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Dad is in stages 5-6 of Alzheimer’s, in the evening he wants to rearrange everything from furniture to the things I keep at my table next to me, phone, remote, nook and anything else I may have put there during the day. I really need something that will keep his hands busy where he thinks he is working.

My mother and husband (each with dementia) both liked to shred "confidential" papers. If you include junk mail, you could probably have a little stack for Dad to do each afternoon.

My mother had no clue why anyone would need paper shredded, but because I said I needed it, she felt important doing it. My husband still understood the concept of "identity theft" and accepted the job seriously.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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Glendaj2 Oct 17, 2018
Sounds great and we do have a shredder.
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I wonder if you could find some sorting/arranging activities for him? Put the sock drawer on a table and ask him to rearrange it more efficiently. Light weight on one side, heavier on the other. By color on each side. Or any other way he wants to do it.

Maybe he'd like to organize his underwear drawer!

How about your junk drawer? Give him a little box to put things he thinks should be thrown away, so you can check it first. Heck, your neighbors might even want him to sort their junk drawers, too. How important would that make him feel?

I often gave my mother a big bag of coins to sort. She'd sigh and act like it was an imposition, but you could tell she really got a kick out of it. We'd put the coins in separate baggies, which I'd empty together in a few days so she could sort them all over again. I told her I needed them sorted for vending machines.
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Glendaj2 Oct 17, 2018
All good ideas!
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My sweet daddy was a brilliant engineer in his prime. Some well meaning OT brought him small board puzzles that a 2 yo could do. I found him weeping with these sitting in front of him. Yes, he needed things to stimulate his brain, but he was so depressed by these things---I got him larger puzzles and we'd work them together. Or we'd watch Nat'L Geographic TV together. My hubby was also an engineer and sometimes he'd create a problem that required dad to use his "engineer brain" to help solve the problem. He needed to feel useful!! We had him design the addition to our house, and we had it double checked for safety--he did a wonderful job. Those little blueprints are sacred to me.

Once he no longer could really use his hands, we'd sit and talk and I'd hold his hand or rub his back. He appreciated the physical touch and just the attention his brain still craved. Sometimes I'd ask what he wanted and he'd just ask me to sing to him. So that's what I did. ASKING your LO what THEY WANT is better than simply handing them some task--esp if their minds are still working. Daddy didn't "lose it" until the very, very end. Parkinson's is a horrible disease.
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gdaughter Oct 17, 2018
They actually make puzzles for dementia patients, unfortunately not wise enough to leave that info off the packaging, but still a good plan. I think it is the Springbok company, and they also let you pick puzzles based on the number of pieces...I've minimally intrigued my mother into doing that...doing best with those that have multiple images that can be sorted by color (my favorite is one with about a dozen different colored artists painted birds). Often I might be working on it more than she would, and at some point around half way done, she'd put all of it back in the box....
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Guys might be more into sorting nails, washers, screws, nuts and bolts etc than the laundry. Those storage organizers with all the little drawers you get at the hardware store would be good for this.
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Glendaj2 Oct 17, 2018
Good idea, I’m sure I can find plenty of those in his garage!
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When my Dad had Alzheimers, he would fidget while he was sitting still. My Aunt got him a box that looked like a treasure chest and put little games, matchbox cars, etc. in it. He would open that box in the morning and play with that stuff most of the day. It was very helpful.
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Glendaj2 Oct 17, 2018
Good idea, worthy of a try 😊
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Sorting buttons, beads, coins, those spongy stickers that come in bags from the craft store, would all work.  Go to Michaels and just walk up and down the aisles.  You definitely will get some ideas. 
One thing to be cautious about is if they are putting items in their mouth, then working with smaller objects could be dangerous.
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Glendaj2 Oct 17, 2018
Hmmm I wonder about stringing large beads to organize them for me.😊
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major organizing like pictures, small items, roll up socks harness that and put it to use
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There are various "busy" lap pads and activity blankets for seniors with dementia/Alzheimer's. They have buttons to button and unbutton, snaps, ties, beads, etc. to keep idle hands busy.
Check some out on Amazon or Pinterest or just Google activity lap pad for dementia.
You could also give him old (unwanted) magazines and papers to "sort".
Have him "help" you fold laundry.
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I have a twiddle muff for Mom, but she doesn’t really get the purpose or hang if it, so doesn’t play with it. She was a secretary and remembers her working life so she really needs something to actually “do”. She’s blind so she can’t do too much, but when she needs an activity NH staff let her stack papers. Your dad would probably like an actual task.
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My Father-in-law had vascular dementia and one of the things that "kept him busy" was a set of large children's lego blocks. He had been in tool and die and so he thought he was making the next part...The problem with the activity was that occasionally he would want to deliver the new parts.
Some of the members of the staff thought they might use this idea with others on the floor.
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Glendaj2 Oct 17, 2018
I do believe I may try this for dad. He was what they called their thing maker in the biology dept. of William and Mary for many years.
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