Starting new activities

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by EdwardM, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. EdwardM

    EdwardM Registered User

    Dec 23, 2014
    7
    Hello everyone,

    My mum is in her late 60's and has Alzheimer's. Her condition has been worsening and she is losing the ability to do the things she used to enjoy doing (reading, watching some tv, doing crosswords etc).

    As a result of this she is spending a lot of time forlornly looking out of the window and is bored. This leads to her getting anxious and wandering around the house (recently she's started wandering off out of the house too).

    We're fortunate to have friends and family who help out and spend time with her doing things out of the house but it still leaves significant amounts when she is in the house.

    So I just wanted to ask whether anyone has had any joy in perhaps getting their loved one to take up any new activities in the home to help pass the time? Or any advice in general for how best to occupy her for the times when she is in the house?

    Many thanks
     
  2. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,501
    Female
    Near Southampton
    The trouble is that it is difficult for someone with dementia to learn a new activity. Have you thought of making a memory book for her, either in the form of a photographic book of her life with simple text included or perhaps more of a scrapbook.
    Alternatively, how about audio tapes of her favourite books. Obviously listening to music too.
    Sorry if these aren't suitable, I didn't want to leave your appeal unanswered.
    Hopefully, someone else might now come along and have further suggestions.
     
  3. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    5,835
    My dad enjoys colouring in some days , adult colouring in books off the internet. They (parents )have used in an art group before so if sees mum doing it too feels better.
     
  4. sajimjo

    sajimjo Registered User

    Jun 18, 2013
    130
    Female
    Staffordshire
    I was going to start a new thread about an activity my partner has just tried but this seems an ideal time to mention it.

    My partner has AD always looking for things to do. I bought one of these adult colouring books and he loves it! This really surprised me as he has never done anything like this before, he does not remember drawing or painting as a child.

    I ordered a second book off the internet depicting stained glass windows which is less detailed and he has done a fabulous picture. I did think of trying to attach a photo of it, but been busy.
     
  5. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,442
    Female
    Dundee
    My husband also enjoys this activity. He takes great care with colouring. He also attends an art class once a fortnight. It is run by a charity and is for people with dementia. Volunteers from the local art college come and support the participants.

    I wonder if there are any groups in your area which your mum might enjoy taking part in. You could check with your local Alzheimer Society to see if they can suggest any.

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents.php?categoryID=200121

    My husband was never one for joining groups in the past but now I think he enjoys the social side of them. He goes to art once a fortnight, a social afternoon organised by Age Concern once a fortnight, a day centre run by Alzheimer Scotland for one day a week and we both go to the Alzheimer Scotland choir on Friday afternoons. We go to a drop in dementia cafe two mornings a month and on one of these he joins in the football memories group. His Alzheimer's is quite advanced but he seems to get a lot out of being with other people and dabbling in all of these activities.

    I hope you can get something which suits your mum.
     
  6. Optomistic

    Optomistic Registered User

    Jul 24, 2014
    112
    Manchester
    My husband has Alzheimers and i take him out everyday we go to bingo. He sometimes misses the numbers but some of the books are free so i dont worry. He is so pleased when he wins because this means he has kept up with the game. He also has an X box and plays the older games at night they are the easier ones.

    I find getting out of the house works he loves walking round the shops with me and going for some dinner.

    He has just had a check at the hospital and they said i was doing everything right and he has done so well.
     
  7. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    5,835
    The group my parents go to, only dad has dementia so a lady sits and helps him so my mum can have her time. She has always wanted to try art and painting. She has bought all sorts and has had grandson (very arty) giving her lessons today:D
    She worries dad isnt get enough out of it and pays for him to go but I told her keep going as it's helping her .
     
  8. Isabella

    Isabella Registered User

    Jan 4, 2014
    106
    I've had the same problem with my mum, trying to think of things she can do. I tried asking SS for the expert advice, and one suggestion I got back was she might like to take piano lessons! Bizarre and completely unrealistic.

    The only thing I found was that she liked looking at photos - of her family but also of film stars from her youth. I managed to find a few books of film stars/the royal family in second hand book shops which are mostly photos (she can't read anymore) and she loved them. Unforunately lately she has trouble remembering that she needs to turn the page but it did keep her occupied for a while before she deteriorated.
     
  9. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    5,835
    ️Re photos , what about a memory book you could put together for reading or looking through ?
     
  10. sajimjo

    sajimjo Registered User

    Jun 18, 2013
    130
    Female
    Staffordshire
    I am going to try and attach a photo I took of the colouring my partner did as some of you may not be aware of these adult colouring books. He has really surprised me as he was a joiner, used to heavy manual work but never shown any inclination of being artistic. He has definitely got the bug at the moment!
     

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  11. tchuss

    tchuss Registered User

    Apr 2, 2015
    7
    activities

    I think it is hard to be at home and do activities. My mum has alzheimers, but unfortunately hers presents itself with spatial awareness problems so she is unable to do things like computer games, crosswords, jigsaws etc. She is also unable to easily change TV channels or put on the radio and/or reading books. Sounds like all doom and gloom but no, she goes out most days to a club or something where she is in the company of others. One of the clubs is 'Singing for the brain' which is led by the Alzheimers group and which she loves best of all.
    Obviously I do not know if going out to clubs and meetings is an option, but if it is, give it a try.
     
  12. EdwardM

    EdwardM Registered User

    Dec 23, 2014
    7
    Many thanks for all the helpful replies
     
  13. Jaxx23

    Jaxx23 Registered User

    Mar 15, 2012
    22
    My mum does some amazing painting/colouring in too at her Day Centre, has books at home, but again when home alone, doesn't even consider it, but then of course we need to find the pens first :D
     

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