1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. thebell

    thebell Registered User

    May 31, 2015
    7
    Hi, new to the forum, husband diagnosed with mixed dementia and alzheimers a few years ago, at the moment he goes to a day centre once a week for a few hours. Apart from that time i take care of him for the rest. At the moment i feel like the entertainments manager trying to find different things for him to do, we do the usual things like shopping and he likes going for walks, tried him with small jigsaws, picture colouring, childrens games etc. but he would rather sit with a cup of tea and do nothing. Trying my best to keep his mind active and not let him become a couch potato as he could easily do. He has difficulty doing most everyday tasks now eg making a cup of tea, putting clothes on the in the right order and he forgets to shave most days without a lot of prompting. Any suggestions as to things i might be able to tept him with.
     
  2. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    Hi, welcome to TP. It sounds as though you're working very hard to help your husband as much as possible but it's a bit of an uphill struggle. I don't know how much I can help you but I'm sure other people will have suggestions.
    Are you aware of any activities in your area for people with dementia? Here there is an art group and also singing for the brain. What was your husband interested in before?
    Sometimes I think people with dementia do need a lot of 'downtime' because it takes them a long time to process things. That might be totally unscientific but I'm not sure you should run yourself ragged trying to pack too much in.
    Hope you get some useful suggestions. Love, Es
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  3. mrs mcgonnagal

    mrs mcgonnagal Registered User

    May 9, 2015
    153
    Hello, I know what you mean about being ents manager, my mam is increasingly demanding to know what we are doing next. (Day and night, exhausting) she not only doesn't sleep, she expects me to entertain her, but she doesn't really have much concentration for things. It's really hard.. X
     
  4. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,973
    Suffolk
    I think you're right Es. I noticed that if we had been out, Alzheimer's Society meeting for example, he would be very tired when we got back home. At the AS meetings there was always someone who would sit with him, or a group would play cards or do a simple jigsaw. He was happy going for coffee and cake and looking at boats ( we don't live far from the coast).
     
  5. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,973
    Suffolk
    We crossed, mrs mcg. Just goes to show how different they all are!
     
  6. mrs mcgonnagal

    mrs mcgonnagal Registered User

    May 9, 2015
    153
    Yes spamar! I am always struck by how unpredictable this disease is, and this makes it more and more difficult to plan, or second guess. At the moment for me its what next!!!
     
  7. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,826
    UK
    Its hard, but in the past I have tried a simple painting by numbers-worked for a while and modelling clay, I just let mum play with it and I did not expect her to produce anything. I'm afraid I am now at the stage where I can no longer engage her in any activities except her own obsessions, but we still have mornings out, usually 2 hours is enough.
     
  8. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,973
    Suffolk
    I'm still like that and he's in a care home!
     
  9. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,519
    Ireland
    #9 LadyA, Jun 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
    I found when William was in the earlier stages, all the activities he used to enjoy before, as he got to finding them a bit more challenging, he just refused to do them anymore! For a while, I had giant-print crossword puzzle books (you can get them in newsagents - even tesco have them) and I would, out loud, work out the clue, and when I had "managed to work it out" and said what it was, he would fill in the spaces. He enjoyed that, feeling as if we were working on the puzzle together. Once that got too hard for him, I moved on to just Wordsearches - also giant print ones. That got us through another few months, before he lost interest in that. DVD documentaries - especially travel in his case - but others might enjoy something else, also kept him occupied. And I took him out to the shops every day, just for a spin out and a change of scene. Often we'd go to a cafe and he'd have a drink and a cake. Anything just to pass the day for both of us.

    It seems so long ago - but William only went into a nursing home last September!

    ps. There's a company called Active Minds - you'll find them through google - they do all sorts of things for people with dementia. Books that have pictures to talk about but not much text - but the pictures are not in any way childish. Also they do colouring books, where the pictures are very clear and simple, but again, not any way childish. They are clearly for adults. They even do adult versions of those "magic painting books" - the ones where you don't need paints, you just brush water over the picture, and Reminisence Cards. Here you go: http://www.active-minds.co.uk/shop/
     
  10. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    #10 Lindy50, Jun 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
    Thank you for this Lady A :) I always like to have an activity to hand, and the old standby of knitting squares has, I fear, come to an end. We use the tesco crossword books too, with me making a bit of a performance of working out the answers! I find them very good, just the right level for mum.

    We also enjoy music, and I often put on a CD. This has the merit that I can literally change the record quite frequently, so it keeps me interested :D xx

    PS Mum has also recently started to like me reading poetry to her - for the first time ever in her life. I think the rhythm may be the most important thing.
     
  11. thebell

    thebell Registered User

    May 31, 2015
    7
    Hi

    I have taken him to a few dementia cafes in the area and hes not interested,ive tried him at the local leisure centre, not interested, his old interests from past years have gone out of the window, he was an avid rugby supporter, not any more, he liked history and worked on Salisbury Plain with archaeologists, he likes to watch time team but i get fed up watching the same ones over and over again. He does enjoy his walking but can only go where its flatish as hills are a no go area and if we are too far from home he wants to know where the car is or when the bus is comming. Summer time is not so bad as we will be able to find something to do but winter, im dreading when we cant get out so much. I want to help him do things he likes while he is still in a position to do so. x
     
  12. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    It must be so sad to see someone who was very active and involved closing down in this way. I know what you mean about reruns. My husband loves Foyle's War and always states that he hasn't seen the episode he's watching although I know we've seen it at least twice!!
    At the end of the day you can't make him do what he doesn't want to. Would it be possible for him to go to daycare more often? It's very sad but perhaps you need to be looking at what is necessary for you to have in your life and arranging care so that that is possible.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  13. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,519
    Ireland
    thebell, when you live with someone with dementia, just live in the moment. Don't look forward to Winter with dread, because you don't know but the whole situation will have changed by then. A few months can change things drastically. It could be that your husband will have settled more and not be so hard to entertain. It didn't take long at all before my husband lost all interest in doing anything, other than watching his beloved dvds. And "fiddling" with things - he had all sorts of bits and bobs on his desk and liked to fiddle with them. Pens, pencils, pretty stones, intricately carved wooden souvenirs, little ornaments, etc. etc. He would spend some time just sitting there looking at them, moving them around etc.

    For his 80th birthday, I made a memory book for him - photos of his parents, grandparents and other relatives, including his children at stages from babyhood to pictures of them as adults with their own children, his grandchildren, places he'd lived, the beloved VW camper van he'd had years ago, etc. labeled clearly. For a while, he would spend ages looking through that - sometimes with tears, but he did love it. It went with him to the nursing home, and the staff sometimes go through it with him.
     
  14. thebes

    thebes Registered User

    Feb 10, 2014
    163
    London
    Indoor golf? Tipping point quiz show?

    I know that feeling of constantly trying to find something to do that my OH will enjoy. An unlikely activity that has a been a godsend recently is indoor golf! and watching Tipping point - more of that later
    He was a keen golfer in his time, but now finds even the small putting green very tiring as he cannot stand for long. But his aim is still good. At one of those German discount stores we recently saw some rolls of very short artificial grass, and decided they would make a good indoor green. 2 rolls make a good area ,he does not trip on the edge, the balls run smoothly, and I can hoover it! And put it away easily when visitors come.
    He sits in his chair and uses his walking stick upside down as a club, as it is the right length. We already had a choice of practice holes given to him over the years, so that was easy. his favourites are the one which returns the ball if he actually gets it in, and another bigger setup which has 3 holes which the ball can vanish down and reappear at the side. He is not bothered by his low rate of hitting the hole, after all that is what golf is like!
    He also enjoys the TV show that is on in the afternoon, Tipping Point, a combination of a quiz and that old penny arcade game where you hope to win a fortune by gaining a lot of cash as it falls off the edge.
    I have realised that both of these are very visual, and not needing a lot of thought processing, for him that seems to be the key. I have a stock of recorded Tipping points so we can watch when he is tired but tense, and he relaxes well to them.
    Before I came up with these I dreaded the late afternoon early evening as he was so tense and restless.These have helped, especially as the light evenings have meant this phase lasts much longer than it did each day, never thought I would be looking forward to darker evenings!
    I agree with others about getting out every day if possible, on small errands - or anything as an excuse, that too seems to both tire and relax him.
     
  15. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,519
    Ireland
    The only thing about going out each day - there comes a point for many with dementia as they lose skills, that it becomes problematic. Shortly before William went into full time care, I was still taking him out every day, for my own sake as well as his, but a couple of times we got "stuck" when he just couldn't remember how to get back in the car! One time we were in Tesco car park for half an hour, and the poor man just couldn't manage it! I would take him off for a walk around and back to the shop (which often broke the "stuckness") but that particular day, it took several trips back into the shop and back out - and then, suddenly, he just got it, and sat into the car with no problems. But had his funding not come through, and he gone into full time care, I think I wouldn't have been able to take him out for much longer. It was getting too risky.
     

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