Follow
Share

... so after much trial and error, I've split the caregiving of my father between a paid caregiver and myself (I had to do it for my sanity).

Though we have someone to stay with him from 7 PM to 7 AM Saturday nights, he really struggles during the day (to the point of being sad that he isn't going to the Adult Day Center as he does during the week).

My ultimate delimma is that weekend days are the only times when I can get rest from my job (and even that's a stretch), and I enjoy lounging around and catching up on house chores. Daddy, on the other hand, gets EXTREMELY board and restless.

Dad doesn't like to DO much (he was at an ALF and NEVER attended the activities). He enjoys fishing, but I HATE the sport. Due to his limited sight and decreasing motor skills "fishing" is more of someone else setting up and baiting the line while Daddy sits there and holds the pole,,,for about two minutes before he unsucessfully attempts to reel in the line only to tangle it.

My BF has taken him "fishing" twice but of course they don't catch anything because Daddy doesn't get the line in the water. My BF's increasing job demands have him working most weekend days or trying to catch up on rest.

I have googled senior activities, but I don't think Dad will go to any of them. Is it wrong for me to feel a little trapped by this set up? We certainly can't afford to bring in any more help/companionship, but I don't want to be the chauffer or sweater (Dad keeps his house at about 85 degrees ALL THE TIME) on the few days that I have off.

Any suggestions?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I find boredom is a result of imagination sleeping. With the whole world at one's feet, how can anyone be bored? All one has to do is pick up a book and if one has limited sight there are audio books, people read to others at the library or volunteerto read to others. You do not have to spend all your waking hours trying to fill your father's life with activities because as you states, you are exhausted! Just sitting and thinking is an activity in itself and anyone can do it. Tell your father he has to entertain himself on the weekends as this is your time to recouperate. There is no sense in making yourself ill, then he would have no one. And do not feel guilty about taking care of yourself!
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

My husband didn't have the attention span and concentration to watch most television shows, but he loved travel videos of things like the Grand Canyon and other national parks, or nature videos about animals or space travel. Gorgeous photography, no plot to follow, no commercials to interrupt and confuse. He also enjoyed videos of familiar television shows. He loved Hogan's Heroes, for example. Without commercials each episode was fairly short. The characters were all familiar and easily recognizable. I did many things with him, played games, took him places, and he attended a day program. I wouldn't plunk someone down in front of a television for their own entertainment day after day, but some television is useful, in my opinion.

Watching a ballgame with a glass of beer was a feel-good activity for him. He liked watching golf and college basketball, too.

BTW, I don't like listening to television or videos, especially at the volume he needed them. Wireless ear phones were a godsend.

My mother loves sorting things. Sometimes I dump my bulging coin purse and she sorts the coins and puts them in little baggies for me. I bought a huge jar of large plastic beads that she could sort by color for the crafts program. Sometimes I bring socks into the NH and ask her to help me match them up. She takes it seriously and is glad to help me out. Many persons with dementia seem to like being able to impose order on chaotic things. I think I'll bring in my button box for Mom to sort by color. Screws and bolts and washers would work, too.

I see other NH residents doing word-find puzzles and crosswords, and some love putting jigsaws together.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Check with the local public and catholic schools to see if any students are working on their National Honor Society volunteer work during the summer. They might be great reading to him, teaching him a magic trick, taking a walk with him, asking him about his life story, etc. When I was teaching 5th and 6th grade, my students each had an "adoptive" grandmother or grandfather for a semester and the assignment was to always be respectful, helpful, and learn whatever you could about that person. My students were truly blessed by these lovely people and lifetime friends!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

When my uncle attended a centre they gave him an activity which he loved and was therapeutic. He was virtually blind and his motor skills were limited but not gone. Staff had had cut out using a jig saw the outline of a horse in a soft wood - I think it was pine but dont quote me on that. Uncle then sanded it - it didnt require intense motor skills and he found it theraputic. the less able bodied waxed them and they were then sold in order to buy more wood to start the process over again.

Remember that with dementia activities wont last long. Its good to have a lot of choices ready and then just keep giving him another one to do. I bought Mum a toddlers colouring book and some pencil paints and she likes to colour them in. Crayons or ordinary pencils would work just as well

Jigsaws are likely to be out for him unless he can manage the childrens ones which are easier to handle.

Mum used to knead dough for me but can't manage that any more because she lacks the strength but she can scrape or peel potatoes. BTW I dont ask her if she wants to I ask her to do them for me.

She likes to garden and although it is messy I put plastic all over the kitchen floor and get her to put the plants in the plant pots for me.

She folds my laundry for me - takes ages because she has to smell each item but hey she enjoys it

I have a photo album she likes to go through and I can do the chores while she tells me about the pictures

After Christmas and birthdays she cuts up cards to make gift tags which we sell at the church bazaars.

She has always liked maps and an atlas will amuse her for hours. On more lucid days she can tell me where she has been

If he likes fishing there is a gam he can play with anyone really it invilves 'paper fish' in a big bowl with magnets on them and a fishing rod with a magnet for a hook. Each fish has a number on it and you hook 5 fish each
You add the totals together and the one with the highest number wins.

He might find playdo (not sure what you call it in the states useful. he can model with it but the actual handling is therapeutic.

Just some suggestion that might ease your weekends xxx good luck
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

P.S. This crazy computer does weird things like inserts letters where they do not belong. I'll be back in AZ at my own computer soon!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

There are some really, really good suggestions offered.

My sole contribution is to think of your weekend as a medical retreat. Doctors would tell you that you need time for yourself, R & R time, and that if you don't take some you yourself may become more vulnerable to illness. So these weekend respites can be considered mental and physical health treatments. We all need to take care of ourselves, not just because it's common sense but because it helps renew our spirit to go back to the caregiving activities which are so demanding.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

jeannegibbs you are so so right. my mum takes everything out of a box tidies it puts it back so frequently I bought her a divided sewing box - well actually I bought two. I tipped the whole lot of stuff (that was neatly put away I might add) and said to her could you go through and tidy this up for me I dropped the darned thing. Oh it kept her amused for days. She still asks for them now - she put them in size order, the she changes heer mind and they go in colour order
or alphabetically - I think she has gone back to her youth when she used to be a filing clerk
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I have been a bad woman - or perhaps I havent been I will let you all decide. As with most of you on here curing boredom can be an all consuming task so with that in mind I rang my local SMALL hardware store today. I DO know the guy so it isn't like talking to a stranger let me say that up front.

I said to him you know you sell screws in small numbers not the packets of 50 (when all you want is one good screw (no risque comments please.) Well I was thinking would it help for them to be put in small packets of 5 or ten say for you to sell that way? We could put them in money bags. Well he said it isnt worth the money of doing all that. not to be put off I said what if I took a thousand screws and put them all in bags of ten for you. Then I went on to explain that my mum was bored and I needed something to keep from being bored and she liked sorting things. Well the darling m,an has just been with a huge bag of mixed screws that have to be sorted by size and then into bags - Mum is as happy as Larry sat there sorting them. I've made him no promises about how long that would take (I know she will do it properly this seems to be inherent in hewr) and he understands and said I just wish I'd thought of that when Dad was ill. He's promised her a bag of jellies when she has done them.. bless him

Happy days ahead me thinks
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

ooh oooh just found a site that will give you ideas till they come out of your ears:
http://www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_101_activities.asp
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I give up one day a weekend for Dad to take him to church and dinner or some other outing and hire someone else to take him to the gym on Saturday. I also spend some time with him on other days of the week so he isn't alone all the time. He doesn't go to daycare and I like to get him out of the apartment. I am his chauffeur and I sweat in his apt. (I'm gradually getting him used to dressing appropriately and the higher end of more normal temps, but I also dress in layers.) He is also restless when he doesn't have a scheduled activity and cannot concentrate very long on a book or TV. He will never do audiobooks - can't hear that well and can't master the recorder. I did get him a large print version of a pleasant book I read as a kid, out of the library, and seems to like it. He'll watch part of a video if someone loads it up for him but he can't master the DVD player by himself. I encourage him to call my siblings to chat. When I do laundry, I ask him to help me fold. He wants to help, so things like shucking corn, snapping beans, setting/clearing the table - all make him feel useful. I'm still trying to find him a hobby, but I don't think it is something he will ever do on his own. He used to play golf but can't play anymore due to mobility problems (not even in the disability league). He enjoys watching golf and baseball if someone is watching with him. Mostly he wants to chat about things he remembers from his childhood. He's lonely and those memories are the sharpest.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter