Follow
Share

We sit with her, walk her around, but she cannot stand to be left alone for 2 minutes. Recently altered her meds, so she is more calm. We are stumped. Will try anything. Already do some exercising, put a ball in her hand to squeeze and strengthen, leg stretches. She cannot dress herself or feed her self--she drops what she is holding, and cannot see the food on her plate. Does anyone have any ideas? We are all a little nutty from sitting around. Thank you!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I've worked with dementia patients, in their homes as well as in Nursing Homes, I have found that it's not a one size fits all.. For some engaging in conversation is the most activity you will get, while others are busy body's. You have to get into their world, see if you can figure out what that is at the moment and get in there with them. I have found for some with anxiety that a heavy blanket can calm them, soft music, lava lamps, rub lotion on them. Massage their hands,feet, and back. Some enjoy having the newspaper read to them, or bible scriptures. Alot of men enjoy nuts and bolts, while some women want to balance the check book. I hope your mother, yourself, and the caregivers are all well, and have found something that she enjoys. Best wishes to you all.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My Mom Macular Dengeneration. I remember crying when I went with her to the doctor because I did not know how bad it was. The books on tape are great. The new machines allow you to take the machine with you. We listen to them together. My Mom has loved Debbie Maccommber books. It is free in Louisiana. Although, she still plays bridge she cannot see that cards well. She just enjoys getting out and she is exercising her mind.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My mom is 88 with dementia, substantial hearing loss. She can't operate her tv by herself, she can't hear well enough and has to use the closed captions but can't keep up with those much so tv is pretty much not an option. Reading isn't either as her dementia has robbed her of the in-the-moment comprehension. She doesn't do much, she's miserable. she can't live with me at home, she'd need a caregiver as I work and the cost is more than an assisted living facility (whre she is now). Plus she is unable to occupy herself, so if she DID live at home, I would be her 24/7 source of EVERYTHING. Entertainment, support, etc. I can't put my family through that, she lived with us for a year a while back. Any suggestions on things to do that can distract her from how miserable she is? Her dementia has progressed to where she thinks people are coming into her room, want to kill her cat, etc., and even though they aren't real situations, to HER they are and she is miserable. As am I...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Awwh my dear! No other thing for it! Sounds like you are doing all you can - so the main thing would be to work out turns for family and caregivers, so someone is always with her.

Live-in caregivers work best as they can be on hand all the time and a family member or other caregiver can take turns to relieve main live-in care giver, as there is nothing left to do but pace caregiver's care and companionship to hours when your Mom is up. All the best!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

As a caregiver of someone with MD I was trying to come up with ideas as well, I began by gathering items around the house, small items such as a hair clip or an eraser or a tube of lipstick, things with a very distinctive shape. Then I had her take one item at a time and guess what they were based on feel. She really enjoys it and it's a great cognitive/tactile activity. I change the items for new ones every time. Some of them are easy for her others it takes her some time.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Ive been caring for my mum who has alzheimers and is almost blind due to macular degeneration. She is nearly 80 and is constantly going back and forward to the toilet sometimes every 2 minutes for hours. even when i tell her she has just been to the toilet. any suggestions. some days it annoys the hell out of me and other days i just let her keep on going. She doesnt actually do any thing just sits there with her pants on. Jane
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My Mom suffers from the sam symptoms. She gets very aggitated if anyone, including me, tries to get her into any type of activity. She feels I think she is stupid.I am not sre how to handle it but I try to bring up old memories and the anger seems to go away.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Today was a turning point. all of a sudden Mom want's no help. She screamed at her Aide and i had to go and intervene. That's how the mood swings can go. The woman was sooooooo patient and waited for me to get there and stayed even through all the screaming match. I love both Veronica and Linda. you were wonderful. I love all the help that the mcLean hospice in CT has given me. They are true patient angels.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Borrow a Life Size Stuffed Animal (the giant teddy you said, "where will we put that?" and place in your chair when you need to leave a minute. She senses and sees shadows, this will help her feel like someone is attending her. Fear is a common demoninator with our EOL Alz patients; due to the brain cell damage. Place the hand of the stuffed animal in her hand when you step out. Sensory is about all she has working according to your note. - Try it for 5 minutes, then check on her. Then gradually you can leave for a bit longer. - Amanda
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hello again! First, hd, thank you for your suggestions! When I first asked this question 6 months ago, we were struggling with finding a med to keep Mother still. She was literally jumping up every 30 seconds from the sofa with nowhere to go, did not know what she wanted, crying, and terrified of "being alone." She has been taken care of all her life, is a narcissist, and now has dementia and pretty much helpless in all regards. If I gave her a towel, she would ask, "what is it? I can't see it." Finally, after months of taking her to a psychiatrist, he put her on a new med last week. and she is the best she has ever been-- I mean as far back as I can remember. At 94, better late than never, I suppose. As for sensory therapy: I am a cosmetologist, sold cosmetics for years, have studied massage and reflexology. EVERY morning, she gets a facial, and hand and arm massage to her favorite music. I cut her hair, give her a professional manicure and pedicure every 2 weeks. She is absolutely spoiled and appreciates it, but nothing is ever enough to make her happy. She wants everything done FOR her, and never considers anyone else. But I'm OK with that; as long as she is calm and not so needy, we can live with it. Thank you, everyone, for your ideas and thoughtfulness:) christina
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I have the same problem, Christina. Mom is bored but there's not much she can do or wants to do. I've bought coloring books, puzzles etc but she's just not interested. I let her fold clothes and put my silverware up. Even tho I go back later and fix it all. She can't tell a spoon from a fork. Maybe Linda has the right idea. Just let her rest.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I would maybe try some sensory therapies, even something as simple as a hand massage with lotion, or combing hair. This does not require anything very physical on both your parts. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My Mom has the same physical problems She doesn't like "strangers" comong into her house even is they are there to help her. The Vna Hopice people have been a Godsend,,,,,,they are so patient and giving. Even though Mom doesn't want to give up her independence she accepts their help.
She wants me there all the time but it can get overwhelming. The Vna can offer you help especially if you find someone she really likes.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I know what youu're going through.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Can she follow a story or article? I understand that the Library of Congress has a very simple-to-operate audio player and not only books but magazines and newspapers recorded for it. Could she follow shorter stories and articles? Would having it play loudly without a headset drive the rest of you crazy? There is no cost to use this.

Have you looked at "fidget" toys and tactile toys designed for those with dementia? The Alzheimer's Store is one source, or do a Google search. They're just things to occupy the hands or give some comfort. But they might offer some diversion.

Could she fold washclothes? We use washclothes as single-use hand towels, so we have 3 to 5 laundry loads of them per week. My husband (dementia, 85) has the job of folding them. He holds a shallow box on his lap and smooths a "towel" out, folds it in quarters, and puts it in a pile. If he is having a good day he also moves them from the stacks into the baskets we place on the bathroom vanity, but often I do that part. I understand that a repetitive action, and a textured surface (like terry cloth), and different colors, can all be appealing. It also gives him the feeling of making a contribution -- which it in fact does!

And also I'd consider Linda's attitude. I don't think Mother needs to be busy all the time. Sitting quietly together is OK, too.

If she doesn't want to be left alone, and surely sometimes it is necessary to leave her alone, I wonder if the technique for leaving young children in a hospital would apply? "Mommy has to go talk to the doctors and nurses now. While I'm gone I want you to hold this pretty scarf of mine. When I come back I'll put it around my neck again." Would it comfort your mother to have something of yours to hold while you are not with her?

You are doing a labor of love, Christina, and I hope you are experiencing many rewarding moments.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi, highrider! Yes, the nursery rhymes and song lyrics we can do!! She and I are both vocalists, and we can find a song lyric for just about any situation, and then laugh! This cannot go on all day long, however, and every day. haha The caregivers take her to the library once a month, and get books about animals, chicken soup for the soul collections, and I have a lot of books from when my kids were small, but those are not always interesting to her, or appropriate. Now that she is on a new med so she is not so impatient, jumpy, and needy, finding a balance and things to occupy her is a bit easier! Thank you so much for your ideas! Also--she hates to get anything on her HANDS!!! Freak out!! :D Christina xo
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

btw, my mom is 90 and has the same issues. I am continuing to research and finding a number of good ideas. Another is a spelling bee and a fill in the blank game with idioms such as "don't count your chickens before they _______". Good luck to you!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Try play doh or something she can fiddle with. They say it is also calming for dementia patients.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

you too christina . xoxo
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks Linda:) she never naps. The caregivers and I do sit with her for hours. If you get up to go to the bathroom, fix her lunch, vacuum, whatever: she can't stand it. Doesn't want to be left alone for a minute. Can't be with her own thoughts.
You are a Saint, one of God's Angels on earth, and I mean it.
Love, christina
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

shes 93 yrs old , shes lived a long life . she s tired and worn out . just leave her alone .
my dad is 87 yrs old and he sleeps alot , i would say hey dad raise ur leg up , we re going to excerise , he just stares at me and said no im too tired ,
all i can do for him is to hold his hand or sit with him and watch tv , talk to him . sit at the kitchen table to be with him .
theyre like babies all over again . all you can do is to give them love and give them the best care you can .
while he s napping , i go do my housework or im on here . when hes awake i go and hang out with good ole dad .
getting up to go bathroom wears my dad out . wears me out too .
theyre just tired and worn out ....
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Yes, i have tried that. The earphones bother her, and she wears hearing aids. I have tried without the aids, too. She is very out of it and it's hard for her to relate to anything that she must participate in. Thank you, and we will keep on trying!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Get an IPOD or something like that and download her favorite music onto it. Or, get some books on tape that you think she'd like, and plug her in.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.