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I'm helping with a Care Plan for a friend (74) who has Dementia - mostly short-term memory loss - long term is there but often inaccurate or embellished. The problem/blessing is that she is smart and physically in great condition (strong, walks, runs, jumps) but has zero attention span. Puzzles, TV, board games are not possible. She likes to be helpful, but that takes more of the caregivers time than the task warrants. She has a strong sense that she is a burden to family and friends and wants desperately to "give back." Keeping up with her is burdensome - but not something her friends or caregiver imply - just her feeling. We're trying to find ways to bring structure to her days such that her time is used doing anything but worrying about her condition. All ideas welcome.

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Would house work fit in. I was thinking of cleaning the bathroom mirrors and vanity.
Arranging clothes in the closet. How about wiping the water marks off of the glasses and flat ware.
Just an opposing view from the male side.
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Thanks. I just discovered the "activities" section of this site today - and did take note of some of the activities that will apply. Also, I googled "Alzheimer's activities" and that produced a thread of activities - although mostly it's commercial sites that sell project kits. I think I'm going to buy about 10 of those packages of multi-colored wash cloths, dump them in the dryer every morning and ask her to fold and sort by color. She's desperate to be helpful and I want her to enjoy that feeling.
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Adult day care, one or two days a week. Sounds like she might need a program that has a higher-functioning group within it.

An activity that my mom enjoyed was washing Barbie doll clothes. This sounds kind of crazy. But we happened to be collecting used toys for a place that needed them, and the second-hand-store Barbies were grubby. They had to be wiped off, the clothes washed by hand in the sink, and laid out flat to dry (since they curl up in the dryer). Hair brushed. Put a doll and an extra clothes outfit into a ziplock bag. She liked making the toys nice for the children.
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Folding hand towel, face cloths and dish towels. Matching and folding socks. Rolling coins --- inserted into the rolled wrappers. Sorting playing cards --- by suit or color. Puzzles with fewer pieces, perhaps 15-25. Organizing EOBs into date order. Mixing cake mixes after someone else has placed the ingredients. (Then the caregiver can clean up while she mixes. Watering outside plants.
You might call a local non profit. they often have tasks suitable for these skills. For example, out food pantry needs tea bags counted and put into ziplock bags. Or labels placed on their newsletters. There are other threads on this site for this topic, if you search for them. good luck . . .
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