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She is 82 & is in stage one dementia for 1 year now,showing signs of stage 2.

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Give her socks to sort and roll up; undies to fold; a big-piece jigsaw puzzle to put together on a tray; towels to fold; hard-boiled eggs to peel; digital recordings of the Lawrence Welk Show; her favorite performers; potatoes to peel; hand her all the plastic baggies you get at the store -- her job's to roll them in a little ball; have her pick lint off things out of the dryer; rinse and repeat.

Keep her busy.

Doesn't make any difference if you have to re-do what she does or don't need it done. If she has some little something to do? Her focus may be on that instead of your lil' self.

Good luck!
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Speaking of keeping a person busy ... The women at a local church made Activity Aprons. The apron hangs around the neck and can be tied in the back. On the front of the apron are a zipper, a set of keys, a set of beads, buttons, and a pocket with a small stuffed animal. These things were sewn onto the apron and the ends were covered with a small patch.
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If she has capability, I've used "sorting" types of activities. For example,I had a patient with earlier to mid-stage dementia. I asked him to help me sort through a pile of colored index cards (there were 4 different colors) because "the colors got all mixed in together and I want the same colored cards put together", and asked if he could help me. He did very well with it...and actually exceeded my expectations. The colored index cards had lines on one side, but not on the back. The patient was having problems with a couple of the cards and I couldn't figure out why. I then noticed that the two cards he couldn't seem to "sort" had the lines showing up on them! When I turned the cards over he had no problem placing them in the right color piles! This also provided me with feedback about his level of cognitive functioning.

This same person had been an engineer at one time and liked doing home repairs when he had been able. I got a small plastic box with dividers in it and a variety of nuts, bolts, washers, screws, etc., (nothing too small) and had them in a pile all together. I asked him if he could sort through them and place the ones that were alike into a divider in the tray. Again, he amazed me with his ability to understand what I was asking, and he was able to accurately sort through each type of item and place them in separate compartments in the plastic box! I've also seen people use large colored beads, little "pom-pom" "balls of yarn of different colors, large buttons, etc. Also sorting by "large" and "small". Some people use muffin/cupcake tins as their "container" for sorting. I try to find something the person may have had an interest in at one time. ****One does need to be aware of whether the person may be at the stage where they might put an item in their mouth and choke on it. In later stage dementia, our volunteers made little square "fabric" books. Various colors and textures of fabric were cut in the same size of squares. They were then bound together on one side to make a "book".

Many people with later stage dementia like the different tactile/touch stimulation. (This is one reason why you'll see some people with dementia rub their hands together rapidly.) I was surprised one day when one of my patients pointed to a pretty flower print fabric in a fabric book and said "blouse". So, I started using the fabric books with some patients asking them what they would use a certain fabric for, or say "I think I want to make a dress. Which material do you think I should use?" Or, "Which color do you like best?"

Just like with the one suggestion of having someone fold towels, etc. I had one patient who could be easily entertained with a cloth place-mat. She would role it up in various ways , un-roll it, and start all over again. This went on for about an hour.

I think part of the challenge with dementia is that one's capacity to make sense of one's world becomes so compromised. The ability to think through what needs to be done next, or remember where something is, is gone. So, the person follows someone around whom they are most attached to and/or trusts. They need that person to help them organize and navigate their way through their now confusing day to day world. I know I'd stick pretty close to my "source" of food, water, bathroom, if I couldn't remember how to get them for myself!
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Caregiver99, I think there's a difference between being a paid caregiver as a "job" vs. living with someone 24/7 and providing care. marci5699 said this is someone she lives with. A paid caregiver can do their job and go home. They get a break. Not true when you live with someone. It's kind of like being a parent of a toddler who follows you everywhere even into the bathroom, and will cry outside the door if you stop them from coming in. You KNOW intellectually that they mean no harm, but dang....after awhile you'd just like a little bit of personal time and space!
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Those are good ideas! Sounds like she could use something to hold onto... If not a live pet in your home, do you think you could try and find some stuffed animals she would like? It makes little kids feel safer... just an idea. Have some around and see if she picks anyone up.
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When this happened with Mom, the only time she would pay attention to anything was when she was in close proximity to me. This did not abate until her doctor prescribed a medication to balance the obsessiveness.
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This reminds me of my mom right now (mid to final stage) this summer she was following me around constantly. I would finally get her to sit down to watch America's Funniest Home Videos and I would head to the kitchen to try to get some of my work done when one of my kids would start talking to me, I'd give them the whisper signal but it was too little too late...she was right back behind me...LOL!
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The shadowing made me a nervous wreck because I did not get to leave after my shift was over. I agree that we need to be kind and loving but sometimes you need to vent. I would never have snapped at my Mother to stop following me but I could come to this site and vent. Just because shadowing is annoying and we need a break does not make us uncaring caregivers. Please try to understand when others are venting to "get it out" vs. being an abusive caregiver. It is usually quite the opposite. When a caregiver does not get burned out every once in a while I just wonder what drugs they are on.
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Every time I turned around, I would bump into him which gave me claustrophobia but it was all the 'why are you doing that?', 'how come?' and if asked if he wanted something specific to eat 'I don't know" until he saw me eating it and then would say 'I will have some of that'. I go to bed at night and it is like when I use to roller skate and got off the skates and felt like I was still skating b/c I close my eyes and all I hear is a cacophony of the days questions. He is not far enough along to agree to the great suggestions that have been given.
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Wow...sorry for the long answer!! But, I have one more suggestion. Online you can find "adult" coloring pages whose themes are not so childlike, e.g. more detailed cars and trucks, sports, mandalas, detailed plants and flowers, Bible stories, copies of Master artists' works (Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh). All are free to print out and use.
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