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He has early stages of dimentia and he was a professor so he still think that he is in charge.

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I just get frustrated that sometimes I wonder why I care. my father basically just wants to sleep all the time but boy he is sure ready when the girl comes to give him a bath. I know his body is worn out but even when asking to sit and look outside he did while I was there. mom said once I left, he got up and laid back down........and he won't take his so-called "voodoo" medicine and mom won't force him, but she said he did okay on it even if it was only 5 days.......sometimes I feel like just going away and not doing anything.
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The only thing I can think of is the jigsaw puzzles, as it is very challenging to me to keep my dad entertained, sometimes if the weather is good I will put him in his chair to sit on the front door he enjoy watching people passing by.
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I agree with the jigsaw puzzles. We put a lot together as a family. It may be easier for him if you buy large piece puzzles, perhaps from the toy department. I buy them from the dollar stores. My 88 year old Dad does the word puzzles where you find the words in a page of letters. He likes the ones that have a topic like cities, colors, landmarks or even fruits or vegetables. He gets the large print ones. They are easier to read and don't take as long to finish. I also buy them at a dollar store. I got Dad a subscription to a fishing magazine. He has fished all his life. He also likes WWII books and movies since he is a veteran.
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My mother used to sew, crochet, and knit but her eyesight and her dementia prevent her from making the beautiful quilts and afghans she used to do. She is, however, obsessed with buttoning and tying.
A friend gave me a blanket - kit, consisting of squares made of flannel. Each square has 12 slits, or fringes, on each of it's four sides. The different squares can be put together, by tying the fringes together.
I have to help my mother, by getting the two fringes that are to be tied, and hiding the other fringes in my hand. I take the blanket home with me at night, so she doesn't get into it and start tying every fringe into a hundred knots.
Sometimes she doesn't feel like she is actually making the blanket, but I remind her that she has tied every single knot and I proudly show it to everyone who passes by in her independent living facility.
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For the former gardeners, you might try terrariums. Plant some herbs such as parsley that can be used for cooking, and others such as lemon balm and any of the mints for fragrance. You could put mints in smaller cups or containers with drainage holes and set them in the terrarium to keep them from taking over. Let Mom or Dad clip the parsley for cooking.

Bird baths and bird feeders might also attract former gardeners' attention.

Instead of tv, how about DVDs of old movies...big bands, Fred Astaire, Lawrence Welk? ]

Also, folding towels is something that can occupy someone and doesn't require much effort.
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My husband w dementia likes jigsaw puzzles but I go to thrift store & get 100 or 300. On 300 pc I have been picking edge pieces out & he figures that out first. 100 pcs aren't frustrating. I have learned I like to work on them too but try to leave him to work it as its a brain thing I say. He is also always looking for rocks & gives them to strangers. He is amazed looking closly at the lines or shine. He brings many in & I take them out next day as he never remembers he had them & finds more. He also plays cards & a game Qwirkle similer to scrable but shapes & colors. He never reads & only watches talent type shows. He has a Dr of Education but means nothing at this stage. He sleeps a lot & night is sundowner time so best to play a game to keep him from thinking he's mixed up. He also likes to pull weeds. Loves musicals or dancing on tv. Never go to movies as in reading th brain can't remember the story.
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I am a terrible caregiver, because I don't worry about it. My mother never had interests outside of walking, reading, and working crossword puzzles. Now she can't see to do the last two things and she doesn't want to walk anymore. She does like watching TV, so I leave her alone. (There is also the practicality of how much time I have available to try to keep her busy.)
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I have a terrible time with my mom. She used to use her computer to send and receive email and play solitaire, but since we moved her in with us, she won't go near the computer. She never did sew or knit or crochet; puzzles were not her thing. I've tried to interest her in many things, but she just doesn't want to much of anything, except accompany me on my errands, or going in town to get her hair done. That's so frustrating, and it feels like she is just not trying to help herself at all. I really don't think it's depression, she just doesn't want to expend the energy. We go on short walks, do errands, she does the dishes and I have her help with meals. Other than that, she sits and washes t.v. and drinks wine. I just now ordered that book that was recommended above. It's hard too, because I am falling so far behind in my work. She always wants to help, but in some areas, it's so much more work than help. Like my filing-I tried to have her sort the receipts, but I ended up having to stand next to her and show her where each one went. Nix that idea :( She dusts, but I can't have her do that all the time. I really hope this book will help me. I sure need help!
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unfortunately my parents do not have a computer let alone where to start learning and with macular in my dads one eye there is another issue. I think when he started having health issues, he waited until he was really bad before going to doctor and we all know the longer you wait for anything, the longer it takes to recoop if you do. but thanks for the info
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My mom (91 years) enjoys a computer game called Peggle, and Peggle Nights. It is similar to a pinball game. It is made for children, but we all enjoy playing it. You can order it on the internet for $4.99
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For dementia, check out the Best Friends Book of Alzheimer's Activities. Good activities that you can pitch for people from early to severe. Just started it for my dad, and it's been really helpful.
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My father also in WWII but he doesnt' like to talk about that stuff too much. I guess he saw too much action that makes him upset. with his shuffling its too hard for him to get outside, working on puzzles gets boring after awhile. I told him to sit by window and watch the birds outside. of course, if they choose to not want to do anything theres not much you can do. We are in the process of working on getting into an assisted living, cause in PA they changed standards and I was told he wasn't ready yet for nursing dementia unit yet. We all (meaning everyone on here) helps each of us in so many ways. I have learned alot and will continue. we just do one day at a time.
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I can't tell you how many jigsaw puzzles me and mom have done together. It is great time together since both of us enjoy doing them. There are so many different levels. Mom used to do 1000 piece and now we do 300 piece together. We sometimes start one at 7pm and finish the 300 at around 11pm. A great feeling of accomplishment before we BOTH go to bed.
I am looking forward to visiting the sites on here to see if I can find some things for Mom! Thanks everyone! So good to be connected here.
ps. My mom is 91 next week and I will be 50. We are having a Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat party! (Mom always lets me know she is in her second childhood.)
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My Dad is a retired engineer with a masters degree in Mathematics and computer programming, with a similar personality. During his early dementia stage, we convinced him to start writing his life story. He was hot to do this and I think now, because he knew about his dementia before the rest of us did...but he was a great story teller and worked on his computer to do this. He also enjoyed crossword puzzles and Sudoku puzzles, way into his dementia. As he got worse, he had to move back from more complicated puzzles to more easy ones, and when visiting me, I would 'help' him as Sudoku got more difficult. He had read that puzzles helped the brain, so they became a daily ritual. We once planned a visit at a holiday when most of his great grandkids were here too, and had him bring his maps of WWII and had a session we videotaped with him showing the kids on maps of his progress through the war, with the addition of some of his 'war stories', and I am so glad we got much of that time on tape for later. The kids were studying geography and world history, so putting the two together was interesting for them as well and created memories. I also found that as his dementia progressed, just asking him questions about his childhood or growing up or about how they did things in his family, would create some long conversations as he had no troubles then, remembering all that long ago stuff. In the end with his story writing, he couldn't concentrate on the computer so well, or see the keys, even with a special keyboard, so we paid to have a storyteller come and take notes and write some chapters down for him. He enjoyed the time with her....and with anyone knew, coming to 'visit' with him, he enjoyed that he was 'teaching' them something. Actually, until just a couple years before he had to be placed in a memory care facility, he was going to our daughter's place a couple days a week and coaching in math and other subjects the great grandkids that were being home schooled and doing a great job of that. As far as being 'in charge'....I dealt with my Dad by always getting his opinion on decisions we had to make, but I would give him the choices we were going to consider...as parameters, where either answer would be OK, so he could 'decide'. For example, when we had to add an in home caregiver, and he didn't think he needed one, I said, "Well, lets try it. Do you want to try for 2 weeks or for a month?" And when he had troubles remembering to take his pills, I asked if I could be his 'reminder service'...and he could still take them, but I would phone just to visit and to check that he had not forgotten. Since the meds were for his brain functioning, he was concerned about forgetting, but he didn't want anyone telling him what he had to do next either. It worked well for us. Perhaps some of these ideas will help you.
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Does he have a family album you could look at together? What about some wind chimes, something eye-catching to look at, and listen to. Maybe a small whiteboard with magnetic puzzle pieces, or a wooden puzzle (easier to handle with arthritic hands).
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wolflover451 I can relate. Every time I try to encourage things MIL is reminded of her limitations and get very frustrated. She can hear but can't understand what's being said (hence the "blabbering") I set up a garden for her...at first she was very resistant because of her limitations. I set up a 2 hose system so all she has to do is turn the water on and off. Weed cloth covered by chips and low maintenance perennials and pumpkin vines do the rest. I have her turn on the front (east) for the water drops catch the sunrise and have her turn on the back (west) so the water drops catch the sunset. She is vey proud of the pumpkin patch...(now) I know it's not much but it's better then the 24 hour TV or watching me do puzzles....I do the puzzles in an attempt to engage her and to make it easier for me to spend countless hours with her (plus it's a nice break for me considering I get so busy I forget to breathe) It's taken about 5 puzzles (500 pieces) but she is starting to participate (I ask her to collet ones with a certain color) we laugh and it's a way for her to procrastinate the shower. Good Luck.... I find it a rewarding challenge to find things that will float her boat. Not all work but I can tell she appreciates it in the end.
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In addition to these, check out the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped for books and other materials in large print and audio formats. This is a free service coordinated through local libraries. They will provide equipment and mail new material to the home (no need to go to the library). http://www.loc.gov/nls/ or call (202) 707-5100
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I have the same issue with my father who worked most of his life outside (mowing, gardening,flowers,etc) but now that he is 91, had medical issues and has now been diagnozed with moderate to severe dementia (shuffles when walks), he can't go outside to do these things anymore. He hates political stuff on tv, can't stand alot of "blabbering as he calls it", has macular in one eye, doesn't read.........how do you please someone like that. he sleeps most of the time cause he can't do anything. I keep telling him to sit by window and look out at birds,etc. I will also have to check out some of these sites.
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Visit tinyurl/d3zdpuk hundreds of ideas.

Things To Do Together, CareGivers In-home Activities

Hundreds of links to sites offering games and things to do for Alzheimer's and Elder Care Caregiver providing InHome care.
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What state are you in? If California, check out www.seniorcenterwithoutwalls.org - they have telephonic, tele-conference activities & education for homebound seniors.
Some other states do have similar organizations like SCWW.
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Check out the online Alzheimers Store for puzzles, things to do that are appropriate for patients.
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I've noticed the residents at my LO's AL playing cards quite a bit. One even plays cards on their computer. She loves it.

I haven't noticed many there with dementia who read, but if your dad still reads, he might like crossword puzzles.

I have found it difficult to get activities for my LO, since she's not interested in painting, drawing, or crafts. She does enjoy her tv, since I got her a special basic remote control that she can operate.

Her favorite activity is going to see the local singers who come to her AL facility and perform a couple of times per week. It's a real highlight and she talks about it often. With your dad being at home, you might locate some DVD's of his favorite movies or musical artists. Can he still operate a DVD player? If he's having trouble, that might be too frustrating for him.
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