Dementia friendly activities do to at home with your loved one
Dementia friendly activities do to at home with your loved one
Welcome to the place where I share dementia tips, strategies, and information for family members caring for a loved one with any type of dementia (such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, etc.)
In today’s video, I explain a dementia-friendly activities do to at home with your loved one
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In case you haven’t met me, my name is Natali Edmonds and I am a board certified geropsychologist. That means that I am a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with older adults. One day, while hiking a trail, I came up with the idea for Careblazers and I decided to see if posting videos online could provide help to the many other Careblazers in the world who don’t get to have help come directly to them in their homes. I hope that this work helps you in some way on your caregiving journey.
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What if they’re blind?
My mom will do jigsaw puzzles, 97 and has no clue what day it is but she can finish a puzzle in a few days. She knows I am her daughter though, never seems to forget that
Oddly a friend just told me about folding towels. I wash a load every morning. She doesnt remember yesterday so no problem. She loves peeling potatoes and carrots and making batches to be frozen for weekly dinners. If I have to much in the freezer I just toss it out when she is not around and keep the cycle going. Love the socks, adding that to the routine.
This is such great advice, my dad always asks me if he can help me do anything
And it sort of frustrates me because I think that he knows that he can’t do anything
But all of this is new and I’m evolving through the process
My dad does puzzles. Only up to 100 pieces and the larger sized pieces but he’ll stay focused until he’s done. Unfortunately, most those size are very kiddie but pictures of animals work well. I also order some online with photos of family.
Thank you, you’re heaven sent!
Shelling peas and other non knife vegetable jobs comes to mind.
Also doing a photo album together sorting photos and sticking them in the album.
My mother cared for a woman and would have her fold clothes with her and put clothes up. Then my mother would walk around and retrieve the underwear from the silverware drawer and places like that.
It is sad to tell this story of what my mother did and now have to prepare to do it with her.
Thank you for this!
Two years ago I was taking care of an 82 year old woman that had frontal temporal dementia..what I found and relayed to her family was the fact that if the patient had an activity or chore or event to focus on…that they became almost free of their dementia..even if it was only for 20 to 30 minutes. So what you are saying in this video is so accurate and true and necessary. Thank you!!
I just came across this video when I was looking for more activities to do with my client. I am a senior home care worker these people are not my loved ones they are my clients. I appreciate the, just not the term loved one. Not everybody that watches these I am sure is a family member..
It’s hard to entertain them all the time🥺 my husband just sat down after pacing the house for 3 hours😳
I love this. It’s wonderful. Gotta say something though..( it might lend to your credentials..). There is no " T" in Alzheimer’s. It’s Alz~Heimer, not alltimers.
My mom loves to sort socks, fold towels and dance with my young children. As long as she is smiling and laughing I don’t care if the tasks are completed “correctly”.
And what can be suggested for a loved one with dementia who is completely BLIND and can hardly walk? Thank you very much
My mom has dementia and she’s pretty active. She likes to stay busy and loves to do stuff in the kitchen. She has basically taken over my kitchen and that’s fine with me. I no longer know where anything is. I love that she likes to do things around the house but The issue I have is she is constantly calling me and my husband when she misplace things or just to show us how good of a job she did. She constantly fusses when she can’t find things and it is irritating because she blames other people for the “disappearance”. My husband and I work from home and the constant interruptions can be very distracting. We live in a small house and work from our living room with no privacy. What do you suggest we can do?
The ergo-therapist of the lady I am caring for gave her a variation of balloon tossing – both of us sitting on chairs in front of each other and holding a stick in both hands – and we toss the balloon between us using the stick. She is not sure on her legs, so it gives her the assurance of not falling, but she stands up, trying to reach a balloon, the stick activates both hands – and it is more fun and challenge, without feeling it. And it takes quite an amount of healthy power even from her not very active cousin, who comes to play sometimes 🙂
These vids are great!
We bought our mother sticker picture books. She finds the sticker and places it over the corresponding numbered shape, which eventually turns into a cute colorful picture. When this is difficult for her, she calls out the number and her husband hands her the right sticker.
Good ideas 💡 👌
My husband likes to watch the rabbits in the yard so I bought him a set of binoculars so he could see them better..he also likes to look out the double glass doors in the kitchen and loves to watch the squirrels come and get nuts off the deck..he loves watching them eat…he used to hunt and now says there is no way he could ever kill another rabbit or squirrel…thanks..
Interesting information, thanks for sharing.
Thank you 🙏🏼
I have a lot of your suggestions. My specialty is preventing anger. When I can tell he is getting ready to get mad, I simply change the subject. He loves the views from his home so can also change the topic pointing out things on or around what he sees. Pointing out something that he likes will end is bad mood quickly
I am having a hard time when my husband with dementia keeps saying things over and over such as “I don’t know” or ‘ok, ok”. After awhile it is nerve wracking. The one thing that he loves is I have a container garden in the yard and I have a comfortable chair for him in the shade and I play music for him. It relaxes him so much and he loves looking at the plants so much.
My 98 year old swept the kitchen for me. She had to sit down quickly afterwards and went right to sleep. Lol.
She also "does laundry" for hours at a time. Folds, unfolds, straightens and gets tired.
Today, she does not want to do anything. Walking back and forth looking for a way out. I let her stick her head outside (100°F). She stepped back in and went to bed, wide awake.
Thanks for this video! I had not thought about balloons.
Thanks for this conversation ! Activities are key, so long as they do not develop control issues. Somehow, "being able to do tasks" turns into "I don’t need//want you here – I’m in control of myself" ! Will try your ideas !
I am really struggling with mega anxiety with my mother’s stages and her present condition
Thank you 🙏
Early in the summer I got my LO outside and we planted zinnia seeds along the side of the house and had him water "his flowers" every day. Now we go out and admire the flowers every day. Also my LO has adopted 4 feral cats he feeds twice a day. It gives him such joy to go out and talk to his cats.
with this fake fear pushed on us about the communist chinese virus. everything is locked down. heck can not even make physical contact with them. visets are only through a glass window.
Thanks for sharing. Let your LO fold some platic bags. They loved it.
One thing I often say my grandma with last stage dementia is that *YOU ARE SOO BEAUTIFUL..OO MY GOD HOW…* she always laugh at this
Thank you for your help
how do I get a dementia patient to change clothes?.
I appreciate your helpful videos. I no longer feel alone and frightened thinking about what is coming next. I look forward to every video and enjoy watching them twice. Thank you from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
I’m not sure why this was recommended to me but if I ever have a family member who is struck with this awful disease I’ll know what to do
We do a lot of brain teasers, crossword puzzles that are not overly difficult oh, word searches, missing letters, matching, and some jigsaw puzzles. All of these help her to retain as much cognition and executive function as possible. Although I know it is not permanent, she went from a 12 to a 21 out of 30 on one of the cognition scales after a month-and-a-half of doing puzzles and brain activities
I have sat on the sofa with my mother-in-law folding wash clothes and hand towels for up to 45 minutes! We enjoyed conversations about her past while she folded. I also have an assortment of childrens socks of various colors and patterns that I have kept in a ziplock baggy. The more specific patterns for matching the more fun as in polkadots, stripes, hearts and even holiday socks like Christmas, Halloween and Valentine’s Day. I only set out 4 sets at a time for her to match so she will not be overwhelmed. She loves helping me "do the laundry". Another activity she does for me is to match up lids and screw them onto kids no spill cups. Once again I make it easy by having different colored ones that have the matching colored lids, most are actiually interchangable so if she doesn’t get the matching color that’s ok. I have gone to educational websites for making word search puzzles. I set the setting to limit the columns and rows as well as only having the answers horizontal from left to right one answer per row. You can even handwrite these having only 6 to 8 answers even. I make copies and redo the same ones! I use family members names; simple names of flowers such as rose, tulip, daisy, lily etc.; things in a place setting like plate, fork, spoon, knife, cup and napkin; art supplies paper, pencil, paint, paintbrush. These are great to have on doctors visits as I set with her while waiting. I have an ancient IPAD that I downloaded some very simple kids apps such as "Flower garden", "Sago Mini Farm" and TV game show apps like "Wheel of Fortune" and "Family Fued" we do these together for as brief a time as she is willing while waiting at the doctor. I also always have those little snack packs of popcorn, cheese crackers, peanut butter and cracker and mini cookies with a small bottled water. She will say she is not hungary or thirsty but I simply open them and she manages to finish them off!
My friend is recovering from a stroke which has resulted in early stage vascular dementia here are some of the daily activities we enjoy doing together;
Play board games; ie scrabble, dominoes, snakes and ladders.
Fill up the bird feeders with peanuts or wild bird food.
We have a washing line so she helps me hang out the washing, by handing the items to me from the laundry basket.
Folding the clothes when they come out of the dryer/ washing line.
Painting/staining the garden shed using a paintbrush with a tin of water as a treatment, any teabag can be used to stain the water ( great for the men)
Writing simple words – you will be amazing what he/she has the muscle memory to spell!
Look at books together with large colourful pictures, especially babies and animals or whatever the person’s interests are.
Make a scrap book together.
We go for a short walk every day, if we can take a dog along with us all the better! Sometimes, if the weather is fine we make a little picnic and have a snack on the bench in the park.
If my friend is feeling tired we might sit out in the garden and watch the birds feeding from the bird table together.
I have learned so much from these videos. I am a paid caregiver although I am a friend of the family though. I totally love doing this work.
your videos have helped me so much with my father. thank you so much.
This is a great activity for my LO ! Thank you so much
Thank you for the ideas.
Thank you for a helpful video
The balloon game sounds great, I went out and bought two plastic tennis rackets from the dollar store, $1 each, and we shot balloons back and forth to each other.
Another suggestion is paddle ball, which is 1 or $2 at the dollar store
Those are all good ideas 💡 another thing I found is singing church songs / reading Bible together play scrabble with no score keeping
My siblings and I try to engage our mom to colour . Sometimes we colour with her. There are adult colouring books and lots of cool crayons these days. Some r even scented .Also we bring kid puzzles with the large pieces to do with her as she can no longer do normal puzzles. Another thing my sister did was buy some fake flowers from dollar store and a flower pot and get her to arrange and sort how she wants. Every day we get her to rearrange so she has a different pot of flowers each time. My mom loves bright colours so the more colourful the better!!