What to do when visiting

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire

I don't think anyone is boring on this site (except me!), and if anyone can be accused of writing a novel (which no-one would buy!) it must be me!

The deputy manager of the home (and earlier the staff on the hospital assessment unit) quickly sussed out my mum's previous interest in housework, and tried her best to get mum to help out, but mum just doesn't see the home as "hers", not even her own bedroom, her attitude being "Why should I do their work for them when you are paying for this place?".

As a young woman/mother she had few more interests, knitting, pop music, tv sitcoms and quizzes, but for at least 20 years these interests have gone. I noticed before her diagnosis of AD that the paper was unread, she had forgotten how to set the video (well, that applies to me too!), and even how to change channel on the TV. There is no way she would cope with a DVD, and long before my dad's death in 2004 he was saying she could not concentrate on anything for more than 5 minutes. The Activities Co-ordinator at the home had the ladies colouring in pictures (painting by numbers) one day, mum's objective being to colour it in in the fastest possible time in any colour and hand it over, never mind the mess she had made, while the lady next to her was taking time and patience.

Mum's care home is just about walking distance to a lovely park, I will definitely be taking her there as often as possible on warmer days, Easter Sunday perhaps another try at salmon sandwiches and trifle at our house, and her birthday lunch at a local pub. Anything to stave off the incredible boredom she must feel.




Registered User
May 20, 2006
North East
I'm a bit of a horder, and have an old wooden jigsaw that I used to make as a child. It actually belonged to my sister, so it must be about 55 years old:eek:

Anyway, I've taken that in to the home, and Mum is actually a little bit animated when we make it together. It's an old fashioned seaside scene, with Punch & Judy, donkey rides and kids building sand castles. She's so pleased when she fits a piece in.

Not sure how long this will last, but at least for the time being, it fills in half an hour:)



Registered User
Jan 1, 2007
Newcastle upon Tyne
Thanks for all your ideas. Unfortunately when I visited Dad yesterday I could do nothing with him because he was just wandering the corridors, trying all the handles of the rooms. It was if he was looking for a way out. I couldn't distract him - he wouldn't sit down, even though he said his knees hurt and he looked so tired. We wandered with him for a while, and met other people just wandering too. It's so scary - he looks just like my Dad but he's someone else. I just wanted to sit him down and hug him but he wouldn't stop walking, searching.

Susi T

Registered User
Jan 12, 2007
Leamington Spa
Hi Carolyn
I have had many a visit where Dad continually walks up and down the corridor with me trailing behind!!! I have tried to make sense of it, is he looking for a way out? Or is it medication? He also likes to try and remove the handrails along the corridor and also moving furniture.Most of the other patients in his ward (he is still in assessment hospital after 5 months)do the same , up and down the corridor!!
I have had a good visit today, I think sometimes he recognises I am his daughter, then other times he looks straight through me.
I hope you have a better visit next time.

All the best


Registered User
Feb 20, 2008
West Yorkshire
Hi Carolyn
My dad wanders and fiddles with an imaginary wallet in his hands.He's in his own world. Today we spent half an hour walking up and down the corridors, but we were able to hold hands, it would have been nice to be able to sit down!!Dad seems to have a good apetite and we smuggled in a chocolate eclair cream cake(he's diabetic!) and he at least sat down to eat it, James showed him which way round to hold it!I also have talked the staff into letting Dad have an evening drink. So the staff offer him a cold beer, they suggested that he has a drink when I visit. I didn't tell them we were too busy organising the cream cake. In a well known food hall, I found G and T, Vodka ad Tonic, Pina coladas,Singapore slings in cans in their take out fridge. So I took one into hospital and they are ok about it. He should be sipping it now! I know this may be an impossiblity for some. But my Dad would have had the occasional drink if he were still well. It certainly cheers him up! He smiled for the first time at staff today. They had told me before he lacked facial expression.
Keep trying things Carolyn or not, its up to you, everybody's different, it might be just being there and hearing your voice might be all that he needs even if Dad doesn't react much.
take care


Registered User
Aug 8, 2007
Thanks for all the ideas

Thanks to all for posting on this. I have not posted for ages although I read regularly and continue to find nuch of interest and help.

There are one or two ideas I will try when visiting. The small kettle is one. The temporary home Mum was in had a kitchen that relatives could access but nothing in the one she is in now as far as I know. Mum does occasionally offer to make us a cup of tea. Plans to do this in her bathroom(thinks it is the kitchen)!!!! so we all say we are fine and do not need anything. It is part of her remebering what she would do for visitors I suppose.

Also plan to try the jigsaw and I am looking forward to the weather getting better so we can get out more often.

Some posts on visiting reminded me to make the best of the way Mum is now. I really do not visit enough and wish Mum was somewhere closer.

Always aware how much more some of you manage to do. May you all find the strength to keep going

Best wishes