Things to do with my grandmother

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Bubblygirl, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Bubblygirl

    Bubblygirl Registered User

    Jul 8, 2015
    1
    My Grandmother is getting old and has dementia. I take care of her on Tuesday nights and stay the night at her place. I ve been trying to come up with activities to keep her interested/occupied and help pass the time for the both of us so I m not just sitting there killing my phones battery and wasting data which she watches her shows. She has a bad knee and can t do much in the way of physical activities, we keep her fridge stocked with easy to put together foods, nothing to bake or anything and I don t think she d have the attention span to do so anyways, she gets very impatient very quickly. I ve tried puzzles but the attention span is a huge issue there. Plus she says puzzles are for kids. I tried to teach her how to use my Wii to do simple games like bowling or mario kart but she couldn t grasp the concept of the controller let alone play any of the games. I ve tried drawing games like pituitary but again she says they are too childish. She is not great at conversation because she begins to repeat herself every 3rd or 4th sentence, I m getting very tired of telling her I live upstairs everytime I come. She never really had any hobbies or interests that I ve known of other than drinking (something I find she shares with my mother)
     
  2. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,282
    SW London
    It's quite possible that your grandmother's brain can't cope with anything more demanding than watching TV any more. My mother couldn't - everything I tried or suggested she would say, 'I can't be bothered,' but in reality she could not concentrate on anything needing her to think at all, or remember for 2 minutes how to do anything, however simply I might explain.

    Having said that, some people enjoy tasks like folding laundry or pairing piles of odd socks, or sorting out messy sewing baskets, etc. Or some people enjoy the colouring books that are made now specially for adults. Im sure others on here will have more suggestions.

    I used to do 'sleepovers' with my mother, too, and in the end I gave up trying to get her to do anything but watch TV - she was happy with that, and it was better than trying to make her do something that would just make her fretful. If I wasn't keen on whatever she was watching I would just read a book - I always took one with me. Maybe you could try that if you don't want to waste your phone battery!
     
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,665
    Salford
    Hi Bubblygirl. welcome to TP
    You could try asking about the past, even with AZ it's amazing how good the long term memory is and who knows what you'll find out?
    My Grandmother told me how her grandparents left Ireland to go to America during the potato famine, she and my mother were born in California. My grandma then left the US in the 1930's having been widowed with 6 children in her 30's, my mum remembers coming back though the Suez canal to England as a child. You might find out things that about your families past that could disappear with her.
    OK maybe it's not as good as a computer game but you could learn things about your personal history that otherwise you might never find out and could become lost.
    Just a thought as what you need is an activity you both get something out of, who knows what you might find????
    K
     
  4. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    58,718
    Female
    Dundee
    #4 Izzy, Jul 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
    Could you look through dime old photo albums with her? She might not remember who is on them but she might enjoy looking at them. Perhaps you could make a memory book with/for her. This might help -

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=1671

    One of our members who has dementia has a wonderful website on making memory books -

    http://creativesarah.weebly.com/sarahs-making-memory-books-yourself-guide.html

    It's mentioned on this thread -

    http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showthread.php?81735-Memory-album-reminiscence-box
     
  5. Icegem69

    Icegem69 Registered User

    Jul 13, 2015
    1
    Loughborough
    Hi, my Nans 87 years old and i too struggle with ideas to keep her occupied. I moved in to care for her in addition to working full time so i have to try and fill evenings and weekends with activites. We take the dog for walks, when the weathers nice we try and get out to country parks etc. And each week we have a pamper session which works wonders- face masks, moisturiser, hands and feet in particular painting nails- she then spends all week showing off her nails to visitors so it gives her a nice focus. Just an idea but hope it helps :)
     
  6. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,665
    Salford
    I paint my wife's nails as a treat for her, it seems to cheer her up, I did have a go at doing her make up but she came out looking like Ronald MacDonald's twin sister :eek:
    so I gave up with that one.
    K
     
  7. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Hi BG,

    If your gran is happy watching her TV shows, I'd let her do that. If they keep her attention and she still enjoys them, that's actually a good thing. My dad used to love watching his horse racing, but now he can't stand the noise and there is no way to occupy him. While dementia patients still have something they enjoy doing, see it as a godsend.

    LS
     
  8. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Bonus points for effort. Kevin! :)
     

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