1. worldtraveller

    worldtraveller Registered User

    May 14, 2008
    West Midlands
    My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 6 months ago at the age of 59. She seems to have lost the ability to occupy herself,and unless I do something with her, she will often just sit or fall asleep. She used to be an avid reader, but now seems unable to concentrate for more than a few minutes. Does anyone have any experience of things I could get her to do which will enable me to not feel guilty if I leave her alone to do jobs around the house (or send e-amils to the Forum!)?
  2. Rustyangel

    Rustyangel Registered User

    May 15, 2008
    Hi Traveller

    My Dad loved to do things with his hands so we bought him some stuff called Octoplay which is colourful interlocking plastic pieces. It would occupy him for quite a while and he became very attached to them.


    A friend of mine gave her grandfather some lego and he got a lot of pleasure from that. Just a couple of ideas.....

    All the best

  3. jackie1

    jackie1 Registered User

    Jun 6, 2007
    My husbands (55) hobbies were golf, the gym and reading. He can no longer do any of these. Although is always carring a book, that changes regularly, and it never progresses.

    He will no longer play with the children and I have been unable to find anything he wants to do - and believe me I have tried. The only thing he seems to enjoy is watching a DVD.

    We have a carer/companion 2 mornings a week while I'm at work and he seems to enjoy his company and going out for a walk.

    I hope you are able to find something but please don't feel quilty if you can't, it is somethimes impossible.

  4. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    Hi WorldTraveller

    My husband has lost self-motivation and unless I prompt him to do something he will just sit around, fall asleep or walk around looking lost.

    I've discovered my husband likes doing things if I'm doing them so if I go shopping I say "I am going shopping would you like to come?" he does mostly. If I am doing the gardening, I say "I'm doing the garden would you mow the front lawn?" etc. and he is able to be active in these ways.

    I would imagine at the end of the day it is trial and error.

    Wishing you the best in finding what you need for your wife.

    Love Helen
  5. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    My Dad lost the ability to read, talk, do anything much with his hands and then for a long period the disease caused a certain amount of apathy too, so even though we were quite worried and concerned that he didn't want to do anything, he was quite happy not doing anything. I think the best thing you can do in that stage is to just try to stay positive and upbeat, compliment and praise when they do do something or try to do something, and keep showing them that you love them.
    This loss of abilities makes buying xmas and birthday presents very very difficult!
    Sometimes too they seem to lose the ability to see photos properly and don't seem to get any entertainment from tv. With Dad it was almost like he lost the ability to comprehend 2D images. Thankfully for some strange reason, after about 3yrs of not getting any enjoyment from TV (and sometimes it even seemed to make him angry) he does like to watch it now, though I'm not sure what he sees or hears. So you could try the tv, because at least that is keeping her in the loop with the outside world to a certain extent. And even if it des't work today it might work another day. It can indeed be a fair bit of trial and error.
    Dad also went through a long stage where he was obsessive about sweeping and wiping up the dishes. It drove my mum nuts, but at least he was occupying himself.
    Mostly however, it did end up coming back to us to initiate things, a lot of dementia patients seem to like to walk a lot and we always had a theory that it temporarily improved Dad's condition, maybe getting the blood circulating and getting more of it to his brain? I think keeping our loved ones active can be a good idea anyway, as I have found it much easier to cope with Dad because he can walk still, rather than the times he was stuck in bed because that was very depressing to seem him so weak. Them being active however can also have its downside, especially if they are bigger than you and start being difficult.
    Music is another thing.
    Last but not least, this constant need for you to be there can become extremely draining so it is imperative that you get others involved in her care. Even if they are not carers as such, but just friends or family that can come over and have a cup of tea with her..and better still if you can get people to come over so that you can get out and have some time to yourself. Because in the end, you will be a better carer if you get this very important 'me' time.
    Sorry I couldn't be of more help, best of luck,
  6. worldtraveller

    worldtraveller Registered User

    May 14, 2008
    West Midlands

    Thanks for the ideas
  7. worldtraveller

    worldtraveller Registered User

    May 14, 2008
    West Midlands
    Thanks for the ideas and the good wishes. Graham:)

  8. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    Hi world traveller

    The following is written just to indicate that I found help can arrive in the most unexpected way.

    During the last three years before mum moved to a Care Home she had no interest in doing anything on her own. I rang the Alzheimer’s Society and asked if they could help me.

    They sent a lady round to chat with me; and the outcome was that she arranged for my 88 year old mum (who would not go to a day centre) to join an ordinary local Pensioners Club. The club sent a volunteer to pick her up in a car once a week to take her to their “Over 60s” meeting. This was for about three hours one afternoon every week.

    They had another volunteer who staid with mum ALL the time to stop her being “disruptive” (mum was the only one there with Alzheimer’s). In addition they took her out for a full day once a month, and (best of all in some ways) sent another volunteer to have afternoon tea for two hours once a fortnight.

    Other than the above, which was almost free, I employed a private Care company to send a Carer round just to have morning coffee or afternoon tea with mum. This worked well if the Carer came in ordinary clothes and was even more successful if the Carer was under 21 years of age as mum always thought it was her Granddaughter that had come to visit.

    Some of these visits came under the heading of “respite” which meant they were free. (I had told the Care Company that I only wanted them to send someone to sit with mum when I was not there, and NOT to do any cleaning or cooking etc.).

    Both ringing the Alzheimer’s Society and the Care Company were unexpectedly successful for me.

    Hope you find the answer to your concern.

  9. nittynora

    nittynora Registered User

    May 15, 2008
    Dear World Traveller,
    For our Grandmother this inability to keep occupied is a major problem - for me rather than for her. She was an accomplished artist but refuses to draw anything. She will not have the tv on and becomes very upset if it is. She cannot read any more and refuses to listen to music. The only thing that has worked is jigsaw puzzles. They are getting more basic - currently Disney Princess 20 piecers! I find she loses herself in them and has a sense of achievement i think when she completes one. It takes her ages but is the only thing she will do.
    Good Luck,
  10. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    Hi Nittynora

    I think this is fantastic. At least she's occupied on her own level and has a sense of achievement. Brilliant.:)

    Love Helen
  11. CYN

    CYN Registered User

    Jan 4, 2008
    east sussex
    I used to set my husband up with a coloring book and pencils to sit beside me while i was on the computer as he liked to be with me.It held his interest for a while.

    Cynthia x x
  12. sarah<3

    sarah<3 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2008
    my aunty loves colouring
    this may be because of her downs syndrome, but it always occupies her
    its really nice, when i go and visit her in hospital, just sitting next to her, helping her colouring in
    suprisingly relaxing, and taking gcse art comes in useful :)
  13. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005

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