What can I have elder with mild dementia do at home instead of sleeping? - AgingCare.com

What can I have elder with mild dementia do at home instead of sleeping?

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I take her out a few hours each day, which she enjoys and helps her sleep throughout the night. While I work (from home) she'll sleep almost constantly. Limited interest in TV, magazines, puzzle books, etc. I tried to have her do some simple chores - folding laundry, wiping furniture and such, but have to watch her and it takes much longer than I could have done it myself and almost always have to redo what she did. She does not want to go to adult day care or the senior center.

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Dementia which is a serious brain condition could have been controlled or prevented if only we are aware of the things that could hamper it from occurring at a very early time. Engaging her to simple yet enjoyable chores like cooking, gardening, and things that would interest her could really help.
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My mother (92, mild to moderate dementia) spent the weekend with me. She was confused by the change in surroundings and anxious the whole time. She mostly watched game shows and did her crossword puzzles and tried to keep me in her sight at all times. At one point I asked her if she would fold my panties for me to put away. She perked up and was eager to do it. She will be spending one weekend a month with me and I know that I am going to save that particular load of laundry for her to fold! Maybe I'll get her to sort socks, too. I think she likes that they are obviously tasks that help me.

She's the Sweet Queen and when I told her I was making a date cake she offered to cut up the dates. I had bought them already chopped, but for her next visit I will try to have something on the menu with a task she can do.
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You say that she has "limited interest" in magazines. I would greatly encourage her to enjoy magazines with a specific content. For example, if she showed interest in interior design when she was younger, then by all means get Elle Decor, Architectural Digest and perhaps Traditional Home. My favorites are This Old House and the New Yankee Workshop. Sit with her and turn the pages.....just suggestion that I've seen work with some seniors.
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A good idea is to find activities that in some way mimic things they used to enjoy - but in simplified form. It's important that they feel they have achieved something and have fun at the same time. It's also very important to find activities that might make them feel useful.
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I've enrolled my father in the senior citizen center. The bus picks him up every morning, he is fed a hot lunch, plays games, exercises, goes on field trips, gets a lot of socialization, etc. and they bring him home in the afternoon.
This has definitely been a great source of respite for us and he is enjoying it!
Suzanne
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Hi, I have been a caregiver and nurse over 13 years and sometimes elderly people just do not like to do anything. There is nothing wrong with that. They are old and lived their lives, encouragement is all we can do .... remember it is there right to refuse, and we are there to protect them and assist them, and make sure they receive proper nourishment. As long as you are not leaving them in front of the t.v for 24 hours a day I do not see anything wrong with them sleeping or watching t.v most the day. If they are dry, clean, and happy let it be. They are old and have lived long lives, it is their time to be pampered and relax.
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Kate,they usually want to feel useful like jobs around the house, sorting socks or folding, putting away silverwarer, etc. Or, take your grandmother/mom to the "club" daycare for lunch, then lunch again and join in a craft, maybe a haircut there, or for their busy DJ days and stay with her until she makes friends or feels comfortable. I had to do that, wean Mom in slowly , I did have to take a FMLA from work but it was worth it. The Daycare people are really good too making them feel useful, they gave my mom a "pretend" job as a towel folder, she loved it, she mostly stayed in a room off the large room of people for her first year. The 2nd year she weaned herself out and danced, etc and loved it, but then had a stroke. Now, she is home with me, I had to leave my job. She has music time every afternoon here, with Elvis, WIlly Nelson, a lawrence welk DVD, and Hello Dolly DVD to keep her feet bouncing.(Her sight is about gone and cannot understand tv) We as a family sing alot and we get her humming the tunes and clapping with us. Good luck.
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Hi ohiogal-my mom is also our resident bag-folder; she makes fun of that being trivial, but actually, she is proud to do it and to have a household job that is hers alone that she can manage indepently. The way she folds them up is almost origami- like, so we can rave about her unique skill sincerely. Our bags never looked so good!! Funny the things that can be important in this very different universe we live in now.
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If at all possible - if she could volunteer somewhere with some assistance - that would be awesome for her.
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What a wonderful thread. Thanks for starting it, Kate.
I've found that singing with my 92 year old mother helps. She loves to be reminded of pop songs from the 40's or before. And later she can close her eyes and hum to herself, which is an easy way for her to entertain herself.
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