1. seaunicorn

    seaunicorn Registered User

    Nov 30, 2016
    4
    I look after an 89 year old lady with vascular dementia, one if her main symptoms is apathy, but her daughter wants her to continue to do things she used to do. Is it right to make her do things she no longer has any interest in just because she used to do them?
     
  2. ElizabethAnn

    ElizabethAnn Registered User

    Jan 4, 2014
    189
    North Hampshire
    Mum used to enjoy painting, but we've really struggled to get her to do it (gentle encouragement - not "making her" !)

    However, my sister got out Mum's painting stuff and started to do it herself, asking Mum for guidance, as Mum was the expert :) and that certainly got her more engaged... and little by little, she has started to join in occasionally... of course, nothing is certain....

    So, I'd perhaps start by asking her if she could teach you or keep you right, doing something that she used to enjoy and take it from there... but definitely no "making her do it" - that'll just cause anxiety and upset...

    Good luck.
     
  3. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,295
    SW London
    Some people seem to think the reason the person isn't doing this or that any more, is because they're lazy or can't be bothered.
    Whereas it's often more likely that the person has forgotten how to do it, and will just get stressed if anyone tries to force the issue.
    The same people sometimes say 'use it or lose it' without realising that where dementia is concerned, they person may well have 'lost it' already, and it's not going to come back.

    Gentle encouragement is IMO OK, but I don't think it should ever go further than that, and if the person isn't interested, then that should be accepted.
     
  4. seaunicorn

    seaunicorn Registered User

    Nov 30, 2016
    4
    I sew and make cards whilst I am with her but she just sits and chats, but she used to make artificial floral displays and her daughter insists that she still makes these displays "because she used to" it takes me ages (days) to persuade her and I don't feel that is right.
     
  5. Rodelinda

    Rodelinda Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    172
    Suffolk
    I agree with the others - my mother at 90 and with vascular dementia had lost all her interests and she used to be a brilliant cook and a fantastic needlewoman. Others would have seen her as apathetic but as Witzend says, she had forgotten how to do things; I did try gentle encouragement but that didn't work and I certainly wouldn't pester her or make a thing of it. It sounds so me as though you're doing fine by doing things while she is there. My mother would sit with me while I did things and would occasionally say 'let me help with that' or whatever and that was fine. But I think she enjoyed things going on around her. So I think you are on the right lines. Sue
     
  6. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,295
    SW London
    I think you're quite right, and should stand firm on this, albeit politely.
     
  7. seaunicorn

    seaunicorn Registered User

    Nov 30, 2016
    4
    Thank you
     
  8. seaunicorn

    seaunicorn Registered User

    Nov 30, 2016
    4
    Thank you
     

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