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 How to keep LO occupied or entertained 
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Thanks, Julianne. I will probably spend time in the bedroom with him today. The housekeepers will be here and I know they will understand that I need a nap. I hope to have a sleeping pill for him sometime today. I have no experience in that area ... Will a sleep aid stop the dream talking he does? He certainly has an active life during the night.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:58 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
I don't know how sleep aids affect dreaming, but I certainly hope the doctor prescribes something that will give you both some rest. I don't understand how Dale can keep up his current pace, either. It's amazing.

Julianne


Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:05 am
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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
I'm still looking for ideas, too. But I have observed a couple of things with Mom.

The closer to something she did as a productive part of her life, the better. It's a lot easier to convince her that she is being useful. Believing that the activity is useful is huge.

Remembering that much of her is at the level of a 4 or 5 year old helps with the TV. Before I leave, I try to set it on a channel with a movie on. But this weekend, I was reminded of her cognitive age. We caught the end of Nanny McPhee and she was really attracted by the vivid colors. Then, Snow White came on. Mom got the biggest smile. I was going to look for something more mature, out of habit, but stopped myself when I saw her pleasure in something she could easily understand that had colors to it that would keep her attention.

I got Mom some of the 24 piece puzzles. She's only interested if I work it with her. And then she seems to know that I'm helping her. I did get some of the cut-out puzzles, with the border already defined, but we haven't tried it yet.

For a special event, Mom is still at a point at which we can take her out of the SNF. So we take her to her long-time hair stylist. We also take a monthly trip for a mani-pedi. The manicurist used to volunteer at a nursing home and is wonderful with Mom. I started doing this a while ago when I realized that seeing a podiatrist to get Mom's funny shaped toenails cut (I can't do it myself) was just as expensive as having her feet soaked, massaged, lotioned and polished. And then we threw in the mani for good measure. Her pretty nails get a lot of mileage at the SNF - even though they do have a salon there.

Another thing we do, though it isn't something that is designed to keep her busy, is that we have an occasional Skype video call with relatives, especially Mom's grandson who just became a father. Even if the call doesn't last long, it keeps her very content for some time. (Beginning level Skype is free. The SNF has wireless data access, so it is easy for us.)

The SNF does have the folding basket, full of clothing of all sizes - even baby clothes. It doesn't interest Mom, but does work with others. Since we wash Mom's clothes ourselves, I've thought of "dropping" the full basket so that everything needs to be refolded, and getting Mom to help.

That's all I've got. Not much, but maybe it can stimulate more ideas.

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]


Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:24 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Kate, it makes sense that activities would work better if they are related to what the person used to do. But that's the challenge for me. My mother really can't do anything she used to do, other than watch TV, and even at that, she cannot operate the remote, tries to change the channels with the phone handset, and constantly says the TV is broken.

She also turns up her nose at any of the activities at the SNF that she might be able to do, like bingo and other games, or crafts. She acts as if those are all for the simple-minded and of course she is way beyond them, which is sad considering that they are exactly at her level now.

So it's a big challenge. I'm really hoping the activities director follows through with the towel folding idea. Somehow I think that would still work. At Christmas, she methodically rolled up all of the wide, soft ribbons that had been tied on packages. She used to knit and sew, so that made sense, but she can't knit anymore and the SNF won't allow sewing needles, even if she were capable of sewing. The tactile exercise of folding the towels might be nice for her.

I did find some wooden blocks that JeanneG suggested and those look possible, given my mother's art background. it's all trial and error these days--and lots of error!

Thanks,

Julianne


Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:57 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Brought Derek a Rubik's cube today and he had zero interest in it even after I showed him how it works. :-(

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:08 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
That is disappointing, Pat. It is so hard to predict, isn't it? What we need is a lending library of items that might be entertaining for impaired adults. Borrow a special teddy bear or a fidget toy or a set of puzzles and try them for a few days. If they seem useful, pay for them and the lending agency replaces them in their stock. Not of interest? Return it and try something else. I'll bet if all the caregivers in an area contributed the items they've purchased in hope and retired in disappointment, it would be a good start on stocking a library! Sigh, that is just a fantasy. :| At least the rubic cube was not a big investment. But, what to try next?

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:24 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
I would love to donate Dale's blanket. He wads it into a ball regularly. When I ask why, he always tells me that it is 'documents' or something and he tries to give it to me. It reminds me of finding the 'perfect' gift for a toddler and then they play with the box in which it came. :roll:

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:02 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
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Location: Minnesota
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Leone, if Dale accepts his blanket as documents, would he accept paper you give him? What if you handed him a large stack of magazines and asked him to sort them in date order, or to pick out the ones that are reated to his international deals, or ... whatever you can dream up? Might he spend some time on the magazines? Or a big stack of junk mail? Or grocery receipts, or anything he could work into his need to deal with documents? I'm sure not suggesting this from personal experience, but I feel your predictament and I would really like to help!

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:14 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
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Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Leone, I laughed about playing with the box that a toy came in. That actually happened to my dad the first time my sister and her husband brought their toddler back to my parents' for Christmas. My dad had gone to great lengths to get the baby the "it" toy that year, and my niece took one look at it (an ugly Cabbage Patch Kid), tossed it over her shoulder and started putting the box over her head, cellophane window over her face like a space helmet. My sister just wanted to die on the spot!

But seriously, my sister and I are finding we spend a ton of money on stuff that our mother doesn't have the slightest interest in using. What a waste! Jeanne, the lending library would be fantastic. Nice fantasy!

I keep thinking that some fiddly little fidget toys like others have described might be good, but there again, anything that seems right for her as far as ability, she seems to think is beneath her.

Today, I called the SW at the SNF and asked for help with my mother's TV issues. I asked if the staff could please just check in and see if she is having trouble tuning in what she wants in the evening, instead of her calling my sister or me to try to guide her, over the phone, to the correct channel. My mother doesn't need a huge amount of help with ADLs--in fact, she resists any kind of help from the staff--so you'd think they could spare the time to get her on the right channel. So far, that is the most constructive thing I have come up with! Sigh......

Julianne


Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:25 pm
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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
Baby doll therapy seems to work with some women. They think it is real and cuddle it and take care of it.

In my husband's ALF, there is a little woman who, when I met her, was carrying a baby doll wrapped in a blanket, and told me her name was (you guessed it) Dolly.

She had a kitten stuffed toy dangling from the same hand with which she was cradling Dolly. I asked her what the kitty's name was, and she said "I don't know. It's dead."


Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:24 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
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Location: WA
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Quote:
I'll bet if all the caregivers in an area contributed the items they've purchased in hope and retired in disappointment, it would be a good start on stocking a library!

Jeanne, that's an excellent idea! I think I might suggest it at the SNF.

One woman at the SNF has a mechanical cat--it's furry, cuddly, very life-like and meows, purrs and moves its head. It even rolls over to have its tummy scratched! So cute!

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:22 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
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Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
JeanneG wrote:
Leone, if Dale accepts his blanket as documents, would he accept paper you give him? What if you handed him a large stack of magazines and asked him to sort them in date order, or to pick out the ones that are reated to his international deals, or ... whatever you can dream up?
I tried to hand Dale the sports page a couple of days ago. Dale was always interested in sports and, in fact, he sold fitness equipment to the Army. He took the sports section, folded it, and handed it back to me saying, "Here, put this on my desk."

And then he said, "Where's my desk in here?"

He can no longer read ... so sorting anything in order is beyond him.

I think we just need to accept the fact that he lives in his own world now and that world entertains him completely. He is not bored ... but he is often terrified. He sees things that are not there.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:26 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
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Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Leone, I guess being entertained is good, to a point, but it's sad that he is terrified by his delusions soimetimes.

My mother can't read, either, and that used to be huge for her. She can't write, either, except for strange, cryptic messages. She gave me a grocery list the other day that gave a glimpse into what goes on in her mind now--very bizarre.

Julianne


Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:47 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Leone, I wasn't thinking that he'd read them or be really able to sort them -- more just playing into his fantasy about dealing with documents. But maybe leaving him alone in his world is better. I really don't know! :shock: If we give an LO a doll to take care of, that is playing into her fantasy world, isn't it? I was just trying to think of things that would play into his business/office world. Don't think I've seen anything like that in a catalog for impaired adults ...

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:40 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
Post Re: How to keep LO occupied or entertained
Several times I saw Frank on the floor playing with cars our grandchildren brought us from their vacations. Frank was a trucker driver for 25 years and has collected trucks of all kinds and sizes, saved everyone the kids gave him, like a 15cent plastic ones they bought 45 yrs ago. He also has some collectables he was saving, I asked myself, WHY. I cleared a few shelves off in the den and tomorrow I will ask the caregiver to see if he has any interest in putting them on the shelves. Anything that might spark some interest.

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Gerry 67, cared for Frank 71, married 49 yrs; dx 2004, passed away October 26, 2011.


Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:10 pm
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