Tried a caregiver but both Alzheimer's husband and caregiver are bored. Nothing to do. The caregiver said he became anxious after 3 hours together because nothing to do. I was so happy to get away but don't know to keep them busy. He doesn't like puzzles, board games, tv.

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My patient liked Opera. I would play music for him. I would bring him first fresh, then from Michael's because they were cheaper and never died. He would always comment how beautiful they were! I would practice my Zumba(entertain him and me!) and talk to him about subjects he liked. I would bring Whoppers from McDonald's and New England Clam Chowder- his favorite foods. We would call his son and use FaceTime to see his grandchildren. Sometimes I just sat there next to him and then wheelhim outside to get fresh air. We stared at a fish aquarium alot much we had names for them.Oh, I have a little sweet dog and boy! He loved Sammy.. especially cause it was pure unconditional love. So maybe the caregiver just isn't being creative enough. ..i think there are so many ways to share joy.
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qattah Feb 2019
You sound like a joy to be around! Wonderful ideas...
If the caregiver said that, I'd wonder if this might be a good fit. People who care for dementia patients should be well versed in dementia behavior and what a person with dementia is capable of doing. Plus, doing your job isn't supposed to be entertaining to the worker. It's his job to care for the patient and if possible, make it as pleasant as possible for the person he is caring for.

I think that a lot of people don't realize that some activities don't amuse people who have dementia, because, they are not able to focus the way they used to, so reading, watching tv, playing games, etc.....might not hold much interest for them. The caregiver could do research and get some ideas on ways to amuse the patient. Or, you could provide them the assignments.

Coloring is fun for some, but, the patient usually needs constant direction to stay on course. I have a friend who's father enjoyed finding the red beans in a big bowl of white beans. She's paint a few red and her dad's job was to find the red beans and put them in a separate container for her. He'd spend a long time doing it, but, would have to be continually reminded of what he was supposed to be doing. Also, a person with dementia may tire and need frequent breaks to rest, get a snack or beverage. I might search for a person who might be better suited for your husband.
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qattah Feb 2019
Good point about providing the caregiver with an assignment about activities. That is as important as meal preparation and grooming. I know one caregiver whose duties included playing cards with the patient for at least two hours.
If caregiver is bored that person is in the wrong business. It s about the one needing care, not the caregiver.

Try a different caregiver that will take on the job and has ideas on how to keep both of them busy and hopefully entertained.
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What does your husband like to do?
The care giver should be instructed to engage your husband in an activity. Card game, going of a walk if he is able, toss a ball around a light beach ball is a great way to keep hand eye coordination. A game like Jenga where he stacks blocks, does not matter if they actually play or not just stacking is good. Lego, I got the huge ones for my Husband to put together.
Adult Day Care if at all possible. He can get out and socialize and a day at Adult Day Care is probably less expensive than the day of a care giver. The one I had my Husband in for a while would pick up by about 8 and he would be brought back by 4. I then had to switch to another where I could drop him off by 9 and could pick him up by 5.
Does your husband like cooking or baking? Can the caregiver help him make cookies or cook dinner? A bit of supervision and it would be a safe project.

The funny thing about Alzheimer's or other dementia forms is you just might get him interested in something that he would not have done in his previous "life" Try painting or other art project, coloring, either paints or there are awesome coloring pencils and they are more vibrant than crayons. At some point you might have to switch to markers or larger colored pencils as it may get more difficult for him to hold a narrow pencil.
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disgustedtoo Feb 2019
Yes to interest in something they might not have been interested in previously!!!

In mom's MC there was a woman who was always working on jigsaw puzzles. I would go over and work with her, as I too love jigsaw puzzles. Initially mom just came along, but she eventually started poking around and would spend quite a while with us, even getting some pieces together! This was absolutely something she would never have done before. Sadly we lost her a few months ago, just shy of 101 (and another woman came in who guards the table jealously!)

Mom also showed me a picture one day of a little white dog (not sure of breed) and told me she was going to ask my brother to get one for her!!! The poor dog would probably starve to death, but beforehand would rack up cleaning charges as mom wouldn't remember to let it out or feed it!! Point here is she TOLERATED us having a few pets (started with Duke, grandparents dog, then one other, plus some guinea pigs and a few pet mice and maybe way back some fish), but was NEVER a fan of them! NOW she wants a dog????

So, you never know what might interest a person later in life, especially with dementia!!!
What do you and hubbie do all day when you are at home, does he need to be entertained constantly? I imagine part of his agitation was because he felt a need to play host to this stranger in his home, let him know that he can go ahead and do whatever he usually does all day. He may also be picking up on the caregiver's frustration if they are constantly trying to engage him in activities he wants no part in. The caregiver needs to be able to step back and do nothing if that's what he needs, I have no sympathy for their "boredom" - aside from having a shower and lunch my mom slept the majority of my 6 hour day away.
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fire the caregiver and get a better one. It's hardly your job to entertain the caregiver. Try walks in the park. My mom may have end-stages of Alzheimer's but she loves her daily walks and I use a specialized walker that cost me nearly $700. She is much, much easier to care for after her daily walk.
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Daughter4mother Feb 2019
Eexactly, I agree 100 percent with the fire the caregiver. Caregivers are supposed to fire people up not place more stress and burdens on the family of the person being cared for. Remember too that caregivers have limits too. It is not unusual to employ caregivers who are nearly burned out and over stressed. Many times they don't care for themselves and over extend themselves in experiences they should not take on or do. Sounds like this persons tolerance and experience level was not equipped for the long haul. Time to say bye bye and speak truth about the situation.
What does your husband do while you are home with him?
Are you basically doing housework, cooking etc while he watches tv or keeps you company? If so. why not try hiring a housekeeper or someone who is willing to keep an eye on him or make cookies or work on your garden? Whatever he is accustomed to already might seem more natural to him. Perhaps it depends on your husband’s ability at this point as to what he will participate in.
I lost a good friend to Alz this past summer. The last few times we visited she would just sit with us. She lived on a large property where the family had two or three large dogs that she loved and they loved her. She would pet them over and over. Earlier visits she would snap beans or shell pecans or ‘help’ prepare a meal. She had become non verbal for the most part. One day we sat outside and talked about her days as a designer and what we especially liked that she had created. Out of nowhere it seemed, she said “ Yes, I was good at that.” To us, that was a great visit.
Or you might hire a bather that will come in and bath him, shave him, give him a pedicure, manicure. Have them do something that not only gives you a break but also does some of your chores.
if you have an adult day care nearby it may be worth it to check that out as well.
Don’t let boredom cause you to miss out on time for yourself.
It’s a job after all so you need someone willing to work on the solution.

edit. Sorry for repeating comments. They weren’t posted when I started. I’m slow.
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Really, its up to the Caregiver to find ways to entertain him. Thats why you get away.

Tell the Caregiver if she can't engage him, thats OK. If he didn't do things like cards and puzzles before he isn't going to learn now. As long as she bathes him. Dresses and feeds him while you gone, then she has done what she can. Tel, her she can bring a craft, like knitting or crochet. Her laptop. She can show him Yahoo news. Do her FB and show him things that pop up.

I have crocheted with plastic trash bags. You need to make "yarn" first. Maybe he could make the yarn. A Church in my area is making mats for the homeless to sleep on so their blankets or sleeping bags aren't on the cold ground or cement.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 2019

Love the idea of helping the homeless. Your church sounds awesome!
Im a caregiver and its our job to entertain our clients. It can be difficult but you need to find something for clients to get busy and even exercise their brains. Hopefully your caregiver asked what your husband used to do and his hobbies so she/he has basis when looking for some things to do.
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Watch for the Caregiver’s strengths and skills and assign her duties to match what your husband likes to, do since you know him best.
My husband likes yoga, so I printed a few pages of easy “ chair yoga for Seniors” and they do that every afternoon. It lifts their spirit and they both feel productive.
Another activity in my house is for the Caregiver to take my husband to the Library. He loves that.
Another activity later in the day is playing dominoes. I told her to let him win so he feels successful. They both laugh a lot.
If the weather is good, I told them they have to walk 20-30 minutes. Some days they play hand ball in the back yard. Why not. It uplifts his spirit and I have a more pleasant environment.
My point is, we need to guide the routine and set it up for success. After a couple of days, the Caregiver
should move on, repeating or adjusting the activities you have shown her.
Worth the try. Good luck!
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