was the least useful thing. I tried to get Jan interested in watching East Enders regularly, but she was always too intelligent for that, even when ill. An unexpected bad side effect was that I became totally hooked for quite a time, to her frustration.

    Talking with her - even when neither of us knows what on earth we are talking about - has been the longest serving activity. This is something quite precious to the patient, and few care home staff ever do this once the person is resident there. That personal contact is invaluable, but time-consuming, and often draining of energy.

    Now our best activity is crawling together round a small room.
  6. Suzy

    Suzy Registered User

    Feb 1, 2004
    Keeping dad occupied

    Thanks for helpful replies. I'll be seeing dad next week and will try out some of your suggestions.
  7. Jennie Leech

    Jennie Leech Registered User

    Feb 3, 2004
    Keeping Dad ocupied

    You might try `painting by numbers`.
    I bought Ken a bird table for his birthday and erected it outside the lounge window. I top the food up regularly.
    All the residents have derived great enjoymnet from this. The visiting squirrel( or is it a monkey?) causes more excitement than the birds!

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