My dad is 83 with poor vision and dementia that makes it hard for him to follow the normal rate of speech. I have been meaning to ask this for a long time, and then we had a particularly bad night tonight, so I thought I better get my butt on here. He kept saying over and over that he doesn't want to live like this. He says he gets up and just sits around all day and then goes to bed, and to be honest, for the most part. it is true. I feel like I am sortof failing in that department as a caregiver. The only thing he really does around the house is pull weeds since he can do that by feel, but he says he feels totally useless. He used to enjoy TV and reading but can't follow the speech or stories any more. He still tries to do large print Sudoku but gets frustrated because he can never finish them. He is totally opposed to going on meds that would help his mood. Tonight I told him there are places he could go during the day for activities, and he said he didn't want to be around a bunch of other old people. :( I do put on old music sometimes but would like some other suggestions. Not to mention, the music is a bit of a crap shoot as sometimes he likes it and other time he ends up crying because it makes him think of my mom, who passed away 5 years ago.
What kinds of activities do they do in elder day care places? Ideas that would make him feel like he is useful would be particularly helpful.
The change thing could totally be brilliant... or not lol. I am going to start a change jar though and see. I only say "not" because he often brings me coins and asks me what they are. :/ but i wonder if he had a bunch if he would be able to do it somewhat by feel....
I am really not sure if he could read on an ipad! He is SOOOO anti computer. When engineers first started working on them, he thought it was a travesty. They tried to give him one and he told them to stick it up their a** lol. My dad was an artist who could freehand draw the parts he designed! And luckily one of the best in his company, so they just laughed and let him keep on doing what he was doing. There is the first story for the book eh?
Also, my grandfather used to enjoy sorting and rolling change.
i probably will insist he at least try day care at some point, but right now we are waiting for a round of medical tests before deciding if we are going to move, so it might not make sense to start here if we are.
i REALLY dislike his dr. i talked to on the phone about an antidepressant, and he was very clear my dad would have to want it. he was useless the last time we went in regarding that. i will be shopping for a new dr once we make the move decision as well.
ohmoondance, he didn't really have anything I would call a passion. he was married to his work, which was aerospace engineering. i have tried to think if there might be something he could tinker with, but things like that just seem to frustrate him now. he ends up getting angry and cursing. i already addressed audio books and music in my OP. he can't follow the normal rate of speech and that really frustrates him, so audio books would be a really bad idea. he does relate to some music, but much of it makes him cry as well. in fact it is listening to music that will often precipitate being suicidal because it reminds him of everything that is gone.
You say he enjoyed reading. Get audio books. Play some old" Eddie Duchin" music you can get for free off of u tube & play it & he will love it.
For trouble with the sight -what is the reason? Seek medical treatment .
Yesterday she said " I don't want to listen to some old lady complain all day"! LOL That's exactly what she does all day.. I really wanted to say that to her but I kept my trap shut..
Do you have silverware he could polish? Or shoes?
If you wash a load of shirts, could he put them on hangers?
Could he scrub potatoes or carrots? Does he have enough mobility to set the table? Corn season is coming up. Can he husk the ears?
My husband liked nature videos. With no commercials to disrupt the flow he could follow them better, and even if he missed some of the commentary it is great to see the birds migrating or the majesty of the grand canyon. He also like videos of old tv shows he used to love. Seeing an episode of Hogan's Heroes that he'd already seen many times over the years was pleasant for him.
I'd keep trying on the adult day care. Maybe you need to insist that he goes one half day per week, so you have time to handle your own appointment, and then see how that goes.
And an anti-depressant might be useful. He is not the first person with dementia who "doesn't want to live like this." I think that is an honest reaction to a horrendous situation. But he deserves to feel as good as he can in the situation, and if a medication could help with that it is too bad he is opposed to it. Perhaps his doctor could explain it to him and reassure him it is not a character defect!
Good luck! If you come up with some things that work, come back and tell us about them. We learn from each other!