Stimulation? What is the point!

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by sunny, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. sunny

    sunny Registered User

    Sep 1, 2006
    Mum has now reached the stage where, frankly, stimulation is really not working.
    She does not like to be "encouraged" to do anything, she hates loud noise of any description even people talking together in front of her. It just makes her in a"grotty" mood and she says some awful things when she is in these moods.
    She's at her best when she is sitting quietly with one person talking to her. She is feeding herself and drinking ok, but she has to be encouraged otherwise she would just sit looking into space. Also her conversation is very jumbled and mixed up, but I let her speak and she seems to know what she is saying, I just agree with everything, its easier that way! How can I stimulate if her brain cells are dead! Does anybody else find that a lot of noise or a crowded room upsets somebody with dementia. I take her for a ride but she doesn't try to look out of the window or show a lot of interest when I point out scenery etc. ( I have nearly had a bloody accident concentrating on pointing things out to her instead of looking where I was going!) Its a blooming nightmare, I feel exhausted at trying.
    Does anybody else find the same?
  2. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    yes, been there with that one Sunny. it's horrible. I suppose if you can no longer make sense of anything or know how to respond to it then the least painful thing is to have as little stimulation as possible.
  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Sunny, are you perhaps trying too hard? It is difficult, I know, we're encouraged to try different ways to stimulate our loved ones, but I think it's important to be guided by them.

    My husband also hates loud noise, although he does like music playing very quietly. He also is best when it's just one to one.

    I think they get to the stage where everything is so confusing, they need peace and quiet, and sometimes just to retreat into their own world.

    I can't interest John in scenery either, though he used to love the countryside. He enjoys walking, but I think that's for the release of energy rather than appreciation of the scenery.

    Don't give up, just try to relax and take things at your mum's pace. You're right, once brain cells are dead there's no point in trying to stimulate them, but while there is still activity, I think it's important not to create any extra agitation.

    I know you're doing all you can for your mum, just try to relax, and please don't have an accident!:eek:
  4. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    in which case, that is the thing to do.

    A caveat - just make sure that a range of other options has been tried. It doesn't have to be loud music, sitting in a circle throwing a ball, sitting in front of a TV.

    Try a range of things and then if you still feel the same, go with it. You may already have tried other things and they didn't work. That is all you can do.

    I know because I've reached the stage where just talking to my Jan is all we can do. I'd so like to be able to do more, but it isn't about what I'd like - it is about what Jan is comfortable with.

    Good luck.

    PS be aware that things can change over time, so occasionally try different things just to check.
  5. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    My mum is unable to talk, do anything. She does seem to respond to her name. Maybe I should talk to her more - but when I visit I often put on music that she is familiar with, or the television - and I touch her:hold her hand, rub her feet, play with her hair. Not saying I dont talk at all - just that speech for me nolonger communicates those things that I want mum to know - though I always tell her that I love her and she is safe, before I leave.
    Love Helen
  6. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    Dear Sunny,

    I have experienced your problem too. I try to get my Mum interested in all sortsof things and she just doesn't seem interested and I often wonder "what's the point?", but I suppose with a loved one we just keep on wanting to try. I've even tried things she used to enjoy like flower arranging and pottering in the garden and that doesn't work either.

    On the noise subject, that was interesting because I nearly posted a message on the same subject. My mum absolutely hates the television, which is a problem because she lives with my very ill and elderly father and the TV is the only thing he seems to enjoy. I was wondering if it's because there is too much information to absorb on a lot of TV proprogrammes, for example, if you look at the news bulletins, there is a lot of extra info scrolling across the screen sometimes and it must be quite confusing.

    Her vocabulary is deteriorating at a rate of knots too. Before she deteriorated we used to try a game of scrabble, but she made up so many words and got violent if I challenged them, that I thought it best to give up.

    Sorry don't have any real suggestion to make to you, but it seems we are going through the same thing so maybe that's at least some encouragement.
  7. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    Dad too is much calmer in a quiet environment. In fact I am almost certain if he had continued to live at home where he had my mother, sister and brother in law, (all very loud people) as well as the 4 grandkids all under 10yrs old...he would have died by now.

    He appears far happier now he lives in the home where it is quiet, everyone moves slowly, and there is routine.

    We put it down to what others have said here, it all gets too confusing when there is too much noice and other distractions.

    Similarly I think Dad stops looking out the window in a car...because the constant movement, the visual messages bombarding his brain is too much for him to cope with. In fact the last time he went for a drive with us he was carsick, poor ******.

    Something to remember, is that the lack of interest does not mean that they are not trying or are disinterested...they just can't do what they used to be able to do. Imagine if you were given a disabled person to look after for a day, you wouldn't question it if all they seemed capable of was to watch tv and not interact very would feel that that was the best that they could manage and do your best to make them comfortable in that environment. I think it takes a long time for many of us to realise, that our parents, children, husbands and wives are now 'disabled' we keep thinking they should be able to do stuff, that they are not trying, its hard to do, but try to forget what they were before and instead see what they are now and then try to work with this new environment.
  8. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007

    Sunny, my mum is also like this, noises really bother her, she is much happier with a one on one conversation, nothing much stimulates her either, she has her little routine and copes much better when she is left to do her little things.I guess we just have to accept what we can't change and as long as they are not distressed, count it as a blessing. Regards Taffy.
  9. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #9 Margarita, Jun 27, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2007
    I find that happen with my mother
    My mother Just can't take lots of people talking to her at one time , so when they is lots of family members around , I have to be close by , as she looks to me for the answer .

    If I am not around she can get rude , because I think she get **** of, embarrassed that they don't understand . then mum not going to say they anything wrong with her brain .

    So to my mother , what a better why to get ride of those people is just to be rude to them

    So its left to me to intervene .

    and I have learn not to put my mother into a situation with a group of people that courses her discomfort in her mind .

    Just like my mother , the only way around it , I found was when mum went to day-center .

    At home with me , I would try to motervat her , but all she wants to do is sleep , sit nap ,

    So like my mother

    I could not give her one to one all the time , because I have family comment , house work , shopping things to do.

    I hated seeing my mother 24/7 Just wanting to be left along , Napping looking into space .

    So day-center was the answer , Now 4 days a week , if I get my way it be 5 days

    Now when she gets back from day-center , she so chatty . I can see a glow in her face that I have not seen for years !

    weekends , she Just like to sit in her chair nap , pop up with a chat when she feels like it and says to my brother . I have to get out during the week , can't stay in the house all day :D .

    And this is from someone who never wanted to go in the first place to day-center .

    Its hard & one needs outside support , Or a Good supporting family unit, For me I only had my teenagers , So I look out side my family Unit for support with my mother

    amazing thing is they not All dead yet , depending on what stage the person is in with they AZ .

    Is your mother on any medication for AZ ?
  10. sunny

    sunny Registered User

    Sep 1, 2006

    Thanks for all your replies. No not on medication, Aricept was tried but she was so ill with it, other drugs have been discounted for the present. I have been told that it is a management situation and her condition will be reviewed periodically. At the moment she has some o.k. days, although she has gone right down in her speech (can't make head nor tail of what she is trying to say most days). Soft music she likes sometimes which is something. Has to be "prompted" for everything now. Also her orientation is practically non-existent, that part of her brain is badly affected. Still walking though albeit with difficulty and a frame. There is really no joy now which is sad to see.:(
  11. Splat88

    Splat88 Registered User

    Jul 13, 2005
    I think to a certain extent some of it depends on what sort of a person you are dealing with. Mary seems to prefer NOT to have think, she'd much rather sit and stare at the carpet, even though she still has all her speech capabilities and mobility. Some days, all she wants to do is wander around the house and garden, and though its frustrating you just have to go with it. I know she can't cope with reading much, and the things on the tv that require thought and following a plot are out of the question. She seems to like the old comedies, like those shown on UK Gold ( Dads Army, Only fools etc etc)

    I think you are feeling the "guilt" of not being able to "entertain" I know that's how I feel. In my more cynical moods ( I'm 52 and going through a horrendous menopause, I'm entitled!!!) I mutter to myself that I'm not chief cook, waitress and bottle washer, let alone her personal entertainment. There's always the feeling in the back of the mind you could be doing more, at present helping with the crossword seems to be favourite.
  12. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Is your mother living with you Or in her own home ?

    As I am wondering what support you get ?
  13. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Keeping mum occupied

    Mum just diagnosed with Alzheimers, is currently in hospital being assessed. The nurse asked me to think of some activities that might stimulate her as she seemed bored. I said, not a chance. Mum's whole life has revolved around cooking and cleaning, nothing else. She has never done a crossword puzzle in her life, never had a hobby of any sort, doesnt sew or knit or paint. Watches t.v for at least 16 hours a day but can't hear it in the day room unless it is turned up full blast. I can't understand why they don't have a hearing loop installed, cost about £200 so I am told. I will pay for it to be done. Will write a letter now!

    But what can I do to stop mum being so bored? All she does in cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing. Absolutely nothing else, and that is all done for you in hospital.

    Help please.


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