My husband has dementia and has no concept anymore of time. What can I do to help him enjoy his days more?


He gets up and eats at 6:30 a..m and by 9:30 wants to get his lunch. He wants his dinner by four and then goes to bed by five. What can I do to make his days more interesting and get his focus off meals. I know he is bored but I have paper work and household things to do beside getting his meals.

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My mother-in-law can't remember eating, and evidently can't tell when she's full anymore, so she's ALWAYS wanting to 'go out to eat lunch' 15 minutes after we just ate. I would weigh 500 lbs if I ate every time she suggested it. My gosh.
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That schedule actually doesn't sound too bad. Some are asking for lunch before you've cleared the dishes from breakfast! Given this schedule, I wonder if you could put off some of the paperwork or household things until after he is in bed, and focus more on him while he is up?

What can he do at this point? Simple card games? Puzzles? Does he like being read to? Can he sort socks? Fold laundry? "Dementia" takes in such a wide range of cognitive abilities that it is hard to know what to suggest. What can he "help" you with? Watering plants? Emptying wastebaskets? Could you do easy crossword puzzles together? Could you take a walk together each day -- with him either walking or using a walker or wheelchair? My husband uses an electric mobility scooter while I walk with him. My husband likes nature videos, and can follow DVDs better than television shows that are interupted with commercials. We try to do "field trips" a couple times of month -- the local flower conservatory, the science museum, the zoo, even a trip to the nursery to buy a few plants is a mini adventure.

You are probably right about boredom, and it can be really challenging to provide a little stimulation throughout the day, but it can be very worthwhile for both of you if you can think of activities for him.

Have you considered an adult day program for one or two days a week? If he is capable of that, it can give you a little respite and him a little stimulation. My husband went 2 or 3 days a week for about 4 years.

Good luck to you both!
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