Finding activities with alzheimers dad

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thrifty++
Posts: 863
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Finding activities with alzheimers dad

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:56 pm

Hi,

Looking for tips on activities to take my dad to who has alzheimers.

Bear in mind its winter where I am at the moment. But its not hugely old where I live. Its about 16/ 17 degrees Celsius during the day time. But still a bit cold for me to want to be outside a lot for the next month.

I struggle to know what sort of things to do with him as he is losing lots of mental and physical faculties. Any tips and ideas would be great.

Sclass
Posts: 1656
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Finding activities with alzheimers dad

Post by Sclass » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:29 pm

Hey thrifty++

Can you give some indication of his capabilities?

It’s a moving target as time goes on. There was a point where I bought CDs from thrift shops and played them to my mom. Later I regularly bought childrens’ toys. Depending on the capacity of my mom, I’d get different toys. It started with things a seven year old would like. Then it went to baby toys. Some of the simple ones where she’d press buttons to hear animal noises or songs were good till the very end.

I used to wheel her out under one of the big trees behind her home. She liked to stare at the leaves as they blew in he wind. I’d tell stories about our past.

When she still ate well I’d take her to her favorite restaurant and order her favorites. There was a certain point where she would say, “wow, this is great, I love this, what is it called.” I’d tell her it was her favorite.

Depends a lot on the stage and the personalities. My mom liked physical contact. She liked to be kissed and hugged. I would get uneasy when she’d whisper my father’s name in my ear saying “Mmmm I like this.” But hey, it made her happy. Depends on your dad I guess.

Mom liked computer games. She’d play solitaire on Windows 3.0 forever. Then one day she just stared at it and said I don’t know what to do. Then I got her some kids puzzles and games that she could handle. After awhile she got frustrated with them as she lost the ability to solve them.

I got a PC with a big LCD and put it on the wall next to her bed. I’d remote in and play Netflix, classical music and other stuff while I watched her bob her head around. Again, I downloaded her favorites. She’d really light up when she heard her favorite tunes from the 50s.

She used to like Borat. I’d play that a lot and she’d laugh uncontrollably.

Kids books. She liked ones with pictures. Dog books.

Good luck.

thrifty++
Posts: 863
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Finding activities with alzheimers dad

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:15 pm

Thanks SClass. Your input is very valuable given you have had similar experiences.

I think he is about a 5 on this scale https://www.dementiacarecentral.com/abo ... ts/stages/. He is still fairly cognizant but forgets a lot of information and has difficulties performing tasks. But otherwise is quite conversational. Just generally comes across though now as very feeble, and far beyond his 68 years of age. Maybe seems like 88yo.

He is quite a typical blokey male. He used to like things like sport fishing and watching sports. I think he is probably beyond me taking him to sports games as I don't have a car and also I think he is a bit feeble for that sort of boisterous crowd now. I did take him to comedy shows a couple of times, but it was a bit uncomfortable. I think the crowd and noise was overwhelming for him and I don't think he understood the subtlety of the jokes among all the noise and crowd and alcohol etc.

He has difficulty using utensils now and pretty much eats with his hands if someone else doesn't cut it for him.

I guess I could maybe take some beers over and watch a sports game there some time. I like watching sports at a live venue but hate watching it on TV. But I guess I could do that for him.

I am going to take him to lunch tomorrow. Its forecasted to be 16 degrees Celsius and sunny tomorrow. So hopefully that's the case and then we could take a walk on the beach after lunch.

Sclass
Posts: 1656
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Finding activities with alzheimers dad

Post by Sclass » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:14 pm

Ok that helps. Walking and talking sounds great. Best to get in as much of that as you can. There will come a time when he’ll be confined indoors and later in bed.

My mom was pretty good with utensils. However when she wasn’t, I’d bring her a burger. She liked that and it didn’t look too unusual when she ate it with her hands.

Another thing I did with the computer on the wall was force other family members and friends to speak with mom over Skype. I could remote in, then call the other person on Skype. Sometimes I wouldn’t even let either party know I hooked them up. They’d just be wondering how this woman with advanced dementia managed to get a Skype call initiated. It was fun seeing how they’d interact. I’d just stay back with my mic and camera turned off.

Jason
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Finding activities with alzheimers dad

Post by Jason » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:51 am

My dad liked to play checkers although I think he thought he was playing chess. The only move I wouldn't allow as him moving my pieces because then it's just Alzheimer's anarchy. Other than that, I just let him do what he wanted. He liked taking my pieces and stacking them.

He was wheel chair bound so I pushed him around the neighborhood. Sometimes I had to insist on it, but he eventually enjoyed it.

He also liked to be read to so I read him the more bucolic passages of The Bible. I could only do this when my mother was not in earshot. The psalms are nice. Even if someone is not religious, they are very comforting and poetic. He came to call it "my book."

Just do things to let him know you are there and he is not alone.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Finding activities with alzheimers dad

Post by Laura Ingalls » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:26 am

While she didn’t have Alzheimer’s but dementia my GMIL loved Dancing with the Stars and American Idol as she could know longer read novels or keep up with the plot of a regular movie or TV show. I think she folded laundry up to the end.

EMJ
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Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:37 pm

Re: Finding activities with alzheimers dad

Post by EMJ » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:09 pm

Sorting buttons (buy by the bag in thrift store) and cheap jewelry. Also stuffed animals, puzzles and kids books.

Jason
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Finding activities with alzheimers dad

Post by Jason » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:31 pm

In retrospect, an Alzheimer's dad could be a chick magnate if one was single. Like a dog. You could fool girls into thinking you're a caring person. "Yeah, it can be tough, but he was a great father and I want to be here for him especially since my girlfriend died in that combine accident blah blah blah." I could see getting a few numbers out of that bullshit. And what difference does it make that you're using him like that. It's not like he knows what the fuck is going on any ways and he still gets to sit in the park and refer to you as though you're his best friend when he was like fucking five or something.

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