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Im trying to get my father to do puzzles and games, I even made a puzzle with family info on it to remind him of people and places but he just gives up. Some days he remembers things and others he doesn't so I am trying to have it written down for him to read but at the same time trying to stimulate his brain.

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Maybe he is telling you thru his actions , what his limitations are.... as sad as it is, and as much as I HATE this disease.... they tell us what they need, it's up to us to LISTEN... he is not interested.... ALZ is such a complicated and horrible disease... and no two are the same.... he may just want you to simply love him... set with him and you do the talking... the remembering 'for him', he may just want to be in his quite world where there is less confusion, less demands made that he can not meet.... I understand your need to keep him connected... but he is telling you he doesn't want to be connected... this is his journey on a road that none of us really understand...you have no way of knowing what is going on in his brain, and he can't tell you..... just be with him.... more than anything, he doesn't want to feel alone..... sending you hugs.
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We created a scrapbook for my dad - it had photos, written notes, names of important people in his life, letters from friends. It started as a speech therapy exercise with a half dozen pages. By the time he died it was several inches thick and filled with things that came to him after his memory loss started - he would refer to it for cues when he was at a loss for words and I still look at it and remember our times together.
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The main thing is to stay creative and don’t give up. What works today probably won’t work tomorrow but will work again next week. During my process of self education, I’ve seen everything from PVC pipe to finger painting help stimulate the person with dementia. Music from their early years (teens and 20s) seems to have the quickest affect on lifting their spirit. People want to put headphones on the person and I believe this approach has a place. But I really believe the most benefit comes when another person is engaging with them because we all need social interaction. If you have internet access, you can use YouTube to play old videos for your loved one. For instance, I have a friend that loves seeing videos of the Rat Pack from the 1950s and 60s. You can also watch videos to help educate yourself. While there are many, you can start by watching the Teepa Snow videos – she does a good job explaining things.
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Go back to his longer term memory. Dig out some old 8mm family movies if you have them. Play music from his teen years.
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I just came back from a 2 week visit with my 94 years old mom, also with dementia (we think). She kept on telling me how grateful she was to have me with her. We did a puzzle: too hard; too much concentration needed. She brought me another one she had bought herself, and this time, we did it. This last one was 100 pieces, same big pieces, not 300. The frame could fit on one of her big hard place mat, so she could work on the contour, its 4 sides at a time. It helped her stick with it. She says things are hard because often, she can't concentrate on what she's doing; she forgets what she was doing. She is learning to do only one thing at a time. If she's feeding the dog, don't even pick up the spoon on the floor: one thing; straight lines. She confuses a card game rules with another one, so before we play, I remind her of the rules. The game DOUBLE RUMMY is so fun. You play with pieces like dominos but it's in fact 2 card games. She loves it. I let her win; she’s good at it, but we plays it so often that I'm getting good too! We found a lady to keep her company on week nights from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. A nice lady who let us know how mom is doing, who plays card with her, makes sure she is a good supper, prepares her clothes for next day with her, makes sure she does not wear clothes with a stain, stuff like that. .She would prefer to keep it at 3 nights. I think she feels a little invaded. She already spends 3 days/week at the Day Center near her house; she loves going there. She is kind to the others and help them in many little ways. I don't go too much on the memory lane, because it saddens her that so much is blank. Maybe it makes her feel like the tin man of Dorothy. When she repeats and repeats a particular event, I get back to it and develop it a bit. I figure there must be something in there that matters a lot to her. My sister is very religious, so she talks about God and love and prayers with her; it's important. I think it's very hard for them to busy themselves with some hobby. At 94, she did it all. Initiating an activity is very difficult; as if her mind was blurry, or in the dark. She doesn't know where the switch is, and doesn't seem to remember there is a switch. The effort is constant. Strange, since she's as sharp as ever. It's difficult to understand what goes on in their mind, or rather, how it works. I noticed she needs us to express our love more concretely. It makes her feel secure and connected. When I put some music, she is happy and sings along. She says: "I can't even sing on key anymore!" So I tell her: “Sure doesn't bother Nana Mouskouri. She is happy you love her songs!" Old age is mysterious. Dementia is twice the mystery. I made her a big picture album with all family members, the pictures all blown up and laminated. She looks at it so often, holding it dearly, knowing those are all the people who love her, who are there thanks to her. I made her a big picture album with all family members, the pictures all blown up and laminated. She looks at it so often, holding it dearly, knowing those are all the people who love her, who are there thanks to her. At the end of all previous comments, there is a constant: "Give him (or her) a hug." They indeed bunch of hugs. And we get bunch of love ourselves by showing them our love. I never realized before how expressing our love is as important as eating healthy and sleeping well. It's tangible, as much as holding a baby.
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Tell him some jokes, get him to come up with some. tease him bout his girlfriends before he got married. If you are uncomfortable with some subjects because he is your father, then he will hide. You could also ask deeper questions like what was the most meaningful experience of your life? 'which might change from day to day, and he might think about it for awhile). " What is the best thing about your relationship--and the worst' (if he will tell you and you can listen). "How did you meet mom?, 'Why did you decide to become an engineer?'. These are just ideas. You will know. Tell him you love him.
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I do a weekly 1 page newsletter to dad with little snippets of news about the family (Nick got his Eagle Scout, Suzie made it back home safely after visiting from out of town, etc). I also include the upcoming events for the week (Dr. Smith on Monday 1:00) and any other reminders (See Nancy to pay your bill on Wednesday) that he may need. He loves this and refers to it throughout the week. It gives him a little background info when he talks to people and for day to day planning. I always include a photo, usually from a family member's facebook post. Most weeks I deliver it when I visit. If not-I fax to the office and the aide's deliver it to him. It's been a big memory help for him.
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Go to pinterest and look up Senior Activities, dementia, Assisted Living Activities, ect... consult with a Activities Coordinator at an assisted living, memory care, they do this because it's their calling and I can't believe they wouldn't want to share some ideas to help you and your father. Also look at some adult day care he may need some older Senior male bonding time. Remember anything that is said while he is in his dementia state if it doesn't harm anything just go with it or change the subject to redirect their attention. My mother thought someone stole from her and I knew that wasn't true so I started talking about my garden and asking her for advice. Worked every time. Mom is gone now as of October I miss the funny crazy stuff. She wanted me to go shopping to buy clothes for the dog.
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What level of dementia does he have, Lijap? There are also brain games online too that are accessible. Music is also a big stimulator as pstegman mentioned.
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A psych nurse gave me this suggestion for my mom: fill boxes with various personal items of your loved one. (No choking hazards and never food because they might get confused on what can and can't be eaten.) We put jewelry, a comb, a feather (favorite), a wallet, shells, lace, a pocket watch, her scarves, a small purse, a piece of large cord from her sewing box which we looped loosely as if crocheted and we called it her puzzle because she would undo it repeatedly without ever getting bored. The list goes on, eventually she had three boxes and we would change the contents periodically. Some things that my mom became fascinated with such as the plastic container a headset came in because it was shaped like ears also were added. My mom has progressed to the stage where she doesn't respond to her "merchandise" as her husband called it. It was great stimulation/entertainment for her when puzzles, crafts, or reading became too difficult for her. Now she loves stuffed animals and will occasionally hold onto a catalog (usually upside down lol). I think the above idea of a photo album with the faces of those that love the person with dementia is great! I also agree with the point of just sitting there and talking to the person. I do that with my mom as if we were having one of the many conversations we had in the past. Her words don't make sense but her mannerisms and attitude let me know that she is responding to me just as she would have back then. The idea of taking the stories that they repeat and trying to get them to more fully develop the memory is great too. It would be easy to get bored with hearing the same thing over and over but it must have been really important to the person with dementia if they remember it and talk about it again and again! A lot depends on the stage of your loved one. He/she is so fortunate to have you there caring and loving them!
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