keeping someone with dementia/alzheimers en... - Care Community

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keeping someone with dementia/alzheimers entretained

simbi
simbi

hi Lynd, thanks for taking the time to answer.

Yes my reason for joining is to get some advice and I am sure i will get some support as well regarding what i fill its a complicated issue.

I look after a lady with dementia/Alzheimer's and i find it extremely dificul to keep her entertained for 7 hours a day everyday.

She is not interested in doing puzzles or any activity. Her hands are quite shacky so she can not nit or do much with her hands, she is not able to watch tv either and she is quite deaf so having a conversation with her is quite difficult as she ends up getting tired of being able to hear and she gives up.

She gets very anxious/angry/violent and upset as soon as she realizes her partner is not by her side. He is quite ok for his age and likes to do his own thing, he is with her all day (she does not remember) but as soon as he leaves her side she gets really anxious and quite violent.

The thing to do would be to keep her entertained so she does not notice his absence so much (2 hours a day that he goes and does his own thing) but she refuses, all she wants to do is be with her partner 24/7

Any suggestions on how to keep her entertained for 7 hours a day ? as I feel i am failing her for not being able to keep her busy.

Thanks

11 Replies
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Hidden
Hidden

How aware is she? I have found that family photos sometimes work. See if they have a collection of old photos and put them on the table where she is. Don't try to involve her, just pick them up and say things like 'what lovely hair this person has', 'what a beautiful garden'... she might just want to look at them herself and maybe talk to you about the people and places in them. Have you tried simple cooking.. if she has cooked all her life, just giving her some biscuit dough or pastry and a rolling pin might be enough to bring back old memories, she doesn't need to have good hands for that and memory might take over for her. Remember, she is living her life in the past, things that have happened recently have no concept for her at all. Would she watch very old movies... things like laurel and hardy? They might trigger something in her mind.

Also, is her doctor aware of how agitated and aggressive she can be. Maybe she needs a small dose of anti-depressants to help her keep calmer. Good luck. Looking after someone like this is a very difficult task.

simbi
simbi in reply to Hidden

Thank you very much for your suggestions. We did watch the other day Mary Poppins under the kid's program and she did like it but she soon gets tired as she can not keep up with the screen for long. It's fine entertaining her for a while, but when it comes to entretain her all day it is very dificult.

I have rang her GP so many times but I never get a ring back, they just want me to bring her over to the surgery when there is nothing physically wrong with her and by just talking to her for a few minutes her GP will not be able to reassess her.

I strongly believe she needs her medication checked. If only her GP took the time to listen to what i have to say would be very helpful, and her quality of life could improve a great amount, but in the meantime, the only thing i can do is wait, unfortunately.

Callendersgal
CallendersgalModerator

Hi simbu,

This can be a problem, especially when aggression arises. Exhaustedwife has given you an excellent suggestion, and overall, it's really quite useful if you can somehow tap into the past as that's where the remnants of understanding and remembering lie.

In dementia care homes there are sometimes displays of everyday items from the past, and as exhaustedwife points out, old photographs are a great way of tapping into that remaining memory bank. Similarly, sing-songs in groups or radios are often used to tap into the past.

Can this lady's husband remember what sort of music she listened to in the past? Great if it's her favourite songs, but sometimes just a background of the sort of music that would have played earlier in her life. (One lady in my late sister's care home would become calmed by listening to the shipping forecast, which had been a regular thing on the radio in her past).

Movies maybe not so much as even old ones requires some short term memory to understand the plot, but on the other hand, anything is worth a try.

Did the lady like animals? It's a little bit controversial but when it's too late for a real pet, it's been found that teddy bears and 'look-alike' stuffed animals are sometimes effective tools for calming.

As exhaustedwife also quite rightly pointed out, it's an essential thing to work in partnership with the lady's medical professionals so that they are aware of developing aggression and can maybe offer help through medication.

And of course, keep yourself safe if that aggression becomes directed towards yourself.

Good to hear from you again, and very best wishes.

sassy59
sassy59Ambassador

That’s a difficult thing simbi and you’re not letting her down.

Photos and something like a mood board is a great idea. I’m sure her husband can give you some ideas.

I do wish you well. Xxxxx

My Mum had Alzheimer’s and she very much like your Lady depended on her husband (my Dad). She did enjoy watching tv but in your case that might be more difficult due to the deafness. She always enjoyed cooking but did not want to in the end and it was too dangerous too due to her forgetting things were on the hob etc. We would take her shopping, go for walks in the park even though she was not too mobile, take her to a farm yard, the zoo. If it was bad weather old photo’s were watched and stories came loose. My Mum liked playing old games but not sure if any activity included that? You could ask her husband what if any games she liked when she was younger and try that?

simbi
simbi in reply to Emma2017

Thanks Emma, not interested in games or magazines, plants or anything or at least not for a long time, its alright to keep her busy for half an hour or so, but when it comes to keeping her entertained for the whole day it gets very tricky.

Two threads running on this subject.

Thought I had imagined posts that had

vanished.

Callendersgal
CallendersgalModerator in reply to Lynd

Hi Lynd, I think a little bit of confusion arose when simbi answered one of your earlier responses by starting a new thread.

simbi
simbi in reply to Callendersgal

sorry not very good with computers and chats. apologies

Lynd
Lynd in reply to simbi

It's OK, I am just the same 😁

Callendersgal
CallendersgalModerator

Oh don't worry simbi. Not a criticism, just a bit of an explanation for Lynd! x

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