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I work in a home caring for a 73 year old gentlemen, over the last couple of months he has declined. He coughs a lot at night, and has no desire to walk as he use to love it. The group I work with along with my self wasnts to keep him active. Should I force activities on him? If he doesn't do anything he will sit in his chair and sleep off and on through out the day.

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I have yet to see an ol' boy that won't respond to a pretty female therapist. I was working with a young OT student once who was unaware that as she bent over, she was providing a nice frontal display of a pretty lace bra she happened to be wearing. Now, technically I should have corrected her for inappropriate clothing choices so she could learn better, but she was working with a male patient who had thus far been unresponsive, just sitting in his wheelchair day after day. When she started working on his hand and arm, he perked right up, smiled crookedly and watched her intently. He even tried to cooperate. So, sometimes it's just a matter of finding the right, uh, stimulus, to get people attentive, distracted, cooperative, whatever it is you need to do. (I did speak to her later however about the low blouse) :-)
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I would encourage, but not force him. He may be taking the path of least resistance and doesn't know how to either understand or respond to your requests. Do you know what stage of Alzheimer's he's in? That might be part of the reason he's not cooperating.

You might check with his family to see if any of his meds are making him drowsy, which could affect his initiative.

I think you have a real challenge in finding ways to make him cooperate and think that he's doing so b/c he wants to and b/c it's healthy for him.
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Maybe convince him to see the doctor and figure out what's up with the cough. He might feel better with better sleep, and it could be something as simple as a little GE reflux.
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My vote is to keep him busy despite what he says. Helping a person with dementia is like having a toddler that you are responsible for. The toddler will give you lots of NO replies and so will the elder diagnosed with dementia.

BUT you have to make it interesting so you aren't butting heads all day long. Can you help me bring in the mail helps you to get him to walk to the mailbox. Someone told me there were beautiful flowers next door, I REALLY want to see them. (examples) My MIL (much older than your gent) refuses just about everything. SO-o now she can barely transfer because she sits in the wheel chair ALL day long. The physical therapist (PT) came for a few visits and MIL mostly refused to cooperate. BUT I was there for one of the sessions and I now coach MIL to do them during my visits. I'm only there once a week (and the others don't bother) but I feel I am making my contribution. The therapist said that even just standing (holding onto something that won't move, helps to strenthen the legs. One possibility would be to bring a PT in for a few sessions. Then everyone who is involved can mirror those sessions. Lack of movement can lead to pneumonia, blood clots and loss of muscles. At 73, he is too young for all of that. Good luck.
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