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 How to keep LO occupied or entertained 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3316
Location: Vermont
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
I think the electronic photo album is a great idea! In my dad's last months I was going to get him one but then I noticed that he had no idea what he was looking at when he watched tv so I thought it would be a waste and didn't get it. He was very entertained looking at clocks, and I had to get him a new watch and several clocks in his last few months. He couldn't tell time at all, but he became obsessed with having a clock on every wall as well as calendars. He didn't know 2 minutes from 2 days, but he "needed" all these time-keeping things to watch!
Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:25 pm
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Salem, Oregon
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
That's interesting. Calendars became very important to my mom, too, in recent years, even though for over a year now, she hasn't been able to tell us what month, year, or season it is. Still, we put one up in her room at her care home so that she'll feel more at home since she had them up in about every room of the house before we had to move her to the facility.


Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:41 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:23 am
Posts: 201
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
One thing that my husband likes to do is shred old papers and documents in the paper shredder. Once in a while I can hear that he has jammed it up but I just go in and unjam it before the motor burns out. :roll: That helps me out too because it just seems like paper, paper every where. One of these days maybe we can get the file cabinet empty so our kids don't have to sort it after we are gone.
Mary


Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:54 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3316
Location: Vermont
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Can I bring all my excess paper over and have him shred MY junk too? LOL Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:18 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Mary,

What a nice thing to do for your kids! I think that trying to sort through papers and records is one of the worst parts of losing someone. It seems to go on forever and your never sure whether you've thrown out something you shouldn't have.

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:42 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3316
Location: Vermont
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
I can really relate to that Kate! Although I did ask my dad to go through his papers before he moved to the ALF, and before I was aware of just how ill he was. I think he threw out an envelope with quite a bit of cash in it that he wanted to leave to someone after he died. I have searched high and low for that envelope and think it went out by mistake with a bunch of old papers he didn't want. I didn't know at the time that I should have been checking through what he threw out. :roll:

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:38 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:42 pm
Posts: 108
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
My mother's abilities are so varied and her personality goes from being scared and dependent and mentally challenged to angry and manipulative and accusatory and paranoid to occasionally very lucid and reasonable. She called me yesterday and spent an hour and a half telling me how I had ruined her life by putting her into assisted living. It is very hard. Much of what she is so frustrated over is that she feels that ALL the other people at the ALF are not like her. She insists that she is not old enough to be here (she is 73). She insists that these people all have problems that she doesn't have and that we have stuck her there away from her life with friends and activities. She frequently argues that being at an ALF and around other people with dementia is causing her dementia. She seems to believe that if she weren't there, she would not have dementia (and sometimes even challenges me as to whether or not she really has this - it is, after all, my word and she doesn't remember the things I tell her that have happened). Sometimes she is in such bad shape that she can't function and most of the time she wants someone there to pay attention to her. She would and wants to take over the life of an individual who will focus on her exclusively (resents my kids when she is with me because they compete for my time). I do have home health care in there a lot (although it seems to only serve as friendship - there is nothing for them to do). Anyway - sometimes my mother is capable of doing the sorts of things that the rest of us do (shop, make phone calls, engage in intellectual pursuits, etc. and at other times she can't go to the bathroom alone, can't tell the difference between dreams, hallucinations, and reality, believes that people are out to get her, doesn't know how to put on a seat belt or which room is her's). I know these things sound familiar to most of you (so glad to have found you), but I don't know how to find a place for her where she gets the care she needs and yet can find the mental and social stimulation that she is capable of when she is feeling better. No one has twenty four hours a day to take her wherever she wants whenever she wants and she is not capable of handling taxis or buses. She can be capable of playing bridge in the afternoon and unable to understand how her TV works in the evening. I feel very frustrated. How do all of you keep your loved ones engaged in activities, feeling safe, feeling like their lives are meaningful still, and keep a hold of your own lives and your own time? If my mother had her way, I would move her in with me again and become her 24 hour a day companion and care giver. She asks me to take her in all of the time and tells me that if I leave her in Assisted Living, she will die. I can't have her move back in - I have kids, a husband, and to be honest - I don't want to give my life up completely either. I don't mind giving her some of my time - but it is never enough for her. How do all of you make things work?

Liz


Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:21 am
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:32 am
Posts: 215
Location: Kalispell, MT
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Liz:
I think you have to accept that nobody, including you, can be there for her at every moment to deliver whatever her needs/wants are at that exact moment. She will just have to be at various times bored/resentful/unchallenged, or whatever (hey, aren't we all?). If you have her in a good place, they will do all they can, but don't be unrealistic as to what you and they can/should do. NOBODY can make her life great, or even really good, ever again. So we do what we can and we shouldn't feel guilty because we can't fix it.


Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:29 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:55 pm
Posts: 355
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Liz, I know exactly how you feel. Even though my mother only suffers from depression, she is exactly like your mother and wants my full attention 24/7, and when she doesn't get it, she turns nasty. Since we placed Dad in the nursing home in August, her demands have gottten worse. It is only in the last year, after excellent councelling, I have learned to say no and pull back from her demands, without feeling guilty. My mother is differernt in that she has chosen to stay at home on her own (she is bedbound, but not fully immobile), and I have told her time and again that I can't sacrifice my children's and my own life for her. I do all I can do, which I admit is a lot less than I used to, but I became ill myself and it was the wake-up call I needed.
You are doing your best for her and Gail is right, she will never be stimulated or happy like years ago, no matter what you do. You must look after your family and yourself, and just do as you are doing - YOUR BEST!!!!! I just remind myself of that every single day - I can do no more. It is very difficult, and it is a constant battle (if you are anything like me a battle with your own conscience as much as with your mother), but you have to find a healthy balance. Gail is spot on when you think about it - none of us are ever totally happy, amused etc all the time.
I wish you luck on this difficult journey.
Ger xx

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cared for Dad who passed away on January 28th 2013 R.I.P.


Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:10 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3316
Location: Vermont
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Liz - Ger and Gail have given you excellent feedback, I think. I can so relate to how you feel. When my dad first went to the hospital, then rehab, then the ALF, the only thing that made him halfway happy is if I or certain friends stayed with him in his room during all of his waking hours. Most of the time I was with him he didn't want to engage in conversation and at first, didn't need me to help him with too much. He just wanted to watch tv. He wouldn't socialize or do any of the dozens of activities that were available to him and that he was encouraged to do.
He simply wanted someone there with him, but not to interact with much. If someone close to him wasn't there, he'd call us constantly during his waking hours, and often in the middle of the night since he'd sleep with his cell phone. When he was still able to use the phone and he needed help he would not call his caregivers at the ALF, he'd call me or a couple of his closest friends.
If one of us had been willing to give up our life and move in with him, that's the only thing that would have satisfied him. And obviously, we couldn't give up our lives and do that. I felt so terrible that he felt lonely AND that he was paying for all these activities and events that he could be doing but wouldn't do to get some social interaction.
Several people on the forum, at the time, suggested that I move him close to my home which is 500 mi. from where he was. I had to weigh a lot of factors since I was commuting the 1,000 mi. roundtrip every few weeks for several years. My husband and I were both worried that if I did move him closer, I'd feel like I had to spend all day every day with him at an ALF here, and then I'd be even worse off in terms of giving up so much of my life. By the time I decided to move him he was not in condition to be moved that far so it didn't happen.
All I know is, no matter how much some of us do for our ill LOs, we still feel guilty for what we CANNOT do or don't do. And that's not being fair to ourselves or keeping ourselves healthy. So, doing the best we can do, knowing that that will never be enough for some of our LOs, has to be ok.
A big hug to all the CGs out there. Give yourselves a big pat on the back for doing what you CAN do without sacrificing your own family or your own health. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:31 am
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